They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Ace wo Nerae! (1979), Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation, Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation – Stargazer, and more!
50: Ace wo Nerae! (1979)
English: Aim for the Ace! (1979)
MAL Score: 6.83
High school freshman Hiromi joins the tennis club because of her admiration for Ryuzaki. Ryuzaki is a senior, who’s the best tennis player on the team and also nicknamed “Ochoufujin”, (“Madame Butterfly”), because of her elegance on the tennis court. However, the new coach, Jin Munakata, wants the inexperienced Hiromi to play in a forthcoming tournament.
Due to this, Hiromi considers quitting tennis for good but, in the depth of her soul, she soon realizes that she loves tennis after all. She returns to the club and, under Munakata’s coaching, her talent starts to bloom.
In the end, Hiromi develops a strong emotional bond with her coach, not knowing that Munakata is risking his life because of a chronic illness.
This movie serves as a recap for the television series from the early 70s. Since I went into this movie not seeing the original series, I can’t compare how this film does justice to it or the original manga. However as a standalone story it’s a very good one. Hiromi Oka is a freshman member of her high schools tennis club, which also happens to have many of the best players in the country. On her first day a new coach is introduced and Hiromi is quickly picked by him as a top new prospect, though no one else seems to see this talent including Hiromi herself. He pushes her with a brutal training regiment and slowly she becomes better and more confident leading up to the ultimate goal of making the national squad to compete internationally.
The movie features great sports action and even though I am not particularly a fan of tennis, I found the action to be both realistic and exciting. It also does a great job of keeping it simple. Often movies, particularly recap ones, try to do too much and cram so much information in them that they end up not making a lot of sense. That’s not the case here as we are given just enough background on the supporting cast to make you care for the characters. While the focus of the story remains fixed on the tennis aspects, Ace wo Nerae does a good job of mixing in a little romance and some compelling dramatic plotlines.
I really loved the cast and in particular the lead, Hiromi Oka. She is a bit of your standard leading lady but I found her to be a very interesting and likeable character. I can imagine that she has influenced many of the anime heroines that have succeeded her over the years. The strict coach Jin Munakata, is your typically stoic man with a mysterious past. Though his motivations are hidden from the audience for almost the entire film when they are revealed I felt that they worked pretty well. The rest of the cast is good and the character archetypes will be familiar. Reika who is the best player on the team and is idolized by Hiromi, is aloof and tough on Oka because she doesn’t think she deserves what the coach gives her. She’s a pretty good foil for Hiromi though you can’t really call her a villain. Unlike a lot of sports stories where the rival of the hero or heroine is usually a total asshole, Reika doesn’t come across that way nor will be hated by viewers. Toudou is the best male player on the team and is the love interest for Oka. He’s a likeable character though the romance elements take a backseat to the sports action.
For a movie from the late 70s, the animation holds up remarkably well to today’s standards. The art and character designs are top notch and it is quite beautiful to watch. The only thing that really is painful to view is some of the god awful hair styles and clothing. The acting is very solid as well, though the music is typically 70s but neither particularly good nor bad. There are some really great sound effects however, the tennis matches sounded exactly like they should.
I strongly encourage everyone to go out and try to find a copy of this movie to watch. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of anime should give this a shot. Don’t let its age fool you, Ace wo Nerae! is classic.
High Schooler Oka has one goal: to play tennis. Especially with the much more beautiful and mature Madame Butterfly. A tennis queen unmatched in elegance and power. Among her peers she is just like the rest of the newcomers. Unskilled and clumsy. So it is much to all’s surprise when new coach Munakata choses Oka to play as a regular in an upcoming tournament rather than her seniors. The story grows as we see the main characters get ready for the final match between Madame Butterfly and Oka Hiromi. A coach with a harsh training style, a tennis newcomer who will do anything to achieve her dreams, and her bitter rival bent on defeating her through skill alone.
While nothing extremely deep (no, tennis does not reach to far into the psyche) Aim for the Ace offers a glimpse into what we all felt when we were younger, that our passions define our life.
I understand that the context was different for the demographic at the time. A 70s shoujo manga about a hot older man taking a passionate interest in you above and beyond the other girls, feverishly driving you to be the best version of yourself because of his dark, traumatic past. Were I a japanese teen girl 35 years ago, no doubt this is would be quite captivating to me. Judge it in those terms if you wish, but for me, as an adult in 2021, this is absolute garbaaaage.
