They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Detective Conan Movie 17: Private Eye in the Distant Sea, Shingeki no Kyojin: Chronicle, Detective Conan Movie 19: The Hellfire Sunflowers, and more!
50: Detective Conan Movie 17: Private Eye in the Distant Sea
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 絶海の探偵
MAL Score: 7.69
The warship Aegis Destroyer is conducting public exercises in Maizuru Bay where, coincidentally, a suspicious foreign ship was recently spotted. Conan Edogawa, Ran Mouri, Kogorou Mouri, Sonoko Suzuki, and the Detective Boys all receive a ticket to attend this event. However, while the ongoing military operations are underway, one of the crew members comes across a lieutenant’s severed left arm. Conan later discovers that a foreign spy may have infiltrated the warship to obtain classified information by any means necessary. If the information were to leak, Japan’s line of defense would be exposed, leaving the country unprotected from hostile attack.
With the help of the police at sea while other friends and allies investigate on the mainland, Conan must now prevent this national crisis and identify the spy for the sake of Japan.
I love how all the different groups like the beika police, kyoto police, marine force, shonen tantei, agasa and heiji all had their important parts in it. Everyone was working together with Conan as the central point.
The new boy they added was very cute too, I cried in the end.
And I thought it was SO COOL how Ran really fought evenly with the enemy. not just the usually ‘ow no, Ran got caught again’. she was totally kicking ass!
And the way how she disappeared really seemed impossible to find her this time. Everyone’s reaction was so real.
Definitely a great movie if you’re a Conan lover!
The story was good, and I loved how they incorporated real-life details about the Japanese self-defense force and the Aegis system.
Lovely end song. Art is the usual, but I especially liked how accurately the design of the destroyer was depicted. The movie has a nice, smooth development and many thrilling moments. I thought the ending was slightly exaggerated, but I won’t spoil anything. The very last scene was really touching :’)
I surprisingly enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Overall, it was a lovely thing that many Conan fans if not all would enjoy and works as a stand-alone as well for others to enjoy just the same.
Well, this movie has a special story. It touched political aspects of our daily life and touched Japan’s national security. And the risks to security, such as spies, and the danger of these mice to the country, This is interesting isn’t it ?
The story begins in a warship. Everything seems to be fine. It looks like a normal cruise expedition. But wait a moment, unfortunately in Conan, the moments of happiness do not last long. Soon an amputated arm is found. As usual, Conan always cornered himself and interfered. From here begins this bittersweet affair !!
I liked the sequence of events and the multiplicity of characters. Hiji and Kazuha appeared … and they all have the same goal of stopping possible crimes. This film also showed the integrated relationship between the characters of Detective Conan. And it appears that they all cooperate in order to catch the spy
But the story takes another turn. Heiji was hit by a bullet. He was lucky it wasn’t serious. And after the capture of Takekawa. Heiji and Kazuha’s actual role in the film ended. Then Ran stumbled upon the spy, before everyone else. She is trying to save Yuki. She ignored the danger and started fighting the spy with karate. She was about to win, but the spy threw her into the sea in order to silence her and hide the truth. But Conan and the rest find it. After the case is resolved, it appears that everything is fine. But with the criminal admitting that he had thrown a high school girl who practiced karate, Conan was terrified because he realized that Ran was in danger, in these scenes the voices were successful. They conveyed their feelings fabulously and I really liked their work.
When Conan learned that X pushed Ran into the sea, he was seriously calming himself to think a way in finding Ran and starts to recall about the time he went to Tropical Land with Ran. At that time, Ran had said “No matter where I am, you’ll always find me, right? Great Detective”, to which he thinks, “How can I be a great detective if I can’t even find Ran?”
When the pilots couldn’t find Ran even with the radio waves emitting from the ship, Conan thinks her name repeatedly while clenching his fist and shedding his first tear. Later, he breaks down, screaming “RAN!” so loudly that she heard him even from under the Sea. And here the author has demonstrated the strength of the feelings of these two. Ran almost died, but when she heard Conan’s voice, she imagined that Conan was Shinichi. She remembered his promise to her that he would find her, and she felt happy that she was seeing Shinichi in front of her. Moments later, the search crew was able to pick up a tiny signal on the radio waves, and when the helicopter headed to the signal site, they found Ran. And here ended the moments of sadness and tension, Conan felt relieved. When Ran was taken out of the sea, she kept chanting Shinichi
Really an amazing movie. I’ve seen it hundreds of times because I was really touched, So I consider it as the best movie. Because for the first time I was able to see Conan 😂 tears
My final rating 10/10
49: Shingeki no Kyojin: Chronicle
Japanese: 進撃の巨人 クロニクル
MAL Score: 7.70
The compilation film will recap the anime’s 59 episodes from seasons one to three.
This movie’s goal wasn’t to present AoT in a different way rather it was to convey what already happened in a summarised way and it did good in that aspect.
So,if you are a fan waiting for s4 and have problem remembering some key moments of the story, this movie is for you. Again, I repeat,the purpose of this movie wasn’t meant for enjoyment.
Therefore,Only watch if you wanna remember the key points of the story upto s3pt2
THIS IS A RECAP. THIS IS NOT A FILM TO WATCH IF YOU HAVE NEVER WATCHED ATTACK ON TITAN BEFORE. THIS IS PURELY A RECAP OF SEASONS 1, 2, AND 3 TO REFRESH YOUR MEMORY WHILE WAITING FOR SEASON 4.
I don’t even know why this has to be said.
Is it not obvious that this is a RECAP? This isn’t a movie that condenses AoT into a watchable medium of 2 hours for new viewers to watch. This is purely a RECAP for people who need to refresh their memories, while we wait for Season 4.
You don’t have to watch this if you don’t want to. If you already remember the story well, you don’t need to use up your time on this. However, if you have hazy memories of the story and want to refresh your memory, by all means go ahead and watch this.
You’d think that condensing 22 hours of anime into a 2 hour movie would be a bad idea, and it is. This movie is such a clusterfuck.
The movie starts with a quick 20 second narration that tells us that humanity is behind walls because massive titans lurk outside. Then immediately the wall is smashed and Eren’s mother dies 2 minutes in. Eren then says he’ll kill every titan, followed by a shot of him as a fully trained soldier 5 years later. The colossal titan immediately appears again and destroys the wall. We are at minute 4. Eren and a bunch of unnamed soldiers go to fight the titans but then get gruesomely killed. Why should we care about these people? We then get Armins character introduction, with him immediately swallowed by a titan. Eren then sacrifices himself to save this character we have seen for 20 seconds.
As you can see, the main problem of this movie is that it gives you absolutely no time to make sense of anything. Things fly past you at such an amazing speed that you can’t keep up at all. Not to mention most character development was completely gutted to try and fit the entire story into 2 hours. Hannes is shown twice before his death. Reiner is shown twice before his betrayal and Bertholt once. I don’t even think Annie did anything before she became the Female Titan. Importance is lost because of how little the movie makes us care for the characters.
And even as a recap this sucks pretty bad. You want to see some of the best fights from the show? All cut out except for Levi vs Beast Titan. The basement flashback scene takes about a minute and a half. The entire first half of season 2 is condensed into a single minute. Lot’s of plot holes form as a result of condensing and may not be recognized by people who haven’t watched the series in a while.
The audio and visuals are the same as in the anime, but the way they edited everything was extremely piss poor.
To sum everything up, do not watch this. There is no reason for anyone who has or hasn’t watched the series to watch this. What really should have been made were 2 recap movies of the 3rd season. This movie just goes to show what condensing can do. This feels very similar to the Unlimited Bladeworks Movie, but even worse because of how much was actually cut and because of the terrible directing and editing.
48: Detective Conan Movie 19: The Hellfire Sunflowers
English: Detective Conan: The Sunflowers of Inferno
Japanese: 映画 名探偵コナン 業火の向日葵
MAL Score: 7.71
Kaitou Kid and Vincent van Gogh’s artworks feature heavily in the movie, according to an interview with Gosho Aoyama. The teaser preview at the end of Dimensional Sniper included references to van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” series.
I’m a huge DC fan, that’s why after a good 18’th movie, I really hoped to have such a good movie, keeping all this promises, especially with a global “subject” as rich and interesting as the universe of the big painter Vincent Van Gogh.
And after almost 2hours, I’ve to admit that this movie was… extremely disappointing.
Let’s talk about it:
I’ve to say that, to my eyes, the plot is quite interesting. A strange mixture between a police universe and a paint universe caught my attention.
Nevertheless, after few minutes of the movie, we quickly understand that it will not be as interesting as we could thought.
AND THE MAIN REPROACH I have to make on the overall movie, is that everything is COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE. EVERYTIME.
Even if the story would have been able to be well-maded, it’s not, cause it’s quite confusing.
And it’s soooo frustrating! Because if you’re a DC fan, you can see lots of good protagonist in there (Kaito Kid and all this stuff, shounen detectiv boys, mouri…), with good intentions to mix them and make them act together…
Without being magnificent and unrefined, the global design is pleasant, reminding us “magic kaito”, who has finished recently
However, as all DC movie, expressions are a little bit too accentuated. And I hope that it’ll be fixed one day..
Except the music of the credits which is HORRIBLE (Oh! Rival (オー！リバル)” by Porno Graffitti), the music is good, and does not stand out too much during the movie. Furthermore, it is sensibly well placed in action scenes. I really appreciated it.
•Characters (02/10): (DID NOT COUNT DC USUAL STAFF)
Well. A recurrent problem in DC movies.
The seven Suzuki’s samurais are useless and without interest. The plot and the story behind them is bad and not convincing.
Besides, the samurai’s plot is badly brought to us (moment when we saw the old lady, and when we saw what happen’ whith the paints for example..), and WE CAN NEVER be interested or become identified to them, because they are badly introduced, while they are supposed to have an important part in the movie.
However, they put forward too much the fact that the kid became nasty, whereas it’s just obvious that we all know what will really happened and what are the real kid’s intentions (without trying to spoiling you, which is difficult, sry)
According to me, the characters (Kid, Conan, Samuraïs…) and the plot CAN NOT GO together, and NEVER seduce us… What a shame…
It could be mooooooore better than that.
In the end, this movie is boring, because of his predictibility. But I’ve no problem to watch it and I review it due to my frustration against this obvious clumsy plot.
It’s not a bad movie. But it’s a bad DC movie.
It never brings us what we are expecting in a DC movie. And all the fan-service in this movie (cross between Conan and Kid, for example) is heavy and deprived of interest.
Furthermore, the story behing Van Gogh and his painting became boring…
To conclude, I’ll say that I recommand you to watch it. To have your own opinion.
But objectively, you CAN NOT SAY that this is a GOOD DC MOVIE.
Now, we are all waiting for the 20th movie!
Thks for reading, and sorry for the language, not my language.
As I enjoyed previous Conan movies featuring Kaito Kid, I was really looking forward to this one. Conan movies are not without flaws, but I can usually look past those flaws based on enjoyment alone – but for this movie, not so much.
The story is quite straightforward: the Suzuki family wants to organize an exhibition featuring all of van Gogh’s “Sunflower” paintings with the help of a group of hand-picked individuals called the “Seven Samurai”, but for some reason Kaito Kid decides to get involved. This in turn causes the police to become involved, as everyone tries to protect the paintings from Kid while making sure the exhibition goes off without a hitch.
There were two things that I found annoying about the story: 1) it was not well-executed. It felt like the writers wanted to make the story more interesting by adding random plotlines and events unrelated to the main story, but this only served to make the movie unnecessarily complicated. Since the characterization was weak to begin with, the movie was unable to justify these creative decisions. 2) It was quite predictable. Anyone who is familiar with the Conan franchise can pretty much tell how this story will play out after the first 15 minutes. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how the writers further develop the story, but in this case it definitely did not enhance the viewing experience.
The movie was well-animated, employing bright colors and beautiful shots of New York City and Tokyo. The animators also did a great job setting the atmosphere and mood for various scenes. One sequence taking place on an airplane really stood out for its great visuals and intense action.
For the most part, the soundtrack was quite enjoyable and complemented the movie. Not the most memorable soundtrack of all time, but effective nonetheless. I do have to say that the ending song was terrible, and did not belong there at all.
Characters can make or break a movie, and in this case the characters did the latter. We all know that the new characters introduced in a Conan movie are one-shot characters, but the Seven Samurai were boring and generic even for one-shot characters. When the writers tried to utilize them to further the plot, it was rendered ineffective because none of them possess any personality whatsoever. It felt like they were introduced for the sake of the storyline, and then completely abandoned. There was also an old lady character who had some sort of personal connection to one of the Sunflower paintings, but the writers spent extremely little time sketching out her storyline, therefore stripping it of all its emotional value.
On the other hand, it was nice to revisit the rivalry between Conan and Kaito Kid. For some reason though, most of the main characters in the Conan universe play extremely small roles in the storyline and mostly let stuff happen to them, and even Conan doesn’t do as much detective work as usual. Kaito Kid may be as charming as always, but the plot doesn’t do him any favors as well.
I enjoyed most parts of the movie, especially the action scenes, while other scenes were utterly unenjoyable. I really wanted to like this movie, but I couldn’t look past the flimsy plot and ineffective characterization.
Out of all Conan movies, this is one of my least favorite, along with the Jolly Roger one. For long-time viewers of Conan, I would recommend re-watching a previous movie featuring Kaito Kid instead of seeing this one. For anyone new to the Conan franchise, I would recommend movie #7 or #10 instead, since both feature well-executed and exciting storylines that also further develop the relationships among the main characters.
I know the team behind Conan can do better than this, so I’ll be looking forward to the 20th movie!
Story (6/10): After the Suzuki Zaibatsu purchases the originally thought destroyed 2nd Sunflowers painting, Kaito Kid essentially declares that he’ll steal it. But since this is completely outside of the thiefs usual M.O., all characters involved become suspicious, especially after the messages and methods become violent. Conan and friends are now on a deadline to get the Sunflowers Exhibition up and running, but it still doesn’t answer the main problem: why is Kaito Kid after the paintings?
The story here is a bit of a mixed bag, to say the least. There’s a lot right but enough wrong that it’s hard not to address. The good things are that it really takes a smart approach to trying to defeat Kid, showing all the work that goes into everything behind the scenes. It’s really quite fun to see just what Suzuki Jiro does to show off his extreme wealth. All the stuff that connects with the Sunflower paintings themselves is also interesting, and a little heartwarming.
There are some problems with the movie. The resolution to who is after the paintings is WEAK. And I don’t just mean weak, I mean WEAK AS FUCK. (Yes, f-bomb worthy weak.) True, the clues do tell you who it is, but God almighty is it a letdown. In connection to that, there’s a random confession to a crime dead center in the climax that basically comes out of nowhere and does nothing to change the plot AT ALL. Also almost everything to do with Kaito Kid is basically worthless, and yes as a fan of his, that sucks to say. I’ll elaborate more in the below section, but suffice to say, this is probably the weakest movie that Kid has been a part of.
Overall it isn’t a bad story, but man, the parts that are bad are standout bad.
Art (8/10): As is per the norm, the art is excellent, giving all the scenes wonderful color and action. Though I must point out that there are a few ‘quality’ background scenes here and there that are a bit more standout than I would usually critique.
Sound (7/10): Back to basic Conan movie music, but as usual that isn’t a bad thing. Though I must point out the track that plays during the climax of the movie, as it was really damn good.
Character (6/10): I do have some positives and negatives in relation to the regular cast. First the disappointing: it feels like they dumbed down Conan and Ai. While nothing extreme or distracting, it just feels like the two smartest characters in the show almost don’t have that much of an impact in solving the crime. Conan doesn’t have to work hard to figure anything out and really only gets like 2 clues total to work with in the entire movie. It just feels like he got pushed out of his own movie.
Not all is bad though. The Suzuki’s (Jiro and Sonoko) are actually more entertaining here than they’ve been in a while. Ran, her Dad, and Inspector Nakamori are also treated with respect and given quite a lot to do here. Basically the main side characters here are treated well and are really fun to watch.
Kaito Kid is also barely in the movie. Technically he is in most of it, but he doesn’t even have a freaking line until 20 minutes near the end. Despite being the main ‘antagonist’, he’s just a non-factor in the story too much of the time. It honestly feels like the movie is trying to play Kid like he was back when his introduction was a bit more mysterious, but by today, where his manga is a thing and he had his own anime last year, it just doesn’t work anymore.
With the movie exclusive characters, they are just boring and forgettable. True, Inspector Charlie is the best of the bunch, but he’s ultimately not that important in the long run. The other characters have literally 3-8 lines of dialogue and no personality at all. Hell, I don’t even remember their freaking names after just watching it. They’re close to the top of a Worst DC Movie Cast list for being just there and irrelevant by the end.
(As is traditional at this point, I need to make my complaint: why are the freaking Detective Boys in this damn movie? Their scenes are worthless and they literally serve no purpose. I don’t want to hate on them, since as Quarter of Silence has shown us, when given real purpose, they are great characters. But here? They should’ve been excluded from the entire second half when the exhibition takes center stage. Hell, even the Professor is kind of awkwardly shoved into the movie, with all his scenes being really bad comedy.)
Enjoyment (7/10): I did have more fun with this movie than I did the last one, if you can believe it. Probably because I do like a good art heist film. Granted, as noted above, the second half is where I started getting lost. While the actual climax is really fun, I was just disappointed that we didn’t really get a Conan vs. Kid film. I really should know by now that we’ll never get one of those until a miracle happens, but I still held hope that this would be the one. Again, while it seems like I’m complaining, I really did have some fun with this movie. (Also there’s a tiny call back to something from the 18th movie here, which is kinda cute.)
Detective Conan: The Hellfire Sunflowers is probably one of the more average movies in the series, though it isn’t awful by any means. While the side characters are really given a time to shine, the story has some major flaws in its second half and doesn’t really feel like the Conan/Kid focused movie that it’s trying to be. If you’re a DC fan, I as always recommend that you watch it at least once for completions sake, but non fans aren’t going to find anything interesting here.
6/10 = average by DC standards; second half is weak, with the mystery reveal failing to impress; there are better Conan/Kid movies, like the 14th (being the best); the main older side characters do kind of get a chance to shine;
47: Detective Conan Movie 16: The Eleventh Striker
Japanese: 劇場版 名探偵コナン 11人目のストライカー
MAL Score: 7.72
In Touto Stadium, a J. League soccer match is taking place. During this, Detective Kogorou Mouri receives a bomb threat from an unknown caller and a mysterious riddle that points to its location. Conan Edogawa must now save the fans of the game before the time runs out.
Fortunately, with Conan’s quick actions and clever thinking, the bomb is discovered and the explosion is evaded. The culprit does not stop there; Detective Kogorou is informed of another hidden bomb set to explode at a large event in the city. Forced into a race against time, with thousands of more lives at stake, Conan must decipher another riddle, discover the place of the bomb, and catch the culprit in order to escape a terrible tragedy.
Story (5/10): When a mysterious bomb threat is issued, it appears to be targeting the J-League, leaving a mystery in the hands of our little Great Detective: why target soccer, who is this bomber, and what does a seemingly unrelated incident have to do with it?
I hope you like soccer and the J-League, cause booooy are they prominent here. My limited knowledge of soccer helped me get most of what was being said, but man there is just too much worshiping of the J-League here. There are a (I’m assuming) slew of actual soccer stars here, and they just completely flew over my head. Like to the point where I said “OK movie I get it, J-League is the bestest, just stop!”.
But honestly? A lot of this movie just seems tacked on. While the mystery itself and the execution of the bomb threats is actually pretty entertaining, the rest of the story just seems rather boring. I really can’t go into more without hitting spoilers, but a lot of the movie feels way too artificially structured and has no real natural flow to it. It’s just average at best.
Art (8/10): Here is where the movie shines, since the soccer matches were really well animated. The whole movie actually looks really good, with action sequences being the highlight. Other than that it just looks good and holds the trend of the movies having better art than the series.
Sound (7/10): It’s a Detective Conan movie. It plays the same music as always. And it’s good. (Help, I’m running out of lines to talk about the music. :V)
Character (5/10): This movie just kind of juggles characters around and doesn’t use them well at all. Conan, Ai, Professor Agasa, and the police characters come out OK, but everyone else is just…there, I guess.
The movie cast is also stupidly huge (seriously). There are a ton of soccer player characters, and I’m not really sure why we needed to spend time with only 2 of them for like 4 minutes at most. I guess it was to help set up the climax, but it’s really a waste. Plus half of the initial suspects just poof away after the midway point, so they were basically just there to be red herrings. (And while that’s normally forgivable and such, the movie tries to hold onto them far longer than needed.)
The final culprit is also supremely whiny and while his motivation would kind of drive a person to the notion of a personal attack, I’m not sure to it makes sense in the scale of the story. Also they start going crazy at the end for…reasons? I dunno, everyone here just felt weak (and funnily enough, sort of mirror the last movies cast. Huh.)
(Also the Detective Boys are at their most annoying, since apparently the story really needed them to throw a soccer ball at Conan in the most contrived way possible, along with not listening to anyone (as usual).)
Enjoyment (5/10): I gotta be honest. This movie was boring. All the random soccer people showing up was almost overwhelming and everything just feeling stilted made this not fun to sit through. I will give the movie credit that beginning at the first bombing action scene and going to prior to the last confrontation, it was fairly fun. But the beginning and final climax were just not as fulfilling.
The end gag about Rans’ story was also just dumb. Come on show, you’ve done better.
In the end, Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker was a somewhat average movie, though part of that relies on how much you like the movie cast and all the J-League praising. (Oddly enough the soccer explanations are actually pretty interesting.) The action scenes are really fun and the mystery engaging, but the actual cast is fairly boring and the payoff is kind of unsatisfying. I would only recommend it to the DC fans to just watch it to get out of the way if you want to watch all the movies, but otherwise I’m very hesitant to recommend it.
5/10 = average at best, boring as hell at worst; hope you like the J-League, cause it’s just nonstop praise for them, though the soccer aspect is actually pretty interesting; mystery is fun, but the characters are boring; DC faithful might be bored, or at least I was;
In this movie Mouri Kogorou murders a small child in drunken confusion. I shit you not. He stops an ambulance and that may have lead to the death of a small child. Which is kind of important to the plot, but HE certainly doesn’t dwell upon it.
This is also the movie where Conan messes up all over the place and gets sloppy. I don’t know if they were trying to be a little more realistic, but he seems to have trouble making the jumps and perfect landings. As such the ending takes a bit more time to end how you expect it to end… with Conan kicking a soccer ball into something to stop the timer. If you couldn’t guess that’s what was going to happen, you must be new here.
Overall this movie is about soccer. It’s officially sponsored by J-League, whose team members actually show up in the movie. The whole plot is pretty much copy pasted from the previous. We have bombs going to go off and Conan has to stop it. Only this time it’s soccer themed. Really it’s getting boring. I kind of remember Conan movies having a bit more mystery and intrigue. Also it seems some of the hints they give are kind fo disjointed as they don’t give you the other clues and have you put them together.
It’s hinted the next movie has a cruise ship in it. I can only hope it hasn’t been rigged up with bombs that Conan has to stop.
One of the first complaints has to do with soccer being a prominent theme, which people claim comes across as shallow pandering. While it’s true that this movie does heavily feature Japanese Soccer League players, what people forget is that Conan is a big soccer fan. It’d be like bashing Phantom of Baker Street just because it panders too much to Sherlock fans. Even if the movie was J-league fan service, that doesn’t change the fact that the movie still makes use of the soccer themes and characters in the main story.
Another complaint has to do with how this movie copies the story of another movie in the series, specifically the Time-Bombed Skyscraper. While that movie is fun, I did think that there were some places it could improve on. For instance, the lack of mystery surrounding the main culprit. Here, they at least tried to complicate things with extra suspects and other elements to help engage the audience in figuring out whodunit. The soccer references, refined art style and epic cinematography help give it its own unique shine while polishing out the kinks in the original framework.
In terms of legitimate criticism, there are some things I do consider to be slight nitpicks. While the music is serviceable, it can sometimes sound very “Rugrats-like”, with the exception of the song that plays when everything explodes (that song is awesome). The resolution at the end is very cheesy, but it’s still really satisfying (“the eleventh striker was you after all”). While the J-league does have a purpose in the main plot, it would’ve been nice to see them after the criminal was caught. Would’ve given them some nice closure, ya know?
Overall, this movie is too good to be getting all of this undeserved flak. A good Detective Conan movie doesn’t need Kaito Kid or the Black Organization to be good (that in itself is its own form of pandering). As long as the movie stays true to what Detective Conan is, it doesn’t matter how much soccer fan service there is. Of all the movies that I’ve reviewed so far, Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker is, indeed, faithful to what Detective Conan is.
46: Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society 3D
English: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society 3D
Japanese: 攻殻機動隊 S.A.C. Solid State Society 3D
MAL Score: 7.74
Kenji Kamiyama and Production I.G’s Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society movie will be converted into stereoscopic 3D. Kamiyama himself is overseeing the conversion, and I.G will also add a newly animated opening sequence.
45: Tiger & Bunny Movie 2: The Rising
English: Tiger & Bunny: The Rising
Japanese: 劇場版 TIGER & BUNNY -The Rising-
MAL Score: 7.79
The film will revolve around a mystery that happens on the day of the “Justice Day” festival that celebrates Sternbild’s legendary goddess.
Story: The movie’s plot is very straightforward: we rejoin the heroes some time after the end of the TV series. Kotetsu and Barnaby are part of the Second League, but that quickly changes when a new owner buys Apollon Media. What follows is a predictable, but still entertaining story.
While the TV series can be seen as “Barnaby’s story”, the new movie is more focused on Kotetsu. Watching him come to terms with his new lifestyle is very heartfelt. The heroes’ struggles against the new villains doesn’t have as much emotional investment as the series, but is still action-packed.
While the overarching story of The Rising is mediocre, the sub-plot involving Fire Emblem is amazing. It may be that the producers/studio realized that having a hero who is transgendered, but a successful business owner and his own sponsor was an amazing positive message. Even if that is not the case, the movie goes into a touching back-story revolving around Fire Emblem’s past insecurities, and the harassment he was forced to endure. It is a moving and very touching story, and adds more depth to his character.
Art: The 2D animation is great, very fluid and sharp. It seems like the 3D hero suits have been given an upgrade as well. The 3D suits are not as jarring and out-of-place as the TV show (they weren’t even that bad in the show, in my opinion). The 2D and 3D are almost seamless. The new suit design for Golden Ryan is also good, incorporating lion themes to contrast Wild Tiger.
Sound: A lot of themes from the show are remixed and reworked for the movie. It was great to hear familiar tunes, but it is always nice to hear new things as well. The voice acting was fine, on par with the TV show.
Character: The new hero, Ryan Goldsmith, is an interesting character. Equal parts conceited and confident, and a level-headed point-oriented hero, you don’t know if you want to hate him or love him. Ryan points out to Barnaby that he “sounds like his old partner”, and even says similar things that Barnaby said as a rookie hero. Ryan even knows that Barnaby needs Kotetsu as his partner. While he doesn’t have any development, he serves a purpose in the movie, and he does his job well; Ryan reassures both the audience and Kotetsu and Barnaby themselves that there is no one else who could possibly replace a member of this team.
The rest of the heroes get a great amount of screen time. It is fun to see what the heroes have been doing since the end of the show, and how they have changed. Small humorous bits with Rock Bison, the Second League Heroes and Kaede keep the movie from being too dramatic. While Lunatic does make an appearance, he did not get any further development, and that was a bit disappointing.
Overall: If you love Tiger & Bunny, you will enjoy this movie. It is a fun, fanservice-y movie that has a good balance of old and new. If you are not a fan of the show, you might not enjoy this movie as much; many characters are not given much of an introduction, and the interactions between characters are what really drives this movie.
TL;DR 5 words/phrases to describe Tiger & Bunny: The Rising
fanservice, mediocre main story, great character back-story, visually pleasing, funny
Sorry to spoil my opinion of the anime before I even get to describing it, but it’s not like it really matters. It’s more a fanservice epilogue rather than a true sequel that adds much of anything, although thankfully it’s more in vein of the fourth Rambo film rather than the Steins;Gate one. In fact, that’s probably why I’m so harsh on the thing: because it could have been Rambo and ended up taking the safe route whenever the opportunity presented itself. Obviously, I’m not expecting any of the heroes to turn their enemies into fountains of blood, but the very least you could have done was make the action less shonen-esque, let alone create some actually interesting villains – something Tiger and Bunny has always struggled to do.
The plot of the anime centers on Kotetsu and Barnaby having to deal with the consequences of choosing the second-tier hero status life they did in the conclusion of the series, and how much harder it is compared to living the life of Sky High, if you know what I mean. However, a change in management allows Barnaby to re-enter the first-tier league on the condition that he partners up with an arrogant yet surprisingly rational jerk named Golden Ryan whilst Kotetsu and the other second-tiers have to leave the hero business in order to drive cabs or something. Whilst the two deal with this new change in their lives, a new superpower threat emerges, targeting the superhero business due to reasons that are incredibly cliche to the point that I’d feel no shame in spoiling it, but I won’t out of blogger courtesy. Long story short, you can see every single plot point coming and the movie doesn’t really explore them in a way that’s that refreshing.
I suppose Tiger and Bunny: The Rising is worth watching if you want to see more of the characters and how they’re doing after all that Ouroboros business and junk, but there are several plot points that I felt really could have been done better in order to make the movie more than just simple fun. For example, about halfway through the movie’s run time, Fire Emblem is cursed with a power that forces him to relive the prejudice he suffered for being a flamboyant homosexual growing up. This had potential to be a lesser version of Wandering Son’s story, but Tiger and Bunny devotes too little time to it to really develop it beyond “well he was discriminated against and he has to accept that being a minority is just who he is in order to free himself”. Another example of an underdeveloped plot point is Golden Ryan. Whilst the expected route regarding his character would have been more predictably annoying, I’m not really sure why he’s even in the anime other than to give something for fangirls to drool over consider how little he contributes to much of anything. I suppose you could say he’s a critique against that sort of expected route, but it still comes off as kinda weak to me.
But of course, the biggest disappointment is Tiger’s story. It’s not bad, but it’s very predictable on its own and explores the consequences of his actions about as well as a Gamer Gater explores the possibilities of being a human being. And when you compare it to his arc in the series, it’s even worse off. Not to mention, considering how he should have retired before this movie even started, it’s even more disappointing to see his daughter actively encourage him to live the hero life. But not as disappointing as the fact that that’s pretty much the only reason she’s in the movie in the first place.
And then we get to the fight scenes, which come off as way way WAY too shonen for my taste. I mean the fight where Golden Ryan and Barnaby fight a lady who can clone herself is tolerable because it’s more a strategic battle than a straight-up kung-fu match, and the final one is enjoyably cheesy, if a little too busy. Unfortunately, the only thing good about the other fight scenes is that there’s no talking getting in the way of the action and that it has decent choreography. But Mr. Flawfinder, what else do you need for an action scene to be exciting? Um, a little back-and-forth maybe? Explain to me how it makes any goddamn sense that two heroes cannot lay a single scratch on one villain until a third hero arrives with a very simplistic plan that immediately causes said heroes to massacre their opponent. More importantly, explain to me how that’s exciting to watch in any way. Wong-Fei-Hung’s fight scenes in the Once Upon a Time In China series had more tension.
I think you notice by now that I’m kind of struggling to say anything really meaningful about this film. Well you’re right, because really, what else is there to say? It’s more Tiger and Bunny except with a blander script, more wasted potential, and action that looks impressive technically but it’s executed terribly. I’ll admit that the movie is fun to watch if you just want to turn your brain off and see these fun characters doing their thing, but that’s all it is at the end of the day. It’s not even “fun” on the same level as the Trigun movie. And that’s disappointing considering how much I like the series.
Like any film, the story had its strong and weak points. The plot mainly went into further detail about Kotetsu’s insecurities as basically a back-up hero, but the detail was rather lacking when it shifted focus onto the other heroes and how they fit into the story. It was almost as if they had to be given excuses for appearing.
We see some new backstory from one particular hero, whose name I won’t spoil, but I think their history could have been fit into the story better than it did. Granted, it is harder to make a compelling story in a full-length movie when the anime was so strongly focused on an overarching plot.
The scene snippets that appeared as the end credits rolled were good though, and they helped tie together some loose ends.
Sound & Art: 7/10
Not much to say about the art or the sound. Many explosions, and the usual visuals seen in the anime. The ost was fine and both the op and ed suited the movie.
“Lion & Bunny” would also be a more appropriate name for this film because as far as things go, Kotetsu and Barnaby didn’t really have that much of an interaction with each other, rather the focus was mainly on Barnaby and his new partner Golden Ryan: a ring in from another city with great confidence and the power to back it up.
Besides the main characters, there wasn’t much noteworthy character development from the other heroes and supporting cast, however, they were all still consistent in their portrayals.
The antagonists were fine, but did not leave any lasting impressions.
The film had a decent enjoyment level. I’ve always loved the dynamic relationship between Kotetsu and Barnaby so although there wasn’t much of it in this spin-off, what we saw was still good enough. Kotetsu’s struggles between balancing hero and family duties were also continued from the anime, and I particularly enjoyed the scenes of him alone in his apartment- they’ve always been good indicators of his current mental and emotional state, both in the film and anime.
Overall (7/10), I think this film was worth watching, even just for the sake of seeing more of the Tiger & Bunny world after having enjoyed the anime. As a standalone film, it isn’t quite noteworthy, but as a continuation from the anime, well it really could have been a lot worse so I won’t fault it for that.
44: Detective Conan Movie 12: Full Score of Fear
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 戦慄の楽譜（フルスコア）
MAL Score: 7.80
Serial murders involving all kinds have happened. All the victims are from a Music School led by a famous pianist. Conan and company have been invited to a opening concert of the Music Hall built by the pianist. The biggest attraction of this concert is the world famous violin called “Stradivarius” and a special appearance of a singer who has perfect pitch.
On with the review~
As I have mentioned before each DC movie contains a certain theme to it. The last movie, for example, contained a theme pertaining to pirates, while this movie contains a theme relating to classical music which has absolutely no relation to its predecessor which is quite unique in its own way.
The movie itself, in my point of view, is much faster paced compared to past DC movies. Each important event or crime as you may call it happens much quicker compared to the other movies which can be a downfall in its own way, but it doesn’t matter since we get a small glimpse of pretty girls singing opera house music to Beethoven. *shot*
This movie, like all other DC movies just gives us a small glimpse of how dangerous the real world can be; how one simple event can turn a person into a total psycho. This movie perfectly explains and personifies how even the most beautiful of music can cause the most shocking of events.
However, with this movie’s plot, it could have shown much more potential; maybe adding a bit more spice would have made this movie one of the best of the best of the DC movies.
Of course, this DC movie being about classical music, it’s only natural to hear some beautiful peaceful and relaxing music. But this movie did something more than add that to our plate, we also hear resonating pieces of two very different classics one being, “Amazing Grace” and the “Ave Maria” each one sung beautifully and naturally by a very young and beautiful, perfectly pitched young woman. This movie also managed to make the music sound even most enjoying even though on the outside of that beautiful performance, something deadly and horrific is happening. To sum it all up in one go, this movie has classical music with a BOOM!
For the past 16 years of Detective Conan’s airing we have seen an increase of better animation compared to when it first came out in 1996. This being the 12th movie of the DC franchise its only plausible to know that this animation is so much more better compared to when the 1st movie came out in 1997! The animation has improved so much that animators are even adding some 3D moments! It just goes to show how technology has advanced over the years.
I would describe each character, however, it would be pointless seeing as how the opening sequence of this movie will just explain the main man himself, Edogawa Conan and some other supporting characters which help attribute to the movie’s events. So I will just introduce one character, who only appears in this movie as the main heroine to help move the detective story along.
Akibe Reiko is by all means a prodigy in my eyes, who first appears in this story as what I would describe to be a stereotypical celebrity snob who in all cases thinks she’s better than everyone else. With looks which could put America’s Next Top Model to shame and a voice so glorious that it would have made Beethoven regain is hearing, she is by all means an angel created by the Gods of Anime! At first she may seem like a total bitch, but than through the course of this movie we learn a few things about her and find out that she’s like a tsundere; tough and rotten on the outside yet fluffy and sweet on the inside.
I enjoyed listening to the classical music of this movie because it was wholeheartedly different from your usual DC heroic themed soundtrack. It’s nice to experience something new once in a while after all. However, I’ll be honest, I was a bit bored. This movie felt like it was just dragging on and on that I even found doing my AP History Homework much more enjoyable than the movie itself! And that’s saying something! But I ask that even if this movie isn’t going to be the best, please don’t ignore it, especially if you’re a fan of Detective Conan! Who knows, maybe you might watch this and think to yourself, “What the hell is this woman saying? This movie is by all means a masterpiece!”
Seriously, I don’t have anything against classical music, but in this movie it is brought so boringly and unfitting. I rather go to a theater when I want to hear some good classics, instead of aspecting it in a Conan movie.
So, I give the whole movie a 4 and the stories potential a 7.
Following a bombing incident at a music school, Conan must protect the lead singer from the perpetrator before the big performance at a grand opera. While this movie’s premise is basic, it still makes it work with smooth pacing and little moments of character in the cast. The lead singer, Reiko, is interesting enough to work as a supporting character and the subplot with Ran and Shinichi is also kind of nice. While it would’ve been nice for the rest of the supporting cast to get this kind of treatment, it’s obvious that the filmmakers chose to do this deliberately. What’s also kind of fun is that the animators were able to sync the animation with the music and singing. On the subject of the music itself, it’s great… perhaps too great. While the songs in this movie are very good, I felt a bit of sensory overload from it all. Since this might be a personal problem, I won’t hold it against the film too much.
Now, one thing that I am still on the fence about is how Conan’s tone-deafness is handled in this movie. To be tone-deaf means having no concept of relative pitch and the inability of to distinguish between two notes. So how does Conan, a character who is tone deaf, be able to not only clearly distinguish how flat a certain note is, but also sing in harmony with a character with perfect pitch, a quality unattainable by tone deaf people? My only solution is that Conan isn’t really tone deaf; he just lacks proper training. After all, Conan was able to perfectly replicate the dial tones for the boss’ phone number after listening to it once. To be truly tone deaf would mean to not be a great detective, as being a great detective would mean the ability to distinguish between different sounds (which is an ability Conan has). Well, it’s definitely something to think about.
For a Detective Conan movie, its a pretty straight forward film. While lacking the appeal of more popular movies, one could consider this a hidden gem. If you are a big fan of classical music and would love to see it implemented in a mystery film, then consider Full Score of Fear a “full speed ahead”.
43: Detective Conan Movie 09: Strategy Above the Depths
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 水平線上の陰謀
MAL Score: 7.81
Fifteen years ago in a barren stretch of the Pacific, a cruise ship collided with an iceberg and was lost at sea. More than a decade later, Hideto Yashiro—a ship engineer—died in a fatal car accident. The unlikely connection between these events only comes to light on the luxury liner St. Aphrodite during her maiden voyage.
Aboard it on a much needed vacation, Kogorou Mouri, his daughter Ran, Conan Edogawa, and the Detective Boys enjoy a trip provided by Sonoko Suzuki’s family. But their fun is soon cut short when a game of hide-and-seek leads to Sonoko’s disappearance. Some time later, the CEO of the Yashiro group, who built the St. Aphrodite, is found stabbed to death and her father missing. While the police’s investigation turns to a dead end, Conan closes in on the culprit. Unwilling to be apprehended, the culprit threatens to blow up the St. Aphrodite and sink all her passengers.
As the ship’s hull rapidly fills with water, the truth behind the vengeful murders is finally revealed. With no place to escape, Conan and Kogorou must wrestle with the elusive culprit before everyone on board is dragged to the ocean floor.
Art (7/10) It got good art and i really love art even if it’s not like New Anime.
Sound (8/10) Very good sound i have no complain about it every characters got good sound.
Characters (10/10) Detective Conan always got Outstanding Characters.
Enjoyment (9/10) I really enjoy this anime film and didn’t felt bored.
Overall (10/10) I Loved Mouri Character because of this anime film. I can’t believe he solved this case before Conan. If you’re Detective Conan Fan you probably gonna enjoy this as i did.
Before I begin, I should at least bring up one of the reasons I didn’t like this movie so much. The version that I saw had the most atrocious translation of all the movies. I found out that the reason it’s so bad was because the movie was translated from Japanese to Arabic and then from Arabic to English. This criticism carries on into this review as no other version of this movie is available with better subtitles. It’s the only thing keeping me from recommending this movie to other people.
That said, I’m glad that this movie tried to make Kogoro a little more competent than he usually is. It’s nice to see him get some action besides Conan. I also liked how the culprit was handled in this movie. We actually got to see him carry out the crime all while trying to keep his innocence. The only thing that I could complain about is Ran’s reason to go back and get a special item she forgot, especially given the circumstance she was in at the time. No rational human being would ever do something like that in that situation! Over than that, this movie looks really great. After watching Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure and Requiem of the Detectives, I was relieved to see some kind of quality being put into the art and animation. It was like someone took the art style of early 2000’s Conan and made it shine like the top of the Chrysler building. This movie is just so good to look at.
While I wouldn’t personally recommend this movie to everybody, I’m glad that I enjoyed it this time. If you can get past the garbage subtitles, then what you will be left with is a very fun movie.
I love the series, I love the movies, I even enjoy the filler episodes.
But I have to say, this movie was a big disappointment.
Usually in a Detective Conan movie, you can split the story into two main parts.
Part one is a murder investigation, and part two is a danger that Conan has to save his friends from.
What disappointed me in the movie was not the action part, but rather the first part.
First, we were only introduced to two characters, which leaves no place for suspicions or predictions or even good twists, because you have only two characters.
And hey, you can argue that this in itself isn’t a bad thing. In Detective Conan movie 01: The Timed Skyscraper we were only introduced to one character, but this movie was not about investigation, it was about finding the bombs before it explodes, at least in the early parts of the movie.
What made it even worse is that they showed us everything, the culprit’s plan, actions, heck they even revealed their plot twist in one of the scenes !
and we weren’t even given a one proper scene with the victims !
This is not a Detective movie, A detective movie doesn’t reveal everything to you and only offers you some action scenes.
42: Detective Conan Movie 07: Crossroad in the Ancient Capital
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 迷宮の十字路(クロスロード)
MAL Score: 7.82
Under the cover of darkness, a masked samurai murders six men across the metropolis of Japan: three in Tokyo, one in Osaka, and the last in Kyoto. In their investigation, the police learn that each man was a member of the Genjibotaru—a thieves gang centered on the theft of Buddhist statues and artifacts and who go by the names of Minomoto no Yoshitune’s servants.
Without a clear motive or clues to the other members’ identities, the case runs dry until a Kyoto temple calls for the famous Kogorou Mouri. Having received an anonymous letter containing a peculiar puzzle, the temple monks ask for his assistance in solving it to recover their long lost statue. Meanwhile, Conan Edogawa and high school detective Heiji Hattori team up in order to solve the cryptic puzzle and find the murderer, as Hattori searches for his childhood love.
With Hattori’s knowledge of Kyoto, the two scour the streets and gradually discover the truth, but not before the murderer strikes again—killing another Genjibotaru member and, after repeated attempts on Hattori’s life, eventually kidnapping Hattori’s childhood sweetheart. It is only by working together to bring buried clues to light can Conan and Hattori hope to end the rogue samurai’s bloodshed and save Hattori’s love.
However, there are a few things that bothered me about this movie:
1) The plot involves a couple of moments that seem rather over the top or out of place for a Conan movie. This involves combat scenes that seem a bit unrealistic, given that our main characters (including casual martial arts practitioner Ran) are not professional fighters, but regular people. Hence, it feels weird that they are not overwhelmed by some moments in this movie, both in terms of skill and mental stress.
This seems different from the usual premise of “Conan” stories: Yes, there are pills that can shrink a person and, yes, there are a few special gadgets, but that’s pretty much it then. The rest of the story usually operates within fairly realistic boundaries. In this movie, there were a few moments that made me think “Really?! Oh come on…”
2) The detective story seemed to take a backseat to the action sometimes. That is not a problem in itself, but I felt that it distracted from the main case sometimes.
3) In that regard, it seemed to me that the villains’ background stories and motives where rather…forgettable. For some reason, even though the villains’ motives were reiterated a couple of times, I had to remind myself of them regularly. This could be due to the fact that a lot of the puzzles in this plot were a bit jumbled & random. It could also be due to the fact that the villains’ background stories & motives were simply not very interesting or gripping enough for me to care really.
Instead, it seemed to me as if the scriptwriters had mainly focussed on the idea: “Wouldn’t it be exciting if Conan & Heiji were attacked by a samurai-like killer in a Kyoto setting and had to find out who it is?”. As a result, one could watch this movie by focussing purely on the hunt for the killer, while forgetting completely about the bigger picture of why there was a killer in the first place. That’s enough to make the movie sufficiently entertaining, but I do think it’s a bit lame if it feels like the bigger picture of the plot is only(!) written to serve as a set-up for a killer chase.
I didn’t regret watching this movie. It was fine. And people who are less bothered by some of the points above or who find the story subjectively more interesting might enjoy it more. Still, I think there are better stories among the many Conan movies.