Putting those issues aside, the pacing is poor and while some of the scenes are quite nice (Osamu Dezaki really shines in certain moments) overall the production is nothing to rave about. So take some pretty good direction, modest animation, and a fun enough main character and mix that with poor pacing and an absolutely garbage story and you get a 3/10
49: Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation
Japanese: グリザイア：ファントムトリガー THE ANIMATION
MAL Score: 6.94
Following the Heath Oslo incident, the existence of the US-Japanese anti-terror organization CIRS has become a matter of public knowledge. CIRS has been rebuilt from the ground up, and its most covert functions spun off to a new agency: SORD (Social Ops, Research & Development).
The goal of SORD is to train a new generation of operatives to defend the country against future threats. To that end, the organization has established a series of schools up and down the country. Mihama Academy, more-or-less left to rot after its abrupt closure, has been given new purpose as one such ‘specialist training school’.
This new incarnation of Mihama Academy is home to a diverse group of students, who every day work to polish their unusual skills – sometimes on the job. Mihama now entrusts the misfit girls who attend it with guns and live ammunition.
Paying their own safety no heed, these students are again and again plunged into dangerous extrajudicial missions – all for the good of the realm.
“We’ve been provided with a place in the world. That alone isn’t enough – there wouldn’t be any meaning in living, if that was all we had… It’s not enough just to be made use of by others. I live by my own strength, and I fight to survive. That’s the only way those of us who actually make it through can find forgiveness…”
No matter how much life grinds them down, what future awaits these girls, who’ve themselves chosen the path of the gun?
Ok, from what i understand, at Mihama Private academy a school for assassins has new 4 students, a class president, a homeroom teacher and a principle where they are assigned a proper mission to assassinate or capture a target which is different from the other Grisaias as they kill people to solve a problem or to save someone. However both of the shows also contains some similarities such as the epic fighting scenes and how there is still a sniper.
Also, I wouldn’t think that this isn’t a continuation of the Grisaia series because I think this is happenning while Yuuji is having his harem time on the island shown at the end of Grisaia no rakuen right? And lets be honest, even if the Grisaia series continues with the same character the whole story would just entirely be about harem and ecchi stuffs anyways so I think starting off with a new set of character can be a good choice as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it is wrong to dislike this show because I don’t think it is the best show as well, I’m just saying that if you dislike this show you should have a better reason than disliking because your favourite set of characters is no longer in the show.
This concludes my review of the show “Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation”, Thank you for reading
This show is just 40 minutes of uninteresting and predictable story. One more time all the characters are girls (except Aoi) and story is then filled of fan service and unnecessary scene that made the show a bit boring.
This movie is clearly bad compared to its predecessors.
The only positives aspect are: the animation that is well done and the music that I find interesting.
Dissociate from grisaia no rakuen, it makes a good original story, but in the grisaia’s universe this wasn’t necessary.
In the first movie, the story take place several years after grisaia no rakuen event. We follow the story of many students of the Mihama academy, a “secret” school where the government trains assassin. The story begins after the arrival of a new teacher.
This teacher is going to be in charge of the SORD. After witnessing a traffic, this teacher will be kidnapped by a criminal organization, so his students will leave to save her.
The story seems interressing but the action goes too fast, we do not have time to enjoy it.
Grisaia: Phantom Trigger the Animation feels by all means it took took the success and badassery of Rakuen and gave it a facelift, for the better or worse…
By all means, LA was actually perfectly happy with the original cast not being in Grisaia: Phantom Trigger the Animation, as it’s a new generation of characters at the helm of what the original cast once did and seeing the Grisaia world being expanded upon after the original cast left is a good thing, cos like come on, Yuuji and the rest of the battle harem went through hell and back, let them rest and have their happy ending.
As for the new cast, well LA latched onto Rena Fukami voiced by Maaya Uchida as the “rabid dog” of the cast, a glutton for food but has a crush on her “master” Haruto Aoi, but also a close quarter monster in battle, she’s your Yumiko. Next is Touka Shishigaya voiced by Ayane Sakura the long range sniper and the tsundere of the group, she’s your Michiru of the group. Christina Kujirase voiced by Kaori Nazuka is the bridge bunny and information gatherer of the group and the expected calm ojou-like character who handles the girls day to day chores, she’s your expected Sachi. Next is Murasaki Ikoma voiced by Atsumi Tanezaki the ninja and stealth operative and is your Makina, she was LA’s second favourite of the cast. Next is the character we narrative focus in the first half with is Shiori Arisaka voiced by Mikako Izawa and your Chizuru of the group. Finally is Haruto Aoi voiced by Tsubasa Yonaga, Rena’s master and the Yuuji of the group and a master swordsman in a ways but is the person taking care of the group outside of school as well, thus the Yuuji comparison.