This time the case happened in Kyoto–former capital of Japan before Tokyo,so this movie is full of Japanese culture:Kendo(剣道),Kabugi(歌舞伎).Also there are Japanese history and places of interest of Tokyo.In a word his movie opens a window to Japanese culture.If you are curious about or interested in the country of Japan,you must not miss it!
Besides culture stuffs,the theme song by Mai Kuraki is another highlight.
However, I thought of this movie as more of a 2 hour special episode. Nothing in this movie seems as though it is a movie. For a Detective Conan movie there is a case that has to be solved and then something more drastic happens. For example, Movie 01, Conan solves the mystery of the culprit who planted bombs around their area, then it turns out he plants a bomb in a skyscraper where Ran is located and Conan must now go save her. This movie does not have that, being filled with investigation for almost the whole movie and capturing the culprit.
41: Kara no Kyoukai 2: Satsujin Kousatsu (Zen)
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 2: Murder Speculation Part A
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第二章『殺人考察（前）』
MAL Score: 7.82
In the winter of 1995, Mikiya Kokutou passes a young woman during a late night stroll in the snow. Clad in a striking white kimono and bearing an enigmatic gaze, Shiki Ryougi smiles at Mikiya who stares back with curiosity. Later that spring, Mikiya notices Shiki at his high school entrance ceremony, and they become acquaintances through lunchtime conversations. As Shiki begins opening up to him, Mikiya learns about her unique upbringing.
Meanwhile, a series of unprecedented murders takes place across Mifune City. Seemingly related, these murders are particularly brutal and warrant a large scale police investigation. Because of his cousin’s work as a police investigator, Mikiya is given insight into the investigation. Concerned for Shiki’s safety, Mikiya decides to monitor her actions, but in doing so, he stumbles upon a truly frightening discovery that changes his life forever.
The problem with movies is that all too often they’re lacking in one or two fundamental areas, and unfortunately these are normally the plot or the characters. The first installment of this series suffered from the latter, and while it was still enjoyable even with that flaw, there was always the nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
Thankfully this episode begins to address that issue.
The second installment in the Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~ franchise, Satsujin Kosatsu (Murder Speculation), is actually part one of a two part story arc (viewers will have to wait for the seventh movie to see the conclusion of this episode), yet while this small irony is amusing, the are some flaws with this episode which one can only hope will be rectified with the final movie.
This time around the story takes place over two years prior to the events in the first movie, and thankfully the main theme is the developing relationship between Ryougi Shiki and Kokuto Mikiya during their time together as high school students. Kokuto finds himself strangely attracted to the seemingly aloof Shiki, and proceeds to befriend her until a bizarre series of murders takes place.
Now the nice thing about Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1 is that the plot takes a far more measured approach than Fukan Fuukei does, and while the pace picks up towards the end, there’s something here that was somewhat missing from the previous installment – a sense of purpose.
While the first episode was entertaining, there was a certain aimless quality about it due to the underdeveloped characters that permeated the quieter moments. This movie begins to shed some light on the actions of both Shiki and Kokuto during that time, especially on certain aspects of her behaviour and personality.
The story is generally much quieter in tone than before, which may not sit too well with those who liked the frenetic action of Fukan Fuukei. This is a necessity as the anime of Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1 is to offer the viewer some perspective on every other movie in the franchise, and the clarity it provides may force viewers to reassess their opinion of the first installment.
Once again Ufotable produce the goods with regards to artwork and animation. The character movements are excellent, and the incorporation of CG is almost seamless in respect of the backgrounds and backdrops. There are fewer action sequences this time around, but they are just as good here as they are in the first movie, especially when it comes to choreography and use of environment. As for the the character designs, they’re a little different in that both Kokuto and Shiki have a certain youthful quality about them, which is reflective of the fact that this story takes place two years before the first movie.
Sound is, again, extremely good overall, and the movie uses the various effects well, however there are some issues as there are occasions where the various noises clash to create a veritable cacophony. This doesn’t really detract from the movie though and, surprisingly, actually improves certain sequences.
The music throughout the movie is generally utilised to good effect, often enhancing the atmosphere in a particular scene. The voice actors are also very good, and are able to show some real talent with regards to their respective characters, however given that this is the second movie in a series of seven, this should come as no surprise. What is surprising though, is that the lead seiyuu are able to instill their respective characters with a degree of naivety and innocence, something which improves the overall effect of the movie no end.
Unfortunately that’s not enough to raise the characters from their stupor.
While there is very clearly some development occurring over the course of the movie, one of the issues that seems destined to repeat throughout the franchise is that the plot doesn’t give them enough time for this growth to set as part of their persona, and that leads once more to an imbalance in the storyline. The revelation about Shiki’s personality goes some way to explaining why she is the way she is, but Kokuto is the real problem. As a character he is simply bland, and at no point does the movie go into any detail about his goals, thoughts, ideals, etc. Everything in the movie actually revolves around Shiki, including Kokuto, and all of his actions stem from that one driving principle. Unfortunately this feels like a missed opportunity to add some real meat to both the leads, but it may be that all of these concerns will be addressed by the time the series ends.
The other problem was the lack of Aozaki Touko. It would have been a nice addition to have more information on her from that time period as she is one of the mysteries of Kara no Kyoukai, and in all honesty this could have been done simply and easily. Sadly, the fact that she has not been included in this movie means that it has a slightly disjointed feel compared to the first, but again this may be rectified with the second half of this story arc.
We shall see…
Even with those flaws this is still an enjoyable movie, and it’s nice to finally see how the two leads met and got to know each other. It would have been nice if the plot wasn’t focused so much on Shiki as this would have allowed for some introspection of the part of Kokuto. On the plus side, the slower pacing of this speisode actually adds to the tension this time around, but like the first movie the plot continues to retain a degree of predictability.
Fans of Fukan Fuukei will be pleased at this second offering as it is very much in keeping with the spirit of the series, however I would advise against making snap judgements about the whole franchise simply on the basis of this or the first movie.
As before, I look forward to the next episode.
The first installment threw audiences into a mystery unfortunately dulled by the lack of depth to the characters, but the second installment lays down the groundwork, exploring the origins of Shiki and Mikiya. The story is well executed and – unlike in the first film – has a real sense of purpose, progression and development. It’s a compelling origins story, where Shiki and Mikiya’s relationship is genuinely captivating to watch unravel (especially given the eerie undertones); much more befitting as an introduction to the septenary.
The film chiefly explores Shiki and Mikiya alone, with little room for anyone else in the run-time, but the film still feels a lot more ‘alive’ than the first installment. The supporting cast are more pronounced, with the locations well explored; there’s a better sense of the setting than before. Of the two main characters, Shiki is particularly well developed, we see her many sides and for the first time get a real understanding of who she is. Mikiya, on the other hand, comes across as rather dull and more a vessel to further explore Shiki than an important presence himself.
As in the first installment, the animation and art style remain consistently strong, though with more dialogue-heavy sequences this time around, it is perhaps not as dynamic. Nevertheless, the art is crisp and detailed – Shiki’s eyes are ever-beautiful, as are the locations – with the staff exquisitely animating a number of terrific dramatic scenes. The visuals are impressive, though the cinematography could have been more absorbing, with certain shots becoming a little banal.
There’s no stunning insert song this time around (though Mikiya hums Singin’ in the Rain which is a nice little nod to a classic), but the background music is ever prominent. There are a number of immersive tracks that blend well with the visuals – ultimately creating some very coherent, well put together and atmospheric sequences – with the more uptempo tracks complementing the action sequences well.
Kara no Kyoukai 2 isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a huge improvement over the first installment. It’s a well constructed origins story with a lot of depth and promise, offering the series its groundwork. Here’s hoping the septenary continues to climb.
This is a sequel to the 1st KnK……kind of….Well, not exactly. You see, KnK is not being shown in chronological order and as such should not be watched in chronological order. I almost made a grave mistake of doing so.
The story of KnK 2 takes place 3 years before the events of KnK 1.
Mikiya, while walking home from school, meets a mysterious girl who he thinks is cute and starts falling in love with her. A month later, he met her again during the high school entrance ceremony. The mysterious girl that he met is named Shiki Ryougi. Meanwhile, the city is experiencing a series of bizarre murders but no suspect has been caught yet.
The events may have taken place before the events of the first KnK but the movie shows us how the 2 characters met and why there’s a connection between them. It’s starting to connect some of the dots but there’s still obviously a lot of unanswered questions that will be answered later on in the movies. So far, I’m liking the story. The gruesome murders, the mystery around it, etc.
Do I need to review the animation? I mean, it’s still the KnK series and nothing really changed from the first one which is already perfect and visually stunning.
The soundtrack was perfect in the first movie but somehow, the soundtrack here is…….inferior to the first one. Granted, there are some themes that are great but it didn’t quite stand out like the first one did. The voice actors are all the same so my opinions on the VA still stands.
The first movie didn’t really give us any great details about the 2 main characters and why I should really care for them. The 2nd movie showed us the main character’s past, how they met, what connections do they have, what they were like back in high school, etc. The movie is now developing the characters (not too developed yet) and they’re giving me a few reasons on why I should give a crap about them. I’m also starting to understand more about Shiki and her “dual personality” and why Mikiya cares for Shiki. In short, the movie just showed us a hour of character development for the 2 main characters.
I personally enjoyed the movie because of the character development and story development. There’s not a lot of action for this movie since all they did was build up and develop the characters
The second movie of the KnK series is not better than the first movie but it’s not worse either. It gave us more in-sight about the characters. The movie just created more plot holes for me but there’s 5 movies to go so I’m not going to complain that much.
For the love of god, if you’re watching KnK 2 first because you’re watching it in chronological order then don’t. The KnK series is meant to be shown out of chronological order and should be watched out of chronological order.
40: Detective Conan Movie 22: Zero the Enforcer
English: Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer
Japanese: 劇場版 名探偵コナン ゼロの執行人
MAL Score: 7.83
In the film’s story, there is a sudden explosion at Tokyo Summit’s giant Edge of Ocean facility. The shadow of Tooru Amuro, who works for the National Police Agency Security Bureau as Zero, appears at the site. In addition, the “triple-face” character is known as Rei Furuya as a detective and Kogorou Mouri’s apprentice, and he is also known as Bourbon as a Black Organization member. Kogorou is arrested as a suspect in the case of the explosion. Conan conducts an investigation to prove Kogorou’s innocence, but Amuro gets in his way.
Do you like sci-fi thriller with lots of fancy made-up terms?
Do you like movies with damsel-in-distress situations?
Do you like actions with thrilling near-death situations?
Do you like cool impossible-to-do-in-real-life car actions?
Do you like super smart main character that clearly out-do any other characters?
If yes, then this is for you.
Many people complaint that Detective Conan movies don’t really focused on mystery-solving anymore, and instead filled with unrealistic actions. Well, I didn’t come in expecting grand deductions and intriguing mystery-solving. I’m just here for some good action with cool smart characters. If you are here expecting the mystery elements of Detective Conan series, then you’ll most likely be disappointed.
Anyway here’s my ratings:
Story: 7/10 (the premise’s quite good)
Art: 7/10 (usual characters design but the fancy actions are well done)
Sounds: 5/10 (nothing fancy)
Character: 7/10 (the usual some cool characters and some useless characters)
Enjoyment: 9/10 (well I was pretty much enjoyed it)
Overall: 7.5, but I’ll give it 8/10
From the bombing of the Edge of the Ocean to Kogoro’s arrest, Conan must save his girlfriend’s father and Japan from an international threat. This is definitely among the biggest movie in terms of scale and personal involvement as not only must he save Japan, but also his girlfriend’s family.
The story coasts along a smooth and consistent pace that never bores the viewer and keeps them anticipating what will happen next. There is never a boring moment and (almost)nothing feels forced and unnatural.
Not only is the main cast in top form here, the film’s original characters receive a lot of attention and development as the movie goes on. This is probably the most dynamic cast of characters I’ve seen in a Detective Conan movie so far.
That being said, a lot more could’ve been done to make this film more comprehensible. While the subtitles do a good enough job of letting the viewer know what the characters are saying, it occasionally struggles with explaining more complex elements such as the PSB’s involvement with crime investigation and prosecution, both of which are essential to the film’s story. Nevertheless, it’s a gripe I can overlook since there’s still a chance that a better translation will eventually replace the version I’ve reviewed.
I mentioned earlier that Zero the Enforcer captures the magic of the first few movies and I confess that it may be my nostalgia talking. I remember how amazed I was when I first saw The Time-Bombed Skyscraper and The Fourteenth Target. Watching this movie helped to remind me why I love Detective Conan(or at least the movies) and why it is such a great series.
So, yeah. I love this movie and I can’t wait to see it again. If you have any doubts about this movie being worth your time, I can’t convince you any more than this. You owe to yourself to watch this movie. And who knows; you might come away pleasantly surprised.
I felt that was part of the point, because this movie was significantly more ACAB than typical for this series. And I was fucking here for it. As much as the police force is still portrayed as omni-competent and a protector of society because this is a Japanese movie and a significant part of the recurring cast we’re supposed to like consists of police officers, this movie was not shy about laying down facts about how the justice system is engineered to convict people, not to conduct justice or discern the truth. Furuya, essentially a secret policeman, openly admits that covering up crimes committed by cops is part of a cop’s job. And part of the resolution of the plot revolves around the fact that the justice system has us put ourselves into the hands of people, rather than “the system,” and people are corruptible. It’s an exercise in giving people power and expecting them to act as though they do not have it, and never checking that they use it well. This was all welcome for me, and it kept me going through a pretty slow movie.
But then the last 30 minutes escalated to an absolutely insane degree, with a lot of great shots and impressive CG car work. The way they drew Furuya during the climax was so fucking cool. The sax theme sting was perfect.
Also here for using the non-canon movie as an excuse to throw some food out there for those of us who enjoy pairing Furuya with Azusa. They’re so cute.
And can we just talk about how easy Conan and Ai’s relationship is, and how much they trust each other? I wish Ai had a more direct role in these stories than providing digital support and watching the increasingly vestigial Detective Boys, but I love the way she smiles at Conan and bristles when he asks her for help Yet Again. I love this for them.
39: Detective Conan Movie 23: The Fist of Blue Sapphire
Japanese: 劇場版 名探偵コナン 紺青の拳（フィスト）
MAL Score: 7.83
The world’s greatest blue sapphire, the “blue lapis fist”, said to have sunk in a pirate ship in the late 19th century, on the coasts of Singapore. A local millionaire plots to retrieve it, and when it’s exhibited in an exhibition at the Singaporean Marina Sands hotel, a murder takes place. A bloody Kaitou Kid announcement card is found in the crime scene.
In the meantime, Ran and Sonoko have come to Singapore to see a karate tournament held there. Conan, who doesn’t have a passport and can’t travel overseas, was supposed to stay at home. But Kid, who wants to make use of him, uses a magical trick to forcibly drag him to Singapore. Conan must obey Kid if he wants to get back to Japan, gets his glasses, wristwatch and clothes, amongst others, all stolen from him and he has to disguise himself.
Ran, who doesn’t realize who he is, asks him his name and he improvises the name Arthur Hirai. Kid eventually gets a hold of information about the “fist” being stored in a manor’s underground vault. Just when he was thinking that he’d made it inside very easily, he finds a dangerous trap awaiting him. Facing him is the strongest karateka with 400 consecutive victories: Makoto Kyogoku.
(Source: Detective Conan World)
I know Detective Conan movies always had overexaggerated action, I’m fine with that, but they weren’t missing the mystery and how the characters used their brains to overcome every problem.
This movie is just pure action with a lot of explosions and almost super powers (it’s hard to imagine anyone was actually looking forward to see Makoto go super-saiyan and beat up bad guys), and the murder case was too weak even for a spin-off.
Overall this movie is not bad as a standalone, but don’t expect it to live up to the main series.
The climax, while very action-y and well-realized, wasn’t *that* good, so I can’t even recommend waiting for it.
Just kinda baffling to have a Kaito Kid movie with so little magic, and so little style…
And Haibara is barely in it, so what’s the point? Shinichi and Ran will just never interest me as much. Give me a movie about Haibara that’s actually ABOUT her. Let her be the main character. Please.
38: 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.
37: Detective Conan Movie 01: The Timed Skyscraper
English: Case Closed The Movie: The Time Bombed Skyscraper
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 時計じかけの摩天楼
MAL Score: 7.86
Conan Edogawa is facing a dilemma: Ran Mouri has asked Shinichi Kudou out to the movies and he is unable to provide a convincing excuse not to go. However, when the day of the date arrives, he has more pressing problems to worry about—a great amount of plastic explosives has recently been stolen and the culprit has challenged Shinichi to find and dispose of the bombs he has scattered across the city. Now forced in a race against time, Conan must not only protect the city, but also figure out who the mastermind is and his reason for confronting Shinichi.
Let me fill you in on the story, Conan (Shinichi) has to find a mad bomber, who’s been setting fire to buildings and blowing up other things. Bomb after bomb, Conan finds his way to the criminal, but there’s always a parting gift from the villian’s.
The story is pretty basic, but it’s enjoyable, it’s well organized and done pretty simple, yet impressive, the "final touch" was brilliant. Expect some anti-climax…es here. It suprised me at least.
The art is very good, it’s the same ol’ Conan style, yet it’s been animated pretty good, hope this will be getting better with each movie.
We still have the same ol’ cast, introduced with 2 new characters, the villian and a police officer, the characters that are always in Conan are still the same, so good. Mouri’s desperate love for Ran was done pretty well to if I have to say it. The villian is this bad-ass rich ugly person, which is almost standard, the meaning behind his terroristic attacks are unbelievable stupid, but maybe it’s just the way "they" (the job he performs) think. The police officer is cool too, pretty plain guy, but he’s not the guy he seems to be.
Overall a good sound, though I give it a lower point since I still don’t agree on Det.Mouri’s voice-actor.
Highly enjoyable movie, if you like or if you don’t like Conan. Beautifully animated, good simple story, well organized and good dialogue’s.
well the story is nothing unusual for a detective genre. the culprit called the detective and challenged him to found the bomb that he planted and give him some clue to solve it. not the most original thing but enjoyable
the animation are pretty well done. not jaw gaping but fluid enough for eyes and the rest is the usual detective conan art style if you like it then you will like the one here too.
it reuse the same soundtrack from the tv series and there is only 1 new standout soundtrack in through the end, i don’t know if there is any new soundtrack outside of that. nothing too bad but not great either
the usual detective conan cast with only 4 noteable new character: moriya, shiratori, the mayor and his son. moriya is a symmetrical freak, shiratori….um…. likes architecture? and the mayor and his son doesn’t have time to show personality. that’s a shame since when i see a movie i pay attention more to the new character since i already knows the other character from the tv series
the usual detective conan. you will like it if you like detective conan
if you are in mood for some brain teasers/ more detective conan then go ahead and watch it
Anyway, lets begin:
I really liked the plot. I mean, don’t expect something outstanding, but it was honestly good. Shinichi, who is trapped in the body of young Conan, has to deal with someone who planted bombs all over the city. As I said earlier, the plot isn’t the most original thing you’ll ever see, but it’s good.
Let’s talk about the art. It’s amazing, I mean, I like the character design and the animation in the anime series, but the movie was something else. Seriously, it felt like they tried so hatd to make the animation perfect- and let me tell you a little something- they succeded.
Well, there’s honestly not much to talk about here. I mean, there was a quite nice soundtrack, but not something honestly amazing.
I really enhoyed this movie. It’s a good movie that has the Detective Conan spirit in it, and I had an amazing time watching it.
This movie is good. If you consider yourself a Detective Conan fan and you haven’t watched it, then well, joke’s on you, because this move is very fun and enjoyble, as I mentioned before. Go watch it!
36: Kara no Kyoukai 4: Garan no Dou
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 4: The Hollow Shrine
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第四章『伽藍の洞』
MAL Score: 7.87
Following the events of Satsujin Kousatsu (Zen), Shiki Ryougi has been in a coma for two years due to a traffic accident. When she finally awakens, she has no memories of her past and is plagued by a profound loneliness. Even stranger, she notices dark lines encompassing the things around her, and if she touches them she can disassemble the object—something which completely terrifies her. Her friend, Mikiya Kokutou, enlists the help of Touko Aozaki, a mage who can help Shiki understand what her eyes—the “Mystic Eyes of Death Perception”—are truly capable of and how to use them properly.
One of the hallmarks of a good story is the ease with which it can suspend the disbelief of the reader or viewer, and in that respect the Kara no Kyoukai franchise has been good, but not truly great. That said, the fourth installment, Garan no Dou (The Hollow Shrine), is a tad more introspective than previous outings, and it may signify a shift into a higher gear for the series.
The story begins directly after the end of the second movie, with the unconscious Ryougi Shiki being transported to hospital in an ambulance accompanied by Kokutou Mikiya. When she finally awakens from her coma, Shiki discovers that she has somehow gained the ability to “see” strangely distorted patterns on everything and everyone, and also that she has been asleep for two years. During that time Kokutou has graduated from highschool and is now working for Aozaki Touko.
Unlike the first three movies Garan no Dou is surprisingly straightforward in that the focus is solely on Shiki, and while there are some plot twists, these are pretty easy to follow. The story flows at a pace that allows the viewer to absorb the relevant information with a degree of ease, and this makes a nice change of pace from previous episodes. Unfortunately, the simplistic nature of the plot means that the show is a tad predictable, and viewers may find themselves wishing for a little of the slightly demented nature of previous outings.
That said, the main goal of Garan no Dou is to offer viewers an insight into one of the franchise’s most enigmatic characters, and in that respect one might fairly say that this movie is a job well done. The simpler approach to storytelling offers the ability to develop specific characters or scenarios in a way that more complex plots simply aren’t capable of as they lack the “free time” that is required. The movie does dip into some complex themes though, but rather than use them as a means to drive the story forward these dalliances with conceptualisation serve to offer insight into the mind and heart of Shiki, something which has been missing for quite a while.
Ufotable have once again done an excellent job with the artwork and animation, however there are some small areas where the quality drops a little. The hospital environs have an appropriately clinical feel to them which are surprisingly adaptive as when the story takes a darker turn, these surroundings and backdrops adopt a far more ominous feel. Then again, they’re really nothing more than spartan rooms and corridors (which in anime terms is just above a blank canvas), so one has to wonder how much effort went into the environmental design.
The characters are depicted at quite a unique stage given that Garan no Dou covers the two year period between the second and third movies, and the audience is given the rather rare and welcome opportunity of seeing them physically age over the course of one episode (admittedly there is an accelerated sense of time but that’s by-the-by). The slight changes in the design of Kokutou and Shiki (especially facially), are subtle, but they are noticeable (something which Ufotable should be applauded for).
As for the animation, the action sequences are well executed and Garan no Dou features some very fluid natural and unnatural motions (you’ll understand what I mean when you watch the movie). In addition to this the visual effects are suitably ephemeral when necessary, and the incorporated CG fits in to the whole rather nicely. That said, some viewers may find the more physical aspects of the various supernatural phenomenon to be a tad mundane, but it should be pointed out that the main reason for this is simply because of the limitations imposed by “reality”.
To put it simply, there’s only so much that can be done with the “real” world and human beings in a movie like this as taking the more fantastic elements too far would only destroy the storyline.
In addition to some excellent visuals, Garan no Dou also features some highly atmospheric background music, with the tracks on offer ranging from hauntingly melancholy to chorally dramatic. The audio effects are sharp and clean, and it’s nice to see that efforts have been made to rectify the the overwhelming nature of the various sounds that sometimes marred the previous episodes.
One of the strengths of the franchise since the very first movie has been the quality of the acting, and in that respect this film has several things to offer. After much waiting and several fairly mundane appearances in the series so far, Honda Takako is finally able to add some character to the role of Aozaki Touko, and she does it very well. Additionally, viewers are able to see a new and different side to Shiki, and Sakamoto Maaya really manages to capture the feelings of fear and confusion in an otherwise stoic (and psychotic), lead character.
Now many people believe that the second movie, Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1, features the best development thus far in the series, and while the characters do receive a good degree of definition in that episode, Garan no Dou is at least equal, but from a completely different angle. This installment offers viewers the chance to see a far more complex side of Shiki than any of the previous outings, and allows some of her true potential as a character to shine through. That said, Kokutou is relegated to bit parts, but this is counterbalanced by the fact that much needed characterisation is given to Touko.
Which brings up an interesting thought. There’s an argument that the Kara no Kyoukai franchise would have been better off being released as a standard anime series of 26 episodes as this would allow all of the important characters the chance to get some much needed airtime. The current format seems limited in that respect as each episode can only focus on specific characters, with the rest appearing in minor supporting roles no matter how important they are in the overall storyline.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for the current approach as it has the benefit of really focusing attention on the important characters and events in that episode, and the fact that the series jumps around in time means that there is less for viewers to make educated guesses about, and this helps to keep future episodes fresh.
Whatever one thinks of the Kara no Kyoukai franchise, one of the nice things about the series is that it takes the the main theme of Lunar Legend Tsukihime, tears it apart, and rebuilds it as something new, and Garan no Dou signifies the difference between the two shows far more than any other episode thus far. Granted there are overarching plot points that still need explanation, themes that could have been explored in a bit more detail (the whole concept of The Void is just one example of this), and a degree of predictability to the story, but these can be forgiven in the face of some solid character definition and development. One should also remember that this is simply the midway point in the series, so questions will undoubtedly remain about certain aspects of the story, and it remains to be seen if they will be answered in future installments.
The fifth episode awaits….
First at all, I was delighted with the graphics. They are very cool, and well done. The animation is very clear, many scenes were dark but this just add more mystery and thrill, just what this anime is. There are many abstrac obscure scenes and in this time, you’re not going to see many bloody scenes, however, routine scenes are intriguing, too. I like the character design but I think is kind of little cliche, both of the main characters remind of the main characters of Tsukihime, although the personality of the main female characters are really different.
Another thing I liked was the soundtracks. They are really nice and they complement the scenes and mix with them very well. They just give you more occult and mystery senses and a little bit of sadness and doubt of many things. Well, I really like Yuki Kajiura songs and this anime is perfect for her songs.
About the story, this chapter explain a lot than the others chapters. As I said, there aren’t many bloody scenes or too much action as the third one, but this complement the other three previous chapters and you are going to understand a lot of things, but obviously, not everything (If you understand everything, then this anime would have never been classify as mystery). I like this anime doesn’t follow the traditional linear chronological order, maybe it is a little confusing, but this chapter is going to clear up many concepts and ideas.
To conclude, if you like mystery, thriller, psichological plots and obscure gore things, also you like supernatural things like ghost and souls and you had seen the other chapter and you don’t understand it very much, I really recommend you to watch this anime.
This movie is basically one big character development but I still enjoyed this movie.
(There will be some SPOILERS in my review)
The story of KnK 4 now takes place 2 months before the events of the 1st KnK and immediately after the events of the 2nd movie. I was actually hoping for the 4th movie to take place after the events of the 1st KnK but I’m glad they didn’t.
After Shiki got involved in a traffic accident, she spent 2 years in a coma and what’s worse is she now has an amnesia. She is visited by a redheaded girl named Aozaki, a magus and works for a company called Garan no Dou.
Like I said above, I was hoping for the 4th KnK to move on past KnK 1 but I’m glad they didn’t. This pretty much shows what happened to Shiki after she woke up from a coma after being involved in an accident 2 years ago. They showed us at the end of KnK 2 that she was being transported to the hospital but we didn’t really know what exactly happened to her. The story tells us why and how Shiki got hurt. Not only that, it also shows us how and why Mikiya is working for Touko. In short, the story just tells us more about the main characters and why they are at that situation now which is not a bad thing.
The Animation is exactly the same as the previous 3 movies which is already a perfect and visually stunning animation.
If my ears aren’t broken, the soundtrack is exactly the same as the previous 3 movies. They were already great to begin with so I’m not going to complain that they re-used background themes. Another new ED theme song is used for this movie called “Aria” by Kalafina. In my opinion, it’s a good song but not better than the ED used in 1st and 2nd movie.
[Characters]: (9/10) (SPOILERS)
No new characters were introduced as the focus of this movie is the development of the main characters. The movie shows us that Mikiya has been visiting Shiki for the past 2 years, non-stop. He truly has feelings for Shiki and still does. Hell, even the nurses know him by now because he kept visiting the hospital. We also get to learn more about Mikiya, Shiki and Touko. I want to focus first on Mikiya. We learn that Mikiya didn’t graduate college, had a fight with his parents and now lives alone and works for a dead end job (looks like a dead end job to me). Now focusing on Shiki, we learn that she now has an amnesia after waking up from an accident which means she doesn’t remember mostly everything including the day of the accident. She somehow remembers the face of Mikiya but not his name though. We also learn more about her magic eye and how her second personality is now gone. Finally, focusing on Touko. The movie didn’t really tell us anything about her that much in the previous 3 movies so I didn’t find her an interesting character. Now, she seems like an interesting character to me. The movie shows us that she’s a freaking Magus. That explains why she has knowledge to mysterious things that’s going on around her. It also shows us what Touko is really capable of after they showed us the battle scene at the near-end of the movie. I’m starting to like these main characters.
This movie is just a big character development for 3 of the main characters but I still enjoyed it. It’s giving us more reasons on why I should give a crap about these characters. That last battle scene was quite rewarding, showing us what Touko is capable of.
The 4th movie didn’t really go past the events of KnK 1 but this was still a great movie to watch. Learning more about the main characters is quite interesting. People tell me that the 5th movie will be a lot better than the previous 4 so I guess I’ll be watching the 5th movie soon.
35: Detective Conan Movie 02: The Fourteenth Target
English: Case Closed: The Fourteenth Target
Japanese: 名探偵コナン １４番目の標的
MAL Score: 7.89
A mysterious attacker has appeared and is assaulting people whose names contain a number from the standard deck of cards in descending order. When Conan Edogawa points out that all the victims are related to the now famous detective Kogorou Mouri, suspicion immediately falls upon the recently released convict Jou Murakami, as Kogorou was the one responsible for his arrest ten years prior.
With potential victims still at risk, Conan and the police are determined to catch the culprit. As the case gradually unfolds, both Conan and his friend Ran Mouri learn more about her parents’ separation and the truth on what transpired a decade ago.
A brilliant story, and the system which the murderer uses in amazing, the story itself is good then too, and the plot isn’t what you think it is. A cool story, with a second story in it, a piece of Mouri and Ran’s past, I gained alot of respect for Mouri through this (and the first) movie. I see this character in a (almost) new light.
Same ol’ characters, just as usual good, we get a look at a piece of Mouri’s and Ran past, which made me see Mouri in a new light, a better light, the new introduced characters, the old villian, the victims and the murderer are great, all are different, yet the same in a way, and without knowing it (most of them) bear a relationship with each other. Magnificent!
It all begins with Ran having a nightmare, where her father shoots her mother. This actually happened, he only grazed her. Now, 10 years later, Ran tries to find out, why did he shoot the kidnapper, if he knows, he could’ve killed his own wife? This is the sidestory for this movie.
The real story is how a murderer takes out (or tries to take out) 13 people which are related to Det.Mouri, by playing a smart death-system via cards and numbers. As soon as injuries become murders, our… police team, Mouri and Conan get angered and try to find out who the murderer is, and why he’s doing it. It all folds together in the end, with most of the (chosen) victims in one place, this is where the mainplot folds out. At the ending of the movie itself, the reasoning from the past (where Mouri shot his wife) comes to place, when it’s happening again, (this time of course with Ran and Conan).
The art’s good, so is the animation, sometimes the animation is really smooth and lovely, sometimes it’s just normal animation. But they did a good job.
this time the story is about attempt at serial killing of 13 people that are related to kogoro mouri. the build up is pretty good although a bit draggy in the beginning but an improvement compared to the first movie
pretty fluid in movement there is no really major improvement when compared to the first movie overall pretty fitting for a movie
yeah.. the standard detective conan music. if you like the music from the tv series you bound to like this one too
thankfully there is more character on this one. frankly its way too eazy to guess the culprit in the first because of how there is only a few character in there, the second have more character and more diverse personalities oh and the character from tv series is coming back.
as usual detective conan is an enjoyable movie if you have nothing to do at home
if you are itching for some detective mystery series then go ahead and watch this one
Sadly an issue this movie has right off the bat is that, in some ways, it’s a bit of a repeat of the first movie. Like, last movie was a series of bombings that had a pattern, and this movie is a series of murders with a pattern. Of course there are some differences, namely that the heroes find out about said pattern very early on, so the cast is moreso trying to prevent the murders while following the pattern.
This movie also introduced one of the most (in)famous memes in the franchise: Hawaii! Yup, every time Shinichi does something crazy, he’ll just hand wave it as him having learnt it in Hawaii by his father. In this movie, it turns out two of the things Yusaku apparently taught him was to use a gun and FLY A HELICOPTER! Like, I can see why he’d like to teach him the former, but what’s the point of even teaching him the latter!?
Another issue with this movie is that it’s final twist of who the culprit is ends up being predictable. Of course it is not gonna be the guy everyone suspects it is, we know that it’s actually gonna be one of the possible victims instead, so what’s even the point? Also, the actual culprit is voiced by Nakao Ryusei, the voice of Freeza. Because of course that would be the case.
Actually, on that note, that’s one of the amusing bits about most of the movies, most of the one off characters will often have some big name actors attached to them. I already mentioned Nakao, but there’s also the late great Suzuoki Hirotaka, Okamoto Maya and the late great Utsumi Kenji.
That said, there are some things that put this above the first movie, even if it technically does more things wrong. For instance, the whole scene in which the cast is stuck in an underwater complex is great, with the feeling of paranoia running through. I also feel this movie does much more service to Kogoro’s character than most of the anime fillers do. The thing about Kogoro is that he walks a very thin line between incompetence and laziness. The manga original stories moreso goes for the latter, as while he’s a good detective (Not as good as, say, Heiji or maybe even Yusaku but still competent) he’s just too lazy to follow more than one line of reasoning. The anime by contrast moreso goes for the latter, being legitimately bad at his job and only gets as far as he goes because Shinichi knocks him out. Here we get a happy balance, being shown as a bit lazy at times, but is still a competent detective in his own right. The movie is also the only Detective Conan related… thing that actually bothers to give an explanation as for why he and Eri are estranged. Oh yeah, this is also Eri’s movie debut!
Then there’s the climax. If you thought the last movie’s climax of the last movie was intense, well, this movie has the cast escaping an exploding underwater complex, then a hostage situation at the top of a collapsing building and THEN trying to get the now injured hostage into a helicopter. Yeah, I think we know which movie has the better climax.
So like the last movie, I really enjoyed this one. It had more issues, sure, but I feel that it also does a lot more right than the last one. Definitely another movie that’s easy to recommend.
Final Score: 8/10
34: Lupin III vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Japanese: ルパン三世vs.名探偵コナン THE MOVIE
MAL Score: 7.89
It is a cross over between the series Lupin III and Detective Conan and takes place after the television special Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan. The plot follows Conan Edogawa who sets out to apprehend Arsène Lupin III, the suspect of stealing a jewel called Cherry Sapphire.
STORY: This movie is a direct sequel to the popular Lupin vs. Conan special from 2012. In case you didn’t see it, don’t worry, this movie has a summary clip in the closing credits. The series will also make you do a double take a few times as it gives tongue in cheek references to Conan characters and more Lupin references (like the Fujiko series and the Gold of Babylon movie) than Green vs. Red.
CHARACTER: Zenigata is given more lines and more personality in this special, but it seems forced. Still, the differences detracted slightly from the movie. Zenigata also has a very pointed line (I really don’t know how to word that without giving it away) that seems like it’s there for different types of fans. I’m interested to see how they’ll translate it when the movie is dubbed. The more I think about it, maybe Zenigata’s personality is changed due to the fact that he has a competent partner (a Conan character) in the movie?
As for other characters! Conan and Jigen play off the relationship they had in the first special, and it works out hilariously well. Because Conan can arguably be meant for a younger audience, Jigen and Goemon are less gritty and Fujiko isn’t as sexualized. I got a kick out of the Conan kids and how they all worked with the Lupin gang. I thought that with such a large cast it might feel forced, but it didn’t at all.
The only issue was the “flavor of the week” characters, whose problems I found myself glossing over heavily. The movie does not make you care about them at all, which I think is the problem: the first special was about Lupin and Conan while this one was about Lupin, Conan, and a third party.
ART: You have to understand that these are two different styles of animation. However, the Lupin franchise has done a great job over the years mixing in other styles with their own.
A problem with mixing styles that are so different is that they don’t play well together. For example, every time the Conan characters have a scene where they’re shown from the side (profile), I couldn’t get over the elongated face, almost like an animal’s muzzle, and sharply upturned nose. It’s easy to move into that world of animation while watching Conan, but when it mixes with the old, long legged Lupin characters grates on the senses. Lupin’s characters are long limbed and gritty detailed. Putting these two in the same scenes together doesn’t work fantastically. For instance, one of Conan’s characters has big, blue eyes. She’s talking to Zenigata who does his bow legged walk out of the room. Then the Conan characters are shown from the side and look almost inhuman. So you’re left with a dissonance in which you have to force yourself to believe this is the same anime universe.
SOUND: The usual Lupin and Conan cast sounds great! Only problem (to me) is that in an effort to merge the two, they limit the amount of jazz that Lupin fans might be used to hearing.
ENJOYMENT: Very enjoyable! Lupin and his gang over the years have gotten more family friendly and this definitely falls in that vein. I’d describe it as fluffier than many Disney movies. But hey, you want gritty? Go watch the Fujiko series and Jigen movie…
While distinct from the prequel, watchers are advised to view it or they might otherwise miss out on certain parts. The sheer number of characters in both series allows little screen time for the side characters, but you will definitely have your fill of the protagonists. I look forward to more crossovers between the two series.
33: Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple
Japanese: 文豪ストレイドッグス DEAD APPLE
MAL Score: 7.89
A large scale catastrophe is occurring across the planet. Ability users are discovered after the appearance of a mysterious fog, apparently having committed suicide, so the Armed Detective Agency sets out to investigate these mysterious deaths. The case seems to involve an unknown ability user referred to as “Collector,” a man who could be the mastermind behind the incident.
Trust and courage are put to the test in order to save the city of Yokohama and ability users across the world from the grip of Collector where the Armed Detective Agency forms an unlikely partnership with the dangerous Port Mafia.
This is coming from someone who absolutely adores the Bungou Stray Dogs series. Needless to say, Takuya Igarashi might as well be my pallbearer so that when I die, he can let me down one last time.
I’ll start with some positives–the animation was pretty good (although that’s to be expected for a feature length anime film), the voice actors did their jobs well, the music, while not exactly noteworthy, was decent, and there were a few interesting elements and events relating to the protagonist that I found to be genuinely interesting. The film, however, puts them to waste with a confusing plot, a seizure inducing climax, and probably the dumbest and most contrived antagonist to come out of BSD.
The story is about a series of (presumed to be) suicides by ability users using their own abilities. The reality is that a fog causes their abilities to manifest into this ghost of sorts that attacks their own user. Defeating this manifestation will return the original user’s ability. This isn’t a bad plot device in it of itself, if only it were an actual plot device at all. Instead, this predicament (which is made out to be this serious and daunting problem) serves as a mere triviality as the heroes of the movie take care of it in a matter of a few minutes, save for the main protagonist, which I’ll get to later.
The cause of this entire conflict is the new character that is introduced, Shibusawa Tatsuhiko. BSD’s strongest point is easily the lovable and empathy inducing characters. Kafka Asagiri lovingly crafted the entire life stories of each and every single character, and it shows without even needing a tragic flashback for most of them, even making a literal PEDOPHILE likable. The fact that no character, not even the villains, are tied to the good and evil binary is one of my favorite things about the series. That said, the new villain is absolutely dreadful. His motives are unclear–he wants to die? He wants to attain the perfect ability? What in God’s name does he want?! The movie shoves down your throat that this character is simply too complex a person to understand and that only two other people (Dazai <3333 and Fyodor) match his wit, but from a writing standpoint, it sounds like a poor excuse. If the audience is unable to fathom the sheer complexity of a character, there's no point in having him be that complex in the first place. You cannot write a complex character if you yourself are not that complex. It's simply impossible. It's not artistic or poetic or thought provoking. It's just plain stupid. By the climax, the movie had completely lost me. With all the information being thrown at your face, it's damn near impossible to piece together what the hell is going on, much less enjoy it. The movie's lack of exposition only makes the confusion worse--none of what happens is ever explained, and none of the information from the main series explains it either. The entire time, I was thinking, "Why and how is this happening? Is that even possible?" The film tries to surprise you by pulling a completely unnecessary move (for the sake of not spoiling, I won't say what) that leads to no consequence whatsoever and was so obviously only included for shock value, and it didn't even do a good job because it's a freaking anime movie, and nothing that happens in anime movies ever matter or affect the main series. The final battle against Shibusawa wasn't anything interesting either; just a generic shounen mindless punchout where Atsushi believes in himself enough to defeat him. Speaking of Atsushi, his character arc was very poorly handled in the film. The anime watchers know all too well of the tragic past he's had to endure and carefully watched him move past his insecurities. So that's it right? No more of him screeching about how he isn't good enough? Nope! The movie needlessly brings back what was already resolved in the anime by making Atsushi 90% less sweet and lovable and 200% more annoying. I cannot wrap my head around why the hell they would touch this internal conflict when it was so phenomenally handled in the manga. As a matter of fact, this was a common complaint of the original anime, that Atsushi was a whiner, so why, dear God WHY would you bring it back?? And lastly, the little to no screentime from the supporting cast. They were discarded as quickly as they were introduced. I would've liked to see more of them working together for more group dynamic material like in the manga, but they were never to be seen again after the fog settled and at the very end where they pop out of nowhere to remind the audience of their existence. All in all, disappointing. I'm honestly surprised at how many stellar reviews there are for this movie when picking apart would show how bad and rushed it really is. It's a shame, I was hoping they'd put the money towards a third season. [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”]I went to see this movie on the day it came out. Despite it being 8:30 in the morning, the cinema was absolutely packed with fans (mostly young women) showing just how high the expectations were. I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint, and kept me hooked from beginning to end! Although the developments are not necessarily shocking, it kept my attention for the whole movie. The movie focuses mostly on Shubusawa, Atsushi, Akutagawa, Kyoko (the real MVP), Dazai and, to a lesser extent, Chuya. If your favorite character is one of the other members of the Armed Detective Agency, please understand that they may not get as much screen-time as you'd like, which is perfectly reasonable considering how much they tried to squeeze into the movie. The artwork is stunning, although not particularly a step-up from the TV series. The action is well-done and I absolutely loved Chuya's fighting scenes! One of the biggest highlights for me was the soundtrack. I was a big fan of the TV series OST, but the new tracks for the movie are just as good, if not better. (I was listening to the movie OST on repeat for a few days after seeing the movie...) Overall, I really enjoyed the movie to the extent that I went to see it twice. However, I do want to give a warning to all BSD fans before they give this a watch. This movie is going to tire you out. It's almost only serious conversation or action, and is very low on the comic relief. Although there are lots of little funny moments scattered here and there, they are pretty subtle. When the movie finished, the other people in the audience were saying the same thing to each other: 'wow, that was great but it tired me out'. In general, I recommend this for all BSD fans! It's fast-paced, action-packed and has a brilliant soundtrack. Unfortunately it is a little hard to follow if you are not familiar with the series and characters, so I don't really recommend it as a stand-alone work. [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews3:”](Originally posted on my blog, moetology. Includes a teeny tiny bit of spoilers) I'm not exactly your typical Bungou Stray Dogs fan; I rather disliked season one due to the stories being short and weak, but season two dived into longer arcs, and the opening backstory nailed the emotional component and turned me into a fan. And if I had to pick a favorite character, it'd be Kyouka first and Osamu second, instead of fan favorites like Chuuya. Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple is the latest installment in the franchise. It's a brand new story in the Bungou Stray Dogs universe, much like the Ordinal Scale movie in the Sword Art Online world. But even though it's a brand new story, Dead Apple nevertheless is built on season two as it references characters introduced then, and one should definitely watch the TV seasons before watching Dead Apple. As far as the movie itself goes, Dead Apple offers plenty for the fans. The plot is tried and true; the Armed Detective Agency is called upon to solve another problem arising from a gifted user, much like how the stories in season one are structured. This time, the gang has to fight a villain who's able to pit gifted users against their own abilities. It plays right into the theme of characters accepting themselves for who they are, even if their abilities may have caused grief in the past. If you are like me and want to watch more of your favorite characters, don't worry; every Yokohama character gets screen time in Dead Apple, from the good guys, the Armed Detective Agency, to the frenemy, the Port Mafia folks, and even the government guy from season two. We also get teases of new characters who might show up in a sequel. Some characters, like Kyouka and the lead character Nakajima Atsushi, also receive a bit more backstory, and Atsushi in particular has a past with the villain. Dead Apple isn't without its flaws, however. The biggest issue is its lack of clarity around motivations, especially for the villain. The movie opens with a flashback story from six years ago as Dazai and Chuuya fights the villain for the first time, but exactly what this flashback had to do with the plot in Dead Apple beyond showing that Dazai knows about the villain isn't clear. Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple is a movie made for the series' fans. It offers plenty of action, and the plot, while typical and safe, doesn't detract from the series. And it even manages to endear some characters to fans even more. The only question for fans now is: when is season three? [/collapse]
32: Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor 2 the Movie
English: Mobile Police Patlabor 2: The Movie
Japanese: 機動警察パトレイバー2 the Movie
MAL Score: 7.91
Three years after the Babylon Project conspiracy is resolved, the members of Kiichi Gotou’s Patlabor unit have gone their separate ways. Gotou remains with the Patlabor team, accompanied by Shinobu Nagumo, his romantic crush and comrade.
Playing into the public’s skepticism toward the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, a terrorist organization begins to work from within the military to cause destruction and mass civil unrest throughout Japan. Nagumo learns that the mastermind behind the growing terrorist plot is none other than Yukihito Tsuge, her former mentor and lover.
Gotou reassembles his former Patlabor team, spearheaded by pilot Noa Izumi. Leading the team into a mission to arrest Tsuge, Nagumo must come to terms with her complicated past relationships in order to save Japan.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]If you ask the average anime fan for an intelligent, well crafted movie directed by Oshii Mamoru that has politics and philosophy mixed into a complex plot that featured high tech shenanigans, and that had great animation, sound and characterisation, then the chances are that the answer will be Ghost in the Shell.
Or, they’ll tell you about Patlabor 2.
Released in 1993, four years after the first Patlabor movie, the sequel once again united the talents of Headgear, in particular those of scriptwriter Ito Kazunori and Oshii himself. The movie received widespread critical acclaim, and although it’s emphasis on taut drama rather than mecha action alienated some hardcore fans of the genre, the majority of people enjoyed the more mature stance taken by the film.
Patlabor 2 is set in 2002, three years after the first movie. The members of Section 2’s Special Vehicles 2nd Division have matured during this time, with several of them leaving to pursue careers in different departments or in the public sector. All is peaceful until the day a missile destroys the Yokohama Bay Bridge, at which point the JGSDF (Japanese Ground Self Defense Force), declares martial law in the beief that the attack was commited by the JASDF (Japanese Air Self Defense Force).
Captain Gotoh Kiichi however, suspects that there is more at play than a simple military coup, and secretly brings together the old members of SV2 to find out what is at play, and more importantly, what is at stake.
In a departure from the standard mecha format of guts winning the day, Ito Kazunori opted for something far more subtle and mature when developing the plot for this movie. There are those who believe that any show involving mechs must follow certain rules, however Headgear has chosen to, once again, blow those beliefs out of the water. Patlabor 2 is anything but a typical mecha anime, and while the action is still present in the movie, at times it’s more of an afterthought to the drama that has gone before.
In terms of writing though, this movie is head and shoulders above many others of the time, and many today as well. The plot, with it’s heavy focus on political machinations and philosophical justification, can seem to drag at certain times (Gotoh’s conversation with Arakawa on the boat is one example of this), however these moments are worth hearing if one remembers the politics that are at play. The machinations of the JGSDF, the Government, the JASDF, and all other involved parties is wonderful to behold, with nothing that occurs being as simple or straightforward as people might think. The complexity of the plot can, at times, be a little bewildering, however this movie isn’t simply designed to be enjoyed, but also to make one reflect.
One of the most noticeable things about this movie, especially in comparison to the first one, is how much more mature the characters look. Takada Akemi has really paid attention to what she was doing as, while the majority of characters are the same as the first movie, they look a little different because the effort has been made to give them some physical growth. Given the penchant for characters in mecha anime to remain unchanged and unchangeable in terms of their physical appearance from one season to the next, the fact that the characters are presented as older in Patlabor 2 makes this a rarity in the genre.
As for the other visuals, the backgrounds and settings are very, very good. The detailed scenery adds and air of realism to the movie, which is understandable when one considers the fact that much of the city and it’s environs is based on that of the first movie, which in turn was based on photos of Tokyo. This realistic approach is also prevalent in both the character design, hence the physical aging, and also the mecha designs, which follow the utilitarian principles of the franchise.
In terms of animation Patlabor 2 is actually better than the original movie. There are some extremely well choregraphed action sequences, however given the fact that much of the movie is free of combat, the difference in quality is more difficult to recognise unless one pays attention to the movements of the characters themselves. There’s also a small amount of CG incorporated into the movie, however this is difficult to spot as pains have been taken to mesh the CG seamlessly into the standard animation.
One of my gripes with Patlabor 2 is the music. The movie has little music in it, but what is there is very techno based. While this is well choreographed for the most part, the music just isn’t really to my tastes. That’s not to say that the choice of tracks is bad, no, it’s simply a personal preference. That said, there are some tracks which fit extremely well with the on screen action, and there are some pieces that, while being electronic, are more orchestral, and rather atmospheric.
The area where this movie does shine though, is in the voice acting. The cast from the first movie have been reprised once more, and in a rare occurence, this is true for not only the Japanese dub, but also for both English dubs as well. One of the benefits of this is that in all three dubs the characters seem far more self-assured and composed (for the most part), something which enhances the viewers recognition of them being older and more mature. Also, unlike the Bandai dub of the first movie, the acting in Patlabor 2 is far more competent, and many consider it to be better than the release by Manga Entertainment.
As for the effects, well, as with the first movie the quality of the aural sensation is very good indeed, which should be no surprise given that the production teams behind this film are, for the most part, the same as before.
Unlike the first movie, which was very much a character driven piece, Patlabor 2 is far more of a political drama, with a healthy dose of philosophical justification. That’s not to say that the characters don’t get any development though, as they do in certain ways. However it should be noted that this movie isn’t really about developing the characters, hence the reason why there is such comprehensive characterisation at work. That said, this format works extremely well for the movie as, while the effects of the attacks and martial law do have consequences for the characters, the audience knows that this is simply a chapter in their lives.
As with any chapter in anyone’s life, growth isn’t always immediate, or apparent.
In all honesty I found this movie intruiging and rewarding. The emphasis on politics and philosophy, especially as this is supposed to be a mecha show, made for a refreshingly different story. The fact that the movie isn’t afraid to use big words and concepts was also unusual in that Oshii and the rest of the crew seem to be trusting in the intelligence of the viewer rather than feeling the need to explain every tiny detail. Granted there are other mech shows that also use big words and concepts, but a good number of those have a penchant for over-explaining, which can often come off as patronizing.
Like the first movie, Patlabor 2 is aimed at a more mature audience, however unlike the first movie this is far more relevant to the time it was made. At the time of it’s production and release there was a great deal of tension in Japan, much of it focused on the status of the JSDF within the UN Peacekeeping forces. The movie’s premise of internal conflict, political byplay, terrorist activity, and civil unrest, made very clear comparisons to real life, and the fact that a number of real life events were either cited in the film, or used as a reference for the plot, meant that the story had an air of plausibilty about it that made it difficult for people to ignore. In addition to this, the fact that the movie is essentially a mystery thriller (something of a rarity in those days), rather than a no brain action flick meant that audiences, especially fans of political thrillers, could more easily relate to the story, something which meant that the movie appealed to the public in general rather than to the average anime fan.
If you liked the first movie, or Ghost in the Shell, then this is definitely one to watch. The fact that Patlabor 2, like the first movie, doesn’t place an emphasis on the mechs may dissuade some diehard fans of the genre from giving the franchise a chance, however this is very short sighted given the content and quality of both movies. In truth, while the first movie was a tad naive in certain areas, Patlabor 2 more than makes up for this, and I believe it to be at least on par with GitS in terms of plausibility and conceptualisation. Viewers shouldn’t be put off by the fact that this movie is also a little more “wordy” than the first one either, as it’s the dialogue in Patlabor 2 that really separates it from the pack.
All in all, this is an excellent political thriller (that just happens to include mechs), one that, even now, holds a degree of relevance given the current state of the world.
Patlabor 2 the movie is an anime that nearly half of my MAL friends have watched in the last year. Every person I’ve talked to has said this film is one of the greatest anime films ever made and an indisputable masterpiece. Obviously I went in to this with VERY high expectations. However, my overall feelings towards the film are a little complicated.
Firstly, I want to say that Patlabor 2 is in fact an excellent film. The animation is jaw dropping. It does a masterful job instilling mood and atmosphere. It has some excellent character moments and I love to watch Goto and Shinobu’s relationship whenever they share the screen together. It makes an admirable effort to explore complex and controversial political theories on the nature of war and peace. It directly references Japan’s decision to participate in UN peacekeeping in 1993. Oshii took a strong political stance against what he saw as the loosening of Article 9 of Japan’s pacifist constitution and creeping militarization. Oshii’s stance was of course bashed as unpatriotic by Japanese conservatives, but he stood his ground and showed he has some balls. The fact that Oshii like Hayao Miyazaki is so unwavering in his principles adds a layer of ethos to an already emotionally powerful and visually stunning film.
My key issue with Patlabor 2 is that it simply isn’t a Patlabor movie. This movie seriously exists because Oshii was drinking with his old buddy Hayao Miyazaki in some bar in 1993. A news article came on the TV saying that Japan was deploying a few soldiers to assist the UN in Cambodia, so of course these 2 old lefties just freaked the fuck out. I’m 100% certain that the movie Oshii wanted to make got rejected, so he pitched this story he wrote as a Patlabor sequel and shoehorned in the Patlabor characters at the last minute. Patlabor 2 is a Patlabor film like Mario 2 is a Mario game. Outside of a 30 second training sequence, it seriously takes over an hour for the titular Patlabors to even appear in this film. That appearance btw is just some empty Patlabors getting blown up by a helicopter. What do we get instead? We get about 7 solid minutes of characters talking about how Japan’s post WW2 peace and prosperity is rotten because the prosperity of the wealthy nations is built on the suffering and exploitation of the poor nations. Japan’s wealth is gained by trading with the United States, who endlessly engages in wars of capitalist imperialism and resource exploitation. By fully embracing capitalism and foreign trade, Japan has bloodied its hands by fueling these wars of imperialism that cause suffering in the Middle East, Africa, and Central America. Oshii brings the film to a screeching halt so we can get the Cliffs Notes on the famous Leftist essay “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”.
Mr. Oshii, we need to talk. I love you man, but this needs to be said. In case you forgot….THIS IS A FUCKING PATLABOR MOVIE! This is a goofy franchise that you originally started to ripoff Dominion Tank Police! It’s a story about cops using construction robots with adorable little batons to fight crooks using construction robots to rob banks! If you wanted to make a dead serious, anti-imperialism, anti-war film to protest Japan’s policies then save up your money and make THAT film. When you cram this shit into a franchise like Patlabor it becomes ridiculous! Imagine some guy was supposed to write and direct a Spider-Man movie. However, that guy just read some essays on Marxist thought and it really blew his mind. He ends up making a film in which Peter Parker just sits around a bar, drinks whiskey, and tries to convince the bartender that the workers need to seize the means of production. Would that be a good Spider-Man story? NOO! It would be fucking stupid! To a degree, that’s exactly what Patlabor 2 feels like to me.
Lastly, we need to talk about the Japanese peacekeeping effort of 1993 and how Oshii essentially made Mt. Everest out of a mole hill. The main antagonist of this film is a grizzled veteran who returned home a shell of his former self after his nightmarish tour of duty. He had to watch dozens of his best friends die and now leads a rogue faction of the Japanese military. They want revenge on the government War Pigs for callously sending thousands of young Japanese men to their deaths in a pointless war. In reality, zero Japanese actually died in that conflict. In fact, only 70 people died in total. It was an EXTREMELY minor affair. However, this film portrays the Japanese deployment to Cambodia exactly like its the US in Vietnam or the Soviets in Afghanistan. I understand why Oshii was so opposed to this deployment given Japan’s past and how sensitive a topic that is. However, when the film in dead seriousness acts like Japan’s minor UN deployment was like fucking Nam, it once again veers into silliness.
Despite my rambling, I actually do like this film. I will happily add it to my extended list of favorite anime films. However, this film has some irksome features that prevent me from shouting its name to the heavens like so many others. I always see it get praise for finally bringing seriousness and intelligence to the Patlabor franchise. However, it was never a question of COULD Oshii make Patlabor more serious? Oshii is a really smart guy and obviously can write WAY more complex than he did in the Patlabor OVA, first movie, and TV series. It was a question of SHOULD Oshii have made Patlabor so serious? I honestly don’t think so. I really think this should have been an independent, standalone story. I will definitely recommend this film to my offline friends, but not without adding some caveats.
This is perhaps the best if not one of the best anime movies ever. The story is top notch, with it’s relevance to today. Political intrigue, crossed loyalties, terrorist attacks, threat of war, and marshal law. It’s hard to surpass the first Patlabor movie, but this one does. The characters thar are back, are just great. The relationship between Noa and Shinohara grows, and yet becomes more complicated. The ending is just superb. The animation now 14 years old is still good and match many anime coming out now. The music is top notch, and adds to the feel of the anime. I enjoyed it from start to finish 10 times now.
Overall a classic anime movie I think everyone who loves anime needs to see.
31: Death Billiards
English: Death Billiards
Japanese: デス ビリヤード
MAL Score: 7.91
Two men have just arrived at a location known as Quindecim and are unable to remember how they got there. They are immediately greeted by a young woman who escorts them to a small bar, where a bartender awaits them. They are told that they will have to participate in a game, randomly chosen by roulette, and will be unable to leave until its completion; if they refuse, the consequences will be dire. In addition to the rules of the game, the two men are told to play as if their lives are at stake.
The game that has been chosen is billiards. But there’s more to it than just pocketing pool balls, as the two are about to find out the outcome could mean life or death.
Madhouse studios must be mad.
A short story of life and death, a story of human life and the illusion of equality. Could it be possible to compress into 25 minutes? Well, it seems it was.
On artistic-wise, visuals were appealing, if not gorgeous. Such details and great work for such a short story, with all the detailed background visuals were something that multiplied the joy.
For a one shot special anime, it would not be fair to judge characters, yet they were not half-baked personages either.
Death Pool (or Death Billards for that matter) uses its visuals perfectly to tell the back story of the characters and their emotions. No need for long speeches and introductions.
Overall, a rare pearl to enjoy.
Death Billiard is like a piece of beautiful diamond between a pile of rough stones, not so many people even aware of this anime (actually me too, until now). Its kinda coincidence i found this one, honestly i found this one when i am looking for some ecchi anime, thats why i said “like found a piece of diamonds in a pile of rough stones”
Anyway, why do i called it like A beautiful diamond? first of all, Death Billiards is just ONE episode anime. One? yeah just one, but its enough to make your head blows up.
The story involves about 2 man (one young man and one old man), they somehow stranded in a room like a bar and with no hope of escaping, they must play a pool game but its not like any other pool game, the bet for the game is their life!
With that synopsis, i feel like its not gonna work if they had to make it into one episode, but suprisingly they made it well. We could feel the emotion of each character and within 25 minutes we got some little flashbacks to make us (viewer) knows the background of those two men. and not just that, i really enjoy watching the story with that elements. Not to mention, an amazing twist that this anime has in the ending.
Not just the story that makes Death Billiards attractive but also the quality of art itself, especially the background. The background were so detailed and beautifully drawn, and not just that, it also strengthen the fear atmosphere. Not to mention from the sound section itself, it brings up the feeling of despair, fear, confused, and something like that.
and Finally, For a short story. Death Billiards is success to package a “complex” story into 25 minutes video. More than that, the quality that they brings is above from average. My conclusion is, this one is surely a MUST WATCH anime.
“A beautiful diamond between those rough stones”
What happens when two people, whether they’re strangers or the closest of companions, are pitted against each other in a seemingly mundane contest, with the stakes being their own lives? Suspicions, outrage, deceit, bargaining, and all manner of psychological warfare commence, all in the name of survival. However, is everything as it appears?
——If you have questions or comments about this review, please message me——-
I feel this episode 0, if you will, should actually be seen after the first two episodes of the Death Parade TV series. That way, one has an idea what’s going on, and who the characters are. Part of the mystery of the one-shot may be dispelled, but it made much more sense and was more interesting and compelling having seen some of the series.
Two persons enter, and play what’s a seemingly unremarkable game, such as darts, bowling, or in this case: pool. The people have no memory of why or how they’ve come to be at the Queen Decim, and are given no explanation of why they’re being forced to play the game; other than that their lives are on the line. The alternative to playing is explained as “not something they want to experience.”
Eventually, after bargaining, attempts at escape, and outright threats, our contestants concede, and begin their life altering game.
Outwardly, we watch two people locked in a simple contest of pool, each demanding no less than victory for themselves, if only for the pride of winning. Inwardly, we see a classic struggle: a clash between souls, with the ultimate reward or price at stake.
The interplay of fear, suspicions, motives, emotions, and the individual thoughts, feelings, and memories that make up the person are a phenomenal conflict within themselves. They lead us to the question- “What will you do to survive?” which everyone can only answer to the best of their ability to do so. Life isn’t fair, and rarely presents an opportunity for two souls to be on equal footing in their struggle, but again, our characters find themselves answering a question- “what is it that I have to live for?”
In this one-shot, we’re introduced to Decim, the white haired, steely composed purveyor of the Queen Decim. The Queen Decim, an enigmatic bar (and character within itself), with a grand ballroom and game theatre whose only entrance is a pair of elevators ordained with a pair of ornate theatre masks- representing heaven and hell.
Decim’s purpose is to ensure that the entrants to the establishment agree to, and carry out their contract to play a random game of chance, enforce the rules, and execute the results. He’s a stony, dispassionate man, and seems to take no joy in the games that he has his contestants undertake.
Our two visitors in this episode are an old man, and a young businessman, each with their own Raison d’être. Neither has a clue as to why they’re in the Queen Decim, playing pool for their life, but both have the same goal: win. As their fates unfold, so do their pasts- their memories begin to return to them- and alters the path that their life henceforth is set on.
Excellently colored. Dark, ominous shades permeate the show. A miasma of blacks, purple, reds, and blues set the foreboding tone. Beautifully hand drawn characters are very consistent, and the anguish, the swell of victory, and the crush of defeat are very evident in the body language and facial designs. Moving.
Soft BGM, appropriately dark and foreboding. Subtly raises the intensity of the visuals. I felt that the moments of absolute silence were the most oppressive: it allowed the character’s speaking to have a much more profound effect, as there were no distractions.
A very intense and emotionally gripping episode. Twists and turns, and while not much makes sense in the beginning, everything is revealed in due time. While a bit dialogue heavy, and metaphorically challenging, it was absolutely enjoyable. It never felt like a chore to decipher the meanings behind, and has a very interesting outcome.
The gloomy atmosphere and sense that something isn’t quite right that surround the show are entirely addictive. Left me wanting more.
I’ve been looking for a new psychological thriller since finishing Ergo Proxy, and I may have found it. Very excited to see where the TV show is headed.
30: xxxHOLiC Movie: Manatsu no Yoru no Yume
English: xxxHOLiC The Movie: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Japanese: 劇場版 ×××HOLiC 真夏ノ夜ノ夢
MAL Score: 7.95
Summer break has arrived, but while his other classmates are out having fun, Kimihiro Watanuki continues to work as compensation for the eccentric Yuuko in her shop. With the spirits and supernatural phenomena that bother him lessening, he pays his dues by cleaning, cooking, and doing whatever else the apparently lazy Yuuko needs.
Watanuki, however, gets involved in a new predicament when Yuuko receives a mysterious invitation to a mansion whose owner seeks Yuuko’s wish-granting ability. When he, Yuuko, and his classmate Shizuka Doumeki make their way to the peculiar residence, they meet others who were summoned by the same strange invitation. All of them are collectors of various unique items, drawn there by the chance to expand their collections. But as the collectors begin to disappear one by one, Watanuki and his companions must solve the mystery and put the case to rest, or find themselves in risk of danger.
It still scared me though. That little girl is the spawn of evil and I wish I never have to see her in a CLAMP crossover series. Speaking of crossover, I got a laugh out of the shameless plug at the end. I don’t wanna give out any spoilers, so I’ll just say it has something to do with a CLAMP crossover movie.
The animation really improved for this one with regards to details. The backgrounds were more intricate, the color palette had more variety and the characters were given more realistic bodies. Their heads were notably smaller though.
The music was really great too. There was an assortment of tracks that were nicely made and perfect for the theme of the movie. I also like the ending theme by Suga Shikao.
It really was a good decision to watch the movie as a supplement to the series. I strongly recommend watching this movie to other xxxHOLic fans – you will not be disappointed.
It starts with Yuko receiving an invitation stating that her ‘collection’ is incomplete and is inviting her to an auction at his house. This story is something we’ve all probably seen before. Main character gets invited to creepy old house, weird things happen, they solve a mystery, the end. Even with a common plot, it’s still a good story. They keep a fair amount of mystery and there are scenes that make your heart skip a beat.
The characters aren’t something new. We have the same main characters, Yuko, Doumeki and Watanuki. One thing worth mentioning is the crossover scene at the end. This movie crosses over with Tsubasa Chronicle: Tori Kago no Kuni no Himegimi.
The sound is something I would expect out of a Final Fantasy game. It has that mysterious tune that helps build up the climax and is perfect for this movie’s theme. Once again, Shikao Suga does a great job with the ending song.
The animation is, as expected of Production I.G., superb. The animation is smooth, their movements precise and has great quality. The details were really improved. I liked the art in the xxxHOLIC series, but this is a step up from that. You will also notice that Watanuki is also more flexible, thus being able to perform more of his weird movements, which we all enjoy.
Story — If anything made me hesitate about seeing this movie, it was the story. For most movies based off of an anime series, their plots generally leave something to be desired. For the most part, they tend to feel like one long episode rather than an actual movie. However, xxxHOLiC’s movie actually felt like a movie. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but regardless, this movie delivers on plot. The mystery and intrigue build and build, occasionally relieved by humour (mostly on Watanuki’s part) or heightened by some frightening scenes. Near the end, the story got a little confusing, but that’s quite typical of xxxHOLiC and CLAMP in general, so it wasn’t all that unexpected.
What was interesting, though, was that this movie explains the meaning of the series’ title. This hasn’t even been done in the manga to my knowledge, so I do wonder if this is something CLAMP has confirmed themselves or if it was made specifically by the movie’s director. Still, when it was revealed, it made sense and sheds more light on the manga’s themes, which I really enjoyed.
Art — If you know CLAMP’s latest art style, you’ll know that they’re in a tall and lanky character phase. This movie carries over that style into its art and it takes a bit to get used to – all too often, the heads seem to small, the limbs too long and rubbery, etc. But putting that aside, the art is fabulous. The colours and rich and vibrant, and the scenery in the house is especially something to be marvelled at. On my DVD, I even took a few minutes to go over the slides of the background art so I could get a closer look at them (because you only get a few seconds to see them in the actual movie!)
Sound — As usual, the seiyuu did excellent jobs. Even the English voice actors didn’t do too badly (the only exception, for me, was Mokona’s English voice but Mokona has such a small role in this movie that it wasn’t too detracting). The music was wonderfully done, as well, thanks to the work of Saitou Tsuneyoshi. There are some very good tracks on the OST, and they really contribute to the atmosphere and feeling of the movie – everything from building mystery and wonder to Yuuko’s jazzy, fun theme at the end. And maybe just as importantly, silence is used effectively to build suspense at the freakiest of moments.
Character — I really suggest knowing what xxxHOLiC is about before going into this movie because you really need to understand who the characters are. I showed this movie to my non-otaku friends and I had to explain who everyone was and what they did before they could understand it. And because this is a movie and not the actual series, there isn’t too much character development here (since most of that seems to be reserved for the actual anime and manga), which is where it may fall short. This movie is more plot-driven than character-driven, after all. The original characters for this movie were average – not particularly memorable but not bad, either.
Enjoyment & Overall — Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and have watched it multiple times and intend to watch it more in the future. If you’re familiar with xxxHOLiC, it stands on its own well enough, but you might also want to check out the Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles movie, too (if you buy the DVD, they come as a set), since like the original series, they intertwine and events that occur in one movie affect what happens in the other. Still, I thought the xxxHOLiC movie did a much better job in terms of presentation and plot, but that’ll lead us into a completely different review. In any case, I’d definitely recommend this movie to any xxxHOLiC fan.
29: Detective Conan Movie 15: Quarter of Silence
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 沈黙の15分
MAL Score: 8.02
The momentous day of the opening of the new Tokyo subway, the Touto Line, has come, but a bombing incident puts all celebrations to a halt. The governor of Tokyo is caught in the blast while onboard the train, but he and everyone else present is fortunately saved by the quick thinking and actions of Conan Edogawa.
Intrigued by the incident, Conan researches the governor’s political history and discovers that the man was responsible for the destruction of a village in Niigata to build the Kitanosawa Dam. Believing the attack to be related to the construction of the dam, Conan, accompanied by Ran Mouri, Kogorou Mouri, Professor Agasa, Sonoko Suzuki, and the Detective Boys, decides to visit the village and investigate.
There, they meet a group of locals who lived in the old village before it was torn down. However, just as one mystery leads to another, one of the locals is murdered. Suspecting that something much more sinister is afoot, Conan vows to uncover the truth behind these two incidents before it is too late.
But after watching this movie, I just got an urge to do it.
So, here I go:
Even though the trailer didn’t get me least excited and therefore I wasn’t THAT hyped, because of Movie 12’s, 13’s and 14’s Awesomeness, this one blew me away, once again.
It had everything, I love so much about this series (except for Kaito and Heiji, but they were in Movie 14 already).
The case was very exciting, the typical humour was good and the action was thrilling.
Of course, there also was the obligatoric dosis of drama, the series and especially the movies, always got. Some may find it cheesy and that’d be fine. But it doesn’t bother me.
Last but definetely not least, there was one of my most favourite things about the show, that I missed in the recent movies.: the presentation of the beautiful country and culture of Nippon (mostly country this time).
Before and even in between the cases, the series very often delievers a heartwarming, authentic and overall fascinating impression of the land of the rising sun. In my opinion, that is what makes the show so great, almost as much as the cases themselves.
The only thing I didn’t like, were the 3D-Effects regarding vehicles and traffical stuff in general. It’s common in anime these days and especially the Conan-Movies made use of them for a long time now.
Still I like the “old way” of animation best, were this parts also were “handmade”.
The Skate- and Snowboard-Scenes were an exception though. They were fantastic. They added a lot of action and dynamic feel to the movie and were great to watch.
The finale was the cherry on the cake. It was one of the best, if not THE best in the whole series. And that is quite an accomplishment.
It was dramatic, fast paced and simply bombastic.
Bottom line it was one of the best Conan-Movies so far, even though nearly all of them, were top notch.
Every fan of the series should’ve watched it and most of them, should come to love it, too.
As a huge DC fan, I was wondering about how they could surprise us, after producing both DC movies (13 & 14) which where very very enjoyable.
So, does this film hold all his promises, and our expectations?
Let’s talk about it.
Detective Conan Movie 15: Quarter of Silence:
After an introduction scene, showing a boy falling from a small snowy cliff, the story begins immediately out kind of crazy.
With a threat against the japanese governor, which became reality with a bomb’attack in a subway tunnel.
Conan succeeds to save everybody, after seeing someone suspect in the tunnel near this subway (actually, in top of) and understanding that some bombs were planted there.
Then.. A police summit and… nothing.
Conan & friends decided to came to Kitanosawa for Snow’s party (does it really exist in english?), and after the eternal and essential Agasa’s quizz, we discover the main characters of this movie. (Oh wait, I do not talk about the “memories” present, and the snowmobile’s course cause it’s without interest)
We discover these 5 people, childhood friends, who seem to be connected by tragic events (for each of them: A dead sister, a son in the coma, a killer…).
And after that, all of the continuation of the movie is tasteless. Indeed the story is soooo easy to guess, and far too badly settled and introduced:
The awakening of toma, after 8 years in the coma, the death of the character which seemed the most narcissistic and “bad”, Conan who ridicules Kogoro by finding how the culprit made not to be seen (in a easy way, moreover), the memory which returns little by little to Toma, which could remember the man who would have pushed him of the cliff…
Conan who solves easily the survey, the children who leave the place with Toma, and who are followed by the killer, then saved by Conan..
And similar. Bombs on the dam, predictable since the beginning.
How to stop the water of the dam? With an avalanche, obviously.
We also knew it since the beginning, as soon as they speak of ” how long we can survive under the snow after an avalanche “… Oh wait. Reread the title of the movie.. Yes, we still guess the end. AGAIN
Conan who arrives supernaturally to make an avalanche, to save everybody and the village, and RAN who finds him (shinichi, again) at the last second (14 minutes > 15 minutes of survives max.. Remember?)
Aniway, even if the story isn’t that much interesting, I’ll give a 04.
I was a bit sad at the beginning of this movie. DC passed in full HD, and it’s wonderful. The animation is redone and perfectly worked. To my eyes, the movie is really very very beautiful.
Nevertheless, all the added details, to make the spectator laugh (all these visual onomatopoeias, all these small gags…) are tasteless and without interest. And it’s a pity..
Sound is cool. Nothing really good, or really bad.
Even if I didn’t like Kogoro’s voice in this movie, it’s quite enjoyable.
•Characters (02/10): (DID NOT COUNT DC USUAL STAFF)
No surprise, we have the team: Kogoro/Ran/Sonoko/Conan + Agasa/Ai/Ayumi/Genta/Mitsuhiko.
And that’s, then, the BIG weak point of the movie. All the unpublished protagonists and existing only for this movie are clichés and stereotypes. Besides we’ll never arrive to fasten (Your sealtbealt *.*), indentify ourselves to one of them.
They are divested of interests, both by their character and by their actions.
I have no problem to watch this movie. Even if it was boring at such time, it’s always like that in some point, in DC movies, that’s why it does not disturb.
Yeah, I’ve lot of problem with this movie.
OBJECTIVELY, how did a 10 year’s boy could stop cars on road, at high speed? Could survive at bombs, and avalanche (after being shot, yes, shot by a rifle)? Couldn’t be unmasked, while IT WAS a lot MORE EXAGGERATED than lot of DC’s movies (Summit police, when Conan’s talent vas revealed AT TV!!!).
There were too many coincidences, too many improbable and guessable events at the same time, so that I appreciate OBJECTIVELY this movie.
And the IMPORTANT part:
The morality of the movie being badly brought ( the friendship > Movie’s people + Conan & Shonen Boys) making it so old-fashioned…
And it’s a pity, he would have been able to be a waaaaay better than that!!
Thks for reading, and sorry for the english, not my language.
Story (7/10): After an almost fatal bombing on a newly opened subway line occurs, Conan believes there’s a connection to a dam building project that relocated an entire village 5 years ago, and the whole gang (minus the police department characters) end up traveling there. They are then met with some freaky coincidences that could lead to the culprit in this case. But just what is that persons goal, and what does a coma patient have to do with it?
As a story for a movie, this feels a bit underwhelming, but by no means is the story itself bad. In fact I would say that it’s the one of the more well done stories in a Conan movie to date, utilizing the time correctly and using the movie exclusive characters very well. The bad thing though is that it does feel like a longer episode of the main show, so there’s a bit too much padding to fill out the almost 2 hour time frame. The movie also tries to bring up the Shinichi/Ran romance, but where it fit almost naturally into the previous movie, here it feels tacked on for the sake of having it just be there.
Also I hope you’re a fan of the Detective Boys, cause they play a larger part here than in more recent films, but even I, who isn’t really a big fan of them, have to admit that they added a certain charm to the story itself. Otherwise I feel like the story moves along fairly well and the climax is really amazing, so kudos (heh) for holding itself up to the better standards of the last few movies.
Art (8/10): I get the feeling that the staff who works on the movies is getting more into doing action scenes, since they were better than ever. They must have had fun with all the snowboarding scenes because hot damn were they fluid and exciting. The snowy village location was also really nice to look at, though this does cause the problem of the film being very white and pale colored heavy.
Sound (7/10): I’m not going to rehash anything, since sound is pretty much the same in most Conan movies by now. But as usual, it was great (an much better timed with things compared to the horrendous job done in the last movie).
Character (7/10): Conan/Shinichi, is, as usual, great, along with a bit more screen time for Ai, but since they really don’t have too many character moments themselves, lets focus on the others. As I said before, the Detective Boys are actually fairly important in this movie, so I hope you have a soft spot for them (me personally, I don’t really like them all that much, but they have their moments). But thankfully, they fit in very well with the plot and they are played up with their strengths, making them much more tolerable than in other films. Agasa, Kogoro, Ran, and Sonoko, on the other hand, are just sort of thrown into the movie and don’t really do all that much, one of the unfortunate trends that the movies tend to have.
(If you’re wondering, Conan movies have the bad tendency of only focusing on one set of secondary characters, so one movie (Rave Chaser) may focus on the police characters, one (Jolly Rodger of the Deep Sea) focusing on Ran and Sonoko, and this movie on the Detective Boys, where the other set(s) feel out of place or underutilized. …rant over, I promise.)
The movie characters, thankfully, are fairly strong and are fun to watch. While they aren’t too amazing (they do have the standard feel of a Conan case character), special note goes to Touma, who is fairly interesting and probably could have had more screen time on his own, but for what we got he was interesting and helped with some interesting parallels with Conan, Ai, and the Detective Boys.
Enjoyment (8/10): Going into this movie, I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was that there was a snowy location and…that’s it. But I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. While I do think that they could have made the film a slight bit shorter, it was entertaining and a totally fun watch.
Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence is a fun ride from start to finish, though it doesn’t feel quite as strong as the two movies prior to it. But that doesn’t matter as much since the mystery was interesting, the action fun, and it gave some characters some time to shine. While some things are the same as ever, it’s still a fun movie for fans and non-fans alike.
7/10 = fun movie with an interesting mystery and good action, but just doesn’t feel as strong as some of the better entries in the movie franchise; you better like the Detective Boys, because they’re partial headliners here
28: Kara no Kyoukai Movie: Mirai Fukuin
English: the Garden of sinners -recalled out summer-
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 未来福音
MAL Score: 8.02
Shiki Ryougi, Mikiya Kokutou, and Touko Aozaki begin investigating a bomber after they witness a nearby explosion. That same night, Shiki catches a glimpse of the bomber, and as a result, he becomes fixated on her. To get rid of her, the madman plays a game of cat and mouse in attempts to lure her to an empty parking garage. And bombs are not the only thing he has in his arsenal: he also possesses the ability to see the future, and he intends to bring an end to Shiki.
Elsewhere a few days prior, a student at Reien Girls’ Academy, Shizune Seo, plans to head home for the summer. However, while exiting a bus, she has a vision of the future involving a nearby stranger’s death. While trying to warn the stranger, she meets Mikiya—who succeeds in utilizing Shizune’s information effectively.
Subsequently, an employee is sent on a job with his employer’s 10-year-old daughter in tow. However, the subject of his investigation turns out to be a ghost from both of their pasts.
Mirai Fukuin tells the stories set during the main timeline of the Kara no Kyoukai films, as well as one set in the future.
Taking place in the summer of August, the film serves as a side story based off the novel series. Divided into two parts known as Mobius Ring and Mobius Link, the movie explores an insight relating to the power of precognition. That’s what it is on the surface anyways. In essence, the movie composes of two worlds as the main character Seo describes – the present and the future. In retrospect, we see from her viewpoint the power that encompasses herself as a special individual. She is able to see into the future before an event and can respond accordingly. But as a young and shy girl, Seo lacks confidence in her powers to be able to deliver its message at first. It’s easy to tell since such a power can be viewed as both a gift and a curse. That doesn’t come easy for her until fate comes together with a young man named Mikiya Kokutou whom she meets. Their meeting marks a breaking point for Seo. It’s from this encounter that she realizes there’s more than just what meets the eye. Mirai Fukin deals with Seo’s understanding of her powers and its responsibilities.
On the other hand, we have a young man named Mitsuru Kamemura also possessing the ability of precognition to foresee into the future. Unlike Seo, he uses his power for twisted purposes. Adapting the role of a serial bomber, Mitsuru describes his bombs as “toys” and treats the world like a twisted game. In essence, he holds the controller to trigger the bomb and thanks to his foresee ability is able to cheat life and death. Representing the dark side of the movie, Mitsuru is a man that lacks compassion in Mobius Ring. From minute one that he enters the show, there’s a thrilling atmosphere surrounding his appearance. It stands out for the fact that he simply enjoys every kill and treats it as a game. At one point of the story, Mitsuru admits that he hasn’t had this much fun in a while until he meets Shiki. Returning from the previous Kara no Kyoukai movies, Shiki plays the role of a player in Mitsuru’s twisted game. But to defy against such a power takes guts and complexity. For Shiki, she is a cunning woman and stays ahead of the game. While not always able to solve problems in a civil way, Shiki comes off as a woman that can perceive death based on her own powers – the sacred Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. In retrospect, she shows her fearlessness and goes against destiny.
The remainder of the film revisits Mitsuru’s life. Only this time, he plays a different role with a young girl named Mana. Rather than killing others for the sake of the thrill, Mitsuru adapts more of a guardian role for this young girl. Fast forwarding to 10 years into the future, Mitsuru acts with care for Mana but also questions about his own future. It’s symmetric to the film’s power involving premonition. At the same time, there’s a concept involving salvation dealing with choices and regret. With such a power, one would think its way to change the world. But for people like Seo and Mitsuru, they use it for their purposes. And while contrasting in one another with their usage, they deal with the responsibility.
Throughout the film, a supporting character by the name of Ms. Diviner talks about destiny and what fate has in store for people such as Shiki. And it’s true too, because fate allowed Seo and Mikiya to meet one another. Through their bonding comes trust and more confidence. Mirai Fukin focuses on a more psychological aspect of its storytelling rather than shounen action. That is one part the movie lacks in terms of aspect. Action is minimal in the movie only involving the serial bomber Mitsuru as he uses his powers. But what we should be more focused on is Mitsuru’s motivations. It delivers a stellar execution as he tests the limits of his powers but not fueled by any significant goal such as revenge or bounty. He is more like a textbook with no answer key that is hard to read on the surface.
Regrettably the movie lacks spectacular action but it makes it up for its extravagant visuals. As expected from the studio ufotable, known for its other involvement of the previous films, it delivers its magnificent animation style to life. It triumphs not just in its visual production values but its ability to match with the atmosphere. The Kara no Kyoukai franchise has an eerie atmosphere and this latest installation adapts it like a charm even for morbid actions such as serial bombing. It also captures the moment of the setting with its dog days in the summer when it focuses on the background such as the plants and chilling nights. Some of the scenes involving the characters walking in a dark alley brings back some nostalgia from the previous movie to convey its eerie atmosphere. Character designs are also consistent that conveys Shiki’s cunning personality, Seo’s innocence, Mana’s ebullience, Mikiya’s wisdom, and Mitsuru’s ideologies. It holds it altogether with their visage.
While ufotable is known for its prowess with animation production values, the soundtrack of this movie is also not a pushover. From the introduction to the very ending minute, this movie seizes its every moment to bring the OST to life. It ranges from the eerie atmosphere, the intimidating tone with the cat-and-mouse game between Shiki and Mitsuru, and mature conversation in the café. I would also give praise especially to Mitsuru’s performance for his voice mannerisms that captures his calculating movements. Similarly, Shiki’s voice also conveys her sly personality as she is able to fight against fate on her own terms. The theme song by Kalafina as well as Yuki Kajiura’s performance also shows their talent in an elegant manner.
1 hour and 30 minutes. That’s all it needs for this film to deliver its message. But for such a power to be able to foresee into the future through precognition, there are infinite answers to its true purpose. What we know is that everyone’s ideologies fits somewhere like pieces to a puzzle. This movie presents its themes and ideas in tolerant manners that matches with its mysterious atmosphere. And as expected, ufotable adapts this atmosphere with consistency in both artwork and soundtrack. For a movie that serves a side story, I highly recommend this presentation as an appreciation to its previous installations. It’s a gem that shines with grace.
The Mirai Fukuin movie adapts two of the five short light novel stories released back in 2008: Möbius ring and Möbius link. The first half of the movie, Möbius ring, portrays two people possessing similar abilities of precognition. However, one tries to live her life as a normal schoolgirl and the other utilizes his foresight ability and becomes a professional bomber. The second half, Möbius link, fast forwards to over a decade where Mikiya’s and Shiki’s daughter Mana plays the role of the main character where she and her partner investigate anomalies in the city. What I enjoy about these premises is the fact that though they may seem unrelated, the stories intertwine with one another. Similar themes of precognition and questioning what the future holds are present in both chronicles. Though there is much less action in Mirai Fukuin compared to the previous movies, what made up for it was how beautifully executed the stories were.
Along with magnificently adapted stories, Mirai Fukuin possessed beautiful animations. As always, ufotable is able to make every scene come to life, whether it is rain droplets falling from the sky, Shiki’s Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, or even bomb explosions. Ufotable’s unique animation style is what makes Kara no Kyoukai stand out. And coupled with the beautiful animations is the beautiful music. With Yuki Kajiura as the composer and Kalafina performing the ending theme like the previous movies, one can expect that each song completely fits the atmosphere. The trinity of story, animation, and music is overall spectacular, each category supporting the other two to make it look even more stunning.
However, one cannot create a great story unless the characters themselves are equally as good. Mirai Fukuin introduces two new prominent characters, Mitsuru Kamemura and Mana Ryougi. Seo Shizune was previously seen in the sixth movie, Oblivion Recorder, but has been expanded greatly in the latest installment. Seo and Mitsuru both possess the power of precognition, but differ greatly on how they use it. As previously stated, one tries to become a regular schoolgirl, which is Seo, and another becoming a professional bomber, which is Mitsuru. Mana of course is the daughter of the two most prominent characters of the series. The three character’s personalities were fleshed out quite nicely in just one movie. Of course, characters such as Mikiya, Shiki, and Touko play a role in Mirai Fukuin.
Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable movie. I did, however, find it slightly disappointing that there was next to no action in Mirai Fukuin, but when it did, it was spectacular. Though three years was a long wait to watch the next installment, it was worth it. Type-Moon, Nasu Kinoko, and ufotable did an incredible job with this series and I hope they will provide more high quality features in the future. The movie ending quite nicely, and I am glad that the Kara no Kyoukai franchise ended in such a manner.
27: Detective Conan Movie 03: The Last Wizard of the Century
English: Case Closed Movie 3: The Last Wizard of the Century
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 世紀末の魔術師
MAL Score: 8.03
Kaitou Kid dares to challenge the police once more, setting his sights on the Russian Imperial Easter Egg. With the date, time, and place, the Osaka police force scrambles to stop him. But this time, Kid may have bitten off more than he can chew—Conan Edogawa, Heiji Hattori, and numerous others are also trying to get their hands on the jeweled egg.
As the race for possession of the egg escalates, a string of murders threatens those after it, and at the same time the tragic truth behind the Romanov Dynasty is finally revealed. At the center of these developments, it is up to Conan to solve the gruesome murders and catch Kid, all while protecting those close to him and concealing his identity.
The most notable thing in detective movie is the mystery element. Be prepare to found an amazing movie with a lot of mysteries hidden with it. You will be blinded by one of the most well-produced mystery. While the individual elements of the story done well, the plot is decent and manage to balance the story up. With historical value within this film, Last Wizard of The Century have a + sign for them and did a fairly good job in the plot settings.
It is easily accessible, the movie is a perfect example of enjoying the series at its best without having to watch all of Meitantei Conan episodes.
The animation is quite old if we compared it with our era now, but in general, it’s decent. The sound settings are also decent as well.
The characters came out from everywhere, almost all of the main cast appear in the screen.
Kaitou Kid is the omniscient and overpowered character while our hero Conan is analytical and smart. Although omniscient is not a good thing, but the character did their roles pretty well.
Overall, if you are a fan of Meitantei Conan, don’t miss this. Also, if you a fan of detective and mystery settings is quite recommended for you.
As you should know Edogawa Conan is Shinichi after being poisoned by the mysterious Black Organisation.
The story starts with Conan, Ran and Mouri going to Osaka, under the request of Ran’s Best friend in order to protect their family’s Fabergé egg, which is under threat of being stolen by Katiou Kid (A new Character in the series which appears around 120 episodes).
The plot revoles around the mystery of the Fabergé egg and the history and secrets it holds. The uniqueness of the plot is how it accounts for Tsar and its family including the history of the russian revolution. After Kaitou Manages to steal the egg from the police that were guarding it. He is shot down by a mysterious character, all that was left was his broken moncle and an injured white dove.
With Kaitou mysteriously disappearing, The owner of the egg decides to go and make sure the egg is undamged after the incident. During this time someone who claims the egg belongs to their ancestors arrive. with the orginal designs for the egg. Only to discover from the drawings that there is two eggs.
As the characters begin to relax and let loose and the other parties begin to fight over buying the egg, a murder takes place. Which leads Conan to believe the murderer is the same person who took down Kaitou. Therefore calling up Proffessor Agase. To check up the interpol wanted list. and found his suspected murder “Scorpion”
All in all this movie involves probably the largest array of the Conan characters, practically everyone makes an appearence. From Inspector Meguri to Conan’s Fellow high School Detective Hattori Heiji.
I enjoyed this movie mainly cause there was more mystery then the first two. But at the same time it felt more story watching then challening you to try to solve the murders and the mystery. But I still enjoyed the twist at the end of the moive. ^_^
At first the story starts off getting to the real point of the whole thing. Kito Kid is in this, and he is a magician, so he must of course be the Last Wizard of the Century, which is the title of the movie, no? I mean, it is three years away from the change of the century to two thousand when this is movie is made. This might be something that one might want to keep in mind to the end.