The first half of the movie pretty much gives the basics of the character introductions LA mentioned above as well as mission in saving Shiori, wasn’t that bad as we get to know the cast as well as the re-structured Mihama Academy now being the spiritual successor of what the original cast went through in Rakuen. the second half was more focused towards Rena and her backstory when she encounters her childhood friend turned criminal oddjob killer Bucks/Maki Inohara voiced by Yoshino Nanjo. This was the obviously the more interesting segment of the movie as we get to delve deep into one of the groups, mainly in this case Rena and see how she became how she is now, not to mention she and Haruto got some development together as well as a result what with being master and rabid dog analogy they give to themselves. The second half if anything shows what potential the new cast has if we’re going into their backstories through their current missions and see them have a chance to develop as a result and showing off Rena’s was a good move in all honesty as LA came to like Rena even more.
The animation done by Bibury Animation Studios had great character designs and good to great gunfighting, add in the violence, semi-censored at times and considering what we’re dealing with in Grisaia some fan service and disservice moments and to say the animation done by Bibury was great is an understatement.
As for voice cast, well Maaya Uchida gets billing for LA mainly for favourite character by default but Ayane Sakura, Kaori Nazuka, Mikako Izawa, Atsumi Tanezaki and Yoshino Nanjo stood out, really the new cast was great in this movie, what could LA say, let alone they’re chemistry with one another, especially Maaya Uchida and Yoshino Nanjo.
So to say that not having the original cast of Grisaia is a disservice to this movie and the Grisaia franchise, well not really, LA sees Grisaia: Phantom Trigger the Animation as trying to expand the world with it’s new cast and trying to implemented what worked in Rakuen into these new characters, much like Grisaia in it’s early beginning of Kajustu, it ALSO had problems, so like that Grisaia: Phantom Trigger the Animation will have it’s problems, that LA will see and take note of, but Grisaia: Phantom Trigger the Animation by all means have LA interested and would like to see more with this new cast of characters, if Grisaia: Phantom Trigger the Animation will ever continue into an anime series.
48: Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation – Stargazer
Japanese: グリザイア：ファントムトリガー THE ANIMATION スターゲイザー
MAL Score: 6.94
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
The combination is odd as hell. There is fanservice. There are nuns. The nuns are spec ops. The spec ops nuns takes down a cartel villa in the jungle. There are Enemy at the Gates style sniper games, we spend forever setting them up and they’re over in like 5 minutes. There is a sniper loli from a pedagree of snipers whose father went rogue and killed his handler for causing the death of his wife, also a sniper. They check in with the audience every few minutes to make sure we understand that. Like really understand that. Everyone is a Loli, except the samurai handler guy who looks like a Loli. There is complex political intrigue as between military brass, the government, the handlers, and liasons between. For some reason a lesbian couple is not allowed to sortee and hangs back at “the academy”, taking up about 10 minutes of screentime in this very short movie for no reason whatsoever to complain and get grub and fall asleep. Two chickens are beheaded, much to the loli’s tutor’s dismay – and yes, she’s a loli, and a tutor, and she is permitted to sortee. Nearly dies when rappelling from helicopter.
I would love to have an actual sniper, seal, or any vet chime on this thing as to realism because the feel of it is remarkably like watching black hawk down, saving private ryan, band of brothers etc… but with colorfully designed Lolis and many needless interruptions to insert Anime content into this spec ops movie. Put it this way – if they were to spin this out into a series and call it “The Bourne Identities of Jailbait Child Soldiers” I would watch it for the combat. The military jargon and dialogue, the use of weapons and spotting and scoping and ops and handlers and tactical maneouvers… it’s like watching an “All Custscenes” video of a polished modern warfare style FPS game with Anime style graphics. I’m convinced such a title would actually be good now based on what I saw here. Frankly it’s fucking cool. The art is great and the way they chose to direct it is definitely atypical in a good way. There just wasn’t anything else going for this movie, unfortunately. I’m not familiar with the source material if there is any, so maybe that improves the viewing experience for those who are. I dunno, but I have to blast it sorry:
Sound – first the good, the gunshots. The sound effects in the jungle. The dropped bodies through the scope that make no sound, the silence was excellent. The radio comms. The explosions, the helicopter, the rapelling from the helicopter – really, it’s like they hired the people you would hire to do a warfare video game to do sound for this movie. Now, the bad – they did that whole edgy rock with vocals thing I just can’t stand during a fight scene at one point. The only acceptable use of this for me personally was Don’t Lose Your Way in Kill la Kill, and that was a very very different looking/feeling show and kind of fighting, and they used a very specific sample from that track in Kill la Kill. I can’t stand this as it just reminds me of bad AMVs, and AMVs have a very specific point to them – the music is supposed to be focused on, and the video complimentary to it. The music was a distraction here, this is a general opinion of mine, and I don’t think they did it more than once IIRC. I don’t understand how you can hear this played back to you when editing and think it’s good. Voice acting was acceptable, neither good nor bad.