The ideas and the concepts in the movie run through in a way that one might think one thing at the begining and be possibly blinded by them, but as one gets furthur along in the movie and more historical facts are revealed to the audience, one becomes less and less mystified and begin to put the facts together. The information presented about hte Russian tzar and his family is fairly accurate from what I can tell.
As always, Detective Conan’s animation is good, expessully for the time frame that it comes from. And some of the details on things, like the egg that Sonoko’s family owns are amazingly detailed. I would go more into this, but the one problem is, if I do… I’ll give away a story line that is really good and that isn’t the point of a review.
The musical score for the soundtrack reminds me of the soundtrack for the Disney Movie Anastasia. It was released two years after Disney released it’s movie, so it is an actual possibility that one movie may have influenced this movie. That really is up to you the viewer to decide, not me.
We get to see the unprofessional acting cops who are after Kito again, which is histarical, though they don’t play as big of a humor role in this. In fact, there are a lot of characters that rather show up in this movie, the cast isn’t limited. Also, not only is this a Kito Kid movie, it gives depth into the theif magician’s character.
At first I was, for the first ten to twenty mintutes, not exactly thrilled with the movie. Most of the good stuff happens later on. Then again, Detective Conan movies are some of the few that will actually go and give a synopsis of what has happened so far for him, which might have been part of my problem, as I kind of feel that I know that allready.
I am a major fan of the history and mystery surrounding the tzar’s family and their deaths. So when I found, or more of figured that this played a good role in this movie, I was thrilled. And I might admit… biased because of it. From the historical point of view, they handled the historical facts quite well.
If you are a fan of Detective Conan, or of the tzars story, this is worth the watch of someone to watch, whether it is only one or not. It is put together in a way that is craftmanship.
26: Detective Conan Movie 04: Captured in Her Eyes
English: Case Closed Movie 4: Captured In Her Eyes
MAL Score: 8.03
On a rainy afternoon, the Detective Boys witness a murder across the street. Barred by traffic, the culprit slips away and Conan Edogawa is left a single clue by a dying detective. Days later, another detective is found murdered in a parking lot, leaving the police rattled. Suspicious that the culprit is one of their own, everyone in the police department without an alibi is suspect. But despite being on high alert, they are outmaneuvered and suffer yet another attack—this time with Ran Mouri finding herself in the crossfire.
Traumatized, Ran wakes in the hospital with retrograde amnesia, remembering nothing about her life. Soon released, she struggles to remember her past and grows fearful of not regaining her memories before being targeted by the killer for what she witnessed. As she is guarded by friends and family, it is up to Conan to piece together the clues and find who the murderer is before they strike again.
Captured In Her Eyes is the best movie of Detective Conan. Shinichi confessed that he likes Ran. Ran lost his memory and no matter how Shinichi wanted to appear to her as Shinichi and comfort her…thinking of it just made it harder for him. And also that Haibara almost confessed to Shinichi…that part is really something. The thrill, the excitement, the romance, the mystery being revealed…I really like it so much!
It’s so painful even for a great detective like himself not to be able to help the one you consider the most important in the world…but because of the unexpected situation he got himself into, he made a really big sacrifice. Shinichi doesn’t want to hurt Ran and that made it a lot difficult for him especially when he sees that the only one Ran felt nostalgic about after losing her memory is his picture. And in here, Conan got saluted by a high ranked officer of the police department. It’s really good!
A lot of the emotion comes from Ran losing her memories after a traumatic experience with the murderer. The fact that Conan can’t do anything as Shinichi to help her is a very cruel thing to undergo. But despite that, Ran is still still just as much her awesome self as she was with her memories. The fact that she still chooses to keep a positive outlook after the incident is probably one of my favorite things about her and why I love this movie so much. One of my favorite parts about this movie is the finale in Tropical Land, which is home to some of the most imaginative environments in a Detective Conan movie. Combine that with a well-polished art style and what you have is a movie that’s both fun and good to look at.
The movie itself, while interesting, is admittedly kind of slow. Having to wait while Conan plays catch-up with the audience is one of the least exciting moments in the film. Also, the case itself isn’t that very interesting to solve, with the first clue about the culprit being heavily reliant on Japanese wordplay. It’s very clear that the movie was more focused on Ran’s amnesiac experience than the mystery itself. By no means is that a bad thing, as a lot of the emotion comes from everyone dealing with her loss of memories. If you are looking for a movie with a great mystery to solve, this may not be the one for you.
Captured in Her Eyes is one of my favorite Detective Conan movies. While the case itself isn’t much to write home about, the fun character moments and polished visuals are what keeps this movie highly rated for me.
MAL Score: 8.05
The world of dreams can be an incredible window into the psyche, showing one’s deepest desires, aspirations, and repressed memories. One hopeful tech lab has been developing the “DC Mini,” a device with the power to delve into the dreams of others. Atsuko Chiba and Kosaku Tokita have been tirelessly working to develop this technology with the hopes of using it to deeply explore patients’ minds and help cure them of their psychological disorders.
However, having access to the deepest corners of a person’s mind comes with a tremendous responsibility. In the wrong hands, the DC Mini could be used as a form of psychological terrorism and cause mental breakdowns in the minds of targets. When this technology is stolen and people around them start acting strangely, Atsuko and Kosaku know they have a serious problem on their hands. Enlisting the help of Officer Konakawa, who has been receiving this experimental therapy, they search both the real and dream worlds for their mental terrorist.
Those familiar with Satoshi Kon’s work should know he likes to blend reality and illusion. Paprika was no exception, dealing with the dream world via DC mini, a device which can be used to enter someone’s dreams. As expected the dream world Kon created was incredibly imaginative and surreal. Animation and art for this movie was easily the best of Kon’s work as well as most anime. This movie was worth watching just for the animation and surreal world that Kon creates. Music was equally good, creating a haunting yet beautiful atmosphere. Sadly I don’t think its possible to even possible to describe the surreal and imaginative dream sequences in Paprika. However, that’s it, I could go on and on about the movie’s technical merit, but it doesn’t make up for its weak narrative.
Paprika featured highly imaginative imagery and excellent editing that Kon is known for however, what was it all for? If we take out the imagery out of the equation, what do we have left? The basic outline of Paprika’s story was wafer thin and had a painfully obvious twist near the end. In addition, a tacked on romance that made far less sense than even the most surreal imagery that Kon can muster. Chances are you’re thinking “Its all about the execution, who cares about a weak storyline as long as its done well.” Yes, execution is more important and surreal imagery and crazy editing can be used to make an otherwise boring story captivating. For example, Millennium Actress, one of Kon’s earlier works. However, in the case of Paprika the surreal imagery felt like it was the main point and the story/characters were secondary. Also, the imagery didn’t serve any purpose with respects to the story, it was there for the sake of being there and a “plot” to provide it some context.
What I said was only for the main plot line, the detective’s sub plot was sadly far more interesting. Here the use of imagery really suits his story and conflicts, similar in execution as in Millennium Actress. However, something is wrong when a sub plot is more interesting than the main story.
Characters are also pretty weak. The villain was pitifully boring and one-dimensional. Sadly, I can’t say otherwise for the rest of the cast. Also, the development of Atsuko and her romance at the end was so forced it was unbelievable. Once again, this confused me more than even the most surreal imagery Kon can muster. Konakawa (the detective) was the only saving grace in the cast of Paprika. He actually had a decent amount of characterization and actually developed through the course of the movie.
Paprika was a wholly imaginative work that only Satoshi Kon can create. He creates a landscape that was beyond words. This was coupled with amazing technical achievement by Madhouse, the animation studio. However, Paprika failed in terms of story and characters. The visuals didn’t serve much of a purpose with respects to the plot and felt like it was there for the sake of being there. Also, this plot was incredibly superficial and painfully predictable. The tacked on romance and forced character development was equally painfully and confusing. Konakawa was the only saving grace in terms of story and character however, something is wrong when a side character was more interesting than the main story. In the end, Paprika is more like a dream than Kon probably intended. It was captivating during but when it ends you’ll remember only a few visual snippets and forget everything else.
Dreams as a concept have always captivated me, and never before have I seen such a well-done representation of dreams in any form of media. Movies usually treat them as either being pointlessly strange, or pointedly symbolic, but Paprika captures their essence to fascinating effect. Dreams are as much about flow and direction as they are about the immediate situation, and this is something very apparent when watching Paprika, as the dreams flow and change fascinatingly with mundane illogic, moving from one setting to another with only a thematic thread between them. Looking back at my own dreams and how they shift from setting to setting based on the emotional context, and I see that Paprika portrays this perfectly. I can see that the dream sequences were thoughtfully brought to life, and were not just crazy for the sake of crazy. But through all its fanciful imagery and creativity unbound from realism, Paprika has a story behind it that deals with very strong human emotions, and it excellently weaves this emotional content throughout the films, particularly in the dream sequences, where the subconscious expresses the truth behind each character’s external, day-to-day personality.
The way it tells this story is simultaneously a strength and a flaw of the film; on the one hand I am inclined to say that it was obfuscatory in the way it obscured the plot from the viewer. While watching this movie I felt like I was trying to get my head around a particularly long riddle. As I followed it, the only understanding I really got of what was actually going on was in retrospect, and while some may call this clever, I found that not having an idea of the direction of the plot was a detriment. However, given that the movie revolves around the theme of dream analysis, it is also a fitting method of storytelling: the audience itself has to engage in the movie as though it were analysing a dream, and hence can only be understood when looking back at it. However, my advice to anyone planning to watch the movie: pay close attention to the dialogue and symbology of the dreams, because it is all too easy to get caught up in the zany fun of the dream sequences and lose track of the plot.
When it comes to the plot itself, I’m not so enthusiastic. Nor am I so aflame with praise when it comes to the characterisation. Both of these factors are the reasons why I am hesitant to label it as my favourite Satoshi Kon film; Tokyo Godfathers had excellent characterisation, and a simple yet powerful story; and Perfect Blue, with its introverted character study, delivered a great emotional impact. It may well be impossible to create a perfect film, but if these factors had been better incorporated into Paprika, then it would be among my favourite anime films, possibly my very favourite. It is a shame that Satoshi Kon’s vision and creativity is let down by a lack of depth in his characters and stories now, after his consistent accomplishments in the past. I think the main problem was that the movie tried to involve a too larger cast, to whom it could not provide ample depth in its limited feature-length time-frame. The other problem was that there was very little attention given to delivering a sense of conflict, a crucial element to any story. Perfect Blue had the internal conflict of the subconscious and the conscious; Tokyo Godfathers had conflict between its characters and society; and this movie tries to incorporate an antagonist-protagonist conflict, almost as an afterthought, with neither party given enough profundity to their perspectives to make the conflict intense. There was mention of their different ideology when it comes to the exploration of dreams, and a subplot of jealousy, but little more. So the story lacks the optimal ‘beginning -> conflict -> end’ structure, meaning it felt like it just went on and on until it finished, as entertaining as it was.
I have little to say about the technical achievements behind this film, other than the fact that it was fantastic in almost all aspects, with only the score music lacking. It is clear he used the same musical producer behind Paranoia Agent’s score track, and I simply cannot find his style of music appealing; it feels immature and cannot contribute effectively to the mood of the movie. Much better was the use of music in Perfect Blue, the score of which really sold the hauntingly intense atmosphere. The visuals are much better; this is his best looking film yet, with vivid animation and, as expected, brilliant direction.
It was not given enough weight, but I liked the message that dreams are the final sanctity of the human mind, which should not be intruded upon. This movie beautifies dreams, and attaches importance to them (as seen in Atsuko’s acknowledgement of her feelings for Dr. Torataro through her subconscious), and the suggestion that veil between them and reality is sacred really spoke to me, even if it came from the mouth of the antagonist. Paprika is a thoroughly enjoyable, visually captivating movie, which does overwhelming justice to its theme of dreaming, but which has flaws in its plot and characters that prevent it from being a great achievement as a film.
Adapted from a novel of the same name by science fiction author Yautaka Tsutsiu, Paprika takes Kon’s mind-bending style and applies it quite literally to the plot. The story takes place in the near future, where a remarkable device called the “DC Mini” has been invented, which allows people to enter other peoples’ dreams and access their unconscious thoughts; intended for the use of psychotherapists. However, while still in its development, one of the DC Mini prototypes is stolen. Soon, development staff members begin to have their dreams invaded and entangled, and its up to head of development Chiba Atsuko, and her chipper alter ego Paprika, to find the culprit and retrieve the prototype before more damage is done.
This premise works perfectly with Kon’s directing style and the themes he often explores. The movie weaves from dream to reality and back again seamlessly. With the DC Mini giving the ability to enter (or invade) peoples’ dreams and psyches, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between delusion and reality. There are scenes which seem to take place in reality, until something strange occurs, pulling back the curtain to reveal that it is a dream instead. The dissolving wall between the two comes with some serious consequences, as characters slip into madness; becoming delusional and erratic. Kon perpetuates a sense of unease and delirium with colorfully deranged imagery, hallucinatory sequences, and sudden outbursts of insanity, keeping the audience in a state of constant imbalance. And yet there is a certain unhinged joy than comes with the madness. There is something wondrous about unconscious mind and the images it conjures; the limitless possibilities of a dream, and the hidden meanings behind those dreams. Even at their most disturbing, the surreal dreamscapes of Paprika are entrancing.
Our protagonist, Atsuko, is cool-headed; always in control. She maintains a stern, often harsh, but logical and level-headed demeanor. She’s all business, doesn’t have much of a sense of humor, and little patience for the childish irresponsibility of man-child genius Tokita, the inventor of the DC Mini. Or at least that is how she seems on the outside. In stark contrast is Atsuko’s alter-ego, the titicular Paprika. Paprika is a free spirit, more easy going and fun than Atsuko, to the point that the two seem to be completely different people, and not just because of their differing character designs. This contrast is interesting because it shows how a person’s suppressed desires can manifest in spite of (or because) their attempts to keep control over themselves. As much as Atsuko would like to think she has control over herself and everything around her by suppressing her emotions, she’s only being dishonest with herself. The rest of the cast (sans Detective Konakawa), are underdeveloped, yet still likeable and interesting. Tokita adds some nice comedic relief; the two antagonists are really quite interesting, though they would have certainly benefited from more screen time.
There is also a sub-plot involving a detective who Atsuko is treating in unauthorized sessions using the DC Mini. Here, Kon infuses Paprika with his love for movies, ironically enough through a character who claims to hate movies. Despite such claims, Detective Konakawa’s dreams often are movie themed, and his strong objection to movies implies some kind of past trauma. Indeed, as the movie delves deeper into his character, it reveals he has a deep knowledge and connection to movies, but now avoids them because of unfulfilled and broken desires of his youth. The movie reveals this slowly and uncomfortably, often playing out like a therapy session, using motifs such as a reoccurring dream of a murder in a hallway which represents a case Konakawa is currently having trouble solving, or his dislike of the number 17. Konakawa’s character ark also draws a interesting parallels from movies and the internet to dreams; all are places that the human subconscious can escape into. A rather meta concept, considering that you are watching a movie.
Paprika is Satoshi Kon’s most vivid and wildly imaginative work. Kon clearly let go of restraint from the deranged, ever-shifting opening dream sequence. However, that isn’t to say that it is done with no finesse, quite the contrary actually. Even with the free-floating lunacy of the movie, Kon’s cinematic brilliance shines through. The radical transitions from dreamscape to dreamscape, which would look awkward in less skillful hands, flow like water under Kon’s direction. The imagery is dazzling (if at times unsettling), and incredibly creative, sometimes frighteningly so. The chase scene in which Paprika is being pursued by the antagonists through multiple shifting settings is a breathtaking showcase of the movie’s visual ingenuity. As is the movie’s crazed grand finale, which features one of the main characters growing from infancy to adulthood while absorbing another character’s dreams. There are also some crafty motifs the movie implements to set mood and tone, notably the crazed parade that is assimilating all other dreams. This all comes together to create a unique controlled chaos of visual imagination that is impossible to forget. It’s also worth noting that the movie has the coolest opening credits I’ve seen, with Paprika taking a tour of the city in a way only she can.
The sweeping electropop soundtrack by Susumu Hirasawa is fittingly strange, but also grants the movie a sense of grandeur. The music has an odd, otherworldly texture which works very well in a movie that spends most of time roaming through the realm of dreams and human consciousness. Interestingly enough, some of the vocals were produced using vocaloid, which doubtlessly contributed to the music’s strangeness. Of special note is the bouncy track titled ‘Meditation Field’ that accompanies the opening credits, and the bizarre ‘Parade’ which plays as people descend into madness or when that crazy parade of dreams shows up.
Though sometimes a bit convoluted, Paprika is an eye-popping, cerebral extravaganza that never fails to impress and entertain. More than simply a piece of eye-candy, the movie invokes some interesting ideas about dreams and the human psyche. Both Atsuko and Konakawa illustrate some fascinating insights in how people lie to themselves or bury the unpleasant, and what repercussions that might have. Paprika is just exploding with creativity, brimming with imagery straight out of your wildest dreams, and endlessly entertaining. It’s a fitting final work for a great master.
24: Detective Conan Movie 10: Requiem of the Detectives
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 探偵たちの鎮魂歌[レクイエム]
MAL Score: 8.06
After receiving a strange invitation, Kogorou Mouri pays a visit to the Miracle Land theme park along with his daughter Ran, Conan Edogawa, and the Detective Boys. Once there, Kogorou and Conan are tasked with finishing an unsolved case by a mysterious stranger. Realizing that the invitations were actually an elaborate trap, the two have just 12 hours to solve the case or face grave danger.
With the help of familiar faces like Heiji Hattori, Kaitou Kid, and even Saguru Hakuba, the group of detectives must unravel the web of clues surrounding the case in order to find the culprit and bring them to justice before it’s too late.
The only saving grace about this movie is its story, which has Conan and the other detectives try to solve a case for a client before they all explode. There is some semblance of a looming sense of dread, as every moment is leading closer and closer to death as the movie goes on. There are even a few decent character moments here and there. Of course, this is where the praise for this movie stops.
While the story itself is good, the execution is extremely lacking. Despite being under pressure to solve a case as soon as possible, the way the scenes are shot fail to capture that urgency. Everything feels so slow and plain that it eliminates any semblance of tension that the characters may be under right now. What also ruins this movie even more is its art and animation. The Detective Conan movies usually have a level of polish that puts them above the anime series. Here, there is no trace of quality or refining done to either the art or animation. It is, quite literary, an extended episode.
If this were a TV special, then I wouldn’t mind it so much (then I wouldn’t even need to review it). But this isn’t just a movie; it’s a movie celebrating the 10th anniversary of the series. When put into that context, what does it have going for it? What can you watch in this movie that you can literally see in any other movie? Heiji and Kaito Kid? They already have their own movies. Everyone is going to be killed if Conan doesn’t solve the case? Try the Eleventh Striker. Requiem of the Detectives’ main problem is how basic it all is; every other movie before and after it did the same things that this movie does but even better. It’s almost like this movie only had the story to work with and just did whatever with everything else.
Before I end this review, I do want to stress that this only just me speaking and that my opinion may not apply for everyone else. These movies are like different flavors of ice cream. Some are like chocolate. Some are like strawberry. Some are even like pistachio. If I had to define Requiem of the Detectives as an ice cream flavor, it would be vanilla. Not French vanilla or vanilla bean; just basic vanilla. Some people like vanilla and that’s okay. Even I’m morbidly curious what maple bacon ice cream tastes like. As such, Requiem of the Detectives will always be somebody else’s favorite Detective Conan movie no matter what I think of it.
23: Kara no Kyoukai 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 3: Remaining Sense of Pain
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第三章『痛覚残留』
MAL Score: 8.06
On a solemn night in July 1998, teenager Fujino Asagami is mercilessly raped by a street gang in a dilapidated bar. No matter what physical or sexual abuse they deal, however, the girl regards her captors with the same apathetic expression. The next day, mangled bodies are discovered in that same building, so torn apart that investigators find it infeasible to even consider the culprit human.
Elsewhere, a client request reaches Touko Aozaki’s detective agency, tasking Shiki Ryougi with either capturing or killing the perpetrator of last night’s incident. But soon, word spreads that a single survivor escaped the slaughter, and now the murderer is plowing down everything in their path to locate and exterminate him. A brutal race against time begins, pitting Shiki against a dangerous foe imperceptible even to her legendary eyes.
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to make any progress, and in a sense that’s exactly what happens with the third installment of Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~. After Satsujin Kosatsu Part 1 viewers may have been under the impression that the franchise would progress in a way that would allow for a degree of linearity with the development of the characters, but it seems like TYPE-MOON have their own agenda, and they’re sticking to it.
Set a mere two months after the events in the first movie, Tsuukaku Zanryuu (Remaining Sense of Pain), focuses on a young girl named Asagami Fujino, and begins with quite a brutal scene in an abandoned underground bar. Through seemingly random chance Fujino meets Kokutou Mikiya, who finds her huddled in an alleyway and takes care of her for a night, only to find her gone the next morning. Meanwhile, there is a report of a gruesome murder, and Aozaki Touko asks Ryougi Shiki to capture the suspected perpetrator. Shiki sets out to find the culprit, but doesn’t check any background information as she believes they will try to kill each other when they meet.
The strange thing about Tsuukaku Zanryuu is that even though there is a degree of predictability to certain events, the plot only really makes sense in hindsight. The events in this episode may initially seem disjointed and without reason, but this is actually a pretty interesting method of storytelling as it requires a degree of intuivity from the viewer. That said, there is a slightly aimless quality to the storyline at certain points which can slow proceedings down to almost a crawl, but the plot is quick to pick up the pace and the latter half of the movie moves along at a fair clip.
The art and animation in this installment are actually a step up for Ufotable. Given the quality they’ve shown in the previous two outings it’s difficult to believe that they could actually outdo themselves, but they’ve managed it with their efforts here. The animation is top-notch throughout, and the various action sequences are superbly detailed without suffering any major loss in quality. The CG is rendered and integrated very well, and is almost indistinguishable from the traditional animation in many sequences.
The character designs haven’t really changed much from the first movie where two of the leads and Touko are concerned, the only difference being an increase in the variety of expressions for both Shiki and Kokutou. Unfortunately it seems as though there has been a step backwards when it comes to the design of Fujino, and while she may appear to be a fairly well realised character, there is an impassive quality to her features which is sometimes at odds with her speech or actions.
The voice actors are, once again, extremely good. Suzumura Kenichi (Kokutou Mikiya), hasn’t had much of a chance to shine thus far in the series, but several scenes in this episode allows him to show some of his quality. Sakamoto Maaya once again brings out the best in Shiki, and it’s surprising how much she has settled into the role of the “psychogirl”. There’s also a very good performance from Noto Mamiko in the role of Fujino, which is ironic as it’s her ability to act that highlights the issues with the character design.
The effects are pretty good throughout the movie, but like Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1 there are occasions where the noises and music clash, and this can be a little harder on the eardrums than before due to the action based nature of this episode. That said, the overall quality and choreography is a step up from the previous two installments, and some efforts have been made to resolve the niggling issues with timing that have pestered the series thus far. This also applies to the background music which, like before, follows the usual themes of sombre and dramatic, and it seems as though the tracks are more suited to their purpose in Tsukakuu Zanryuu, but that may be due to the new pieces on offer rather than any inherent improvement.
It should come as no surprise though, that the one area where the movie falls down is with the characters. Fujino is fairly well realised on the whole, and possesses a surprising amount of depth thanks to some great acting and very good scripting. The problem is that while Shiki and Kokutou receive some new development, it’s not nearly enough to satisfy viewers and fans. There continues to be little to no justification for their actions throughout the narrative, and while there is an effort to garner audience participation in order to make the story work, this does not automatically mean that viewers are willing to fill in the blanks where the characters are concerned. In addition to this there is a distinct lack of Touko in this episode, and her presence in this movie is relegated to bit parts, which seems a little odd as she is an integral part of both the lead character’s stories, so one would assume that the series would allow more screentime so that the audience would get a better perspective on her.
Even with that flaw though, this is still a highly enjoyable addition to the series. The action sequences are enough to satisfy any junkie of the genre, and fans of Kara no Kyoukai will be pleased to see some different sides to Shiki and Kokutou.
Now, bring on the trumpets and the fourth installment.
Well anyway onto this review.
Warning: Their are spoilers within this review, so please watch the movie first if you don’t wish to be spoiled.
Story – 9
Well first off the story in the third movie, in my opinion, is much better than the second and first. The story in this one is a stand-alone story, like the first movie, and its pretty much understandable by itself. Definitely some twists and turns in this one and keeps you on your toes. Some parts are more understandable if you’ve seen the first two before this one and explains somethings that appeared in the first movie.
Art – 10
As always the visuals in this series is just outstanding. The special effects were just done beautifully and the background with excellent dark tones that fit this supernatural series. And as always the murder scenes made so gruesomely and lifelike. Again, excellent.
Sound – 8
Not much change in this category. Pretty much the same as the first two movies. Still good bgm for its supernatural and suspense theme. I thought the theme song "Kizuato" was alright as well.
Character – 9
Ok now the third movie definitely improved in this category. Not in character development, but more background info. It also introduced a very interesting character in this story by the name of Fujino Asagami and her ability; whom you’ll feel pity for or not. This movie also explains Shiki’s ability known as Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which has been unexplained since the first movie, but still doesnt reveal how she got them though.
Enjoyment – 9
Well all I can say is that, if you’ve at least watched this series since the first movie then you’ll probably be blown away by this one. Alot more action than the others, though its more towards the end of the movie. And how the story unfolds til the end you might be shocked. Not to mention this movie explains some things from the first one. And like the first two, murder scenes are still explicit. I should also mention that their’s also nudity in the scenes where it shows Fujino getting violated (although those guys did deserve to die).
Overall – 9
All I can say, even from an average anime viewer’s point of view, that this movie is the best movie of the three movies released so far. The action scenes is definitely great and the animation is excellent as always. Overall the movie itself is excellent, with flaws here and their. Definitely a great movie of the supernatural.
Actually if you only saw this movie, you’ll probably still enjoy it, but if you’ve seen the first two movies before this one, then you’ll probably be blown away by this one as Ive mentioned before. So its recommended to watch Fukan Fuukei first, Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 1) second and this one third to truly enjoy this series.
So an average anime viewer should definitely watch as well as you TYPE-moon fans out there.
We open the story with a scene of a woman being raped… Isn’t that a bit too serious of a scene to open with? This is the type of content you want to give your audience time to brace for, not just put it in from the get go. We need time to brace ourselves, Movie. We then switch ahead a bit and find out that most of the rapists have been killed off screen. A fate that should be suffered by all sexual predators. Preferably with a lot of pain involved. Touko’s agency is hired to find the killer who, it turns out, is their victim, Fujino. And no, that’s not a spoiler. It’s revealed almost right away. Someone give that girl a medal and a puppy. Meanwhile, Keita is approached to find the last surviving rapist who doesn’t deserve an actual name so I’ll just call him Scum but Fujino is looking for him as well. They should just hand him over to her, but they decide to protect him in spite of his confessed crimes because… murder is bad even when it’s well deserved and entirely justified. Yeah, I’m not buying it. But there’s more to this scenario than a justified revenge killing spree and it could mean disaster. Okay, let’s look at the positives and negatives. I’ll start with the negatives because, in this case, there are fewer of them. One issue with the film is the pacing. Although, unlike the first two, this one doesn’t have a bunch of slow stretches. It’s just overly hectic. They introduce a lot of story elements which they either rush through or leave unfinished. They just try to cram too much in. That leads to my biggest issue. Scum never has to go through any sort of punishment, at least none that you see. Which really ticks me off. They aren’t going to vivisect him? Disembowel him? Quarter him? We don’t even get to see him maimed a little. They could’ve at least sent him to prison where he would hopefully get shanked and die of tetanus. Now we move on to the positives. This has quite a bit of disturbing content but, in spite of the impression I may have given, it is handled pretty well. Yeah, the opening sets a very dark tone and it could’ve easily led to some huge problems if they’d tried to, say, inject humour into later scenes, but they avoid that. The moral questions they bring up are pretty poignant. Even if some of us already have a strong opinion on them. I also like the way that Touko, Shiki, and Mikiya are inclined to sympathise with Fujino, albeit in different ways and that the event that leads to her climactic clash with Fujino is somewhat separate from the original case.
One thing that’s a little odd about KnK 3 is that the antagonist, Fujino, comes off as the most sympathetic character around. If you don’t feel sorry for her there’s something wrong with you. This isn’t to say that our three major protagonists aren’t well handled. They all have a good sense of personality in this. Mikiya especially comes off really well. Like the other films, the side characters in this are pretty shallow, but the main characters do carry things effectively so it’s not a major issue. This is also the first film that’s given you a sense of Touko’s personality which does have some interesting elements to it.
The art remains incredibly well done. With really detailed backgrounds and objects. The character art is still the weak link being well done, but kind of standard.
This film, like the last one, has really good voice acting. Noto Mamiko, Suzumura Kenichi and Honda Takako in particular give strong performances. Although there really isn’t a weak link. The music is used to add to the atmosphere and works quite well.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s no yuri in this.
KnK 3 is a dark and disturbing film. It is certainly not for everyone and you should probably skip it if you’re a sensitive sort. However, it is a pretty well done film and, if you can handle the content, it is an interesting work with some layers to it. That being said, it does have some pretty serious faults and I didn’t like it as much as the second film overall. I give it a 6/10.
22: Detective Conan Movie 08: Magician of the Silver Sky
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 銀翼の奇術師[マジシャン]
MAL Score: 8.08
Once again, Kaitou Kid crosses swords with Conan Edogawa in this annual installment of the Detective Conan movie franchise. After receiving a letter from the thief, famous actress Juri Maki seeks the help of private detective Kogorou Mouri to protect the Star Sapphire—the “Jewel of Destiny,” said to represent faith, fate, and hope. Thinking he has deciphered Kid’s riddle, Kogorou personally shows up to the newly constructed space theater where Juri is acting in the play “Josephine” in order to catch Kid in the act.
The next day, Conan and the gang are invited by Juri to her holiday home, to celebrate the thwarting of Kid’s plan and the success of the play. However, their triumph crumbles when a murder occurs during the flight there. Although unintentional, this sets off a series of events that escalate to catastrophic results. Conan and Kid, unlikely allies that they are, must work together to save both their friends and every other passenger aboard the plane.
One of the movie’s most interesting aspects is how it takes three different scenarios and combines them into one, cohesive story where the elements in one part carry on into the next. While this is some very interesting story-writing, one could not help but wonder if more time went into writing one part more than the others. In 1995’s Goldeneye, the movie begins with an opening so great, that the rest of the movie fails to measure up to it. The same can be said for Magician of the Silver Sky. As fun as the other two parts are, the first part is and always will be the most memorable part of the whole movie. It’s kind of like eating a three-course meal, where the first dish is a juicy steak, the second is a PB&J sandwich, and the third is a bowel of chicken noodle soup. All are of varying quality, but none are better than the first dish.
One other thing that people do not like about this movie is how Kaito Kid always disguises himself as Shinichi. As genius as it was for him to do so, it sort of takes out the fun of figuring out who Kid is. Back then, I wouldn’t really have a problem with Kid disguising himself as Shinichi since it meant Conan can’t point him out without giving himself away. But after 15 years and 2 other movies where Kaito disguises himself as Shinichi (plus 1 if you count Fist of Blue Sapphire), I think now would be a good time for Kid to change up his Modus Operandi.
Despite my earlier analogy about chicken PB&J, Magcian of the Silver Sky is still a worth while watch. Everything that people love about Detective Conan is here and is still just as good. The story structure is interesting, the art and animation is pretty good, and the characters are still their usual lovable selves. Definitely a good watch.
Story-wise, it isn’t the typical Detetive Conan wherein the ending is usually when the culprit is caught. It somehow has a mix of other genres as well that made it unique in a way to the other movies so far. The mystery and detective-ness of the typical Detective Conan though was outshone by the scenes in the plane. In a way that made this a bit anti-climatic in terms of mysteriousness. It was however refreshing to see a different story from the typical series. There were also some scenes that had a bit of a bland after taste to it but still the good parts outweigh those. The story was good not the best one there is but it was good.
Every anime has its own unique art style. What sets Detective Conan apart from the others is that aside from the unique plot the art is also different so the author’s work can be easily distinguished for the others. Growing up with this anime makes my rating for it biased but I, for one, am content with the art.
The usual sound effects used in the series but there were a few added sound effects to make it sound new to the ears. Not complaining with the usual opening though, it just makes it even more exciting since it is the signature opening of Detectuve Conan so nostalgia from it isn’t lost to me.
The characters were okay though the culprit was predictable. The different sides of Kaitou Kid was seen here though his identity remains a mystery and that makes him all the more a character one can look forward to every time he appears. The kids however were a bit unnecessary in some scenes. Ran’s parents however made it refreshing. Everytime those two show up it’s really fun to watch. There were characters though that were a bit lacking in presence and sort of easily remained in the background. Conan though, is still the typical Conan we all know and love.
It was not what I had expected from the title and the movie poster though, so at the beginning I thought it was going to be a full on Kaitou Kid vs Conan movie but the unexpectedness of the plot all the more made it a good movie to me. There were some scenes that for me, were not needed and felt like they were just a few added scenes to make the movie longer. But other than that it was good. Not the best Detective Conan movie I’ve watched but nonetheless a good movie to watch.
If you want something a bit different from the typical Detective Conan, this is probably the way to go. There are a lot of mixed genres here that made it enjoyable to watch. It was a good movie. There were unexpected scenes and twists but that just made it even more fun to watch.
21: Detective Conan Movie 18: The Sniper from Another Dimension
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 異次元の狙撃手（スナイパー）
MAL Score: 8.08
One morning, at the observation deck of the Bell Tree Tower, a man is suddenly shot dead by an unknown sniper. Conan Edogawa, who happened to be visiting as the murder occurred, rushes to apprehend the sniper but fails to do so. He later learns that the suspect for the incident, Timothy Hunter, is a former member of the Navy Special Ops squad and was already being investigated for a previous murder case. The FBI believes that there are at least three people Timothy wants dead. However, after the deaths of two of them, Timothy himself is killed, throwing the investigation into disarray.
As they lose their only lead, news about the assassinations spreads across Tokyo, leaving the city in a state of panic. It is up to Conan to find and catch the culprit in the hope of putting an end to this sniping spree terror.
the story is about a sniper with godlike snipe skill wandering and killing people in tokyo. without knowing who is the sniper’s next target, tokyo fall in chaos as the people afraid they might be killed by the sniper.
for the story, i give an 8. the story is good, but you really have to read conan manga to fully understand what happen in this movie, especially at the end of the movie. so it’s not a movie for all people out there. i give an 8 too for sound and art.
i give a 9 for the character. this is the first time mayumi sera and subaru okiya appear in a detective conan movie. they played a major part in this movie just like heiji did in 7th movie, and they did great, especially sera. you can watch what they capable to do to support conan.
this movie is very enjoyable for conan fans that still followed the manga. watching sera and subaru already give a 9 for me. in addition with a thrilling story that make me think “what will happen next?” for the entire movie, it’s a no doubt 10 for enjoyment
overall, i give a 9. it’s a great movie, not the best conan movie, but i think it’s the most enjoyable conan movie i’ve ever seen for now.
Overall, the movie was enjoyable but did not leave me completely satisfied. Perhaps this was because the whole time the story felt like a side story. The characters keep alluding to “them” (Black Organization) throughout the film and there are far too many characters that split up the story. It is hard to really know who the main character is, as Conan is often on the sideline and has all of his allies show up conveniently throughout the story. The main story is actually about who appear to be all-new characters altogether, though their motives and cheesy American accents do not fit in well with the veteran characters. All of this ended up making the film quite confusing. The mystery itself is not very exciting, though the action sequences and gadgetry were enjoyable.
The art style is unique and a little reminiscent of Hanna-Barbera cartoons, something I do not see often in anime but was able to enjoy. The quality is not stellar, considering it is a movie, but passable.
The sound, on the other hand, was exhilarating during the action sequences. Conan’s skateboard skidding across pavement and bullets whizzing through the air were positively thrilling and edge-of-your-seat fun. Background music was not bad either.
The characters introduced for the film were entertaining caricatures of Americans (something that also reminded me of old Hanna-Barbera cartoons), but ultimately none of the characterization really stuck with me. I liked Conan but he was rarely on screen, an opportunity I think the film missed out on. As I mentioned before, there were far too many characters in the film, and no one was able to stand out.
While I enjoyed the film, the story and characters were not able to hold it up. What the film did do is get me interested in the character of Conan and the rest of the franchise. In this sense, I believe the film was quite successful.
Story (6/10): Conan and friends are invited to the newly opened Bell Tree Tower to see the sights of Tokyo from above. But as is tradition, something goes awry. In this case, a real estate agent is sniped from the nearby buildings. Soon it evolves into a shooing spree that terrifies all of Tokyo, with Conan and his police and FBI contacts hot in pursuit. Who is this mysterious shooter, and what is with his dice calling card?
The story here is mostly interesting, dealing with a type of serial shooter that has been in American media for a while now, so if that interests you, take a look here. This is also the movie debut of the FBI characters, as well as 2 new supporting characters, so unless you’re caught up to the anime/manga, their presence may throw you off a bit. It’s also great to see the police characters working so well together and just how well the story sets up the circumstances to let them interact.
The main problem with this story, however, is that it drags on for waaay too long. By a half hour in the story has settled into a pattern of ‘police characters talk’, ‘Conan’s daily life’, ‘shooting sequence’, repeat till the last 15 minutes. It’s just so dull. While I’m sure there’s supposed to be a lot of tension, it just doesn’t work well here. And honestly, the mystery here is easily solvable after the 3rd shooting, though it does throw out some good red herrings for viewers. The other problem is that I’m pretty sure (as in it almost breaks plausibility) that the FBI doesn’t work as shown in the movie. It also does dig into some American military stuff that, while interesting, does come off as slightly stupid and a little bit insensitive, though it’s nothing horrible.
Art (8/10): Back to complementing the art, as is tradition. I’ve said this for how many movies now, but the art is still top notch. The action sequences are the complete highlight of the movie, bar none. Everything moves fast and is intensely interesting. If anything, this movie deserves a watch for those.
Sound (8/10): Hey, I have new things to talk about here! Yes indeed, there is some new music in this movie and it is pretty kick ass. It’s very much in the vein of a thriller/crime movie, and it really sounds amazing. It keeps the final battle really exciting and follows it well. So kudos (heh) to the sound team for some great background tracks.
Also something new! This movie features a lot of Americans and for once the English isn’t awful! Probably because actual Americans (or at least people who knew English very well) were used for almost every character and it really helps set the mood in some scenes. I can’t tell you how annoying it is when characters who are clearly native English speakers speak Japanese, even when they are alone and would naturally default to English. Well here? It happens! The characters speak English while a little line of Japanese translated text is at the bottom. Definitely a plus and I’m glad they did it!
Character (6/10): I’ll get this out of the way early – the Detective Boys are being annoying in this movie again. While not as bad as Eleventh Striker, they kind of bring down the movie since all their scenes are the comedy scenes, and they aren’t funny. All the other main series characters are alright here, though again, special mention to the FBI characters for being cool. I’m still not sure on how to feel about Sera and Subaru, but they at least added some charm to the whole thing. (Subaru was kind of boring though.)
The movie characters were fairly interesting, though there is a bit of a problem with having literally all of the movie cast being American military men. They honestly all blended into each other, not helped by the most boring white people names yen could buy. Seriously, Bill Murphy and Scott Green? The creators do know that most Americans have more complicated names than that, right? Anyways, the characters that get the biggest focus are pretty interesting, thought they do fall into that weird ‘we’re not sure how to keep writing this character’ pitfall that some of the other Detective Conan movies have had.
Enjoyment (6/10): I have to be honest that this movie is a bit dull. Nothing is wrong with it. It’s just that there’s a lot that’s thrown at you and while that stuff is interesting, the story isn’t paced well enough. I honestly got bored not even halfway through the whole thing and, to me, that’s not good for a mystery movie. It’s not all bad, though. The action sections were by far the best parts that had me on the edge of my seat. Just…dang! Those animators were having a ball!
Detective Conan: The Sniper from Another Dimension isn’t a bad movie, but it isn’t a great one either. It’s far from being as bad as Jolly Rodger in the Deep Azure and Eleventh Striker, but is more like Quarter of Silence. Nothing special, but nothing outright awful. It’s definitely a great action movie and it’s nice to see new reoccurring characters appearing.
7/10 = nothing bad, but nothing great either; fun for DC fans to at least see the movie introductions of the FBI characters, Sera, and Subaru; Detective Boys are back to being annoying, unfortunately;
P.S. sorry not sorry for the puns
20: Omoide no Marnie
English: When Marnie Was There
MAL Score: 8.08
Suffering from frequent asthma attacks, young Anna Sasaki is quiet, unsociable, and isolated from her peers, causing her foster parent endless worry. Upon recommendation by the doctor, Anna is sent to the countryside, in hope that the cleaner air and more relaxing lifestyle will improve her health and help clear her mind. Engaging in her passion for sketching, Anna spends her summer days living with her aunt and uncle in a small town near the sea.
One day while wandering outside, Anna discovers an abandoned mansion known as the Marsh House. However, she soon finds that the residence isn’t as vacant as it appears to be, running into a mysterious girl named Marnie. Marnie’s bubbly demeanor slowly begins to draw Anna out of her shell as she returns night after night to meet with her new friend. But it seems there is more to the strange girl than meets the eye—as her time in the town nears its end, Anna begins to discover the truth behind the walls of the Marsh House.
Omoide no Marnie tells the touching story of a young girl’s journey through self-discovery and friendship, and the summer that she will remember for the rest of her life.
The story for When Marnie Was There is based on the novel of the same name by Joan G. Robinson. Anna, the lead protagonist, has no friends, suffers from asthma attacks, and has a talent for sketching. She is rather closed off, rarely shows emotions, and is suspected to be depressed. After suffering a severe asthma attack, it is concluded that she should go live in the country for a while, away from the pollution. The pacing of these events is quite fast, but the continuation has an excellent pacing. As you’ve probably read from the synopsis, she begins to connect with a mysterious girl, Marnie. As you watch, pay attention to the expressions and interactions between the two girls. The interaction, the subtle changes in expression, and the strange occurrences that don’t quite make sense make the story. Waiting for the story to unfold without paying attention to this, and without thinking about the plot, will make for a much less enjoyable experience. The pacing is excellent, the story telling is great, and the plot is amazing — but don’t expect an action-packed panty-shot fan-service movie. This is a story about adolescence, friendship, connecting, and mystery; and is just that in its purest form.
I could sum this up as “typical Studio Ghibli”. If you don’t know what that means, shame on you. To elaborate, everything from the character expressions, to the environments and the little decorations in the rooms is sublime. The attention for detail is extremely high, you could take a picture of a landscape or indoor room (stuffed with decorations) and get something that looks extremely similar to the environments and art shown in movie. As I mentioned at the story, especially the expressions deserve a lot of praise. A lot of attention and detail went into this, and you can see that the massive amount of experience and hand-drawn scenes delivers.
This should come as no surprise due to my earlier statement of continuously listening to the sound track for almost a month, but the sound is top notch. Like other Ghibli movies, the background music blends perfectly into the atmosphere and complement the mood and environment. At the end of the story, at the credits, once you’ve experienced the mood and growth of the characters, the ending theme “Fine on the Outside” by Priscilla Ahn begins to play. I cannot begin to describe how perfectly attuned it is to the mood you are in at the end of the ride; it compliments the entire story, and even feels like it is part of the story. If you’ve listened to it before, the meaning and feeling will change completely. The sound was excellent, and the album by Priscilla Ahn complimenting the movie is filled with great songs. Don’t listen to it before you’ve seen the movie, though, as many of the songs on that album actually tell parts of the story!
It should come as no surprise, I really, really enjoyed the movie. It is an excellent movie, worthy of being a movie produced by Studio Ghibli, and if the worst thing happens — an excellent final movie to be produced by them. After a month before reviewing the movie I can draw an honest conclusion; When Marnie Was There is now my favorite Ghibli movie. I hope to see the movie again soon, and hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Ghibli’s final film is not easy to give a finalized opinion on. After thinking about this matter for a long while, I ultimately decide to award an Average grade to it.
If you want me to give a completely spoiler free verdict on whether or not to give this film a watch, I’d say if you’re into a slow relaxing film, this may satisfy you. Otherwise you can give this one a pass.
It’s funny, the film has a good middle bit and a very strong climax that, regrettably, is weakened by a very weak beginning and a mediocre and redundant ending that overstay their welcome. Although, I’ll go into that in finer detail as we approach the main review proper.
Now before I begin, as is Ghibli standards, the art quality and the animation is superb and very easy on the eyes. The scenic views and backgrounds are relaxing in their own way and each scene is sufficient in its own when conveying the emotions the scene is bringing to the audience. Unlike most Ghibli films, this film has very minimal (if at all) fantastical elements in it, making for a very grounded, yet, relaxing imagery throughout the entire film.
Now for the story itself. Omoide no Marnie is an adaptation of When Marnie Was There, and for the most part, it does follow the book rather closely, though certain aspects of the book are cut for time purposes. However, personally I felt some parts of the film’s beginning should have been shortened in order to speed up the pacing. It takes a good 40 minutes before the Marnie appears onscreen proper, while prior to that, we get a glimpse into Anna’s life that seriously overstays its welcome. It should take no more than 15 minutes to convey her situation and predicament to the viewer but the film moves at such a slow pace that one honest gets bored waiting for something to happen.
Speaking of which, Anna, particularly her earlier characterization, felt weak and unsympathetic. Her character honestly bugged me, I get Ghibli wanted to make us feel bad for her, but I honestly don’t understand this girl at all. She rejects every possible opportunity to make friends with the extras but yet suddenly develops a bond with Marnie out of nowhere. She neglects to ask important questions despite her doubts on the situation. It’s also strange and morbidly amusing that she ends up unconscious in the middle of the night in random places yet nobody raises an alarm or finds anything suspicious with her.
Without spoiling most of it, the middle part of the film is competent and better-paced than the beginning. Hints and foreshadowing on the main plot twist are placed sparingly but are clear enough to spot so that as the climax approaches, the plot twist and change in tone don’t come across as brash or sudden. And the climax is done so strikingly well one can actually sympathize and feel bad for Anna.
The relationship between Anna and Marnie, ie the core to the story, is done quite well (aside from their first meeting). It’s cute and heart-warming and really has a nice warm and fuzzy feel to it. However, (despite Ghibli claiming otherwise), I still can’t see their relationship being anything aside from a (one-sided maybe) romance, particularly after the revelation later in the story.
The ending however is when the whole story goes back to a mess of a slow pace. The story somehow feels the need to explain its plot twist twice to the viewer, that it comes across as unnecessary padding, and the way it explains its plot twist is so unsatisfactory it feels like an exposition dump on the viewer, especially if the viewer previously caught on to the foreshadowing in the previous part. It ends on a fairly mediocre, if predictable manner.
Ultimately the film is very average. It’s very relaxing, don’t get me wrong, but those wanting more plot may end up disappointed.
It’s still better than Kaguya though.
When Marnie Was there (Omoide no Marnie) really blew itself out of the water with its art quality, story line and character development. I created an account on MAL JUST to review this movie. If you’re looking for an emotional treat with that sprinkle of mystery, look no further.
The plot is built so that you’re left feeling satisfied and wanting more. As with many Ghibli animations, it does have a sort of realistic underlining to it. It’s generally a movie about family and the irreplaceable bond we have with them so it really touches home.
Studio Ghibli has really stepped it up in terms of art; the background is a beautiful watercolour style matched up with the classic hand-drawn animation. Towards the end you could tell they were running out of budget, but never-the-less I would watch the movie just to look at the art again.
The music was very well suited with the movie, however, nothing really too notable. The ending song really brings you back to the beginning of the movie though and wrapped it up nicely. A real sense of nostalgia :’)
This is the best character development i’ve seen from Studio Ghibli in a while, it really is nice seeing the MC change and step out of her comfort zone. The back story of Marnie was well summed up at the end if you couldn’t piece together the puzzle. The contrast between these two characters and seeing them come together is really heart warming.
I highly recommend this movie, so grab a box of tissues and go watch it!
19: Detective Conan Movie 05: Countdown to Heaven
English: Case Closed Movie 5: Countdown to Heaven
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 天国へのカウントダウン
MAL Score: 8.12
Conan Edogawa, the Detective Boys, and Professor Hiroshi Agasa decide to visit the Nishitamashi Twin Towers. There they run into Ran Mouri; her closest friend, Sonoko Suzuki, and Ran’s father, the famous Kogorou Mouri. Learning the trio are attending the towers’ grand opening, Conan and company tag along for a private tour of its floors.
However, as preparations are finalized for the opening ceremony, their visit takes an unexpected turn—three brutal murders occur, seemingly linked to a mysterious Porsche 356A. Soon after, as Conan and the detectives dive deeper into the case, the towers are rocked by an explosion. With fire rapidly spreading and lives in danger, police desperately seek to evacuate everyone. But when the elevator, their only means to escape goes down, Conan and company are left behind. With help on its way, they frantically try to keep everyone safe, but time is running out if they want to bring the perpetrators to justice.
One might think that the idea or inspiration for this movie came from the 911 attacks, however, this is not so, the same way as Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers had no relation. This was released in April of that same year, so it was months before the attack happened.
Why the comparison to the attacks? Well, because for one thing there are a few simularities and second, one might feel a bit of nolstalgia from this movie, a good kind, as… well, the thing about detective mysteries, it is very rare that the detective gets to die, so you know that there is a happy ending, which is nice in comparision to the 911 attacks.
It had beautiful art work in this. I loved for example, the design for the two towers, and I also liked the paintings of the painter. There are other things I liked about the art, but hey… that would kind of give spoilers for the movie.
This one didn’t have much varience from the typical Detective Conan score, not from what I could see.
How to go about this without spoiling things. I have to say that the murder in this happened to have such a beautiful, dramatic reasoning behind it, but murder is still murder. It was one that I have to say I definatly liked.
I loved how Sonako is rather concerned with her looks, but when isn’t she? I also liked how quite a few of the canon characters, expessully Ran and Conan get their kicks of heroics. Sherry is as always, her pesimistic self.
I am seriously trying to think of things to say that doesn’t give away the plotline here. The new characters almost have no character development along the way, until the very end. So that is a problem.
My enjoyment was high, but I related this to the 911 tradgedy. And it wasn’t like it was, oh… they based this on 911, but I did wonder and go research that small detail there. I had to say that I was rather impressed with the action scenes too. I can’t tell much as for this one it would give away the plot line… and for murder mystery, that can be a bad thing.
For this movie, I would say that a lot of people might like it, but there are going to be a few people who don’t, might call it clique. Some people might go and say that it is based of 911 and they are trying to make money off of it, much like someone did with the Two Towers Movie for Lord of the Rings.
I also wonder if this is going to be brought over here, or if they might skip bringing the movie over here. Or if they will release the third and forth movies in time, they will be able to release this in time for the tenth anaversary of 911, which to me would be cool, but for some people, they might not like it.
But why do I think so?
There are a plethora of reasons! The animation, the storyline, the dramatic and the score… I just got into it so fast and I can’t get away…
Of course, the animation might be a bit outdated, because this movies goes back to the very beginning of the last decade; however, it’s still wonderful to watch it! The Animation and the score, side by side, work wonderfully together! And that’s why there’s room for the story – it allows to improve itself even without much dialouge!
I did enjoy (and I still do so) the characters and their background stories – which is for a conan movie always quite important!
So, I just can say: go and watch it!
My first reason is that this movie is bursting to the brim with great moments from the main cast. Conan, Ran, Kogoro, the Detective Boys, & Haibara all get their moment to shine in the spotlight. The moments with these characters are so charming and fun that it’s able to carry the audience through parts of the movie some would consider to be boring without. That’s not to say that the story sucks. In my opinion, it’s a very-well told story with several twists and turns that keeps the audience engaged all the way to a satisfying conclusion. I think everyone can agree that everything that happens in the third part of the film has some of the best moments in the whole series(save for maybe Haibara’s quick lesson about physics). If I had only one nit-pick about this film is that it is too dark. That is, a lot of scenes in the latter third are shrouded in darkness, making several scenes, including those epic ones, feel significantly less epic. If this movie received a visual update, it could easily become a strong competitor for my favorite Detective Conan movie.
If you are still deciding if you should see Countdown to Heaven, then put those doubts aside and go see it! While it may not have aged well in the art style, don’t let that put you off from enjoying this fun and classic movie that showcases the best that Detective Conan has to offer.
18: Detective Conan Movie 14: The Lost Ship in the Sky
Japanese: 名探偵コナン 天空の難破船
MAL Score: 8.13
One night, the Tokyo National Institute of Microorganisms is attacked by a mysterious organization calling themselves the “Red Siamese Cats.” The group causes the explosion of a high-security lab storing a virus—said to have a mortality rate of 80% with no known cure. This act of terror dominates the headlines, overshadowing the unveiling of the world’s biggest airship developed under Jirokichi Suzuki. Peculiarly, the unveiling has a note attached for Kaito “Kaitou Kid” Kuroba, challenging him to steal the jewel on display—the illustrious Lady Sky.
Conan Edogawa is permitted to board the airship along with Kogorou Mouri, Ran Mouri, Sonoko Suzuki, Professor Agasa, and the Detective Boys. However, their fun comes to a halt when an unknown caller contacts Jirokichi and declares that they have released a certain virus in the smoking room. Soon after, symptoms begin to appear among the passengers and chaos ensues. Seizing the opportunity, the Red Siamese Cats suddenly appear and hijack the airship!
To stop the assailants, Conan and Kaitou Kid, along with their allies, must work together to decipher the clues and discover the Red Siamese Cats’ real objective before time runs out.
The Lost Ship In The Sky is the 14th addition to the Detective Conan movie franchise. Jirokichi Suzuki, who has just made most luxurious blimp in the World, challenges everyone’s favourite phantom thief Kaitou KID to steal the big jewel “Lady of the Sky” which is being transported on the blimp. Conan and his friends are on board like usual. However, the blimp gets hijacked by a group of terrorists who threaten to release a deadly virus onto the blimp. Conan and KID may have to work together in order to overcome this dangerous situation before the virus endangers the entire population of Kyoto.
As stated, this movie is a huge departure from every single Detective Conan movie to date. Foregoing a plot driven by a murder mystery, the movie is mostly a thriller, relying on the graphics, sound effects and the constant danger surrounding the protagonists to keep the audience engaged. Gone are the constant guesses at who the culprit is – you’re too busy worrying about the fate of the cast rather than trying to figure out how the murder was conducted.
It may seem like a daunting idea that there isn’t a person murdered under mysterious circumstances and Conan doing the detective work in the world of Case Closed, but this movie is arguably the most gripping Conan movie seen in many years. Being the thriller that it is, it succeeded very well. Both the pacing and progression are very good. It managed to keep me on the edge of my seat for the course of the entire movie and prevented my mind from drifting off even once. This is a feat that a Conan movie hasn’t accomplished in many years.
As for the plot itself, it certainly lacks depth in comparison to most previous Conan movies. This goes all the way from the plan, motive and even the execution. This is to be expected from a thriller – a genre that keeps the audience’s heart beat fast instead of taxing the brain to work out what’s going on. For a TV series with more than 600 episodes full of the latter experience, this movie is a fresh break from traditional Conan ordeals which plenty of us see on a weekly basis.
The fact that this movie has Kaitou KID in it already makes it a must-watch for his army of fans. However, if you’re watching this movie for the composed, calculated phantom thief putting on an extravagant show for like he always does, prepare to be disappointed. There’s no such thing as a grand entrance, and epic theft and a perfect getaway in this movie. His role in this movie has been changed from the pivotal anti-hero to a support character who exist for slapstick humour.
This is the first time that Kaitou KID has been depicted in such a manner in the Detective Conan movie franchise, and is sure to frustrate and anger a lot of of his fans. However, as a true fan, I welcome the implementation of KID as such a character. Any reader of the original Magic Kaito series should know that behind the scenes, KID isn’t the impeccable criminal mastermind who is as confident and composed as he is in front of his audience. In reality, he really is just Kaito Kuroba, a high school student who has a sense of humour and loves to have fun.
Up to now, he has always been shown with his poker face in the Detective Conan series, as if he is another character. Finally, he is shown with his mask off in the Detective Conan franchise. Many people are likely shocked by this sudden transformation, as if “his character is being ruined”. You need to realize that the Kaitou KID in this movie, by no means, is out of character at all. In fact, this is his true face, which has been kept hidden from you who have exclusively seen Detective Conan. He’s still the lovable phantom thief whose amazing charisma will surely grip you again throughout the course of this movie.
The animation is again, beautifully accurate and fluid like all other Conan movies due to their remarkably high budget. The use of CG has been toned down since the Raven Chaser, and the implementation is much more natural. As for the soundtrack, well, it’s pretty much the only thing that’s remained practically unchanged since the first movie, which isn’t bad. It’s as jazzy as ever and sets the atmosphere perfectly.
As for all the other recurring characters, they are faultlessly presented in this movie like usual. Nothing to complain about here. Ran is the damsel in distress. Kogoro is there for comic relief. The Detective Boys become the critical keys to success and Conan saves the day in the end as usual. Even Dr. Agasa’s dry joke still makes an appearance.
The Lost Ship In The Sky certainly isn’t going to carter for everyone’s tastes, especially with the distinct shift of genre from mystery to thriller. Also, the comedy has been toned up drastically in comparison to any Conan movie to date. The shift between light-hearted and serious scenes are incredibly rapid. There’s a laugh in here every ten minutes or so throughout the whole movie, even in the tensest parts. Depending on you, it may make or break the entire experience. For me, it made the experience better, but I don’t represent the entire population.
This movie has been the most enjoyable Conan movie for me since the The Phantom of Baker Street which released eight years ago, which I enjoyed for completely different reasons. This is the first Conan movie I have ever enjoyed simply due to its exciting, mindless fun. While I don’t wish for all future movies to follow in the same steps, this type of execution was perfect for The Lost Ship In The Sky. If you’re a Conan fan, watching this movie is a no-brainer.
P.S. You MUST watch the scene after the credits. It’s a direct continuation that is the true ending of the movie.
Comes with pictures if you read this review on my blog. 😀 http://imperialx.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/conan-movie-14-review/
I’ve watched all Detective Conan movies and this one was particularly outstanding.
First things first. The director pulled another movie like “The Raven Chaser” off. There’s action, Conan getting hurt, guns, and there’s kid. This movie is dedicated to fans of the series rather than mystery fans.
The actual story was quite easy to guess. Halfway I already knew most details and the hints were overall way too easily exposed. But this isn’t about solving a crime. Not this time.
In my opinion, this movie depicts Kid and Conan working together. Outwitting others. A lot of smirking, cool postures and epic scenes.
In my opinion, this makes it rather enjoyable. Even at a dead serious situation, Kid and Conan are hilarious.
Highly recommendable if you’re a hard-core fan. Have been, it’s the anime/manga of my youth. I basically grew up with it.
Story (9/10): Conan and friends are invited on Sonoko’s Uncles blimp/airship to witness a battle between him and Conan’s other ‘antagonist’, Kaitou Kid. But things aren’t exactly alright, since there has been a bio-terrorist attack on a lab that housed a deadly bacteria that has sent Japan into a panicked state….and of course the terrorist cell has landed on the airship itself. It becomes a race against time for our detective as he has to stop the hijacking, contain the bacteria, and stop Kid from stealing the jewel once they reach Osaka.
What makes this different from other Conan movies is that this is more of a thriller style story than a murder mystery. While there is still the mystery aspect, specifically what the terrorist group is doing and what their main goal is, it just feels more action packed and exciting than other stories. It definitely benefits from having at least 4 sets of groups running through the story, with Conan and Kid on the airship, Osakan detective Hattori covering the ground, the other main cast in the cabins of the airship, and the police characters just assisting the two (they aren’t in the movie much, if at all). The story just feels like a thriller novel and works fairly well in-universe. I can only hope that we see more films that take this kind of risk and do something different.
The movie also benefits from also being a Kaitou Kid movie, since it adds a little more dimension to his relationship with Conan (even if it is somewhat non-canon thanks to being a movie). Though the only drawback is that the plot isn’t fully focused on Kid himself, leaving his fans still in wait of a movie that’ll be an epic clash between him and Conan. (It does lead to an amusing comment from Ran, implying that she remembers the events of movie 8, Magician of the Silver Sky.)
Art (8/10): No complaints here, in that the art for the movies just get better and better as they go along. The action scenes are well done and I have to do something unique and say that the shading for the day and night scenes are very well done. Especially in the case of the ending.
Sound (5/10): Here’s a weird complaint- was the sound director drunk when he was assigning which tracks to use with which scenes? Cause BOY is there some music mood whiplash in this movie. Normally I wouldn’t comment on it, but it’s pretty jarring to have silly sounding music playing through a HIJACKING scene. It’s like that all over the place and it’s insanely distracting. The normal Conan music is great, don’t get me wrong, but the incidental tracks are placed in the worst spots possible.
For example, near the end of the film is the big showdown with the Big Bad and Conan, and it switches to the rest of the cast with ‘hilarious’ music being played, then WHOOSH right back to serious mode. It’s pretty bad.
Character (7/10): The normal cast is here (sans the police characters, who are only really in like 3 scenes total), so nothing really interesting happens with them. But having Kaitou Kid and Hattori here are always a positive thing since they bounce off of Conan so well. Really, their interactions are the best thing about the movie. And of course, as is tradition, we get a bit of the romance angle coming in thanks to the always sneaky Kid doing his Shinichi impersonation on Ran, though it seems like she’s starting to catch on to his tricks.
The villains are pretty good, though as with most Conan movie antagonists, they kind of fall apart towards the end. That’s really all I can say without spoiling other reveals, though.
Enjoyment (9/10): Hot damn was this movie a lot of fun! Thanks to the thriller aspects, the plot was pretty unpredictable and just a ton of fun to watch unfold. It’s just different enough that I was fully entertained by everything, and come on! Who doesn’t love them some Kaitou Kid? 😀
Detective Conan: The Lost Ship in the Sky is another strong movie entry into the franchise, with a great story, well done art, and the inclusion of fan favorite Kaitou Kid. While my main complaint is that the music has problems, it’s overall a fun and interesting film for fans to see.
8/10 = great movie for fans and non fans alike, though knowledge of Kaitou Kid will help you get the most out of the film; don’t go in thinking this is a Kid vs. Conan movie, cause it isn’t; thriller aspects are the best draw here and is just a whole lot of fun
17: Made in Abyss Movie 1: Tabidachi no Yoake
Japanese: 劇場版総集編【前編】メイドインアビス 旅立ちの夜明け
MAL Score: 8.14
The movie is a compilation of episodes 1-8 of the 2017 television series with new scenes added for the introduction. It covers the period from when Riko descends into the Abyss with her robot companion Reg, reaching the second layer where they meet the White Whistle Ozen who reveals information about Riko’s mother.
This movie is a recap of season 1 from the beginning to the end of episode 8 or beginning of episode 9. Condensing about 3 hours of anime down into 2 hours means that a lot needs to be cut out. The original 8 episodes don’t have an hour worth of fluff to cut, so a ton of minor scenes that gave important background end up getting cut. This ends up messing with the pacing of the story, and everything felt way to rushed. My friend who watched the anime and I kept reminding each other of our favorite scenes that were skipped, and there were a lot. Our friend who hadn’t seen it kept making comments like “I didn’t understand _____ until an offhand comment later on”. He had a lot of trouble following the story, and needed to make a lot of assumptions just to keep up. We filled him in the best we could after, but he said he needs to read the manga to answer all of his confusion.
Even though I had watched the anime fairly recently, there were a number of moments that caught my eye as being jarring due to the bad pacing. Near the end of the orphanage arc, Riko runs off crying, then shows up at the beginning of the next scene maybe 20 seconds later perfectly okay as if nothing ever happened, because several scenes in between were cut. Habo just bursts out of nowhere because any appearance of him in the chase scenes were cut (as was all but 1 other scene with him in it), making that whole part just about Riko and Reg relaxing, then rushing, then relaxing again, and ended by an unintentional borderline jumpscare. I hope you didn’t care about Kiwi, because almost every appearance of his was cut, and any background for when he does speak was cut. I feel the movie needed to be at least 20-30 min longer, as too much was cut.
So going back to my original question, who was this made for? It definitely wasn’t made for anyone who hasn’t seen the anime before, so I highly discourage anyone from recommending this to get someone new up to speed if/when season 2 rolls around. My friend likened it to watching an anime or movie on Youtube that was cut up and jumbled to avoid copyright infringement. As for my friend and I who had seen the anime, we either would’ve preferred to have just rewatched the anime or wish they had made an OVA instead (which we had never thought of before, but suddenly really hope they make one). I guess it does do what it’s supposed to do – it was just a recap. My friend has much harsher words for this than I do and felt it was somewhat a waste of time. I personally did find some enjoyment in it, just not nearly as much as watching the original. Ultimately, I feel this movie is only for the die-hard fan of season 1 who doesn’t have enough time to just rewatch it, which is a pretty limited audience.
I have slightly better hopes for the second movie when it reaches the US, as it should be a bit easier to fit only 5 episodes (one of which was double length) into 2 hours, but it will suffer the same problems. If you can afford only an extra ~90 min to just rewatch season 1 instead of watching both movies, you will likely have less regrets.
Though the movie is a recap of the anime that had aired in 2017, the movie does a great job of bringing the entire experience together. With the inclusion of a brand new intro we get to learn a little more about the characters, I won’t spoil who. The episodes were also edited together in a way where anything important isn’t lost, but the slower scenes are cut away. One that comes to mind is the scene with Habo. Otherwise any other changes are along the lines of music, one of the songs is unique and I don’t remember it being in the original anime, taking the place of Hanezeve Caradhina from episode 1. Speaking of music and sound, it was amazing to hear it in a theater with the surround sound. All in all, it was a pleasant experience, where both people who haven’t seen the show, as well as returning viewers can enjoy.
Edit: The first movie also only spans the first 8 episodes with the rest to come in the upcoming movie wandering twilight.
What do you get when you take Hayao Miyazaki, , mix in an equal amount of H.P.Lovecraft, a little bit of Ichigo Marshmallow, and a dash of J.R.R. Tolkein?
You get this masterpiece of fantasy genre, ‘Made in Abyss’! This movie is a compilation of the first eight episodes and if you haven’t watched the TV series, it is a damn good edit. This is really a perfect way to check it out if you have limited time and I highly recommend it.
Story: Without giving too much away, a friend of mine compared this series to One Piece…which had me going “Huh” but once I read some of the OP manga, I totally get what he means now. This story is a grand scale adventure of the most exciting kind. Because it’s such a big story, pretty much anything is possible.
“Hey, there’s a giant hole in the middle of town that stretches thousands and thousands of meters; let’s go jump in it and see what we can find!”
That’s the plot. It’s so simple yet so brilliant, right?
Art: Breath-takingly gorgeous animation. Especially the backgrounds. There’s a ton of creativity here. Tsukushi is a big fan of critters and there are lots and lots of imaginative critters in the abyss. That’s where the ‘Hiyao Miyazaki’ aspect comes in. But Tsukushi isn’t copying Miyazaki’s style; this is very much his own. Some are adorable and some are terrifyingly hideous and ugly just like the real animal kingdom we come in contact with every day. Which makes it feel all the more real.
The child characters are round-faced and cute. I was in fact surprised that this WASN’T from the artists behind Ichigo Marshmallow because the resemblance is uncanny. And then there are the adults who are almost as unique as the creatures like Ozen and Habo. I especially love Lyza’s Valkryie-esque design. It makes her limited screentime very charming.
Sound: If the art falls under ‘Scenery Porn’, the music most definitely falls under ‘Ear Porn’. The score is fantastic and unlike anything you’ve really heard before. Which was the staff’s goal; “we don’t want this to sound like it’s from just one country. That’s too easy to do.” So they met with a man from Australia (yes, that’s right) and he composed the score. I would love to own the OST of this. There is a vocal song…that doesn’t really say anything but it is so beautiful. You’ll have to listen for yourself because I can’t even describe it. Like….I dunno ‘Enya but so much better’?
I haven’t watched the dub yet but the Japanese voice actors are top-notch. The children are really cute. Ozen’s seiyuu is silky-smooth which makes her feel even MORE intimidating, oddly. And old-school anime fans will be delighted that the narrator and Lyza, Riko’s mother are voiced by Maaya Sakamoto (Hitomi from Escaflowne and many other notable 90s anime roles)
Character: This is probably Abyss’s ‘weakest’ part and when I say ‘weakest’, I only mean ‘slightly less fantastic than everything else that is so amazingly good’. Lol So they are STILL very very good. Riko is plucky and brave; basically a walking guidebook to the Abyss. She knows everything the experienced adults of her world know because she’s utterly fascinated with the giant hole. (‘Riko’ in Japanese does mean “clever” and I have a hunch that’s why she is named so).
Though Riko is smart, she still pretty naive and physically weak (because she is a 12-year-old girl). She’s mischievous and always getting in trouble so she’s also fun to watch. Not a lot of time passes between episodes 1-8 (this movie) so she doesn’t really…develop or change but in this case, it’s not that necessary.
There’s also Reg, the super-adorable (he’s my favorite ok) maybe-a-robot-maybe-not mysterious little boy who seems to have come up from the Abyss itself and takes on the role of Riko’s bodyguard and protector (possibly future love interest because he blushes around Riko a lot and it’s freaking cute lol) Reg is the more intriguing of the two because we know next to NOTHING about him and the cast, like the audience is willing to die for the answers.
The lesser characters are either cutely inoffensive, charming, or plain intriguing. Ozen definitely stands out as the most intriguing among the adults. But I’d also like to know more about Lyza. And though he has only a tiny role, I’m fond of Jirou. But he’s just that type of anime guy I go for. *laughs*
Enjoyment/ Overall: …..as if you couldn’t tell from everything above, I REALLY enjoy this series a lot. It’s vastly entertaining and will fill you with a sense of childlike wonder.
This is NOT for children. Oh I know it looks innocent enough with how cute everyone is but don’t be fooled; this show is the POSTER CHILD of the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. You see, as Riko and Reg venture further down into the Abyss, the plot grows darker with each layer. The Abyss is dangerous and Tsukushi wants everyone to know it and experience it. And experience it, we do. This first movie is just the TIP of the disturbing iceberg. If you’re planning on continuing to movie two, BRACE YOURSELF.
One last thing: There are…some odd innuendo jokes going on with the young characters and you WILL probably pick up on lolicon undertones. Some people who have watched this are rather disturbed by it. But I do think it’d be a shame to forfeit this amazing title just because of small scenes like that. There’s just so much more to partake in.
16: Lupin III: Cagliostro no Shiro
English: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
Japanese: ルパン三世 カリオストロの城
MAL Score: 8.15
Arsene Lupin III discovers that the spoils from his latest casino robbery are actually “Gothic Bills,” legendary counterfeits that are nigh impossible to distinguish from genuine bills. Together with colleague Daisuke Jigen, he heads to the small nation of Cagliostro to investigate the origin of these counterfeits. Upon arrival, they save a girl from a high-speed chase who turns out to be Clarisse d’ Cagliostro, the daughter of the late Duke d’ Cagliostro. She is running from a sinister plot by Count Cagliostro to steal her family’s treasure through a forced marriage.
Natural flirt Lupin dislikes seeing a girl in distress and seeks to remedy the situation. Goemon Ishikawa XIII, Fujiko Mine, and Kouichi Zenigata also join the fray, each with their own motivations. As everyone converges at Cagliostro Castle, Lupin reminisces about his visit there 10 years ago, and the castle’s secrets emerge from the depths.
Lupin and Jigen are following the trail of some counterfeit money to a castle in a small independent country in Europe. This leads them to a girl from Lupin’s past in need of a hero.
Miyazaki’s first feature film is a great one. He takes the already lovable Lupin cast and makes them just a bit more innocent, which gives this a very pleasant fairy tale feel. The characters are charming, and it’s a joy watching the story unfold.
In this great adventure, our heroes set out to save the damsel in a tower from an evil count. The always great Fujiko is there looking for some loot, samurai Goemon shows up to lend his blade, and Inspector Zenigata is on Lupin’s tail as always.
The movie has a laid back, cool feel at first. It also gets pretty fast paced, and the action heats up. Pretty much, it’s great to see all the Lupin characters in top form, their interactions always entertaining.
There are some nice nods for fans of the series too. For example, a montage of a younger Lupin’s exploits features some of the situations from the intro of the original series.
It’s beautifully animated, with a very moving score by Yuji Ohno. And of course, great voice work from the Lupin cast. Plus this movie has one of the coolest car chases ever.
Pretty much, this movie is two masters at the top of their game, Hayao Miyazaki and Lupin III. A true classic, check it out.
Little known director Masaaki Ōsumi directed a show called Lupin III, an action/adventure/comedy series based upon the exploits of the eponymous master thief from the manga by Monkey Punch, which in turn was inspired by Maurice Leblanc’s crime novels about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. The show proved to be too dark and adult-themed for general audiences, so Ōsumi was replaced by two directors. The new duo working under the name “A Productions Directors,” consisted of Isao Takahata (who would later give us emotional films like Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday) and Hayao Miyazaki. Under their direction, the show was given a lighter, more family friendly tone, though this did little to affect the show’s already poor ratings. Following the show’s cancellation, Miyazaki and Takahata worked on various projects together. In 1979, the creators of the original Lupin III show, TMS Entertainment, ask Miyazaki to come back and direct the next feature film in the franchise. At this point, Lupin III has had one live-action movie (that borders on being absolutely terrible), one anime film (that’s in the same adult style as the original series), and a second anime TV show. With Miyazaki now in the director’s chair, one of the finest films ever created is made.
The Castle of Cagliostro debuted in Japanese theaters on December 15, 1979, only five days after the second series’ 113th episode. While initial reviews were positive, the film failed to become a box-office success and thus only had a limited theatrical release. However, over the years the film gained a cult-like status and was a fan-favorite at various anime conventions. There’s even a rumor that it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival (making it the first anime to be shown there), though there’s very little out there to verify this. Even more dubious is the claim that Steven Spielberg was in attendance and called it, “One of the greatest adventure movies of all time.” In 1992, the film was dubbed into English by Streamline Pictures and was distributed internationally. In 2000, Manga Entertainment purchased the license from Streamline and created an all-new second dub. I’ll talk about each dub in detail later on. Now that you know this history behind this film, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth all the hype. To answer that question, I can respond with a firm, “Yes!”
The story starts off rather simply. Lupin III and his buddy Daisuke Jigen have just robbed millions of dollars off a high-class casino, making a clean getaway in their stylish Fiat 500. When they examine the money, the duo soon realizes it’s all counterfeit. Lupin instantly recognizes the high quality workmanship of the money. Years ago, he attempted to find the source of the “goat bills” himself, but was almost killed and narrowly escaped with his life. Now Lupin decides to locate the source once again at its supposed location: The Castle of Cagliostro. Before arriving, they rescue a young girl who was being pursued by a gang of thugs. She is later captured by the men, but not before leaving a ring bearing the crest of Cagliostro that gets into Lupin’s possession. The girl is revealed to be Princess Clarisse, who is to be married to the Count in a few days. By marrying Clarisse, the Count wishes to cement his own position of power by bringing the two families together and to uncover the fabled treasure of Cagliostro. Lupin bears a strange connection to Clarisse as old memories from his past soon come back to haunt him. No-nonsense samurai Goemon Ishikawa XIII joins the Lupin gang to help rescue the princess and Fujiko Mine assists by working under disguise at the castle. Kochi Zenigata also shows up in order to capture Lupin, but winds up helping him instead.
Castle of Cagliostro is a real visual treat for the eyes. The gorgeous backgrounds are full of intricate detail and color. The character designs may seem simplistic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Lupin and his gang were meant to look this way. Not as realistic drawings, but as cartoonish and vibrant characters. Some people have claimed that this animation doesn’t look as good as Studio Ghibli’s films. I really think that’s an unfair comparison. Studio Ghibli’s artwork is more realistic, yet fantastical at the same time. With Cagliostro, the style is completely different. Lupin III has always been more about simplicity, and that’s not a bad thing. Characters are supposed to look basic, while backgrounds are meant to be more detailed. If this movie had animation like Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, it simply would not work. Not only does this look amazing for 1979, it’s still breathtaking today. From that dreamlike opening titles sequence, to the masterfully animated car chase scene, to that climatic clock tower duel; Cagliostro simply looks beautiful. My review on the animation cannot do this film justice. It really has to be seen to be believed. The soundtrack is great too. Series veteran Yuji Ohno is at the reins here and his jazzy tunes perfectly fit each scene. The score can bold and upbeat for the more intense action scenes, as well as subtle and quieter for more mellow parts. The film’s main theme, “Treasure of the Flame,” is one of Ohno’s best contributions to the Lupin III music mythos with its beautiful lyrics and composition. I’m sure that most fans (myself included) will get a kick out of the use of the amazing Lupin III ’80 theme during the opening car chase theme. I also really enjoyed the use of the third movement from Bach’s BWV 590 organ piece during the wedding scene. It feels so haunting, yet strikingly beautiful at the same time. Altogether, Cagliostro looks and sounds wonderful. ‘Nuff said.
As mentioned before, Hayao Miyazaki is director, and his fingerprints are all over this movie with its characters. You won’t find any of his environmental or political themes here, but his influence is still strongly felt. Lupin is noticeably much more “nicer” than previous incarnations and demonstrates his more chivalric side. Although he is very much after the treasure, he no doubt wants to save Clarisse by being, as he puts it: “your thief in the night.” Yasuo Yamada is back again as Lupin and he plays him expertly as always. In fact, all the Japanese regulars are here again. There’s really not too much else to say about the original Japanese audio, because it’s pretty much perfect. The actors hit all the right notes with each scene and character, so there are no problems here. Instead, I’ll talk more about the two English dubs. In the Streamline dub, Lupin is voiced by veteran voice actor Bob Bergen. I should also note that in this version, Lupin is referred to at all times as “The Wolf,” due to fears of copyright from Maurice Leblanc’s intellectual property estate. This is sort of laughable though, as the symbol on his belt clearly bears the letter “L,” and his calling card also reads the name “Lupin.” While I normally enjoy Bergen’s voice work, he sounds way too cartoonish and silly here. It’s not terrible or anything, just kind of unfitting for a master thief. David Hayter in the Manga dub, on the other hand, is far better suited for the role. You heard me right. The same guy who voices Solid Snake in the Metal Gear series voices our main protagonist. How cool is that? He perfectly gives Lupin that “nice guy” vibe and always nails each line of dialogue. There are hints of kindness in his voice, but also a bit of the gruff Snake tone when he gets more serious. With Zenigata, David Povall is serviceable in the Streamline dub, but Dougary Grant proves to be much more entertaining to watch in the Manga dub. It’s clear that Grant was trying to emulate Gorō Naya’s acting in the original Japanese dub, though he does a good job in the role himself nonetheless. This time around, Zenigata teams up with Lupin to uncover the secret behind Cagliostro’s counterfeiting ring. The banter between these two guys is pretty funny to watch seeing as how they’re normally enemies.
Then we have our main villain, Count Cagliostro himself. There’s really not a lot to say about him, because there’s little character to him other than he’s the evil guy after the treasure and power. Even still, he provides an excellent foil to Lupin by being that diabolical antagonist to go against our hero’s noble and heroic antics. Both actors in the two dubs do a pretty good job of getting that “snobbish aristocrat” personality out of him and there’s not a whole lot of difference between their performances since they handle the character so similarly. The final sword fight between Cagliostro and Lupin in the clock tower is an absolute joy to watch; and it’s seems to have inspired several works of animation from The Great Mouse Detective to Batman the Animated Series. I should also note that voice actor Kirk Thornton actually appears in both dubs! In the Manga dub, he plays Count Cagliostro and in the Streamline dub he plays the chief guard Gustav (who in the Manga dub has an awful Arnold Schwarzenegger-like voice).
We also have two female supporting characters. The first is Clarisse. With her voice, I have to say that I prefer Joan-Carol O’Connell’s acting in the Streamline dub than Bridget Hoffman in the Manga dub. Both actresses do a great job, but I feel that Hoffman sounds a bit too childish for my tastes. Clarisse seems to be little else other than the stereotypical damsel in distress. However, I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing. That famous scene where Lupin climbs the tower to rescue Clarisse is an obvious homage to classic fairy tales. In fact, I think that in the Streamline dub this is more apparent when Lupin calls himself Clarisse’s “knight in shining armor.” Even though she may not be the strongest female character ever, you still want to see her rescued by Lupin. Again, it’s sort of the same with the Count. These characters aren’t meant to be complex, but rather basic archetypes that are supposed to be simple enough for the audience to sympathize with. Lupin is the brave hero, the Count is the evil villain, and Clarisse is the damsel in distress. With this kind of film, you don’t need any more depth or character beyond that. That’s not to say there’s not a strong female character in this film. Come on, it’s Miyazaki! He’s better than that! That role belongs to Fujiko Mine, Lupin’s lover, ally, and foe. In Cagliostro, Fujiko is no longer the buxom babe that she was in previous incarnations. Miyazaki never cared for Fujiko being the object of Lupin’s lustful desires and long-time fans of the franchise will immediately know what I’m talking about. This time around, she’s a spy working undercover at the Count’s castle. She helps Lupin out of sticky situations, but it’s clear she has her own intentions. Between Streamline’s Edie Mirman and Manga’s Dorothy Elias-Fahn, the point must go to the Manga dub. Elias-Fahn gives off much more emotion than Mirman, whom I consider to be a little too stiff in the role.
Finally, we have our supporting characters Daisuke Jigen and Goemon Ishikawa XIII. In previous anime, Jigen and Goemon are Lupin’s loyal henchmen and that’s no different here. Jigen is Lupin’s straight man, and he always has Lupin’s back with his quick gun-slinging skills. I found Jigen’s Streamline voice actor, Steve Bulen, to be way better than Manga’s John Snyder by far. Bulen feels perfectly natural, but Snyder tries to add a sort of “toughness” that’s unconvincing. He’s still perfectly fine, but there is a notable difference between the two actors. Either way, both manage to have perfect chemistry together with Lupin’s actors Bob Bergen and David Hayter, respectively. Sword-wielding samurai Goemon has little dialogue in both versions. As an honorable warrior of little words, he’s the type of guy who doesn’t waste time talking and focuses solely on the matters at hand. Steve Kramer in the Streamline dub and Richard Epcar in the Manga dub give different takes of the character. Kramer is quiet and calm with his voice (though he does have quite a few annoying one-liners), while Epcar’s voice is deeper and has more presence. I don’t really think it matters that much if I compare the two together, since Goemon doesn’t have that big of a role in this film to begin with. Basically, the two actors play him fine. Speaking of Goemon, here’s a pretty cool Easter egg I discovered at the beginning of the film. Lupin and Jigen rob a casino in the intro, but throw the money away when they realize it’s fake. If one looks closely during the scene where Lupin tosses the bills out of the sunroof, the top of Goemon’s head and sword can be seen in the pile of money! I didn’t realize this until I read some trivia online. This is probably why Lupin and Jigen were able to make such a clean getaway and they probably dropped him off before they reached the Cagliostro border. I’m guessing that there was probably a planned sequence with Goemon, but it was taken out from the final film. Really though, Jigen and Goemon don’t serve that much of a major purpose in the film other than being Lupin’s backup. Still, I think that they’re both given enough screen-time as is. Giving Jigen and Goemon bigger roles would only shoehorn them into the plot. This film is really more about Lupin and his own quest to save Clarisse.
Overall, both dubs have their own strengths and weaknesses. The Streamline dub takes some rather needless liberties from the original Japanese script and the lip movements don’t always match up with the dialogue; but the acting is solid for the most part. The Manga dub is much more faithful to the Japanese script and the acting is strong; but there is much more swearing in this version. I’m not offended by this or anything, but it kind of ruins what’s otherwise a family friendly film. Regardless of which dub you get, it shouldn’t really affect your overall viewing experience. I’m honestly a purist for the original Japanese language track with English subtitles, but I have to say that I prefer the Manga dub over the Streamline version. Since most releases usually have the Manga dub, that’s probably what you’re going to get anyways. The Streamline dub will probably appeal more to those nostalgic fans who had the film on VHS way back when it was originally released, but it really shouldn’t matter for the casual viewer.
Now that I’ve talked about virtually every aspect of the film, I’m going to give my own personal take and thoughts on something that rarely gets talked about: the hidden level of emotion and storytelling that can easily be missed by the average viewer. I’m probably drifting into spoiler territory here, but chances are you’ve probably seen the film already. If you haven’t; skip this paragraph, watch the film, and then come back to it. Anyways, onto my analysis.
When I first saw this film, I instantly knew it was a perfectly crafted animated feature. I really loved the film, but because it was my first time in the rich universe of Lupin III, a lot of things slipped under my radar. What do I mean by this? After I had seen the film, I soon went to the original green-jacket series. The Lupin I saw in that show was almost the polar opposite of the one I saw in Cagliostro. While in the film he was brave, heroic, and chivalric; our thief in the show was crude, mean, and arrogant. This was of course due to the way he was originally portrayed in the manga series by Monkey Punch. What could have possibly caused this drastic change in character? The touch of Hayao Miyazaki. When Miyazaki and Takahata first worked on the series, Lupin’s evolution began. The series started hinting at this, but by the time we’re in Cagliostro; the change is complete. The production-wise reason of this was that Miyazaki disliked the original character of Lupin and wanted him to be more likable and nicer. Story-wise though, we see something that perhaps was unintended. The opening of the film shows Lupin and Jigen on a more-or-less standard caper: stealing money. The robbery goes off without a hitch and it’s clear that Lupin has mastered the art of thieving at this point. When he sees the counterfeit bills, that’s when Lupin’s old memories resurface. The man thinks back to a time where he was young and just starting out. In fact, we are treated to a brief flashback sequence that shows actual scenes from the original series re-animated and integrated mid-way through the film. Lupin looks upon those days with regret and chides himself for being so arrogant. Perhaps this represents Miyazaki’s own views on his earlier animation career. Now that Lupin is more experienced, those rookie days are behind him. Lupin wants to save Clarisse for the reason that he himself might be saved. As mentioned before, Clarisse is the damsel in distress; but she means much more than that to Lupin. She’s his path to what could possibly be a normal life. A normal life away from the chase and the thrills of being a thief on the run from the law. He battles through Cagliostro’s forces with all his might and in the end; he’s successful in rescuing her. Lupin is then face with a personal choice: what do I do from here? He looks into Clarisse’s eyes and sees the innocence that he himself never had. Lupin doesn’t want Clarisse to have the same life by following him. Instead, he leaves her behind but vows to always be at her side if needed.
That final scene in which Zenigata is in hot pursuit of Lupin symbolizes how his thieving ways will never change. Lupin will never have a normal life because he doesn’t need one. He lives and enjoys his life by always being on the move and savoring every moment of the chase. Going back to Miyazaki, I think this also shows his own personal choice by being an animator. He enjoys what he does, and wants to create these kinds of films for the rest of his life. Just as Lupin’s purpose in life is to steal, Miyazaki’s is to create animated films. And that’s what I believe is the main theme in Cagliostro. Looking upon your own life and questioning if this is what you’re happy with. Can people really change, or do we stay the same throughout our lives? I find it quite ironic that such a seemingly simple film has these kinds of themes. Whether or not Miyazaki actually intended for this film to have a deeper meaning is up for debate, but I think that’s the whole beauty of it all. It doesn’t really matter if the creator intended for this film to have any symbolism or meaning. That’s up for the audience to decide. Cagliostro isn’t just an entertaining film, but a film that can actually teach you something if you look hard enough. Miyazaki does this in all of his films, but in Cagliostro it’s just less apparent. Now the difference between the film and the television show is probably quite obvious. Films have longer running times, thus more character development and plot can be added in. You can add drama and the previous themes that I mentioned, but not so much in a television show episode. Since Lupin episodes only are about 20 minutes, it usually just cuts right to the action. It’s a nice change of pace to see Lupin given more character and emotion than his usual TV self. Needless to say, I realized none of this when watching the film for the first time. However, going into this film with a new set of eyes made it mean a whole lot more to me.
Now we come to the bad news. In the US, there’s unfortunately no definitive release of this wonderful film. Manga’s original DVD release of the film is a non-anamorphic transfer that only has decent picture quality. The DVD itself doesn’t even have any extras. A few years later, Manga released a “Special Edition” that improves picture quality and they even added a couple of extras. However, one absolutely pointless change completely ruins this release. The original opening titles sequence has been altered. Instead of using that beautiful animation with the Japanese credits, Manga decided to remove all Japanese text and only show still frames of the intro. Why would they ever do such a thing? It completely takes you out of the moment and destroys the original version! That’s why I cannot recommend you purchase this so called “Special Edition.” Both DVDs have also been long out of print for years. In Japan, Cagliostro received a deluxe Blu-ray treatment with a gorgeous new transfer in crystal clear 1080p high definition. Seeing has how it’s region free, I would have imported this in a heartbeat; but there are no English subtitles or language options. Europe received a full English version of this Blu-ray, but it’s region-locked; thus it can’t be imported by anyone else. I really hope that this release will come stateside soon. And why shouldn’t it? This is a classic work of Japanese animation! To all those that live in Japan and Europe, I urge you to buy this! Hopefully the strong sales of it will guarantee a wider release!
Hayao Miyazaki’s last involvement with the Lupin III franchise was directing final two episodes of the second TV series. Miyazaki himself really doesn’t consider the film his best work, and called it a “clearance sale on all the previous Lupin ideas I had previously done.” If one watches the original television series, the influences that it had on this film will be extremely noticeable. There are many scenes here that are almost taken shot-for-shot from the series and a lot of the scenarios are similar. And perhaps that’s what makes this film so enjoyable. It takes everything that that Miyazaki ever did with the Lupin III series and puts it together into one satisfying experience. I don’t think that Miyazaki is ever going to go back to Lupin. Now that he’s with Studio Ghibli, there’s little reason for him to go back to the franchise. My one dream is for there to be a brand new Lupin III animated feature film that reaches audiences worldwide. It would give our thief the international popularity he deserves, similar to how Spielberg’s Tintin film revived interest in Hergé’s original comic series. Even if that never happens, at least we still have this masterful film that has aged remarkably well. This is a movie that, after you’re done watching, you immediately get a good feeling inside. Anyone who’s a fan of Hayao Miyazaki should see this film as it demonstrates his own animation techniques just when he was starting out. If you’re a serious fan of animation or film, you owe it to yourself to see the Castle of Cagliostro. It gets my highest praise and reminds us all why we enjoy the genre in the first place. Go see it!