Story – meaningless, only the sniper’s backstory is interesting and it gets so little attention and has so little to do with what’s going on other than to annoy us. I couldn’t help but feel like someone was trying to explain to me in my ear at random intervals throughout the movie and talking way too loud because they’re drunk “THIS LOLI IS THE GREATEST SNIPER IN THE WORLD! HER FATHER WAS A SNIPER! HER MOTHER WAS A SNIPER! SHE’S BEEN SNIPING SINCE SHE WAS A FETUS! SHE WAS THE SPERM THAT FERTILIZED THE EGG THAT WAS PRODUCED WHEN HER MOTHER KILLED SADDAM!” holy fuck we get it guys please enough already, we’re not dumb. It’s really boring, I would far prefer a series of shorts focusing on each Loli or a group of them in the field carrying out operations, which thankfully does finally happen to an extent. I want to see more jungle warfare and guerilla tactics used by cute girls to kill grown men like they’re possessed by Jasons Statham and Bourne at the same time. Instead we get some blockbuster style “politics” with corruption, red tape, subterfuge, but really no payoff or point to any of it, a little taste of a lesbian relationship between two people that mean nothing to anything else happening, and the feeling at the end that nothing happened, and no wrap up. Who greenlit this script, that’s what I want to know – because they unfortunately shat on the parade of talent that made this movie so watchable despite it’s complete irrelevance and lack of inspiration as a story.
Art – this is the thing. Stuff looks good, it really does. The lighting is great. The weapons and angles and scoped scenes and backgrounds and to an extent the character models as well – there is some good work that was done here. It’s actually quite nice to look at, I like the colours, the flashback sequences have a different palette and it works nicely to emphasize the “this is a piece of a dark past” point, though they prove unable to capitalize on this achievement. If someone did make an AMV out of this material, it would probably be pretty good. There’s frankly stuff to study in here, if you were interested in replicating cute Anime girls doing military stuff. The standout is the art and in particular the effort to replicate the look and feel of war/spec ops movies that follow a small unit on a journey through the battlefield.
Honestly what a piece of shit plot though. I can’t tell you this is good, and I can’t tell you why I enjoyed it. Because then they might come for me, and I don’t wanna go to jail.
The story is very, very meaningless. My guess would be that if you can’t appreciate this for it’s aesthetic you’ll probably turn it off in the middle.
Another movie for this series was good and but still gets a 6 for it.
Story 6/10- So after what happened before in the series with how Mihama Academy is now a school for teens to become assassins which I still think it’s weird and it does get weirder where nuns are also assassins which is another weird one for this series but we see how the academy joins with another school I think where they want to assassinate someone which they need to go to an island to do there mission. There was another mission taken place before there’s which had a girl named Megumi who lost her friend and who was her tutor during that missions and hasn’t left the island since she is wishing to kill that man for killing her friend so the school she goes came to take her and to finish off the mission with Mihama Academy and that she is also linked to Touka, a sniper who were also friends with the person that got killed on that previous mission. So this was an ok story for the movie but wasn’t really interesting for me but was fine in most parts of it.
Art 7/10 and Sound 6/10- All the same as before, art was really drawn well like the last movie which was a set from the original Grisai series and that sound was fine and that when their mission had stated, it really got the ost building up to give more tension within the movie.
Character 6/10- Not many new faces were shown except for that girl named Megumi who we see just wants revenge and the other school who are nuns and which is weird but are assassins during their mission. Touka and Megumi both are friends with Shiho, their friend and master who had died so it was kinda interesting to see how both of them meet and how they are similar to each other with their sniping skills.