The art style may seem a bit dated to some, but despite its age, it really gives the film life and is a treat for the eyes.
In terms of audio, the dub and sub are both very nice, especially the dub. Coming from a person who cannot stand anything in dubbed, I have to say that their English voice actors, really fit their characters roles and as such made it easier to enjoy the film, so for those of you who prefer English over sub, you are in for a treat.
The characters in general, ranging from Lupin all the way to the zany inspector Zenigata, were well written and interesting, with their various personalities, actions, and dialogue. It never felt stale, they really kept the picture alive.
To be entirely honest, if you are a lover of Hayao Miyazakis work, or perhaps a lover of things involving Lupin and his pals, then I can guarantee that you will love this film, because it is quite honestly a classic.
15: Detective Conan Movie 20: The Darkest Nightmare
Japanese: 劇場版 名探偵コナン 純黒の悪夢（ナイトメア）
MAL Score: 8.17
On a dark night, the Japanese police is raided by a spy. Different countries’ intelligence agencies—such as England’s MI6, Germany’s BND, and America’s CIA—as well as the FBI’s secret files are going to be taken, but public safety officers lead by Tooru Amuro arrive just in time. The spy steals a car and escapes. The spy and Amuro are then locked in a dead heat on the highway, and just as it is about to cause an accident with multiple cars, the spy’s car is hit by FBI agent Shuichi Akai’s rifle bullet and falls of the roadway.
The next day, Conan and his friends go to a newly-remodeled aquarium in Tokyo. Under the main attraction, a Ferris wheel, Conan finds an attractive woman alone and injured. Her left and right eyes are different colors.
But the woman is in a state of amnesia where she doesn’t even remember her own name, and the cellphone she’s carrying is broken. Conan and his friends promise to help her regain her memory, so they stay with her.
Throughout all this, Vermouth is watching behind the scenes. Afterwards, she pulls out a silencer and speaks into an attached intercom, “It’s as planned, Gin.”
If you thought the Dimensional Sniper was bad, just wait till you watch this.
The Darkest Nightmare is the 20th movie of the Detective Conan franchise, and is in my opinion, the worst of all the movies. Why? Let me explain.
The movie opens with an exciting car chase, with Bourbon (Amuro Tooru) and Akai Shuichi chasing down a black organisation member with ridiculous physical prowess. After a lengthy and tense chase down the highway, the BO member manages to escape. Injured and disoriented, she makes her way down an alley and comes in full view of a light show projected the amusement park across the river, and promptly collapses after screaming her lungs out.
It was at this point that I was beginning to feel slightly iffy, because what the fuck? The events leading up to that very scene were…kinda dumb. Mysteries are one thing, but what just played out on screen seriously needed tremendous leaps of logic. The car chase left me high on adrenaline no doubt, but it was decent at best. Stupid at worst.
But moving on. As I was saying, the magic of the movie had already started wearing off and I was like, what? Ten minutes into the movie? Not a particularly good sign. Still, I bit back the cynicism and tried to give the rest of the movie a fair chance. Needless to say, The Darkest Nightmare proceeded to disappoint me at every turn.
The plot is joke. The movies in this franchise have always been brilliant but after The Quarter of Silence (15th movie), I feel like the movies have really been dropping in quality. One thing I disliked greatly about The Darkest Nightmare (And the recent slew of DC movies; namely, 16th to 20th) was the fact that it substituted clever writing for gratuitous action. I’m not saying action is bad. Far from it. When used correctly, action can bring a movie to new heights. Here, all it does is make the movie even more brainless.
The story wasn’t all that intriguing to begin with, there’s no mystery or subtlety. Zero, zilch. I give the movie props for trying to spin a new perspective on the Black Organisation, but the way it goes about it does more harm to the characters than helping it. There are many many scenes in the movie where the BO characters seem like freaking idiots. If you watched the anime or read the manga, BO has always prioritised secrecy over everything else.
That’s why Shinichi was ‘killed’. That’s why he does everything he can possibly think off to keep them off his scent.
And suddenly, this movie just goes ‘fuck it’ and has the BO characters go on a rampage that is not remotely secret. Like, what the hell? There is no way, no way they would do what they did in this movie.
Speaking of characters. Remember that BO character Bourbon and Akai had been chasing? Yeah, apparently she’s best buds with the Shonen Tantei. Like. What? I mean, I can understand how she’d ended up being all mushy with them – they’re kids after all – but the actions she does throughout the movie are highly questionable. Even for a person with Amnesia, how she acts is total 180 from the person she really is. And what she does in the ending is seriously, really, dumb. Even if she did care for the Shonen tantei, I doubt that she would go that far for them. The BO ain’t exactly a sympathetic group of criminals, folks. There’s no heart of gold under the blackened exterior.
The usual characters, Ran, Kogoro, Agasa and Sonoko make their appearance in the movie, but they mattered so little to the plot, other than giving the events a valid reason to occur, that they could’ve been replaced for potted plants for all I cared. I personally find it very upsetting that they were slotted in the way they were. Very two dimensional. They may sound like them and act like them – but they’re mere shells that exist to remind you that yes, this is a Detective Conan movie. In the grand scheme of things, I rather they not appeared in the movie at all.
Pretty much standard for a DC movie, though the action scenes after the car chase scene left little to be desired.
Also, remember the usual exposition we get at the start of every DC movie? It sucked. Sucked really bad. The editing was enough to make my eyes hurt, the exposition being said didn’t line up with what was playing on the screen. I get that they want to shake up the formula a little, what with this being the 20th movie and all, but damn. The phrase ‘Don’t fix what’s broken’ has never rung truer.
I wish I could scrub this movie from my mind. This is no Countdown to the Heaven, or The Raven chaser. This movie could’ve been great. But it wasn’t.
On a side note, I did a little digging and looked up the director of The Darkest Nightmare, and pretty much found the reason why the movies have been the way they’ve been. Movie 16th to 20th were directed by Kobun Shizuno. Out of the 4 movies he directed, I only enjoyed The private eye in the distant sea, and tolerated The Sunflowers of Inferno. I seriously hope his next movie isn’t as big of a disaster as this one.
I enjoyed every minute of this masterpiece. The way he organized the characters and how he managed to fit everything perfectly is just amazing.
The best parts of the movie are the beginning and the ending. As a fan of Detective Conan I feel like this movie is placed perfectly as the 20th movie.
I don’t want to spoil anything so I just commented on the general stuff for now.
– Story: with the black organization you can’t go wrong.
– Characters: Excellent choices with an introduction of new ones.
– Animation: Astonishing, especially in this action-filled movie.
Can’t for next year’s movie ツ
At the first I think this movie is the best Detective Conan Film until now. I’ve seen all the Detective Conan movies and this one was the movie I enjoyed most.
you must need to read conan manga to fully understand what happen in this movie
the art is excellent, giving all the scenes wonderful color and action.The backgrounds are lovely..
I like all of the voice acting for all of the characters are always amazing. all the soundtrack and music are great too
All big characters were involved.. the cast was great.
The movie’s messages are very deeply and I enjoyed every word they said.. the lines are awesome there is some emotional lines
Overall: The story is amazing, the characters are wonderful, the artwork is beautiful and the acting and music are both awesome, my final rating is going to be a 10/10.
14: Detective Conan Movie 13: The Raven Chaser
English: Detective Conan: The Jet Black Chaser
MAL Score: 8.22
Kudou Shinichi is living his life as Edogawa Conan, but those days seem like they might end pretty soon. The Black Syndicate is coming dangerously close to learning the truth about Shinichi having survived. Conan and everybody around him may end up dead if he doesn’t manage to find Irish—a member of the Black Organization who has infiltrated the police forces, currently investigating a big serial murder case.
First of all : After the biggest letdown movies nr. 10 and 11 – EVER – Conan finally came back with movies 12 and 13.
Nr 12 was already great in my opinion and i didn’t think that the 13th would be as great. Boy was I wrong.
As many of you already know the Black Organization makes it move yet again in this movie, since we didn’t get to see them at all since the 5th their impact is as huge as to be expected from an undercover-mafia-like-all-in-black-clothes-organization.
The Story : 10
Even before the actual story begins, the movie already gets you psyched right from the beginning. I got hooked in less than a minute. I couldn’t even eat my popcorn properly and my drink was untouched ever since the beginning.
We have the usual twists, turnarounds in this story. I for my part liked the setup of the cases. Mysterious messages via Mahjong tiles, serial murder, love struck suspect. You got something for everyone.
The action comes up at the end to heighten the suspense and to mark the peak of the mountain (as in every Conan Movie) but nevertheless that’s why i actually watch the movies. Conan-Suspense + Action = Pure Awesomeness
The Art : 9
The Art could have been better. Although i didn’t get the chance to watch the Blue-Ray version yet. I’m going to make up for it and watch it later on and edit this Review.
Characters look as good as always and the action scenes sure got some smooth visual effects. (Loved the explosion near the end though 🙂 )
All in all, the Art isn’t much better than the art of the Anime in my opinion, but it has it’s appeals.
But Meitantei Conan has never been known as the Hulk of Animation.
The Sound : 7
The Sound gets only 7 points from me. I love the Soundtrack of Conan very much. Great Tracks out there, but i think the producers could’ve made a far better job with usage of the songs.
What struck me most was that in the final scenes there were some parts where absolutely no background music was playing, even though it could’ve underlined the whole situation easily.
I for my part didn’t feel quite comfortable with this fact, since the music could not support the visuals effectively.
When watching the movie you won’t actually notice it except you concentrate on it. (which i did since i love the Soundtrack so much ;))
The Characters : 10
10 points, nothing much to say.
All big characters were involved.
Ran Mori finally gets something to do (since she has been degraded to a little crybaby in the Anime recently … [Hey! I like her too, but give her some more attention GOSHO !])
Detective Boys make their appearence once again. (i am a little fed up by these little guys, instead of getting the audience harassed by them give some other character more airtime !)
and the most amazing thing : All Prefecturial Inspectors make their debut as a whole ! With “all” i mean ALL of them.
Enjoyment : 10
Big Time 10 points. Even though the music got me a little off in the final scenes it was nothing compared to the whole movie. Suspense was great. The whole story was built up neatly. It was fun as hell to watch this movie.
Without a doubt : MyTop 3 Conan Movies have to be rearranged, the 6th just got replaced by the 13th !
I Recommend this movie to everyone out there.
This movie is not only for die hard conan fans, but also for the “i-watch-random-episodes” and “i-only-watch-story-arcs”- types of viewers.
Enjoy this movie !
Side Note : I also recommend watching the Magic File 3. It will get you into the right mood and willl explain some minor details and get you familiar with the Mahjong plot.
So far your PSJ
Detective Conan is a very popular shonen anime, and I had guessed before knowing there were movies based off of it that there were movies based off of it. However, unlike most anime, some of the movies have actually been pretty awesome. Perhaps it’s because this anime doesn’t have magic and avoids stories about annoying princesses that are protected by the protagonists and stuff like that. Or maybe because they are basically one big case in each movie, except with more explosions than a typical Conan case. (although I admit I haven’t seen movies 8-11, which I’ve heard weren’t that great).
Story: This story is very similar to some of the other Conan movies in that there are many people in danger and many people die because of a large case that needs to be solved. The other movies had other parts of the plot that were more relevent to the actual characters but this takes it to a new level. The Black Organization, the powerful, mysterious organization Conan has been trying to stop for a long time, ends up involved in this case.
Now, something I really hated about the 5th Conan movie is that the Black Organization was barely even seen in the movie and that the entire thing, at least a times, felt like an excuse for Conan to be an explosion-filled, dangerous situation. This movie avoided both. With the exception of the end, the movie felt very similar to Black Organization cases in the anime. They are unexpectedly involved in this, and we slowly but surely learn why. Of course, a little more than half way through the movie and it seems to avoid anything Black Organization related a bit too much, and quite honestly, the case itself, while certainly good, gets a bit boring (especially compared to the Organization, which I am always find entertaining). The ending is great, although I admit it was kinda silly.
Another thing worth mentioning is the amazing continuity. Sometimes people who make a story for an anime that isn’t based off of the manga can do a horrible job at remembering why people liked it in the first place. One of the many reasons I enjoy Conan is the amazing use of continuity and how so many of the cases are at least briefly mentioned eventually. I can think of no less than 10 references to older cases, and all of them are awesome to anyone who actually remembers those cases (and one of those references was only in the manga at that point).
Art: I don’t have much an opinion of the art for this anime, but I did really enjoy the art I guess. It looked better than normal anime episodes since this is a movie and since the anime art works best when the setting isn’t a normal, sunny day, the parts when it was night or evening were pretty great. But other than that…I thought it was really good. That’s all.
Sound: Like the anime, the voice acting was great. I love all of the voice acting and it was nice to hear Kamiya Akira as Kogoro one more time (this was the last thing translated before we got Kogoro’s new voice actor). Not much else to say, the voice acting for all of the characters is always amazing. Especially the Black Organization members. When they talk, I almost automatically think that something awesome is going to happen because of their voice acting.
The music is…ok. There was some good music but way too often they played this annoying song in the background that, according to the official soundtrack I heard, was actually like 30 very slight variations of the same song. It was not enough to ruin anything in the movie but it was still very annoying.
Character: I should point out that I think that about 95 percent of the recurring characters in this anime are really awesome. But there was more than the usual characters in this movie. In the anime, while Megure, Takagi and others are in many of the cases since they are in that area, there are a number of other inspectors and detectives that have appeared when they have gone to other prefectures. Almost all of them appeared and the interaction between them was amazing to most Conan fans. Gunma’s idiot Yamamura interacting with the recently introduced serious, and badass Nagato Inspector, Yamato was hilarious because of how different their personalities are. Even better was the amazing “deduction” Kogoro did later in the movie and how his two fanboys, the loud but fun Sango Yokomizo and Yamamura reacted to it made me laugh. The continuity also helped and the characters felt much more in character than I would expect (not that I care for the movies as long as they aren’t absurdly out of character). However, something was wrong with Gin. He seemed way too happy. Not even in typical “Gin is going to kill someone” happy that I would expect, but more of a bizarre happy. And some of the things in the ending were kinda silly.
Enjoyment: I enjoyed this movie. Most other Conan fans probably will too. I think others can enjoy it as another random movie instead of actually watching the entire series, but a lot of the things in the movie make me think that even Conan fans who never pay attention to anything that isn’t in the manga would enjoy the interaction between characters and the amazing continuity.
Story (8/10): While Conan is living his daily life with his friends and the other characters as usual, a car accident occurs that ends up being connected to a series of unexplained murders across Japan. This means that the majority of the law enforcement characters from across the series come together to figure out how to deal with this and to find out who’s behind it. But Conan discovers that the mysterious Black Organization has their own stake in the proceedings. It then becomes a race between the 3 groups as the main story progresses into the final truths: why is the Organization involved, who is committing these murders, and how can Conan piece it all together?
This is definitely a movie for the hardcore fans, bringing up a lot of the past Black Organization plots and characters and even the law enforcement characters seen throughout the series. It makes this a treat for fans, since it becomes a game of references for them. The actual plot of the movie is just great, intriguing and mysterious in a high stakes game that will have you wondering how the story will play itself out. Sadly, the main murder mystery plot has a sort of abrupt ending that, while explaining a lot and settles everything, feels like the writers didn’t know how to really tie it into the Black Organization plot at the most crucial moment. Otherwise I really enjoyed the story and am glad that we got a Conan movie that helps delve into the main antagonists more.
Art (8/10): They really cranked up the art for this movie, since it just seems like there was a lot of action and movement throughout the whole story. All the characters look good and there were very few errors. The big set-pieces were also really well done and continue to look better and better with each film.
Sound (7/10): Beyond the normal Conan series tracks, I didn’t really notice anything new or interesting. While they are still great tracks, it gets a bit boring hearing the same score as the main anime itself.
Character (9/10): This was a real highlight for all the main characters. Conan shows just how great of a character he is, the cop characters are really given the spotlight and are allowed to be much more confident and competent than in the main series. The Black Organization characters come off just as menacing and mysterious as before, showing off their status as the Big Bads of the show. The movie characters are pretty well done, though they did kind of need a bit more time on screen to really make the most out of their stories.
The only real knock I have against the characters is that Ran, Sonoko, and the Detective Boys are barely in the film (though they REALLY would’ve been in the way, to be honest), so their small parts in the movie felt a bit tacked on. (Though Ran gets a sick fight scene at the climax.)
Enjoyment (8/10): This movie was a seriously awesome ride and for good reason. It really celebrates the series and shows off it’s best parts and made me want to see what would happen next. Though the only thing I will say is that it’s almost a bit TOO continuity heavy- you really need to remember and have a good idea of where the main plot is and have to remember a good majority of characters to get a big part of the enjoyment out of the film (I myself totally forgot some of the side law enforcement characters, though eventually I remembered them).
Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser is probably one of my new favorite Conan movies, thanks to some solid writing, well done characters, an interesting mystery, and just a general sense of using all the parts of the anime to its strength. While it is a bit continuity heavy, I would just say catch up on the plot up to when the movie came out and you should be able to follow along. This is definitely the movie for Conan fans to enjoy and I hope that we see more movies like this in the future.
8/10 = a very solid movie with very few drawbacks and just a whole lot of fun; definitely NOT meant for the uninitiated, since it does rely heavily on past cases and the recurring side cast; recommended for the Conan fan who wants a little canon with their annual movie
13: Kuroshitsuji Movie: Book of the Atlantic
English: Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
Japanese: 劇場版 黒執事 Book of the Atlantic
MAL Score: 8.25
The young Earl Ciel Phantomhive—the Queen’s Guard Dog—is once again called to investigate seemingly supernatural phenomena when news of miraculous resurrections begins to surface in Victorian London. Along with Sebastian Michaelis, his demon butler, they board the luxury cruise liner Campania to investigate rumors of the Aurora Society—a medical organization suspected of experimenting on the dead.
Grim reapers begin to appear on the ship, and it becomes apparent that the ship is about to be overrun with the undead as a devious plan is put into motion. Ciel and Sebastian must now uncover the secrets that lie behind the Aurora Society’s phoenix symbol, and with the help of some old acquaintances, return the undead to their coffins or share a watery grave.
Book of Atlantic executes itself wonderfully. It maintains the line between action and comedy well – the latter of which I should remark is above average, due to its fair balance of deadpan-like humor and gags. For a film whose manga premise is about a boy who is in a contract with a demon, this film also possesses very heartwarming scenes between a typically sullen boy and his ever-cheerful adorable fiancée.
The Funimation team translated the film very well! A couple of mistranslated lines from the online scanlation that were for foreshadowing purposes weren’t mistranslated, such as Frances’ gender-neutral comment about “that child protecting their beloved” or something to that nature. Lines weren’t translated awkwardly and suited well to the western audience, translating Japanese words to British slang/vocabulary, for instance.
The animation staff who worked on Book of Atlantic gave it their all on the fighting scenes. I especially praise the storyboard artist(s) who worked on Lizzie’s scene. I read Yana’s tweet about Lizzie “moving like a ballerina” and had my doubts prior to watching it, but she was indeed right. Her movements were meticulously animated and I adored the attention to the way the camera constantly panned to her shoes. I’m glad the writers and animators didn’t rush it. I should also remark they made her extra cute in the film.
The scenes with the grim reapers were energetic and fun. I have to say, I didn’t really understand the appeal of Grell or Ronald, but the script truly had them perform as charming individuals and as a funny team. In the past, Kuroshitsuji shoehorned Grell too often unnecessarily, thus giving off an image of her being incompetent and purely Sebastian-obsessed. Fortunately, the accuracy to the manga had Grell in the film, albeit indeed flirty and flamboyant, a skillful grim reaper. She definitely stole the scene in the film a couple of times and I’m fond of Grell now, as well I am of Ronald.
I was worried of Double Charles’ appearance being annoying and perhaps disrupting the Midford family’s performances, as they did not appear in the manga during this arc, but their scenes were also brief yet enjoyable. They appear at the dinner with the Midfords, during the bizzare doll’s onslaught (during the carriage scene), and again at the sea in the aftermath of passengers rushing to escape (in which a child was being quietly consoled by Charles Phipps). There was a funny original scene in which Sebastian and Charles Grey chat at the dinner-table, in which Sebastian remarks something along the lines of being “kicked multiple times to life”, referring to Grey’s actions in the Murders arc.
The CGI is indeed noticeable and off-putting sometimes. The film abuses CGI a number of times and sticks out like a sore-thumb in scenes that are supposed to be regular. This is especially noticeable in the beginning of the film, where we see the view of the Campania, which is clearly rendered in CGI and contrasts with everything else that is hand-drawn yet digitally colored. However, they did well in the dramatic scenes. For example, with the Undertaker where we caught a glimpse of the characters’ locations in their encounter. I should also note the film didn’t fare well in scenes where the camera panned back to reveal a character doing a particular pose, such as Undertaker pulling his hair back and whatnot, which I felt although it attempted to be detailed, was quite stiff. The great green aura that surrounded Undertaker, however, distracted me well enough.
Scenes were unfortunately cut, such as Tanaka’s role in Ciel’s flashback due to the voice actor’s passing and the hospital scene. We were unable to hear Madam Red speak in Lizzie’s flashback, but she did speak once during Ciel’s scene with the queen. The scene in the manga where Lizzie witnesses Ciel have a coughing fit was cut as well, unfortunately, because it’s a subtle detail that is for a particular chapter/oncoming event. The tailor Nina, which made her debut in the manga following the Circus arc, did not make an appearance at all in the film. I was happy to see Lau and hear him speak in the film albeit briefly, even if animation wasn’t put into him much. The intro scene with Sebastian startling the sheepish Ciel after he speaks with Elizabeth about a vacation break was cut and we only saw Sebastian confirming his research in his doctor’s clothes.
There was an extra, anime-original sweet scene with Elizabeth and Ciel after the ending credits (as well as the original manga’s William’s scolding to his co-workers), though, so I can tolerate those cuts. I should note that when you watch Ciel and Lizzie’s flashback when they’re facing the graves of the Phantomhive family, the anime staff quite emphasized a “hint” about a certain popular, established theory in the Japanese fandom and a growing one in the western fandom.
Overall, a really great movie and I’m glad to have watched it. The person in my company, although unfamiliar with Black Butler and having only seen a few clips, was able to enjoy the film as we did not require much prior knowledge of the manga’s content. I should also mention, as a final note, that the soundtrack is superb a couple of times during the film, albeit unmemorable for the rest (especially combat scenes). They re-used some of the previous soundtracks, such as Fantasia and Sweet Tears from “Book of Circus”, and Annoying Visitor and Thick Fog from “Book of Murder”. However, let me just say the orchestral track that plays when Ciel has a PTSD flashback watching Sebastian violently slaughter the Bizarre Dolls was my favorite, and I hope for the soundtrack to be released soon for it. Additionally, SID’s theme song for the film that plays in the credit is catchy and beautiful and I encourage staying for both the song and the extra scene after the credits.
Kuroshitsuji Book of the Atlantic was the first anime movie I had ever seen in theaters (I know that’s very sad lmao) and I was very pleased by it!
Right at the beginning I was a little upset that they had used CGI for the ship and people, it wasn’t horrible just very noticeable. The movie follows the manga very well and they didn’t change anything major that I recall. The voice acting was very amazing, the mood was fantastic and all the ladies, and few men, were fangirling like crazy. The only thing that bothered me at times were the animation. Most of the animation was amazing but a few parts could’ve been much better in my opinion;and the CGI was also used many other times which for me was a turn off. (Another thing that isn’t about the movie was that the people in the theater were VERY annoying, they screamed and made stupid remarks,so beware. Also the movie is a little dim in some parts and the subtitles are bright so it might hurt your eyes if your eyes are sensitive like mine)
If even my sister, who is a strict adult that doesn’t watch anime, can sit through and enjoy it, I’d say you could enjoy it too. Also beware of the hotness overload, bring tissues for them nosebleeds!
This wasn’t a movie, this was a filler episode that lasted for two hours of excruciating pain. The plot was literately titanic + zombies. There was horrific CGI and no effort into the sound track. Too many flash backs, too much effort incorporating all the previous characters, and there was extremely unrealistic character development for Elizabeth. Suddenly she can wield two swords now and climb on walls. She also had a stupid backstory explaining how difficult it was to not wear high heels since Ciel isn’t tall. Boo friggin hoo. For some reason Ciel has shown an exaggerated increase in his love and protection towards Elizabeth, which I call bs because he’s never done that before. Sebastian also became uh…useless? He couldn’t fight back against a grim reaper, which we all know he has done many times before!
The movie was horribly directed, with weird bits of comedy shoved in the most serious situations. Every two minutes when zombies go after Ciel, some kind of stupid joke is introduced, like the snakes talking or something.
Also, undertaker is revealed, to be a grim reaper? W-what? Why. For some reason he becomes an asshole that experiments on humans. So out of place and nonsensical. No follow up either. There was no direction in this, what was the point of going on a ship? For Ciel to carry out his duties as a loyal dog? To kill zombies? Why zombies? What? Honestly is this how the manga is later on? That’s terrible. Why is book of murder so good but book of Atlantic is so bad.
Don’t be fooled by the ridiculously high score on this movie because only a few hundred people watched this and of course 95% of those people just like Sebastian or Ciel.
3/10. Don’t watch it please.
12: Detective Conan Movie 06: The Phantom of Baker Street
English: Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street
Japanese: 名探偵コナン ベイカー街(ストリート)の亡霊
MAL Score: 8.30
Noah’s Ark—the latest in VR technology and a milestone of human innovation—is set for a showcase to Japan’s privileged children. They have the honour of beginning a new revolution in gaming; however, their carefree fun is cut short when a company employee is found murdered, with his dying message pointing to a clue hidden within the Ark.
Along with the Detective Boys and Ran Mouri, Conan Edogawa enters Noah’s Ark to solve this mystery and ensure the perpetrator is caught. But once they’re inside the Ark, it takes on a mind of its own, imprisoning them and the children within its worlds. To escape and bring the murderer to justice, Conan and company must navigate a simulated 19th century London and track down the infamous Jack the Ripper—with the lives of 50 innocent children depending on them.
I’ve seen all the Conan movies currently (which I could find) subbed (11), and this movie, "The Phantom of Baker Street" was the movie I enjoyed most.
Let Detective Mouri drag Conan (Shinichi), Ran, Professor Agasa and the Detective Boys with him to another party where he was invited to, with lots of kids, celebrity’s and known people from the anime. Don’t forget the highly anticipated murder which will occur….
Then you get a good story for Conan to solve, but what’s more? This isn’t a regular party, this is a party for kids to test out the beta-cocoon, a game terminal formed like a cocoon, which takes on the five senses we humans have, then they let the people think they’re somewhere else, we got several stage’s, Paris Dakar Rally, Treasure Hunters and more, and of course a theme for a Conan movie, England, a 100 years ago, the time, where Sherlock Holmes lived.
But, before the actual story, with Conan begins, we get an intro, of a very young protagonist in the computer world, he created one of the best A.I. systems in the world, but he couldn’t take it anymore, his step-father pushed him to his limits, and he decided to let the program free, he let it escape via phone line, and then ended his live.
Now, when Conan enters the game, Ran and the remaining Detective Boys find a way to get tickets for the cocoon beta test too, together with some snobs we meet in the beginning they visit the old england, while the other kids go to different stage’s, but then an error occurs, the A.I. "Noah’s Ark" has the game and pretty much the whole building under his control, if all 50 kids die in the games, fail they’re objectives or run out of they’re time limit (if they have one, like Paris Dakar), they’ll vanish from the game world and are put to sleep, if really all 50 lose, they’ll die,cause these kids are the future, but everyone is corrupt, so the A.I. wants to change their minds, not to follow in daddy’s footstep.
Pretty cool story huh? Well, there’s another story in each game world, Conan and the gang have to solve the mystery of JTR (Jack The Ripper), and then capture him, sacrifice’s are made, puzzle’s are solved, death is around each corner. If they.. succeed, they will find the killer of the one who created this game..
So you get it, a cool story within a cool story, then about the art, the style’s the same as in the series, yet better animated, and more things are realistic now, movements, carriage’s and such. The sound, the ending is sweet and beautiful (mixed with the movie) and all the sfx’s and such are amazing!
The characters basically stay the same, we can yet see another horrified and afraid Kogorou (Det. Mouri), which I think is a good side of his, we can see what he will sacrifice to save his daughter (not so much in this movie, but there’s a hint.), we can see Professor Agasa from a side we’ve not seen him before (not totally). The rest stay the same, new introduced characters are basic type’s too, like the murderer, the victim(s), and the snobby, irritating, dumb rich snobs which are introduced.
An anime movie where you can’t take you’re eye’s from, when it’s not humorous, it’s intresting, when it’s not intresting, it’s exciting, when it’s not exciting, it’s beautiful.
One of the best anime movie’s I’ve seen.. yet.
The story in this Detective Conan film was definitely the weakest part of it for me. It makes many attempts to do something, but doesn’t follow the rules required to do that thing. One thing it tried to do was have a suspenseful mystery, but the film reveals who the murderer is early on, creating a mystery story that doesn’t really matter, because we, the viewer already know who did it. The method the murderer used also didn’t end up being very interesting. Aside from ruining the mystery elements, the film also does a poor job of creating suspense and tension. The newly introduced characters are put in life-threatening situations, but because they’re in the same situation as the main cast, there’s never any reason to be worried, because you’re always assured that they’re going to survive with them. What we’re left with is a story about an adventure in a game world, that ends up being moderately exciting, but nowhere near as exciting as it could have been if a proper mystery was in place alongside it.
The art was pretty decent. It goes one step above the Detective Conan TV series, and does end up having some nice looking moments. However, there are also some pretty mediocre looking CGI shots in there as well. However, those CGI shots make up a minority of the film, and they’re pretty easy to ignore. For the most part, the art is pretty acceptable, and looks pretty decent, even by today’s standards.
The soundtrack doesn’t stand out, but it also doesn’t get in the way. It’s pretty average. The audio mix is pretty average as well. The voice acting (I watched it in Japanese) is what you’d expect to hear from Detective Conan. It’s quality work, and is enjoyable, but also doesn’t amaze.
Your standard Detective Conan characters are here in spades, and they’re all just as interesting as they are in the TV series. There’s a few new characters introduced, but none of them manage to be very interesting or deep, so for that, the characters lose a few points from me. Still, this is easily the best aspect of the film.
This managed to be a pretty average experience. I felt like the lack of suspense made it much more tepid than it otherwise would have been, and if it wasn’t for Conan & crew being such an interesting and eclectic cast, I would have been somewhat more bored with this film.
Overall, I give Detective Conan: the Phantom of Baker Street a 6/10
Obvious clue of intrest can be told from the Movie’s title, that the storyline will deal with Holmes. This asspect of the storyline for Detective Conan fans is a good thing, because if you know Conan/Shinji, you know that he is a major Conan Doyal fan.
Also, there is the odd technollogy which does not exist yet, the virtual reality system. This is a change from most Detective Conan storylines as we are dealing with something that has not come into being yet. For the most part, new technollogies are introduced as possibilities when they become possibilities, so this adds an interesting effect. Even Dr. Asaga’s inventions have some bases in current reality.
Also, the story line is quite involved with the details of who when and why, the clues being dropped all throughout the virtual reality world. If one doesn’t yet know about Sherlock Holmes, I do suggest learning somethings, as that would make the movie even more enjoyable then it is.
I loved the renditions of the art work. The big feature in this one was London. The details are just how I’ve seen them in picture books, including Big Ben, the clock tower in all its full glory. Also, there are some funnies that got programmed into the virtual reality game, but you will have to keep your eye out for them.
There was enough new sounds that I felt like I was actually transported along with Conan and the others. The electronic noises and some of the music were really nice to hear and made for a nice change in pase.
There were quite a few unique individuals here, including four new kids who Conan meets at the sneek peak release of the virtual game. They have… for the most part, a good deal of development along the way character wise, as because they are rich kids, they are a tad snobby.
I enjoyed a lot of it, getting to see Sherlock Holmes, and even one of my favorite murder mysteries that still remains unsolved even to day. I happen to love how they handled the theory about the murderer and worked it into the plotline. Who is it and what did they do? I really can’t tell as that would be a major spoiler in itself, and I… who tends to not mind spoilers, was glad this one wasn’t spoiled for me.
While I think most people would actually like this, I am thinking there might be some people who might have a problem with the truthfully non existant technollogy in here, but that, along with the Sherlock Holmes theme, helps to make this movie as great as it was. Plus… think about it… if Dr. Asaga can create the devices he can, the virtual reality system could certainly exist too.
11: Made in Abyss Movie 2: Hourou Suru Tasogare
Japanese: 劇場版総集編【後編】メイドインアビス 放浪する黄昏
MAL Score: 8.34
The movie is a compilation of episodes 9-13 of the 2017 television series. Riko and Reg descend to the third layer where Riko has her first experience of the Curse. They descend to the fourth layer where Riko’s arm is injured by an Orbed Piercer and Reg tries to save her. Nanachi comes to their aid and saves Riko’s poisoned arm. In return Nanachi asks Reg to kill her immortal companion Mitty. Nanachi then joins Riko and Reg in their quest to reach the bottom of the Abyss.
This is probably one of the best recaps I’ve ever seen, even though I’ve seen the anime and already know what’s going to happen, the story is still wonderful and heartbreaking.
Therefore, I recommend watching it even if you already know what is going to happen, as it serves as preparation for the 3rd film, where the really important events happened.
10: Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira
English: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
Japanese: カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉
MAL Score: 8.38
Another day, another bounty—such is the life of the often unlucky crew of the Bebop. However, this routine is interrupted when Faye, who is chasing a fairly worthless target on Mars, witnesses an oil tanker suddenly explode, causing mass hysteria. As casualties mount due to a strange disease spreading through the smoke from the blast, a whopping three hundred million woolong price is placed on the head of the supposed perpetrator.
With lives at stake and a solution to their money problems in sight, the Bebop crew springs into action. Spike, Jet, Faye, and Edward, followed closely by Ein, split up to pursue different leads across Alba City. Through their individual investigations, they discover a cover-up scheme involving a pharmaceutical company, revealing a plot that reaches much further than the ragtag team of bounty hunters could have realized.
This time, a terrorist possesses a weapon capable of killing countless people, and there’s a bounty of 300 million woolongs on him; the largest bounty ever given. Of course, this means that our heroes will chase him. And so starts the process of gathering information, meeting and getting to know people related to the bounty in some way, and eventually, squaring off against him in a final fight. Oh, and throw in a save-the-world thing this time, and there you have the movie. Nothing really new, a formula that’s been used several times. There’s also details here and there left unexplained, and things may just happen for no reason at the rare occasion. Its 120 minutes might be a little too long to some, but it never came off as boring at any point to me; they certainly did a good job of fleshing out those 120 minutes.
Though, that may be credited more to the characters than the plot itself, as the movie threw some really interesting characters at us. The orignal cast is, well, pretty much the same as they always are, the same characters which you (probably) got to love while watching the original series. As for the movie characters, we have for example Vincent, the main bad guy. He’s quite the interesting fellow, though the more I think about it, the more I can’t help but feel that I’ve experienced his type somewhat before – he’s got a mysterious past; a forgotten love included, he’s going to kill loads of people for no good reason, and he blathers out sentences about religion and whatnot. Nevertheless, he comes off as an interesting character, mostly because of him being similar to Spike – both in physical prowess and their considering themselves ‘dead’ men due to past events. Then we have Electra, Vincent’s past love once forgotten. She remembers him though, and well, she wants him to remember her as well. We can see where that’s heading…
The animation quality is superb; its detail and overall quality is unmistakably a work done by people who knows what they are doing. Be it backgrounds or landscapes, they’re all top-notch. Lighting effects are good, and more than I’d exect from something out of 2001, and the overall quality of special effects are great; much, much better than the original series. The character designs are the same old, with some improvements, and they work very well with this anime and movie. The character motions and their fluidity are great, and the few action scenes in the movie are done so well that I could probably learn some nice figthing moves merely from studying them. The coloring is the only thing that’s a bit behind, but considering its age it’s not a problem. And moreso, the dulled coloring actually melds perfectly with the style of the movie, and helps on the movie’s atmosphere.
The soundtrack is what you should expect from the original series; awesome. Yoko Kanno does her work as she did in the series; with an amazing soundtrack that fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the movie and its individual scenes, and the opening and ending themes are wonderful to listen to. The only downside is that there is a lot of silent scenes, where no background music is present at all.
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door is a movie that delivers the goods, but stops at that. It’s not marvelous, but it’s great, and a must-see movie for any Cowboy Bebop fan.
It’s just a few days before Halloween on Ganymede, a major national holiday, and a terrorist has blown up a tanker filled with a biochemical weapon. The government posts a 300 million Wulong bounty for the terrorist, and the Bebop crew just decides to go after it. But the more they investigate, the deeper the rabbit hole seems to go…
Yes, to answer any questions ahead of time, this is not a sequel; it takes place between episodes twenty-two and twenty-three. It’s not quite what I was expecting, admittedly, but it’s still a pretty good plot. It could’ve been fit in the series as a two or three part episode, and apparently Wantanabe had wanted to originally, but he couldn’t have gotten away with it on TV.
The visuals for this are absolutely beautiful; the animation got an update in the three years since the show had aired, and things are definitely smoother than they were in the show. There’s an even more unprecedented amount of detail in this, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts came back to do work on the music again, and it’s just as awesome and catchy as it was in the series. I found myself humming a few of the songs after it was done.
All the seiyuu and the voice actors were able to return for the movie, which just adds t o the awesomeness of the movie in general. And the dub for this was actually fairly accurate, which surprises me, as this was released Stateside a little over a year after 9/11, and a few days before the 9/11 attacks over in Japan.
All in all, a pretty good movie, with a good plot and unprecedented detail and smoother animation, if not what I was expecting.
Another point in the film’s favour is that it’s pretty much equally accessible for existing fans and those unfamiliar with the characters. While there’s plenty of details that might be lost or not fully comprehensible for new viewers, by and large the film stands up well as a stand alone drama, introducing its characters and their situation. However, this in a way exposes another major weakness of films of series. Series are, by nature, episodic. They devote an episode to introducing a character or exploring their personalities. Once this is done, they generally have plot episodes, in which the main thrust of the series is pursued, and then they have one-shot episodes that have our characters in some kind of interesting situation, but which is basically unrelated to the plot – if there is one. Films, by contrast, do all of this at once. The proceedure is totally different, and a director or scriptwriter used to a series format adapts less well to a film format. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door exemplifies this – while the film as it is works, it’s more obvious and cumbersome than a film directed by a director used to a feature-length format.
The storyline, also, suffers in this way. It’s not that it’s a bad story, in fact it might make a great two- or three-part episode, but as a film, the material comes across as stretched, holey and lacking in substance. It’s also remarkable in that it’s not half as quirky or original as Cowboy Bebop’s famously eclectic mixtures of ideas: biological terrorism unleashed by a madman with a mysterious and sinister military past, fascinated by death and bent on destroying the world, with cod philosophical pretentions to fil gaps between action and a garnish of some fashionable christian mythology. It’s all very generic really, and frankly the only things that make this Cowboy Bebop and not something much more generic are the familiar characters, who are luckily strong enough to make the thing hang together. The new characters are not much to speak of, either – Vincent the aforementioned madman, a hacker accomplice, a Moroccan information seller and, of course, Electra, a tough, wildcard femme fatale with a mysterious connection to our antagonist. Electra comes off as the best realised of these, and, perhaps not coincidentally, closest to a series character (though she’s a dead ringer for a more mature version of BGC2040’s Priss as well). Vincent seems very like main series antagonist Vicious stripped of his hatred of Spike, which is to say, not that special and a bit rabid and foaming for credibility.
The film drags. It’s just too long. What this is primarily due to is unclear; maybe an over-developed story with far too much exposition (every character seems to need every other to explain nanomachines to them, it seems. We, however, do not), or perhaps the increasingly egregious and segmented action scenes (why are there spitfires on Mars? Who knows, let’s cut back to Spike being pursued by military jets for no apparent reason!), or it could be the ponderous attempts to fashion some sort of existential aspect to the story ("I’m not insane, the rest of the world is." – oh really? You don’t look thirteen years old, Vincent, but you sound it). Philosophical-minded action films are not especially uncommon; good and effective ones are extremely rare. Suffice it to say that I was surprised and rather disappointed when the apparent climax occured and passed with a good half an hour left on the clock.
As I say, the film hangs almost completely on the main characters. It would have been unthinkable to not bring the original cast in for this gig too (can’t speak for the dub cast, don’t know), and they all acquit themselves just as well as they do in the series. Music, too, such a central part of the series, is again provided by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts; while the styles used in and prominence given to the music may not be to everyone’s tastes, the versatility and range Kanno’s score covers while still retaining a high basic quality standard is nothing short of incredible. Visually, the quality seems to have been kicked up a notch; the animation of the series was never bad, but the film is sumptuous and extremely well detailed.
However, one of my main bones of contention remains. The art design is realistic, unapologetically multicultural and sort of grimy, very credible in its way, but under even cursory analysis, it’s illogical in the extreme. Why is Mars covered in early twentieth-century New York-style tenement blocks and labyrinthine Moroccan markets? Has anyone remembered that it has one third of earth’s gravity? Is there, in fact, any reason for this to be set on Mars at all, other than to tie in all these diverse elements? It’s sci-fi doing what sci-fi does most often and least well – making half-baked stuff up to accomodate its ideas, with no thought for maintainance of disbelief suspension.
I was never as bowled over by Cowboy Bebop as many people seem to have been. Overall I liked it, certainly, in fact I thought some of it was absolutely excellent, but other parts I thought were pretty terrible, and it was quickly clear that the series was never going to be "a classic" in my eyes the way it is for lots of others. This was primarily because of its disjointedness and apparent lack of story direction, and the same is true of this film. Now, after watching it, I’m left with the same "…well, so what?" feeling a significant amount of the series gave me, but because of the length and the negative impact it has, I have comparatively more holes to pick at as well. Perhaps if you’re a real fan, this film has more to offer, but overall, for me, while I’d not actually call it bad, this doesn’t reach the already kind of saggy standard the series set.
9: Kara no Kyoukai 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Go)
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 7: Murder Speculation Part B
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第七章『殺人考察（後）』
MAL Score: 8.42
In February 1999, a string of murders has Shiki Ryougi and Mikiya Kokutou on edge. These crimes share a disturbing resemblance to a similar set of homicides from 1995, when Shiki and Mikiya first met, and awaken a dark, murderous desire that has laid dormant within Shiki’s soul ever since then.
With Shiki under suspicion due to her involvement in the past killings and supposed resemblance to the killer, she and Mikiya set out to find the true perpetrator. In the midst of their separate investigations, Mikiya grows increasingly concerned with Shiki’s well-being and hurries to find the one responsible in order to protect Shiki from her own impulses. With the lead he receives from his cousin, police investigator Daisuke Akimi, Mikiya is led into the underbelly of Mifune City, as the salvation of Shiki’s soul lies in his determination to prove her innocence once and for all.
There’s an old aphorism about saving the best till last, and Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~ has done just that.
The seventh and final movie in the franchise doesn’t simply follow the events of the second movie, but utilises threads from several previous stories to weave an interesting, and sometimes disturbing, tale of obsession. The second part of Satsujin Kousatsu (Murder Speculation), takes place in February 1999, one month after Oblivion Recording, and more than three years after the events in the second movie.
This time around it seems the serial killer from part one is back, and as the bodies are found one by one, Mikiya Kokuto searches for answers as he continues to believe Ryougi Shiki was not responsible for previous set of murders, and that she is innocent of the crimes being commited now. Meanwhile, Shiki prowls the dark alleys night after night …
One thing that really sets this movie apart from the rest of the series is that the plot is much tighter and more flowing than in most of the previous outings. There is also a conscious effort to tie up some of the loose ends left over the course of the series, and while there are still several unanswered questions, the second part of Satsujin Kousatsu does manage to offer some catharsis about Shiki and Kokuto’s relationship.
That said, the writing isn’t perfect. There are still some plot points that remain unresolved, and while they may not have a major impact on the narrative per se, they do leave one feeling that the overall storyline from the whole series is a little incomplete. In addition to this the dialogue suffers from an abundance of intelligence as every character can philosophise their actions in some manner. The upshot of this is that the movie can sometimes seem condescending or patronizing, and even though this questionable arrogance may be unintentional, the simple fact is that viewers may find themselves wanting to punch the screen from time to time.
While the writing may not be up to standard, the same can’t be said of the visuals. Ufotable have, once again, pulled out all the stop for this finale, and it shows. The characters move with an animal grace that is rare to see, and the overall animation is stunning in its quality and choreography. The opening credit sequence is particularly noteworthy as it shows great imagination, as well as some stunning techniques that will hopefully appear in more anime. As for the movie proper, there are some fantastic lighting effects throughout which add a more ominous atmosphere to much of the story, especially when used alongside the often dark, dank backgrounds and settings. That said, there are occasions where the lighting is a little off (for example, characters are easily distinguishable in areas where there is no readily available light source), however this is a minor gripe as the majority of the movie is the most atmospheric and well animated episode in the franchise.
Sound is another area where the movie excels, although there are admittedly a few minor niggles here and there. The cast are at their best in this episode, and their experience with the characters, especially Kokuto (Suzumura Kenichi), and Shiki (Sakamoto Maaya), really does shine through. The performances of the seiyuu literally ooze quality, and while there is a penchant for philosophical monologuing at times, these are delivered with aplomb.
In terms of effects Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 might arguably be the best in the series. Each sound is clear and distinguishable, even when the habitual cacophony occurs during heavy action sequences, and once again the franchise proves that it can deliver very high production values.
The real triumph though, is the music.
In the simplest terms this movie a definite contender for “best anime choreography of the decade” as it features some of the most breathtaking melding of animation and music to be found in the medium, and the choice of tracks is nothing short of inspired. The opening sequence is a choral, hymn-like track which perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the movie, while the end theme, a bittersweet ballad, works very well with the movie’s finale. Where Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 really shines though, is in the application of its thematic music. The tracks on offer have a generally dark feel to them (this isn’t really a “nice” story after all), but added to that are visuals that have not only been timed extremely well, but feature some excellent animation, stunning set designs, and superb camera angles.
One of the issues that has plagued the Kara no Kyoukai franchise from the outset is that the characters are often underdeveloped, and while certain events over the course of the series provide opportunities for growth, these chances are all too often overlooked. That said, there is some development to be had, it’s just unfortunate that the lion’s share of it only occurs in a few movies, and this is one of them. It’s the introduction of Shirazumi Lio that changes the dynamics of not only the story, but also the relationship between Kokuto and Shiki. He is the one thing that forces the pair to grow as characters, and his presence in the movie casts a pall over every story in the franchise.
Confused? I’ll elaborate then.
Kara no Kyoukai has made the effort to portray Souren Araya as the main “bad guy”, but while his goals may be the drivers for many of the events over the course of the series, he never affected Kokuto and Shiki in the way that Lio does. It’s his formation of a very disturbed “menage-a-trois” that causes Kokuto to “get off his backside” for once, and pushes Shiki to the edge of reason. Lio is also noteworthy for the surprising amount of characterisation that has gone into his creation. He is a complete persona from start to finish, and while there is virtually no development on his part, he honestly doesn’t need it.
To be perfectly frank, I found this to be the best installment in the series, and while it is somewhat more graphic than other episodes, this only serves to improve one’s understanding of the characters and events (as opposed to simply being graphic in order to be “cool”). A case in point is one particular interaction between Lio and Shiki, which while being rather sexually charged, is more reminiscent of a child pulling the wings off a fly. It’s this emphasis on improving the viewer’s understanding of the characters that really sets the movie apart, especially as this is what has been lacking for most of the series.
If you’re a fan of franchise, or of TYPE-MOON, then Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 is a movie that you should definitely watch. As a standalone it holds its own against many other releases, but when the series is taken as a whole the movie is raised to a new level. That said, in order to fully appreciate the difference it’s best to watch the rest of the series first, as while each episode functions as an autonomous tale, this particular film has been designed to convey an ending.
Kara no Kyoukai may not be to everyone’s tastes, but whether you like it or not the one undeniable fact is that the franchise makes a great advertisement for the potential inherent in the anime industry, and given some recent releases like Break Blade, it seem like someone was paying attention.
Kara no Kyoukai 7: Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 is the finale of a string of movies based of a series of light novels by Kinoko Nasu. In the final movie, the story revolves around the appearance of multiple murders as well as the disappearance of Ryougi Shiki, and Kokutou Mikiya’s attempt to unravel the mysteries of the murders and Shiki’s whereabouts.
I was really conflicted on whether or not the story for the finale deserved a 9 or a 10, but in the end i chose the give it a 10 against my better judgment. All of the Kara no Kyoukai movies have a very adult plot, focusing on murder and moral values within society, and the 7th movie also takes this stance while focusing on Shiki and Mikiya’s relatioship, as well as tying up lose ends in the plot, and revealing things that the other movies left out. The use of suspense and mystery, as well as the constant flash backs that reveal more and more of Mikiya and Shiki’s tale really helps to keep the story flowing as well as keeping the viewers interested. If I had to be really picky, the only problem with the story is the pacing at some points. The flow of the story does not have a constant pacing, where at some points it seems to move extremely slow while other times the story seems to progress and reveal information in a short amount of time.
Really, all the Kara no Kyoukai movies have amazing art and animation and the finale is no exception. The use of a dark color palet brings out the story’s dark undertones of the story, as well as complementing the characters and scenery.
Sound is also used very effectively as well to help create a mood to immerse the viewers in. It is up beat when it needs to be, and sad when it needs to be as well. The combination of the art and sound creates a mood that helps immerse viewers in Shiki and Mikiya’s world and the situation they are in. It is the addition of these elements which truly brings out Kara no Kyoukai’s brilliance. Keeping the viewers attention is only half the battle, for an anime to truly become remarkable in the eyes of the public it needs to draw in the viewers, immerse them in the characters world. Having the viewer feeling tense as a character rounds the corner, having them feel for the characters during emotional moments, this is all created through the use of art and sound, and Kara no Kyoukai nails it.
As stated in the story, we get to see more of the relationship between Shiki and Mikiya as well as their development as characters. Shiki is a very unusual character, one of the reasons that people are drawn to this anime, and although she is hard to identify with, seeing her struggle with her problems, struggle with understanding her emotions, as well as evolve as a person is what draws us to her. While other movies did not so much focus on Shiki and her emotions and how she is changing, this movie is solely dedicated to it, and that is one of its greatest draws.
What can I say, I have been praising this movie for the whole review. It is a masterpiece in my eyes, and while it may not have as much action as the others, it is still my personal favorite.
While writing this review, I was trying to find things wrong with this movie, but not matter how hard I thought, I was not able to. It may seem stupid that I gave this all 10’s, but really, this movie deserved every one of them. It is outstanding, amazing and remarkable.
So let me ask you, what makes an anime memorable to you? Characters? Story? Art? There are only a select few animes that ever reach this level with people, an anime which you will remember while forgetting many others. It needs to stand out, it needs to grab your attention, and most importantly, it needs to affect YOU. For me, Kara no Kyoukai 7 is that kind of anime.
*slight spoilers ahead*
This film had some good points (the art for example, which has been a consistent highlight throughout all of the films) but it’s heavily outweighed by the low points in the execution of the movie’s story.
For one, it ran an hour too long. The film is a bulky two hours I felt was mostly filler, and definitely could of been condensed. It seemed like the director and writer made this film way too long to make up for the long wait but it was completely unnecessary.
That being said, I did enjoy the first part of the film. It’s starts off very promising with a suspenseful murder-mystery sort of vibe that’s been prevalent with all the films. Shiki’s back story is finally fleshed out a little more which was nice, though you have to have a good memory to catch everything. (Lots of references to the past films, to be expected.)
Where the movie really lost points for me was the main theme of the film; the idea that Shiki has always had this latent desire to kill and Kokuto’s argument that murder is never justified. I agreed with Kokuto and the movie argues very well throughout that killing means killing a part of yourself too. This was a recurrent theme throughout the films and they had me believing it, which was why the ending was such a supreme disappointment for me. The film seemed to contradict and ignore it’s own argument for the sake of a “happy” ending and I felt a little cheated by it. Where are the consequences of murder they kept talking about? the loss?
So, if you liked the other films then you’ll get a lot of the same. The tone, characters and artwork are all familiar and are certainly worth a look if only to know how the series ends. But this film is a prime example of a story that was structured with a very clear ideal in mind, only to chuck it out the window for no reason at all. If your a fan of good, consistent writing like me, you’ll be disappointed.
8: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari
English: Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion
Japanese: 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 叛逆の物語
MAL Score: 8.45
The young girls of Mitakihara happily live their lives, occasionally fighting off evil, but otherwise going about their peaceful, everyday routines. However, Homura Akemi feels that something is wrong with this unusually pleasant atmosphere—though the others remain oblivious, she can’t help but suspect that there is more to what is going on than meets the eye: someone who should not exist is currently present to join in on their activities.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari follows Homura in her struggle to uncover the painful truth behind the mysterious circumstances, as she selfishly and desperately fights for the sake of her undying love in this despair-ridden conclusion to the story of five magical girls.
There’re cliffhanger anime for people to die for a sequel.
There’re even anime that just leaves cliffhangers and never come back.
There’re those garbage anime that you just don’t feel anything at all.
And there’s Madoka, an anime with an amazing story, art, sound, character, but a soulless and downright devilish ending.
There will be absolutely no plot at all, because I want people to understand and be ready for anything.
And, I tell you, you’ll need to be.
[P.S. There are absolutely no plot summaries in here, but the vocabularies and terms I use may indirectly suggest a minor point of the story.]
This story is meant to leave an unsatisfactory ending. The motif is pretty clear: the Bible and the genesis of God and Lucifer.
Come on, our world hasn’t come to an end, has it? A story based on our world, a never-ending cycle of unsatisfactory endings cannot be satisfactory by itself, unless by deception and/or imagination.
Urobuchi, author of Fate/Zero and Madoka among many others, is famous for a seamless plotline. I cannot state that this movie has brought down his fame, because all his stories had dark motifs. Indeed, this movie has left an unsatisfactory ending, but this is a masterpiece, creating an amazing transition between theogenesis and diablogenesis.
How could I dare say that unsatisfying ending crushes this masterpiece?
Imagine Madoka being reanimated with Monogatari: Second Season’s animation technology.
Now add malice to that.
Now add another plot twist to that.
That does not even begin how great the movie was.
The seemingly childish animation was still there, but the malice was all the more heightened, getting into the fine line between creepiness and evilness.
A wise mangaka once stated that drawing a malicious face (not angry face) was not an easy job. He stated that the background, the eye, the position of the panel, the position of the character, darkness, facial expression and etc were all necessary to make one malicious face.
Then how much harder would it be to draw nearly an hour-long malice?
Shaft studio, producers of monogatari series and of course madoka among many others, is known for their ability to, despite using quite “cheating” methods, send chills down the viewers’ spine. Using scenes where the character simply stands, or where the name of the font used or color of the scene or sometimes seemingly scanning the clothings or skirts of an unknown origin, Shaft studio actually makes a great success of delivering an heightened message to the viewers.
And, truth be told, I could not catch a single misgivings about the animation of the movie. When malice was needed, Shaft did their job. When they needed a happy tea time, Shaft did their job. When they needed a battle scene, Shaft did their job. No more colors or fonts. They did their job.
If there’s one criterion I always cut down and attack, it’s the sound. Being a very keen person in sound, I always wanted the producers to use the “perfect” BGMs (of course nothing is perfect but still I can dream?!) at the “perfect” moment. But I have to say it–rebellion nailed it.
The song was as creepy as it could get. The background musics at the moment of realization was so good that I got a chill down my spine and nearly pissed myself (true story). On the opening, ClaRis did their usual mislead. The general “ah, this is a magical girls’ story! There’re absolutely no genre-twisting stories or one of those Urobuchi things in here!” and comforted the slaughter lambs. Then, came the usual malice.
Scary it was.
And somehow, even at the ending, although the song was in major pitch and no double voice or alterations have been added, it was still creepy and malicious. It created a sense of Judas’ kiss, meaning that while the act itself was a beautiful act, the inner sense was dark enough to creep our intestines. If there is one thing that music should do, it is to do that. Even through the electronic amplifiers, music should always deliver the feelings.
Rebellion was an amazing exemplification of this job of music. It did its job when it needed to, creeping our guts out after cleansing our soul with “cute” music, then presenting the “Judas’ kiss”.
Sound–a job well done.
No one expected this.
No one could have expected this.
No one could have seen this coming.
Yet this was inevitable.
Urobuchi always does this. He reveals a down-to-Earth fact that has been in front of our face the whole time yet at the same time a fact that no one has realized.
The development of our main character, Akemi Homura, is wonderfully presented with this motif.
Her “transfiguration” was something no one have realized, yet something so obvious and inevitable that everybody should have known.
I will not go onto further details.
As for minor characters, such as Mami, Sayaka, Kyouko and our all-time hated con artist, MOTHER****ING KYUBEY, they have done their job spectacularly. Every bit of stories they shared and every bit of clues they presented showed and developed the story rapidly. In a way, they “created” the main character. It is always difficult to involve all of the characters and giving all of them important roles. Failure to do so may not be the doom of the anime, but a horrible trial of doing so means the end of the anime and doom of its production. However, Rebellion Story, while providing every character a role, also succeeded in not awkwardly fitting in their roles into the original plot.
It is indeed a job well done.
Now, before you say anything or go away, let me explain myself.
Indeed, this was an amazing movie, and I don’t think any other movie can create a seamless storyline as this one.
However, I didn’t enjoy this at all.
In fact, I don’t think I can ever see the movie again.
It was too soul-breaking that it felt like my soul was breaking apart.
Indeed its story was good, indeed the art was amazing, indeed the sound did its job, indeed the character development was godly.
But I just couldn’t like it.
Still, this was only my opinion. Some people might like it.
In fact, exactly because I liked it, I want people to watch this.
It both critiques the conventional “now everybody’s happy” anime endings and the well-known “good guy always is the good guy” logic and crashes it down to Earth.
Because of this, I have to take off the Enjoyment spectrum out of the overall rate.
It indeed is an important aspect of anime, but not in this one. This movie DOESN’T want you to enjoy the show. And that is exactly why this is great.
Great story, art, sound and character.
It is the work of our lifetime.
Don’t miss it.
If you are in a region where you can go watch the movie, you are blissed.
GO WATCH IT.
IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY.
Then, happy anime-ing.
I dreaded the day that a sequel came to fruition for Madoka Magica. This was a show that ended on a rather ambiguous note but still left a good, everlasting impression in its original run, hinting that there was really no need for a sequel, an explanation, or an “After Story”, for that matter. I’m not saying I don’t want any more of it, not at all. But seriously, Gen Urobuchi, there’s no way you can write a sequel any better than the original series, especially when your original series was THAT good. So yeah. Like…. just stop.
Okay, I was jumping like a schoolgirl when I heard that there was a new Madoka Magica, but I didn’t have much hope for this one either.
But what I believed to be a mediocre attempt to capture the world by storm and ultimately fail, I was proven wrong. I hate being wrong. I can’t stand the thought of being wrong. To me, being wrong, is just wrong.
Never been happier to be wrong.
Story: What the original series packed was a story that was armed to the teeth with dark undertones and twists so shocking, Lindsay Lohan could be one month sober from her usual crack fiend habits and the power of the message would still be ultimately missing. So when Madoka Magica was renewed for a sequel film, they ultimately took the exact same impact and made it even better. For those of you who have already seen the original (and you HAVE to see it first), you might be wondering, “how does it get any better?” Remember when Madoka transcended into the heavens and became a holy power? Think of this as God’s believer trying to make direct contact.
However, I think the real impact of the film doesn’t happen until much, MUCH later. You’re watching for an hour and thirty minutes and you probably haven’t reached it yet. Ten minutes later, you’re probably…. almost there, and I’m specifying what happens near the end. When you hear from other MAL users about how the ending was a serious shock, nobody knew how to take it, “ending of Oreimo”, all that stuff, that’s all true. But if you still have a vague idea of what they’re talking about, then imagine it this way: life gives you a cookie, then kicks you in the third leg just to take it back (if you don’t have one, forget the reference!). Only difference is, if life does it, you’re rolling on the floor, writhing in pain. The ending to this third movie turns you into Niagara Falls for a while.
The story is just splendid.
Art: Aniplex can screw up just about anything on this list in the eyes of some, but if there’s something a pissed-off fanboy or a nine-year-old shounen rage kid cannot base his bad rating on, it’s the animation. Looks clean, characters move in a crisp and fluid motion, and the Nightmares that appear, while they don’t retain the same animation style as the rest of the characters/scenes, it blends in, oddly enough. If they did those sequences wrong, it would pop out very noticeably, especially given the two conflicting animation styles. Fortunately, there’s a sense of depth, and instead of that bolstered look where a character looks as if they “happen” to appear in the scene, the character looks like they’re actually there (and there is a HUGE difference between the two definitions).
Sound: I’m a fan of ClariS.
…..yeah, moving on…..
Character: I didn’t quite understand Homura’s actions the first time I watched the movie, but after a good runthrough over the exact section I was skeptical about, I had to use my own judgment and speak for myself, “it’s logical, it makes sense.” This is the exact same place in the movie where everyone spreads rumors about Gen Urobuchi “ripping out your hearts and sending you into a black oblivion of nothingness and despair and I’m gonna go kill myself and-” you get the idea. You’ll just have to watch this part for yourself and make your own decision about Homura’s actions (that’s a small spoiler, I think, but I know it’s not enough to spoil the entire thing).
I don’t like forgettable characters. Not the forgettable ones in the sense that we see them once throughout the whole movie and they dick off for the rest of the time to do as they please because we don’t need them. I don’t like forgettable MAIN characters, and while Sayaka was one of the main cast of the original series (and still is), I feel like she was neglected most of the time, and never really got the spotlight even after Kyouko came in, who ended up stealing it (as far as Character Favorites on MAL tells me). With the amount of screen time Sayaka got in the original series, I was impartial about her death. It never struck me as particularly noteworthy. That changes with the third movie. Her role is more defined, we do get to see more of her, and this “more of her” that we see isn’t just a way to give Sayaka fans something to squeal about. This is her own persona, her own contribution, and what I would call redemption from her lack of presence in the first movie. I’m more delighted by the idea that Urobuchi doesn’t neglect to use his characters when he needs them.
Enjoyment: If you can classify “enjoyment” as sitting at home and drowning in my own puddle of tears while watching, then yes, I did enjoy it.
Madoka Magica is one of those shows that never initially grabbed my attention, but then again, it doesn’t take very much to draw me in at the same time. All it needs? Good storyline, good execution, and I can cope with the rest. But while a select number of shows can do a combination of both and I would still point out a flaw or two, and while some will gradually lose my initial attention, Madoka Magica is, for me, a very, VERY difficult show to dislike or change the rating of, or keep my eyes off for that matter. I wasn’t swayed by the hype, I’ve listened to all the criticism, and at the end of the day, this series still stands as one of the best series I’ve seen, if not the absolute best. Even with the ending as controversial as it is, there’s no way I can bring myself to dislike this series. I thought it wasn’t a proper ending, as diehard of a fan as I could be, but I was satisfied having seen it.
And while I have a tendency to associate myself with shoujo and rom-com shows, I’ll have to admit eventually that I loved the action sequences just as equally as the idle explanation scenes. You know, those ones where they just sit around and talk to each other? Yeah, I don’t know why I like those scenes. Maybe I’m just weird.
Overall: I think everyone who previously didn’t know I like watching anime and everyone who does know has heard this from me at least twice within the past two days: WATCH THIS MOVIE. If I keep this up, I probably won’t have a social life. Whatever the case, I don’t think I’ve been this hyped over an anime show, nor have I had such a strong desire to watch it again.
Maybe I’m being biased because this is my favorite show, and maybe I’m missing something here and I failed to pick it up, and while this third movie may probably be one of those shows that will still get bogged down on hype alone, there’s no reason for any of that. It’s brilliant, it’s well-thought-out, and it really doesn’t need any of its hype to prove its worth.
The final chapter in the highly acclaimed Madoka trilogy/show has come to a close, and studio Shaft has closed this book right (if not heart wrenching). The story is all tied to Homura after the events of the first two films. We follow her as the story travels down a road most fans never saw coming, but since this is the final chapter there is an end to this road. A very fitting end. I won’t go into detail because of spoiler reasons, but some fans might feel crossed (Homura’s actions during the final moments of the film). Thematically speaking this series has always been about the balance of hope and despair. How the influx of these two emotions create the balance of the world. I feel that once you see the film (and are done crying in a puddle of tears), if you think about what the show has been leading up to, then there is no other way this could have ended. Also there is some excellent fan pandering in the film. Several fights, and scenes were crafted for your viewing pleasure and entertainment. Which this being the final film I really appreciated (mainly in the beginning of the movie). Very minor complaints are near the beginning of the film tho. Lets just say it is a little jarring (for a good reason of course), and takes a little while to get going. Once it gets moving however it never stops, which is a good thing given the run time of the film. Overall an excellently crafted narrative, and conclusion to the series. Filled with tid bits, and nods to the fans of the series. What more could you ask for from a final chapter? For me at least, nothing.
I’ve always been a fan of the style of animation in the Madoka franchise. The artistic nature of the backgrounds, and the world I have always found incredibly appealing. Here is no different. The world is beautifully rendered, and full of little details brimming with color and imagination. The Character designs are top notch as well. Fans will be happy to know there is also new transformation scenes, which look fantastic as well. The fights in this hold a cinematic quality to it that I just don’t see in Anime all that often. They were fluid and fast, which added to the spectacle of what was going on. If the Madoka animation hasn’t shined you on in the past then I don’t think this one will do anything different. For fans on the other hand, they will be happy.
The rule of thumb, besides pure enjoyment, that I use for judging an OST is if it amplifies the tone of the film. All to fitting is what I can say. The music moves with the scenes, and allows the audience to feel connected to it that much more. The voice acting as well is top notch. Saito, Chiwa delivers a fantastic performance as Homura, which is a good thing considering this is her show. Everyone else was great across the board, but her specifically was a stand out.
Everyone is back this time around including some new additions. Of course the spot light is on Homura in this film, and this journey for her has been a rough one. It truly is heart breaking. Now like I said earlier some fans will be split on Homura’s actions in the latter half of this film. So it is up to you to decide on how you feel at the end, but for me it was tragic in a good way. I’ve rarely ever felt more understanding, and sympathetic for a character. This is the fruition of her development, and it is damn good. Concerning the rest of the cast, none of them were really side lined, except for the new addition, Nagisa. Nagisa is the new “magical girl” in the film, and she is underused. Which I am actually fine with considering I came to see the characters I have grown to love, but then I just think back to why she was there to start with (fan service probably). Anyways it was great to see everyone for one last show, and minus the addition of Nagisa, they brought their all.
This film broke my heart in all the right ways, and I will take good story telling over happy any day. Filled with moments that made me want to cheer, and sink into a pit of sadness; this final film was what I needed in my life.
Like all good books one has to reach the last page sometime, and this closing chapter delivers. As a fan I would recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed the original series/films (because they are necessary for this one). If Madoka was never your thing then this won’t win you over. Fantastic characters, story, art, and sound, nothing more to really say except one hell of a good film, and I can’t wait to watch it again. As always thanks for reading.
7: Zoku Owarimonogatari
Japanese: 続 終物語
MAL Score: 8.48
Graduation day is finally here, marking the end of Koyomi Araragi’s eccentric high school life full of peculiar relationships with otherworldly beings.
However, Araragi is unexpectedly absorbed into his own bathroom mirror and trapped inside a bizarre world where everything he knows is completely reversed—the haughty Karen Araragi is shorter than usual, poker-faced Yotsugi Ononoki is brimming with emotion, and cute ghost girl Mayoi Hachikuji is a grown woman! But not everything is as it seems.
Zoku Owarimonogatari details the story of Araragi’s endeavors in this new world as he struggles to return to his home and understand the nature of this bizarre dimension.
Note: Watched this in Japanese cinemas. Japanese is not my native language and the monogatari series is quite complex to say the least. Therefore I might not have understood everything to the fullest extent. Luckily the BD release is just around the corner! Anyhow, this is still one of the best parts of the monogatari series in my opinion though.
So how you do you make a sequel to the end? Well, Nishio Ishin managed to it again! In my opinion, Zoku Owarimonogatari was not really needed to wrap up the main story. However, it is a neat little extra storyline for those who wanted to know what happened with Araragi after his graduation.
As I hinted at before, this story is about Araragi. Even though the main story line is practically finished, Araragi’s mind and thoughts has not reached the conclusion he wants. Araragi is kind of stuck in one place, he just finished high school but has yet to start college nor got any job, he became a nobody despite all the adventures he has experienced so far. Suddenly, a little bathroom mirror incident quite literally turns his reality backwards or “inverts” it if you’d like. The story is just as bizarre as one would expect from Ishin-sensei by now. All I will say is that as for someone who has been in the same shoes as Araragi regarding regrets in life and anxiety for the future, I can really appreciate this story. I really hope you will as well!
I won’t say more story-wise for those who are really looking forward to watch this, but I really want to talk a little about how Shaft’s anime adaptation of the novel is so splendid. Apart from the excellent story and the great characters we have come to love from the monogatari series (albeit a bit different this time), I really must talk about the animation and the effects in this movie. The animation and effects happen to be one of the best parts of this film, since they are in a sense so well adapted from the novel (Which makes no sense because novels do not have animation and effects). But hear me out! For those who has read the novel know the setting of this story, and the way shaft uses reflections to enhance the visuals and make the setting more trustworthy really blew my mind because it is something, I have never personally seen myself before in an anime. The amount of detail shaft has put into the “inverted/mirrored” reality, environment and characters really makes you further respect the love and effort Shaft has put into the monogatari series. I can’t wait to inspect the environment when I watch the film again.
The only thing that I think could have been slightly better is the background music, it is a slight step-down from earlier entries. It is worth to note that the music is still very good, but I expected much more depth from something like monogatari.
Overall, I really love this film, it is definitely one of the best monogatari entries but it’s kind of sad that the main story has come to an end. The monogatari series will remain one of the best series I have ever watched, and I am glad it has gone on for this long. Now, we just have to wait and see which monogatari novel is the next to get an anime adaptation.
¡ᴉɹɐʇɐƃouoɯᴉɹɐʍO-nʞoZ ʎoɾuǝ ǝsɐǝld
PS: Sodachi is great freaking waifu material in this one.
Every good thing must come to an end, or at least that’s how the saying goes. Not that it’s too good to continue on forever, but because it should end while it’s still doing well. If not, however, it is doomed to milk its already-explored ideas until it drenches all the quality from its previous work. Thus is the fate of the once beloved Monogatari series.
Promise of the Premise:
Zoku Owarimonogatari, captures the events that took place after the Second Season of Owarimonogatari, and before the epilogue to the series, Hanamonogatari. We are, yet again, tossed into another strange story that begins with a seemingly unfortunate series of supernatural events; Arraragi Koyomi, who is dealing with an identity crisis upon graduating high school, and is now having problems with moving on with his life, somehow finds himself trapped inside what he refers to as “the mirror world.” In this inside-out version of reality, he encounters all the people important to him, who are now fundamentally changed. We soon learn that the nature of the characters in “the mirror world” is to serve as the polar opposites of the ones in the “our” reality; they reflect all the characteristics that the characters in our reality tried to shut in.
For the most part of the show, we are left to explore the mirrored reality through Araragi’s lenses, as he spends most of the runtime interacting with altered characters as he tries to figure out the nature of the world he is stuck in. He quickly realizes that not only are the characters changed, but their very position in the world is off. And as the story moves on, there seems to be a bigger mystery hiding behind the scenes.
The setting seems to offer a lot of insight, both regarding the characters and regarding the story of the franchise looking from the grand scheme of things, now that the franchise has reached its conclusion in the previous entry. However, the show does none of that.
Toll of Redundancy:
The main problem of every milked continuation is its inability to cohesively add new ideas without contradicting itself in the process. Zoku Owarimonogatari, however, dodges this problem by having no new ideas whatsoever.
To observe the characters from the inside-out perspective would generally be a great move, and a useful tool when it comes to character development. The problem is, however, that every information about the characters that this introspection gained us was something we already knew and were aware of. Throughout the franchise we followed the characters as they all went through a similar path of development: they were introduced along with their demonic apparition, representing their negative sides and the parts of themselves they want to reject and deny, and then we see them as they overcome their flaws, or simply accept them and move along. Having that transformation inverted inside-out is nothing more but going back to the stage of development the characters were in when they were first introduced. Nothing new was gained in the process.
So to cover-up for such lack of progression, the show goes for a solution that I like to refer to as “madlibs storytelling.” Instead of actually providing progress in character dynamics, the characters are given a bunch of random traits that are supposed to fit in with the setting, but add nothing of substance aside from gimmick. And instead of using that to explore characters on any deeper level, now that we are given the opportunity to see the mutual interactions of their inverted personas, we are provided with nothing but a charade of randomized Monogatari characters, self-referencing series’ previous works. It’s filled to the brim with beating-‘round-the-bush philosophy, horribly timed comedy and general lack of direction.
What we are left with is a thin idea that tries to present itself as a gigantic one by hopelessly connecting to everything that the series previously built. A story that pays more attention to browsing its own catalogue of characters than it does trying to write or develop itself.
Through-out the runtime of 6 episodes, or a 2-hour long movie depending on which version you’ve seen, Zoku Owarimonogatari has constant trouble keeping up the pace, and balancing out it’s weak story and its unspeakable urge to fill in with as many redundant characters that were most likely put into the story for a mere self-reference. However, the worst part about this redundancy, as I said, is the fact that after those 6 episodes (or one movie) we are at the exact same place as we were before watching the show. Not only is all the information provided one we already know, but all the progress done in the mean time turns out to be inconsequential, if there ever was one. Zoku Owarimonogatari feels more like an alternative spin-off of a sort, with value of an average Christmas special: it serves no purpose except for you to indulge yourself in the known universe once again. And the worst part about it is that it doesn’t use said universe as a platform for exploring ideas, but rather as a playground for already-explored ones.
I won’t dive too deep into the spoiler section on this one, even though I don’t think this is an entry that deserves to be watched. However, I have to mention that the “explanation” of the story-wise elements might be the most disappointing thing that the franchise ever did. It all boils down to “everything that pointed to a bigger story underneath was a cover-up by a mastermind X,” which itself isn’t too far from the madlibs storytelling I mentioned before. The problem with this Aizen-like ass-pull is that it not only makes a fool out of you, the audience, for trying to figure out the answers, but it also makes all the build-up up until this point just a bunch of cool tension-building ideas that were put for the sake of it. The show forcefully asks of you to follow its plot, and then punishes you for doing so.
It doesn’t happen very often that a continuation shows no understanding of its predecessors aside from the surface-level analysis. Zoku Owarimonogatari is not only failing to understand the main motif of the series, “people save themselves. No one could ever save anyone else,” but it straight-up contradicts it. What was once a self-centered story about overcoming your own flaws and accepting yourself, is now a one-man Messiah story. And this severe contradiction is not only subtly implied throughout the show, but is presented as the very conclusion, slapped across our screens through an overly-sentimental closing montage.
There seems to be an ongoing misconception where people think adding another ending to the ending is what makes the conclusion stronger. However, not only is that not the case, but doing so actually takes value away from the ending. After all, if the ending isn’t complete, it’s not an ending at all. If a character needs five “moving on” stages to actually move on, it makes all the previous 4 stages completely redundant and stripped off of value. This matter is discussed in the final sequence of the show, where Araragi states that he is always unsure whether he should step onto the road with his left or right foot, and is advised by Senjougahara to instead carelessly jump ahead instead of thinking about the next move. Not only a very flawed idea with barely any thematic weight, but also a hilariously cheesy, out-of-place symbol. A fitting conclusion for the messy, incoherent story that this apparition of a show rightfully deserved.
Nothing much to say here, as the audio and visual style remained the same as the rest of the franchise, which is ironically enough, the only coherent part about it. However, I do have a few complaints.
While the animation quality sure is great, the visual narrative was oddly off. Framing is rather more concerned about looking goofy and looking somewhat visually appealing than it does trying to actually say something, which is not common for a Monogatari show. What bothered me the most about it is the downright awkward use of certain visual tools, such as using the frame dividers to capture character’s breasts in the main plan of the shot. It is vaguely pointed out that the shot may be constructed like that for a reason, since that would exactly be the thing that would occupy Araragi’s attention, but it’s still a very dull way of using it.
The audio was hardly even noticeable, and featured no iconic tracks of the franchise, not even the character themes which would be the most fitting considering the direction of the story.
Zoku Owarimonogatari is a painful exercise in redundancy, that serves as a great example of “stop while you’re still worth something.” It tries its hardest to keep the series alive by cramping as much memory of it as possible, but with little to no idea what is to be done with them.
From a long-loving fan, a somber goodbye to the franchise.
6: Kara no Kyoukai 5: Mujun Rasen
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 5: Paradox Paradigm
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第五章『矛盾螺旋』
MAL Score: 8.55
In November 1998, a double homicide occurs at the newly constructed Ogawa apartment complex in the heart of Mifune City. The murderer, Tomoe Enjou, has fled in a panic. To his astonishment, he is not pursued by the police and news of the incident has not been reported through media outlets. After Shiki Ryougi defends Tomoe from a group of thugs, she allows him to use her residence as a hideout. However, a few days later, Tomoe is shaken to discover that his mother is alive, even though he is convinced that he killed her.
Coincidentally, Mikiya Kokutou is investigating a tip that his associate Touko Aozaki receives regarding the murder at the unique apartment complex. As he uncovers more information about the incident, Mikiya takes a particular interest in Tomoe. Deciding to investigate him further, Mikiya soon discovers the disturbing truth of the foreboding Ogawa complex.
The fifth installment of the Kara no Kyoukai film series, Mujun Rasen combines an intricately constructed mystery with established themes and characters to produce a dark, thought-provoking story.
Wow. I have to say that this movie is enough to leave one speechless at times, and for a variety of reasons.
The fifth installment of the Kara no Kyoukai series, Mujun Rasen (Paradox Spiral), is somewhat of a departure from the previous four outings not just in terms of its running time (almost two hours), but also in terms of art direction and story.
Set around two months after Fukan Fuukei, the tale begins with a disjointed sequence of events that are gradually cleared up as the movie continues. The story itself centres around a boy named Enjou Tomoe, who is saved from a group of thugs by Ryougi Shiki. She invites him to stay with her after he begs her to hide him somewhere as he believes that he has committed a crime and appears to be on the run.
During this time it seems that Kokuto Mikiya is away on some business, and Aozaki Touko is investigating an odd rumour she has heard from a policeman she knows.
Now the main problem with the story direction is that many people will be confused by the path it takes. There are numerous sequences that are repeated several times, and the story has a tendency to not only jump about from one time to another, but also from one event to another (a style similar to that used by Luc Besson at times). The result is something more along the lines of a Satoshi Kon production, and while there will be many people who enjoy the numerous twists, turns, loops and whorls that take place in the story, there will be just as many who will be put off by the overwhelming amount of information one has to process at times.
The art and animation throughout the series thus far has been top notch, however there is a noticeable drop in quality in this Mujun Rasen. Given the length of the movie it may be that Ufotable were forced to cut some corners with the designs and animation, but there are quite a few scenes where their normal quality really shines through. The CG is, as always, of a very high standard and runs smoothly in conjunction with the normal animation. The backgrounds and backdrops are well designed, and a lot of thought has gone into ensuring that certain elements in this area follow the concept of the story.
Unfortunately, the drop in quality I mentioned is noticeable in several scenes, and in one in particular, the character looks constipated rather than hysterical. In addition to this the animation of the action sequences, whilst being excellent overall, suffers towards the end of the movie, with one key sequence being more dizzying than breathtaking. That said, the sequence in question will appeal to those who like roller coasters at the very least.
The sound is on par with the other movies and is well executed overall. The effects are extremely good throughout, but the old problem of the noise sometimes being too overwhelming has reared its head once more. The score used throughout the Mujun Rasen lends to the general atmosphere, however there are times when the music seems a little out of sync with the on-screen action.
On the plus side it seems my prayers have been answered as more is revealed about Touko, especially as the antagonist in this film, Araya Souren (who appeared briefly at the very end of the previous movie declaring himself to be a magus), has a history with her. In addition to this, there is a secondary character named Cornelius Alba who also has a history with both Touko and Araya. In addition to this the viewer can finally see some different sides to Shiki, as well as gaining some insight into why Touko was so interested in her during the events of Garan no Dou.
The downside is that Mikiya continues to be more of a supporting role in this movie, and Tomoe, while generally being a decent character for the most part, may annoy some people.
Even with those flaws, this is still an excellent movie (especially if you can get your head around the plot). Fans of Kara no Kyoukai should generally be pleased with this latest addition to the franchise, and although it does drop a little in terms of animation and artwork, Mujun Rasen will hopefully herald a new direction for the series.
I’m expecting good things from the sixth movie…
OK, so this is version 3 of my KnK 5 review after watching the movie for the second time and getting part of my first review deleted. The full summary part has been taken off to keep the size down (I spent a lot of time on that too). I will be more in-depth and critical this time around. Before you read this review or watch the movie, make sure you’ve watched the first 4 KnK movies. Scores are based on 2nd time around. Comments and private messages are appreciated to help me review better next time around.
First Time: 8.5/10
The thing to note for #5 compared to the other 4 is that this time, the movie is nearly 2 hours long. That’s more than double any of the previous movies. However, the story is by no means slow, and there are more than enough turn-arounds and absurd twists to keep it enjoyable. Odd installments of flashbacks and repeating scenes make the whole thing a bit difficult to follow, but overall, the story was unique compared to the other Kara no Kyoukai episodes and understandable if you’ve watched the other 4. By this time, you should be quite familiar with Shiki’s as well as Touko’s abilities.
Second Time: 9.2/10
The problem with the first time around was the confusing non-linear story pattern. The montage when Shiki reappears was helpful at clearing this up, and the second time through, I could grasp some of the deeper meaning in some of the obscure statements. Araya and Touko had some really profound quotes that only truly struck me after watching the movie again (this time, I didn’t have to worry about catching the plot). Philosophically, it was almost like GiTS for me. I also noticed some real logic lapses the second time around. Stuff like how the police didn’t do a follow-up and the lack of blood in some scenes and excess of blood in other scenes. Some of the coming back from the dead and not being fazed by stab wounds are also ridiculous, but within the bounds of a supernatural anime like KnK.
First Time: 10/10
I was going to give this a 9, but I suppose art also entails animation. As always, KnK has some of the best (or possibly the best) animation of all time. The fights are packed full of excitement and every attack is conveyed beautifully. Again, Shiki’s eyes are as beautiful as ever, and there is plenty of blood. This time around, there is more than one fight scene, so it’s almost like double the awesomeness.
Second Time: 10/10
KnK is basically the height of animation quality. There were a few lapses here and there and some sloppy artwork in some places, but the second time made me concentrate more on how beautiful the animation really is. Sometimes, I take KnK for granted, but compared to other anime, this is on its own level. Since there were 3 fight scenes, I am satisfied that there weren’t any blatant drops in quality for any of them. Some criticisms for you picky people include lack of blood during the stabbing scene and some cgi moments that were less than superb. Also, Touko regrows her teeth in her fight and Mikiya is present in the very beginning of Touko’s fight on the ground (1:07:32 in the gg-Takajun subs) when he shouldn’t be (he disappears in the next set of frames). Overall excellent though.
First Time: 9.3/10
Every person has their own personal taste with music. For me, the soundtrack of every KnK movie is beautiful, and this is no exception. With mixes of familiar tracks from the previous 4 movies as well as a few of its own, KnK 5 has perhaps the best soundtrack of the entire series so far. Additionally, the ED song is Sprinter, which is my favorite Kalafina song so far. The thing that makes KnK so amazing is not only the animation quality and straight-up beauty of the fight scenes, but also the incredible bgm that backs each fight scene up. Ever since the first movie, the bgm that they play has never failed to engage me more into the story and “feel” the emotions.
Second Time: 9.7/10
I downloaded a rip of the KnK 5 OST after watching it the first time. Lo and behold, the second time around, I loved it even more. Once again, Sprinter is a definite plus. Sure, the soundtrack is a bit repetitive, especially from other KnK movies, but I think that’s what makes it great. Why take down a winning formula? That being said, this is the best OST of the 5 movies in my opinion because it combines many great tracks into a full 2 hours, along with adding a few compositions of its own.
First Time: 9.7/10
If animation is the one thing KnK is associated with, character would be a close second. From the utterly confusing first movie to the scene-setting second movie, we’ve seen Shiki, Mikiya, and Touko develop. Now that I have become comfortable with Shiki, I consider her to be one of the most interesting characters of any anime, regardless of her eyes. Her monotone conversations never cease to amuse me, and she gets in a lot of time talking with Tomoe, the new character. The psychological aspects of KnK 5 rival those of some of the previous movies, and there is some questioning on the side of the “bad guys” as to what “absolute wisdom” is. If you’ve seen and understood the other movies, the character development in this is just as good, if not better because we get to see a side of Touko that has not been revealed before.
Second Time: 9.4/10
So I HAD reviews of individual characters, but it got eaten up by the MAL system somehow… Basically, there was some fluctuation between characters. Shiki and Touko really shone through this one, but Enjou was just annoying in some ways and Mikiya got almost no screen time. To reiterate, Shiki was just adorable at times, which is part of the reasoning behind the high score.
First Time: 9.9/10
I don’t really remember what I had written here before, but basically, this is well worth the time to watch. Heck, I even watched it twice… Just absolutely fantastic fight scenes and some serious plot development to think over.
Second Time: 9.2/10
Watch it again if you want. The fight scenes are still top-notch and engaging. Plot elements may drag on for the second time, but it’s helpful to know what’s going on as it’s going on.
Extremely impressive movie with some serious psychological elements interweaved into a complex plot. As always with KnK, incredible animation and character development. Basically what I’m trying to say is that this was one of the best things I have ever seen, anime or not, and something that I rewatched a week after seeing it the first time (don’t forget that it’s 2 hours long).
After having watched the four prequels of the series and finishing the fifth just now, I will write this review based on the information we have up to now for the characters, storyline and so on. Not for what this series could be or how the adaptation should have been either.
Also, this is my first actual review, so I hope I will end up being helpful to those reading this.
Ok, let’s begin! I’ll seperate this into 5 parts.
First off; The story. 9/10
The 5th part of the series does not fail to deliver yet another storyline that will not confuse the viewer, as long as he pays attention to the dialogue, that most of the time drives the show along.
Mystery, incredible twists and gore scenes lead to this increadibly dark show. The reason behind my 9 is based on the fact that I found the mystery absolutely original, it’s something I have never seen nor did I ever think of, and the way it was explained in the movie was simple and clear. As for its negative side, the only part of it that always annoyed me was the order of the series themselves. It never had a fluent continuation, a new movie was always beginning from a new checkpoint making it unclear at times.
The main characters are extremely well drawn. The simillarities between this movie and Fate/Zero are quite obvious, especially in the faces/eyes. Takeuchi Takashi is easily one of my favourite character designers and he has not failed to impress me yet another time. I can guarantee satisfaction on this certain aspect.
As for the animation, compared to the rest of the movies it was downgraded due to the length. However, ufotable is like pizza. Even when it is bad, it is still good. This part of the show is still its high point and when it has to get good, you know it will. The fights are excellent, wild and bloody as always, the movements are smooth and realistic and will keep the viewer glued to the screen whenever they occur.
Just like the movies before it, and, from what I’ve read, the movies after it, the sound is fitting always to the situation, energetic as well as calming whenever it should be, however, in this particular movie, the soundtracks tend to get very loud, making it hard to hear the voice actors or focusing on certain situations, although that really gives you an adrenalin dose when it should.
The characters in this movie had their best performance yet. We have seen each one of them in action this time, as well as proof of their intelligence and the potential that they have in the development of the story. We also get introduced to the counterpart of Shiki, who is the main focus of the first half of the show. The mystery that, as mentioned above impressed me the most in this movie was revolving around him, so I really enjoyed his stay on the show.
Overall, this movie’s advantages far outdo its flaws and the viewer will remain speechless at times. It deliveres pure entertainment. Intense plot, with truly well done fight sequences that might make your jaw drop. That’s what made me make a review on this particular movie.
Do not hold back from watching. And do it as many times as you want.
I hope I helped you out and I’ll try and get better with reviewing.
5: Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
English: Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu
MAL Score: 8.60
No longer truly human, Koyomi Araragi decides to retrieve Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade’s severed body parts that were stolen by three powerful vampire hunters. Awaiting him are Dramaturgie, a vampire hunter who is a vampire himself; Episode, a half-vampire with the ability to transform into mist; and Guillotinecutter, a human priest who is the most dangerous of them all.
Unbeknownst to Araragi, each minute he spends trying to retrieve Kiss-shot’s limbs makes him less of a human and more of a vampire. Will he be able to keep his wish of becoming human once again by the end of his battles?
Shaft continues to adapt the best Monogatari story extremely well. I’m giving it a perfect ten out of ten, but it does have a problem: the way it was presented. Kizu should never have been split into three parts. It just doesn’t work, for reasons I’ll discuss below. But that’s Aniplex’s problem, not Kizu’s. So I don’t count that against this movie.
The animation continues to be amazing. There’s no single moment as glorious as the “Araragi on fire” scene from the first movie, but a great many scenes look very neat. Additionally, the voice acting and soundtrack continue to be on-point – which is no surprise. These VAs have proven themselves countless times over the course of this series. I shouldn’t even have to tell you this.
The direction is noticeably good, especially in the comedy department. The comedic timing, the visual metaphors, the sound effects, and so on enhance the humor of each scene. Additionally, the fights are very well-choreographed. It’s easy to tell where each character is at any given time (unless you’re not supposed to), and the developments in each fight are believable.
The story here is geared heavily toward developing Araragi as a character and showing how special he and Kissshot are compared to other vampires. The “intensity as a human” theme in particular receives very heavy focus, with the story developments constantly encouraging the viewer to evaluate Araragi’s “intensity as a human,” in both a literal and figurative sense. Dramaturgy, Episode, and Guillotinecutter exist mainly as devices to illustrate how strong the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, and cold-blooded vampire really is – this is made clear immediately with the reasoning under which the Dramaturgy fight ends. As Araragi grows more accustomed to using his vampire powers, we learn more and more how strong Kissshot was, which leads us to think about how she got into her current predicament and what values she holds. Of course, the main focus of the character development is on Araragi and Hanekawa, and they get it in spades. I really shouldn’t even have to talk about this.
Additionally, Kissshot gains the body of a teenager in this movie, so Shaft is now allowed to sexualize her. We get a nude shot, we get some thigh shots, and we even get some butt shots. Strangely, though, this is actually overshadowed by the Araragi fan service. The guy’s a hunk! No wonder Hanekawa got so flustered when he took off his shirt.
Nekketsu gives us the action scenes that were promised in the first movie and provides nice set-up for the third movie, where the careful character development we’ve seen in our vampires will reach its climax. However, this begs the question: why did this have to be split into three movies? Other people have said this before, but Kizu is a very textbook three-act story. And a movie needs to have more than one act in it to be interesting – with only one act per movie, the tone is more or less the same throughout each one, until the next movie comes out and it changes. The Kizu movies are more suited to the binge-watcher than the theatergoer: it’s much better to see all three in one sitting, with maybe short intermissions between each act.
In short, here’s what I’m saying: watch this movie, but not yet. Wait until Reiketsu is in theaters near you. Watch Tekketsu, then watch this, and then go to the theater and watch Reiketsu. It’s best to have the entire story fresh in your mind as you watch each one. And if Reiketsu doesn’t come to theaters near you… well, at least watch this one right after Tekketsu, since it’ll probably be hard to wait for the Reiketsu BDs.
But enough about the price. Let’s talk about whether Kizumonogatari actually lived up to its promise this time with its second installment. In case you’ve forgotten, the first part of this serial movie release had Shinobu get turned into a little girl for reasons that I can’t be assed to explain the biology of, and Araragi must use his newly acquired vampire powers to defeat a group of supernatural individuals “shonen tournament”-style in order to get the body parts our Heart-Angel-Blade needs to swallow in order to go from “you masturbate to her and you’ll get arrested” to “you masturbate to her and you’ll get humiliated”. Thanks to his newly acquired vampire body, Araragi is basically a non-shining version of a Twilight vampire with his toned body and fighting skills, along with the usual regenerative powers, so of course the movie will exploit the shit out of it with over-the-top fight scenes, Araragi bleeding like a geyser in order to showcase how dangerous his opponents are, and making fangirls squee harder than when Sora in Kingdom Hearts II sung “Under the Sea”. This is what all those years of production were for, fanboys. Pure fanservice that I seem to recall Madhouse accomplishing with a far less time-consuming schedule back when attaching their name to an anime actually meant something.
Hanekawa also shows up for no reason other than fanservice. No seriously, that’s it. Her cat powers don’t seem to exist as of yet and she contributes nothing to the plot but overlong “comedic” banter without the humor and giving Araragi a motive to fight harder, because apparently his loli-fetish for a vampire who doesn’t wear underwear is not the best choice for drawing out his true inner strength. She also has this weird habit of just teleporting to where Araragi is at the most plot-convenient moment, just in time to get her guts ripped out or to discover that the only teenage boy that seems to exist in this world is going to be young and hot forever. And because nobody seems to exist in the Monogatari universe but the main characters, it’s really distracting how much this movie doesn’t bother to clarify why she’d be wandering around these battle arenas in the first place, especially given how these fight scenes always take place in the middle of the night. Is her favorite grocery store in the area? Is her internal clock set in Western Hemisphere time? What?
I’m having a really hard time describing the plot to this thing because it’s not really up to much. There’s not really more to the movie than Araragi fighting vampires (and a vampire hunter), getting closer to Hanekawa, and that cliched “you risk becoming a monster with these powers” narrative with no original ideas whatsoever. Exactly how am I supposed to write a few paragraphs about your story when that’s all you’re giving me? Describe the fight scenes? I guess I could say that I liked how Araragi won some of them due to tactical planning rather than Dragonball Z-logic, although the overblown emotional nature of the second and third fights was pretty silly, and the comedic nature in the beginning of the first fight was fucking dumb. And because the camera is constantly swinging, it’s hard to appreciate any existing choreography that might have snuck in amidst all the power level clashes, although to be fair, I recall the camera being more calm during those scenes than the talking ones.
As for the animation style, what do you want me to say? Nothing has changed from the last Kizumonogatari or any of the other ten Monogatari iterations aside from a little more blood and a little less fire. Nekketsu-hen does increase the amount of humor, so of course that means an increase in the amount of annoying sound effects and stupid reaction faces that would only be funny to twelve year olds who think it’s appropriate to make fun of a woman’s vagina whilst calling attention to the fact that you’re making fun of it as a free pass. Every time Hanekawa banters with Araragi regarding his perverted tendencies and the amazing appeal of the panty she may or may not be wearing, I wanted to reach into the screen and beat both of them up with each other’s faces for wasting about half the movie’s runtime on something that in any sane universe would be considered “filler”, but in the Nisio Isin universe is considered “solid gold”.
Please explain to me the appeal of two characters purposefully making bad jokes and calling attention to the fact that said jokes are bad for long stretches of something that’s only an hour long. If I was watching Danganronpa, said jokes would be accompanied by someone getting murdered or going through a villainous breakdown in order to keep the energy going. Monogatari though seems to have that stupid mindset that characterization for its own sake is engaging, and self-aware humor where you just do something stupid and point out that said thing is stupid was funny when Mike Myers did it. And that’s what’s always annoyed me about this series’ usage of irony: it doesn’t go far enough or attach that irony to something with momentum. Every time characters converse, the plot basically grinds to a halt in order for the actors to banter with each other like a deleted scene that somehow made it into the final cut. Also, someone please tell me the appeal of sexual harassment as humor. What the fuck is the punchline of those sorts of jokes anyways?
Finally, there are the new characters, who I honestly don’t remember a thing about because they have no characterization other than being antagonistic and not above playing dirty to get what they want. Honestly, I can’t even remember what they look like or what their names are. They don’t have any good chemistry with Araragi, making them very pointless villains that makes Doc Ock’s relationship with Spiderman look like something from DC comics, and they’re never mentioned again after they’re defeated, so Araragi might as well have been fighting moving gargoyle statues. It occurs to me that if you had cut out Hanekawa’s very existence from this movie and given all that screen time to Araragi and his vampire opponents bantering it up instead, at least it would have given the action more meaning, even if risks falling into that other DBZ trademark of drawn-out anime action by doing so. But then again, Nisio Isin just doesn’t seem to like the concept of male-on-male conversations. Why else would Oshino leave the story right the first series?
All in all, Nekketsu-hen just gets a big meh from me. I don’t care for the animation because it’s the same Shaft-style it’s always been except of higher technical quality, but lacking in strong visual metaphors deserving of said quality, and full of so many quick cuts, annoying reaction faces, and title cards that I’m surprised I came out of the theater without a seizure. The story actually goes somewhere in this part so it’s not as torturously boring as last time, but anyone who thinks that Araragi sacrificing his humanity to protect those he loves is an engaging tale obviously does not watch monster movies. Not to mention, since this is a prequel, we know he and everyone else are going to make it out okay, so there’s no real tension to anything that happens to the established cast unless you were curious regarding whether Hanekawa actually got through the whole ordeal with her virginity intact.
At the end of the day, I just don’t understand why this prequel needed to exist. All it does is show us stuff that we already knew happened, except being shown to us visually. And there’s nothing being conveyed to us through these visuals that’s new and refreshing unless you count another stupid usage of the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey new and refreshing. It’s basically what’s inevitably going to happen with that new Star Wars movie focused on the spies who stole the Death Star plans, and if there’s anything worse than getting compared to the prequel trilogy, it’s getting compared to Disney’s brand of mediocre nostalgia cash-ins.
Kizumonogatari really goes out of its way to look and feel different, doing so in a fashion so gratuitous yet overwhelmingly desirable that I can’t help but want more. Starting with the setting itself, Nekketsu follows up on Part 1 with its continued use of a 3D rendered setting. Normally you might expect the combination of 2D and 3D to not work out well, with either the characters or the environment feeling out of totally out of place. In this however, it’s an awe-inspiring mixture of extravagant animation and the skillful mimicking of live-action cinematography. Kizumonogatari makes use of this combination in ways that you wouldn’t expect to actually look good, utilizing tilts and pans which you might assume would make the 2D character models appear even more flat, and instead creates shots that are much more compelling and intense.
The attention to detail in the 3D setting is most likely the greatest contributor to actually making the computer generated images “work” (although the quick and precise camera work has a large part to play as well). Specifically, the lighting, shadowing, and reflections all have a major role to play in making the world of the film look ideal, and in a lot of ways, real. Light and shadow are critical in creating believably 3-Dimensional objects, but to create a truly realistic setting you mustn’t neglect the many reflective surfaces of everyday life. Kizumonogatari doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the details, and it exhibits a complete and utter mastery that surpasses any and all reasonable expectations. All that, paired with grandiose architecture and scenery that the monogatari series is known for, this film manages jaw-dropping scenes of an impressive variety ranging from the fabulously intense to the astonishingly serene.
Moving on to a focus on the characters, as well as a focus on the camera’s focus of the characters, it’s utterly delightful how much expression is delivered through the close-ups of this film. Though predominantly Araragi and Hanekawa, almost all of the characters make complete use of their close-up time in conveying emotions. Their facial expressions exemplify so much of what they’re feeling at any given moment; it’s remarkable just how excruciatingly painful things look when just given the facial expressions of Araragi, or how imposingly malevolent Episode seems to be in the heat of battle. And outside of the fights, feelings of reluctant embarrassment and cheeky skepticism come off just as strong.
Another signature of the monogatari series, the editing of this film is just as sharp, agile, and wildly hilarious as you’d expect it to be. On a personal note, one of the things I love most about the series is how it’s able to inject comedy into any situation, going much farther than you’d think is possible without overstepping the boundary of where it becomes hokey and depreciative. Kizumonogatari amplifies this even further, making some gags hit especially hard with jump cuts and non-diegetic imagery. The whimsical and avant-garde nature of the film makes it so much more than just a viewing experience. It’s as if the movie itself is playing with its audience and going the extra mile to make sure we’re all having a fun time.
But as wonderful as it was, this film was not perfect. I mean, I’ll give it a 10 anyway because I’m a biased SHAFT fanboy and numbers are pretty meaningless to me anyway, but I do have a few gripes that somewhat relate to the consistencies between the novel and the movie. I normally don’t like comparing a movie to the books they’re based off of, because adaptations are not inherently meant to precisely embody its source material, and making judgements based on how it didn’t live up to the base that exists in a different storytelling medium is usually pretty unjust. That all being said, I thought the villains in the film lacked a lot of dialogue and consequentially a lot of character. In the book, they’re given plenty of lines, and Episode’s even given a catch phrase. However, in the film’s interpretation, they’re just obstacles to be overcome. Having villains with depth is obviously preferable in most instances, at least for me, because that essentially raises the stakes. Understanding motivations for the hero is one thing, but being able to see the point of view of the antagonist, and being able to relate to them on some level, can be much more thought-provoking.
Other than the villains not being compelling characters however, I’d say this film was an absolutely marvelous experience. Kizumonogatari: Nekketsu knows how to experiment and perfect almost every single aspect of itself, presenting its unique mastery of visual design, cunning cinematography, and brilliantly whimsical editing, to far exceed our necessary requirements of captivation. And I haven’t even addressed the musical score, which is full of fantastic jazz renditions that really add to the whole “film noir” motif that the movie also has going for it. While it does suck that film was arbitrarily cut into three parts, it’s still incredibly satisfying to witness an hour of this extraordinary piece of art.
4: Mushishi Zoku Shou: Suzu no Shizuku
Japanese: 蟲師 続章: 鈴の雫
MAL Score: 8.61
On a warm summer day, a boy heard the sound of bells ringing, as if in celebration, in the mountain near his home. Several years later in that same mountain, the mushishi Ginko encounters a strange girl with weeds growing out of her body. Soon after, Ginko coincidentally runs into the now grown-up boy Yoshiro on his way off the mountain. With Yoshiro’s help, Ginko soon begins to uncover who this mysterious girl is and what happened to her.
An adaptation of the last arc in the manga, Mushishi Zoku Shou: Suzu no Shizuku follows Ginko’s peculiar journey amidst the occult to unravel the mystery behind the enigmatic girl called Kaya and the mountain that has become her home.
Drops of Bells (the title of the double-episode) basically tells of humanity’s growing more and more separate from nature. The plot is of a human girl chosen from birth to be the next lord of a mountain, yet her human family cannot understand this and strive to keep her from the destiny forced upon her by nature’s law. The primary plot point is that humans aren’t really fit for the task of mountain lord, as humans possess a wisdom unlike other animals that is unfit for becoming one with the mountain, and possess a heart that can be crushed under the weight of the thriving life throughout the mountain. However, Ginko basically says that despite humanity being as separate as it is from nature’s law, it is still a part of the whole.
That’s the Tao for you. Humanity’s a bitch, and balance with nature is dead. However, that doesn’t take the Tao out of the human species. As a human murders a bird for sport, it’s the same life force flowing through each of them, and when the bird falls to the ground as a corpse that life force does not die with it. That’s the way of shit, and that’s what’s so real about Mushishi. It takes that whole concept and makes the whole unexplainability of the Tao explainable through the beings known as mushi. That’s exactly it; Mushishi makes the unexplainable explainable. Ain’t that just the coolest shit? That’s what makes Mushishi the pinnacle of Japanese animation and manga.
[Edit: Replace the Chinese “Tao” with the Japanese “Kannagara” and you basically get the same idea. The latter concept is likely what Urushibara was familiar with.]
In the first half of Suzu no Shizuku, a girl leaves her family behind when she’s summoned to be the next lord of a mountain. Thriving lands, called “Rivers of Light”, require the presence of a lord to maintain the balance of the surrounding life. Choosing a human as a lord is an unusual move, however. Such a task is typically delegated to animals since they live with fewer emotional attachments.
Several of the introspective themes that were previously explored in the Mushishi world are summarized here—most notably interconnectedness, the indifference of nature, and the necessity of letting go. All life—plants, animals, and humans—are dependent on each other, and are influenced by the ripples of cause and effect. Nature, which is personified in Suzu no Shizuku as the mountain lord, acts as the unbiased mediator. The overarching lesson seems to be that we should appreciate what we have, and not cling when the time comes to move on.
The second half concludes the story without quite concluding the series. The ending leaves some questions unanswered, but it ties up enough to guide your imagination to where the stories and characters could progress into the distant future. I’ll refrain from deconstructing this any further. To me, Mushishi is more of a meditation than a conventional story, and is therefore best appreciated without excessive analysis.
The art, animation, and sound design have remained remarkably consistent since its premiere in 2005. The backgrounds in Suzu no Shizuku are just as gorgeous as they were when the first season aired. The character and special effects animation are fluid and precise. And the subdued and ambient melodies that have become a hallmark of this series are present here as well.
When you think about it, it’s kind of a miracle that Mushishi, which is essentially about life experiences and nature, was made with such a substantial budget in today’s hungry and impatient climate. I’m grateful that ArtLand was willing to take a chance on such an esoteric and spiritual story, and that it’s been successful enough to adapt in its entirety. It’s been a truly extraordinary experience.
Watched the first season about a year ago and over the course of good 3 weeks and now the second season with all the specials in 2 days.
I was really not in the mood for this show and actually wanted to look for some slice of life anime instead but I did it anyway and this show is really so, oh so different from any other. Never have I seen or heard of an anime that could compare to Mushishi. Regarding my expectations, I knew what I was diving into since I read that the ‘episodic’ part doesn’t die down in the second season, and that’s very true. Just know, there’s a very good reason why every single season and/or special has a rating of 8.5/10 or higher on MyAnimeList.
Well, let’s do this.
Mushishi is one of the most interesting anime in every way. That also goes for the animation. It is among the most exceptional things I have seen in anime. The way it fits the mood and overall theme of the anime and the way it underlines everything is just amazing. Every background could be an actual painting. Nothing is half-assed. And as a Winter fanatic, the episodes that take place in deep Winter absolutely make my heart melt. The sheer beauty of the scenery with snow everywhere is exceeding pleasure for the eyes. It basically screams melancholia and sadness in a way but due to the art style combined with the theme of the story it also has such warmth, it’s hauntingly beautiful.
One more thing I really enjoyed about the animation were the designs of the Mushi. They had such original and vivid designs and were moving in such weird ways. Real creativity by the creators right there. And not to forget the design of the people in the show, who basically make up the entire show. That’s what this show is about. The humans have this distinct look and these very distinct, round features that instantly let you know what show you’re watching because no other anime has this kind of look to it. Only thing was that sometimes you couldn’t make out the difference between characters from different episodes since a lot of them look so, well… normal! But that’s not really a bad thing. So all in all, can’t complain, oh no!
First to the openings.
The opening for the first season is Ally Kerr – Sore Feet Song. Second one is Lucy Rose – Shiver. Like everything else, they fit the atmosphere of this anime like my old shirts fit me again because I lost a lot of weight. They’re as calm as they could be and also, they’re English songs by English artists. I have both on my phone and love them to bits because they bring you back into this show and all that you experienced in it. Lovely. And now…
Oh man. That soundtrack.
What’s there to say? Ever heard of Feng Shui? Yes? This is like it, but just a bit less boring for the show. The soundtrack is by Toshiro Masuda, who also made the soundtrack for the original Naruto show. And I still remember how incredibly well that soundtrack burnt itself into my mind. So well, that you can play me a song out of the Naruto soundtrack in about 30 years and I will probably still instantly know where it’s from. The same goes for Mushishi. And let me stress this. The soundtrack Could. Not. Fit. The. Show. Any. Better. This soundtrack is absolute brilliance. It takes the very, very calm theme of the show and makes it even calmer. And as with the Naruto one, these tracks, these very calming tracks with bells, light flutes and beautiful melodies will dig inside of your head, maybe without you even noticing, and they will stay there. If you ever feel stressed or burnt out, even if you haven’t seen Mushishi, you should listen to this soundtrack. It’s so hauntingly beautiful I still have all of it on my phone and listen to it regularly when I want to feel at ease. Fantastic, brilliant work, I can’t stress this enough.
There is the problem I have with this show. While on the one hand I completely understand how the author wanted to write this anime, since it is episodic in every way until the very last minute, I still can’t completely wrap my head around the fact that we basically know nothing about the main character at the end of this show. And by nothing I mean almost nothing. There were like 2 episodes that revealed a bit and then a tiny bit more that was sprinkled here and there but that’s about it. There is no overarching storyline that leads to some grand finale or anything. But then again, this show started as mysterious as it ended. I understand the idea behind that thought. It is probably the most ‘grown up’ show I have ever seen. That’s the best way to describe it for me.
The entire thing plays in old Japan (probably?) and it’s about our main character Ginko. And that, dear people, was a lie just now. Since he is the main character, but he travels through the land for a particular reason and he is what they call a Mushishi. Since Mushi are basically entities that can’t be seen by most people but they are part of nature just like any plant or animal would be, they can interact with humans and might do harm. Some change peoples’ surroundings, some change the people themselves. And they all are connected through the big Light Veins that flow through the earth that basically represent life itself. The best way to describe it is basically… There are poisonous plants or for example mosquitoes, right? These plants or bugs don’t attack humans for any malicious reasons nor do they mean any harm, they’re just there, doing their thing. And that’s what Mushi are, just that most people can’t see them. And that’s where the Mushishi come in. They can see them and research them to find cures for the problems these things cause.
But again, I personally feel a bit of a lack of an overarching plot… Maybe that’s just me though!
Well, well. You have to create a main character for your show. How do you do that?
Don’t ask me.
I’m an idiot.
These people did it right though. Oh and how well they did it…
Ginko is probably one of the most simple, most complex, most mysterious and most interesting and greatest characters I know in anime. He is an enigma from episode one until the last episode and aside from a bit of info about his past, he will stay that way. Full of questions and answers and full of self-sacrifice. Always with that Mushi-repellent cigarette in his mouth. Simply put, he’s cool as fuck. And chill as fuck. I don’t want to imagine this show without Ginko. His personality was perfectly written and as the animation and soundtrack, fits this show 100%. And he’s a lone traveler. He doesn’t have any travel buddies. No cute mascot that lives in his backpack and no shits to give. Actually that last one is wrong, because he actually cares a lot about every part of nature there is and in every way possible. A young, wise man that says stuff that you will find yourself thinking about twice. More than just once. One of my all-time favorite characters in anime.
Regarding the other characters, most of them are very ‘normal’. In the most purest way. They’re just villagers or wanderers who are just casual people in old Japan. And they don’t have any blue or red or green hair. This anime doesn’t need stuff like that to have you, the watcher, remember who is who. Because honestly, you forget. And that’s kind of part of this show. They’re just normal townsfolk and once Ginko did whatever a Ginko does he just leaves, mostly, never to return. So given that they’re supposed to be as normal as it gets, most fill their role well. They do just what they should do. But a few can seem a bit too bland to be honest. They just have nothing special going for them at all. They’re TOO normal. But that’s my only problem here. Good.
Overall just probably one of the best shows I have had the pleasure to watch. But that ending left me wanting more. I really lacked a conclusion to something. Again, there was no overarching problem, but I just wanted something more… I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m really content with what I got since that ending was as enigmatic and classy as this show has deserved it to be, but it’s just the syndrome of ‘I want more’ after having reached the end of a good show, you know?
I wasn’t in the mood for this show. But this show put me in the mood for it in about 2 episodes. It is absolutely, ABSOLUTELY fantastic. You have my word on this.
Mushishi (All of it): 9/10
I don’t know what I’m gonna watch next. Gotta find a quality show but don’t know what…
Also it’s 7am, why do I always get in the mood to write these when it’s late as hell. Goddammit.
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: Made in Abyss Movie 3: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei
Japanese: 劇場版メイドインアビス 深き魂の黎明
MAL Score: 8.70
Continuing their perilous descent down the Abyss, Riko, Regu, and newfound friend Nanachi reach the Abyss’ fifth layer, The Sea of Corpses. Upon arriving at the research station known as Idofront, the main trio encounter the mysterious Prushka, the alleged daughter of Bondrewd, who leads them to the White Whistle responsible for Nanachi’s dark past. Despite the welcoming appearances of Idofront’s residents, Nanachi warns the young adventurers that things are not always what they seem. With the only route to the sixth layer shrouded in mystery and Bonedrewd’s schemes awaiting them, what sacrifices must be made in order to continue the journey down to the bottom of the Abyss?
Well, last 15 minutes and certain character almost ruined my enjoyment. Beware of spoilers and grammar.
I wasn’t in fond of Prushka, although I felt very pressured to feel sorry for her. She didn’t do anything important through the whole movie and when it tried to give her some bits of characterization with a flashback it came awkward at best. Her arc feels like a lazy attempt to recreate the same feeling as Mitty’s story, but from my perspective, even though the scene itself is emotional and dramatic, it has no meaning considering Prushka’s lack of screentime prior to it. There’s no understood chemistry between Prushka and Riko, no reason to become emotionally attached to their “friendship” which was build offsreen. In many ways Made in Abyss tells us that their bond matters, but that’s never justified in anything shown in the movie. Prushka barely interacts with Riko in any meaningful way, usually in flashbacks, but even then it’s not enough for her character to develop such a deep attachment in inredibly short period. So, when certain twist happened, it just fell apart.
I can’t help, but I feel like Riko didn’t deserve White Whistle. Everything comes on silver plate in her story and I don’t feel anything, but frustration about her reaching status of legendary delver. We haven’t seen her actually working to earn it (and reveal about origin of Bondrewd’s White Wistle makes it even more shallow in comparison) because she was carried by luck and overpowered companions from start to finish. I can’t say that that she is completely useless, but she is nowhere as great as Made in Abyss tries to present her. Riko is just “sunshine child” that everyone protects and allows her to take credit for their hard work. Inspirational characters can be interesting, but they still have to be relatable on some level and their bravery and optimism has to feel earned, but Riko fails to serve as a source of inspiration because the real world is never so overwhelmingly convenient. Made in Abyss tries to be a story about the depths of human desire for unknown, because curiosity can take a twisted form, and dealing with this theme when main character is kid is fantastic opportunity to show how Abyss messes with minds of explorers. But Riko is never in danger of becoming the monster like other White Whistles, everything is always solved by others and she doesn’t need to sacrifice her morals or anything to continue adventure. She plays the role of the goody two-shoes and the story’s logic contorts to her aspiration of never getting her hands dirty or push Riko to evolve from her naive idealism. If a sacrifice has to be committed, it will be done by someone else, if Riko makes a risky choice, she never has to deal with the consequences.
This time Made in Abyss certainly disappointed me. The movie is like opposite of the first season – it starts bleak and hopeless, but once Reg went full on marysue against Bondrewd and Riko shot him with a sniper accuracy (as if her arm wasn’t break into pieces not so long ago), it started to feel like a boring shounen with a forced tear jerker. It has a good premise, but hindered by bland characters with no chemistry and the unearned progression, as its plot points felt incredibly contrived and reliant on external factors like Reg’s almighty combat mode rather than anything the characters made.
Right now it seems no different from any seasonal popcorn anime where everything can be solved with the power of (poorly written) friendship or sudden power ups. I want dark fantasy adventure story about the Abyss, not a crybait melodrama with the same reused twist about suffering lolis.
This movie follows our challengers, Riko, Reg, and Nanachi as they challenge Bondrewd and the 5th layer of the abyss. Bondrewd, being the monster that he is, obviously won’t make that easy on them, and as such we have this movie.
In terms of the Made in Abyss arcs, this is absolutely the peak of the story thus far. All of the events that happen over the course of the journey through Idofront are so perfectly executed, I can’t help but wonder how Tsukushi does it.
Anyways, the main things I like to talk about here are the soundtrack, and Bondrewd himself. The soundtrack, first of all, is perfect. I genuinely can not think of a single issue with the soundtrack, every song is incredible and perfectly fits with the tone of whatever scene it is used in, Kevin Penkin is quite possibly the best composer on earth. From The Rumble of Scientific Triumph to Riko’s Motherfucking Cooking, every song in this movie is perfect.
Final thing I want to talk about is Bondrewd, so spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
I genuinely can not think of a better and more interesting antagonist. In all of anime. Or even all of media itself. Even when he lays dying on the ground after losing the final fight, all he wishes for is for our group to successfully continue on their journey, no ill will, no revenge swearing, just a simple wish for their journey to be filled with curses and blessings. After all the horrible things that he had done, even Nanachi, arguably the one most affected by this horrible monster, came to a sort of mutual understanding with him, because that’s just the type of person he is. He doesn’t do anything out of malice, he merely just wants to know all the mysteries that the abyss has to offer, and will go to disgusting lengths to do so.
Final thoughts, as for final thoughts, I really don’t have anything else to say. The movie is perfect, everything about it is perfect, the staff put their heart and soul into this and what came out was the peak of all media. Thank you Kinema Citrus, thank you Kevin Penkin, thank you Akihito Tsukushi, thank you all for the incredible experience that you have given to us. From the bottom of my heart, i love you all for your work, keep putting in the groundbreaking effort to bring this story to life.
The movie picks up right after the end of the first season and covers everything in the 5th layer expanding on what the finale of the previous season built up to and does it beautifully. I was initially worried when Kinema shifted from a traditional season to movie format but boy did it deliver while only cutting out very few things from the manga original story while adding in another scene for some additional context.
Getting into the main elements of this movie, animation and the soundtrack are of course an absolute masterpiece to watch and listen to. The characters really managed to capture everything I love about seeing them dive down deeper into this hellhole and the story still instills that sense of wonder and imagination while answering questions but raising even more about whats really down there at the bottom and why the curse does so much to the human mind and body. It really is a true joy how this movie makes all my theories of whats down there explode into so much more.
The animators really captured every moment with the highest quality possible to match or even beat most Ghibli movies, especially the fights which are some of the most beautiful parts of the movie. Absolutely flawless! (10/10)
Kevin Penkin already had an amazing soundtrack with season 1 and came back around and delivered the greatest soundtrack I’ve ever heard beating out the likes of Nier Automata and AoT. This man really is the greatest composer and I can’t wait for the MiA OST 3! (10/10)
[Story and Characters]
Reg and Riko, its hard to believe how the Abyss has made them grow so quickly and how different they are since leaving Orth. Over the course of one season and a movie they still have that innocent child-like personality they did in the beginning but throughout this movie it shows how much they’ve matured since departing. Reg, between being apart of and witnessing horrific events and then forcing himself to do things that he absolutely hates in order to protect the two he cherishes most. Riko getting to show how intelligent she is with Prushka, figuring out secrets that even Nanachi didn’t know, and expressing what she really wants to do with her group and what she will do once at the bottom it really is emotionally touching to see. Nanachi, we finally get to know the additional backstory she hinted at the end of season one and what she did after becoming a Hollow during that time at Idofront and it is one of the most heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever seen and also one of few moments in any manga to make me cry. These three are truly some of the best characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing grow throughout a series and it only makes sense to have an equally rivaled antagonist. Bondrewd, where do I even begin? This is my all time favorite antagonist and what really captures the greatness of this arc. The first time all these characters meet is enough to let you know whats going to happen and the things he does after match that intensity. Bondrewd is so obsessed with attaining what is called the Blessing and will do whatever it takes to obtain it. But he never harpers any negative emotion or ill will in doing these things, if anything he really loves all of these characters especially his daughter Prushka and it is shown at the end with Prushka’s backstory and his new aspiration of hope that all of them reach the bottom as he loses what he spent years trying to obtain. Truly a character that won’t ever be topped. (10/10)
Final Thoughts and Score: This is the easiest 10/10 I could ever give, it truly is a sequel and series that has no rival and to give it a 10 feels unfair for how much this movie raised the bar across everything I could analyze, it deserves some extra credit. I may end up raising some of your expectations to high and affect how you go into watching it, but I can’t help it, this movie is absolute perfection in my eyes and I never see anime literally build this much depth to where the characters, the world, and I as a viewer are so intertwined together throughout the series that it invokes this much raw emotion and investment to where I listen to the OST everyday and refine my theories as to what will happen going forward and how it will end. As well as where Tsukushi draws his inspiration from his story to see if I can guess anything from what he references. This will be a series I will remember fondly and revisit throughout the rest of my life and I’m truly thankful that its getting the recognition it truly deserves.
1: Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
MAL Score: 8.81
After helping revive the legendary vampire Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade, Koyomi Araragi has become a vampire himself and her servant. Kiss-shot is certain she can turn him back into a human, but only once regaining her full power.
Araragi has hunted down the three vampire hunters that defeated Kiss-shot and retrieved her limbs to return her to full strength. However, now that Araragi has almost accomplished what he’s been fighting for this whole time, he has to consider if this is what he really wants. Once he revives this powerful immortal vampire, there is no telling what she might do, and there would be no way of stopping her.
But there is more to the story that Araragi doesn’t understand. If a newborn vampire like him could defeat the hunters, how did they overpower Kiss-shot? Can he trust her to turn him back to a human? And how is that even possible in the first place?
Araragi is at his limit but he must come to a decision, and it may not be possible to resolve this situation without doing something he’ll regret…
As perfect as they were, I almost regret giving the other two movies tens, for now I have no numerical way of showing that this one is far superior to even them. Spoilers for those movies, obviously.
Anyone who’s seen the main Monogatari series can tell you that the difference between pre-Kizu Araragi and post-Kizu Araragi is like night and day. The question, though, is this: what happened in Kizu to change him so dramatically? There were two catalysts: Hanekawa and Kissshot. In Nekketsu, we saw him learn the joy of true friendship when Hanekawa obstinately stuck by him where any sane human wouldn’t have. In Reiketsu, we see the effect Kissshot had on him. This relied on buildup from the previous two movies – through them, the viewer and Araragi had to come to like Kissshot. But this is a review for Reiketsu, so I’ll quickly move on to why that’s important here and now. You know how Kizu has been devoid of the signature Araragi narration that pervades the main series? It comes back after a certain scene in this movie. My belief is that it’s intended as a delineator between pre- and post-Kizu Araragi. “This scene is where the transition was complete.” I don’t want to go into further detail because I don’t want to force my interpretation on you, but the takeaway from this paragraph is this: Araragi’s character arc in Kizu is very cleverly done, making use of both female leads, who themselves have character arcs.
Readers of the book know that there’s a very long talk scene in this movie (after the one I was just alluding to), meaning that Shaft has to pull out all their Monogatari tricks to keep the viewer’s eyes open. And they do it well. The tone shifts at a moment’s notice, with the OST and the animation style as its indicators, keeping it from becoming monotonous. The comedic timing was brilliant, enhancing jokes to be even more funny. The symbolism is cheesy and heavy-handed – to comedic effect. It was clear that Shaft knew they were being ridiculous with the symbolism in this scene.
This has nothing to do with Shaft, but the juxtaposition of the two talk scenes (both of which I talked about, believe it or not) really is brilliant. It’s like a modified Hero’s Journey template that has two Audience with the Father sections. It raises the stakes for the Ultimate Boon section.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about that, shall we? The fight scene in this movie was a lot longer and more action-packed than I remember it being in the novel. Frankly, it was amazing. Several parts of it were somehow silly and badass at the same time. The best part, though, was that we knew our characters. They were both unique, well-developed, and interesting. Think about – REALLY think about the climactic showdowns you’ve seen and name one that fits all three of those criteria. Ain’t easy, is it?
But as any reader of the novel knows, the real climax of this story is the very, very end. Remember that legendary narration from the last few paragraphs of the novel? They kept it. Every last word. A huge number of factors make it so that the end of the fight scene isn’t also the end of the movie’s tension. Your socks will be blown off.
After writing so much about this movie, it made me realize why I consider it so much better than the first two, though they were perfect too: out of the three Kizu installments, this is the one that feels most like a standalone movie. Its tone shifts multiple times, its pacing is extremely varied, and it feels like it has a proper climax. What was Tekketsu’s climax? “Pleasure doin’ business with you.” It was hard to say that that movie was anything more than set-up (albeit very good set-up) for the next two. What was Nekketsu’s climax? “I’m not a human anymore.” The story was quite obviously nowhere near any satisfying endpoint, and we had two character arcs very openly unresolved. It was, again, hard to argue that it had merit as a standalone movie. These problems were borne of Aniplex’s decision to cut Kizu into three, which is why they didn’t affect my scores for the movies themselves, but it’s worth noting why Reiketsu is so much better than Tekketsu and Nekketsu.
Now that I’ve talked at you for five friggin’ hours, I’d like to end my review with this. Out of all the anime movies I’ve seen here in Japan so far (Kimi no Na wa, KnK, Nekketsu, Planetarian, Kagerou Daze, AC…), this is the only one where I’ve walked out of the theater and thought to myself, “I want to see this again, right now.”
Oh, and there’s no post-credits scene. Sorry! No “Owari S2 soon” or “Musubi in stores now” or anything.
Kizumonogatari takes a cinematic approach on the well-established TV series the Monogatari series. This is truly a prequel that can only be appreciated when watching all of the series up towards Owarimonogatari. If you want Kizumonogatari in the chronological order you are watching anime wrong and the entire intention of the series is ruined. The foreshadowing is lost and you lose the bigger picture SHAFT tried to create for Nisio’s work.
But before going through Kizu 1 and 2 we are here on this page for Kizu 3. Kizu 3 was truly a wounded story. A story that doesn’t end happy nor does it end conclusive. It’s a prequel to the giant franchise therefore whatever happens at the end is only just the beginning. The story begins right where we left off. Arararararagi has collected the arms for Kiss Shot and is now going to see her full form. After some talks with Meme, we finally see her beautiful, bodacious, succulent body in all of her motherly, milf, glory. Truly a work of art. Fastword and we get to see the conflict arise. Ararararararararagi begins to realize that Kiss Shot in her full form is a danger to the human race. Internal conflict starts to brew within our young naive main character. Most of the middle part of the movie is focused on Hanekawa and Ararararararararararagi getting prepared to fight Kiss Shot. Of course, this wouldn’t be the Gatari series without fanservice. And with some big ole’ titties, it’s obvious that Hanekawa will motivate him with her body. So to summarize, the first half is Kiss Shot and Arararagi, Second half is Hanekawa. Now the final part is strictly a fight between the two. This fight goes on for a while but you never truly get bored. There are 10 different art styles and animation styles in this 1 fight that you never get bored. As I stated early, you will have so much fun with this. To be exact, this might be the best fight scene in all of the anime. Scratch that, might is underselling it. It is the best fight scene. Bless you, father Oishi, the series director of Bake and storyboard for Kizu. And we end with a great moment. But it’s not a happy one. Everyone is equally miserable. But that’s what true happiness is. Wait for that like communism. I digress. Ararararagi ends up not killing Kiss Shot and having her live her life feeding of him to live. Arararagi doesn’t turn back into a human. And they will spend their lives worried about someone hunting them.
So where do the first 2 movies play in this? The first movie serves as a way to introduce us back into the world. However, in a new world, Oishi constructed. The world where things are more avant grade. The world where internal monolog isn’t needed. Exposition is replaced with visual storytelling. The second movie serves as the meat of the story. Showing us the best fights and the most interesting plot points. This movie serves as the concluding narrative to branch into the sequels. Sincerely, this is the best installment in the Gatari series. But to understand the lore more one must have watched everything that aired. I have to say, this is one of the best movies I have watched in my life. Thank you, Shaft, thank you, Oishi. God bless Japan.
BUT WAIT THERES MORE. The ecchi scenes are amazing in this movie and so is the fight scenes. Hanekawa and Kiss Shot titties are a 10/10 alone.
Kizumonogatari is back and at last we get the last piece of the puzzle, This time part three otherwise known as “Reiketsu-hen” or “Cold Blood”. The final chapters animated, just how well did it do?.
Story 10 / 10
We start the film at a brief conversation between the characters of Oshino Meme and Araragi Koyomi talking how it is unreal how Koyomi managed to overwhelm the hunters that were after his life and his master, Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade.
The film progresses as we see a rampant return of the eloquence of visuals, symbolism and long chats that have left a mark on anime by the now known “The Monogatari Series”. Reiketsu unites the presence of Monogatari by displaying thought and process of our main character Araragi Koyomi and the familiar Monologues as we se how Araragi opens up his conscious and spills it right before all of us all and notice how he has changed. Reiketsu shows us how is it that Araragi came to be as characters and show the transition to us all by splitting up the process.
As on Tekketsu, Kizumonogatari is Visceral as it appealed to human instinct of its rawness but also included a conversation oriented presentation that carried the first act.
Nekketsu focused more on youth, The youth of our characters reminding us just how over their heads the main protagonist are, being Hanekawa Tsubasa and Araragi Koyomi. It imposed the rampant sexuality and the ego of our characters and it brought forth action to the table that greatly differs from the first act, Tekketsu.
Reiketsu in the other hand combined all of that, and brought us the current formula of Monogatari as the last piece of the puzzle is unlocked and we get those ever so necessary inner monologues showing us the how! of how can someone who lives on being spontaneous and show us the results that it carry. It also shows us the result of forbidden knowledge, as the more you know, the less safer the world becomes.
Reiketsu at large, It can be called the very beginning of the franchise of The Monogatari formula, it can also be the start of series itself but buried in all that, Reiketsu was the conclusion and acceptance to the end of ordinary lives that will from now on live knowing of the supernatural.
Art 10 / 10
Shaft really outdid themselves with this final arc, and brought us more fluidity we ever dreamt off to the screen surpassing the preceding films in the direction of visuals and their rawness, the combination of 3D CGI with 2D artistry of the highest caliber showcased on a eccentric but fully working presentation that the trilogy is. as well as honoring the culture of animation now that it has become a well define characteristic of the new culture of japan, that marvelously attracts new blood to japan enticed for the ever newer pile of contribution to society with impact on international scale.
Sound 10 / 10
The sound direction was astounding, as it was the voice actors on their A game. followed by well composed OSTs and keeping the old school horror feel you’d normally feel from Alfred Hitchcock, as many reference and use of direction clearly referenced the style and with new twist to the presentation of the film.
Character 10 / 10
Our characters, Oshino Meme, Araragi Koyomi, Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade and Finally Tsubasa Hanekawa were connected on highly unusual ways that your standard presentation, As their interaction feels timelined of progress aided by well directed visuals and ever accurate sound directions.
Our characters are weaved on the thread of ignorance, youth and experience. weaving them differently but ultimately presenting us in split acts the coming together of a series and the buiding blocks of a character we’ve enjoyed for years on the Monogatari franchise.
I’ve waited for this for a long time, due to work I sadly missed this film while on theaters because of work. Know this though, any anger I held and all regret that plagued me as I patiently waited for clearly was worth every second now that I’ve witnessed the final film.
If you’re a monogatari fan, I highly recommend it and if you’re not give it a shot, For it is very possible you’d be one of us and enjoy of the international harmony and fandom that surrounds The Monogatari Series
However as much as I loved the movies, If I was director I would have added and removed a couple of things. In comparison I liked the structure of Tekketsu. The Alfred Hitchcock direction references and the music with cold moments with well executed music.
For example, instead of the dancing monks when Araragi returns from the convinience store to Kiss-Shot, I would reuse the animation just prior, where Kiss Shot in all her forms are running about in the garden of flowers, I would reuse that but change the background into a landscape of corpses and/or entrails. Adding some blood to the faces of the multiple kiss shots creating a better visual of Araragi Koyomi world view, the alternative would be to use the style of Onimonogatari painting like style but of old Europe showing vampires with human skulls since it’s a European folklore, Given the use of French I’m guessing Kiss-Shot is probably of French relativity . If used the first scenario with the landscapes I would put a stare similar to hanekawa just like how she looked right after passing out in front of ararsgi after being ripped open by episode’s cross and place it in the multiple kiss-shots.
I would add the same effect to Guillotine Cutter severed head, and remove the CGI because that’s the only section where it doesn’t really play well the CGI environment and 2D people is awesome but making Guillotine Cutter that way really steals from the punch araragi is supposed to feel.
I would have also added on the beginning a little flashback in black on white, same style as tekketsu, when Oshino Meme first came In contact with Kiss Shot the legendary vampire and her power as a little background when Meme tells araragi when he took Kiss-Shots heart.
Maybe that’s just me, Absolute masterpiece of a trilogy nevertheless.
Overall Grade: 10
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
2. Made in Abyss Movie 3: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei
3. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu
4. Mushishi Zoku Shou: Suzu no Shizuku
5. Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
6. Kara no Kyoukai 5: Mujun Rasen
7. Zoku Owarimonogatari
8. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movie 3: Hangyaku no Monogatari
9. Kara no Kyoukai 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Go)
10. Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira
11. Made in Abyss Movie 2: Hourou Suru Tasogare
12. Detective Conan Movie 06: The Phantom of Baker Street
13. Kuroshitsuji Movie: Book of the Atlantic
14. Detective Conan Movie 13: The Raven Chaser
15. Detective Conan Movie 20: The Darkest Nightmare
16. Lupin III: Cagliostro no Shiro
17. Made in Abyss Movie 1: Tabidachi no Yoake
18. Detective Conan Movie 14: The Lost Ship in the Sky
19. Detective Conan Movie 05: Countdown to Heaven
20. Detective Conan Movie 08: Magician of the Silver Sky
21. Detective Conan Movie 18: The Sniper from Another Dimension
22. Omoide no Marnie
23. Detective Conan Movie 10: Requiem of the Detectives
24. Kara no Kyoukai 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu
26. Detective Conan Movie 03: The Last Wizard of the Century
27. Detective Conan Movie 04: Captured in Her Eyes
28. Detective Conan Movie 15: Quarter of Silence
29. Kara no Kyoukai Movie: Mirai Fukuin
30. xxxHOLiC Movie: Manatsu no Yoru no Yume
31. Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor 2 the Movie
32. Death Billiards
33. Detective Conan Movie 02: The Fourteenth Target
34. Lupin III vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
35. Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple
36. Kara no Kyoukai 4: Garan no Dou
37. Detective Conan Movie 01: The Timed Skyscraper
38. Detective Conan Movie 22: Zero the Enforcer
39. Detective Conan Movie 23: The Fist of Blue Sapphire
40. Lupin III: The First
41. Detective Conan Movie 07: Crossroad in the Ancient Capital
42. Kara no Kyoukai 2: Satsujin Kousatsu (Zen)
43. Detective Conan Movie 09: Strategy Above the Depths
44. Detective Conan Movie 12: Full Score of Fear
45. Tiger & Bunny Movie 2: The Rising
46. Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society 3D
47. Detective Conan Movie 16: The Eleventh Striker
48. Detective Conan Movie 19: The Hellfire Sunflowers
49. Shingeki no Kyojin: Chronicle
50. Detective Conan Movie 17: Private Eye in the Distant Sea