Enjoyment 6/10- This time, the movie wasn’t like the previous one so it gets a 6 but it still got one or two funny moments and it was cool seeing the students get into action again in their missions since we see their skills on how to kill each of their targets.
Overall 6/10- So 6 since it wasn’t like the previous movie but was still good. Don’t if this series will continue for being animated from the game but maybe I might the visual novel to see what happens.
47: Crayon Shin-chan Movie 06: Dengeki! Buta no Hizume Daisakusen
Japanese: 映画 クレヨンしんちゃん 電撃！ブタのヒヅメ大作戦
MAL Score: 6.96
A full-scale action film with tastes of the “‘007” series and Jackie Chan’s movies. The members of the secret organization for world peace ‘SML’, code-named ‘Oiroke’ (sexual attractiveness) and ‘Kinniku’ (muscle), who join hands with the Nohara family and Kasukabe Defense Forces (Shinnosuke Nohara and his mates: Kazama-kun, Nene-chan, Masao-kun and Bo-chan), and fight against the evil organization ‘Buta no Hizume’ (Pig’s Hoof), who tries to conquer the world by using a computer virus.
(Source: Manabu Tsuribe)
46: Nerawareta Gakuen
English: Psychic School Wars
MAL Score: 6.96
Very little changes in Kenji Seki’s daily routine. Every morning, he takes his dog to the beach in the hopes of catching a glimpse of his classmate, Kahori Harukawa, while she surfs. Afterward, he meets up with his neighbor and childhood friend, Natsuki Suzuura, and they walk to school. In essence, he lives an idyllic life where the only thing he has to worry about is how to finally confess his feelings to Kahori.
The routineness of Kenji’s life is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious transfer student. Ryouichi Kyougoku, who claims to be a psychic, has both the charisma and popularity that Kenji has always dreamed of. Before long, Kahori begins to show feelings for Ryouichi, and Natsuki becomes distant whenever Kenji tries to talk about his feelings.
As Kenji’s life is thrown into disarray, how will Ryouichi’s arrival impact those around him? Nerawareta Gakuen follows these formerly typical high schoolers as they become involved with the supernatural.
This movie starts off in a cliche manner. There’s a new transfer student who, from his very first lines, we can confirm is not from Earth. We are introduced to the main set of characters- a typical, “you pervert!”, finger-pointing anime girl who is the neighbor of the main character, the girl that the main character likes who’s talented, shy, and also typical, and the main character himself who seems to be the typical anime guy who does not measure up to the hotness of the transfer student. To sum it up so far: typical. Then, out of nowhere, cellphones are accused to be the spawns of devils and the reason why teens are unable to communicate efficiently. Magical powers and sparkly objects begin their work in damaging your eyesight by attempting to blind you at every turn. You suspect a love triangle, a love square? How about some conversation? Oh wait, no. Apparently this has something to do with telepathy. Or no wait, physics? Which is it? Oh look! There’s a back story between the neighbor chick and the main guy! Wait, I thought they were just neighbors? Where’s all this water coming from? Why do we need to see this scene? Am I supposed to be reading into this? It’s symbolism isn’t it? No? It’s just pretty? Wait a minute- are they trying to throw in some Shakespeare in here? Is there going to be fighting? This seems to have potential but seriously what’s happening? And these questions are what lead to headaches- which is precisely what you’ll have after you’re done watching this. So please, for your concern, I suggest you watch this movie on your off-time, during a free day, and certainly not when you’re ill because then you’ll just suffer from migraines.
It’s truly the art that keeps you watching and still hoping that there’s some thread of story line you haven’t picked up on. The color palette is gorgeous and everything is so shiny and clean and bright that you begin to appreciate your eyesight- even when you’re being blinded by the bubbles, rays of the sunset, odd glowing magical items, and school floorboards. Movement is fluid, and it leaves you feeling fresh and wholesome with its incorporation of nature in every aspect. You’ll even pause or replay some parts in order to appreciate the hues. Overall, it’s magnificent. Consider making some screenshots.
Just as wonderful as the art. With soft piano (played by the transfer student, of course), the music comes across as subtle and easily blends in with the feeling provided by whatever scene is playing. Voices, tapping, the blowing of the wind- all are displayed to near perfection. Any vocals you hear are softly sung and blissful to say the least.
As I’ve stated before, the characters are undeniably second rate- the female ones more so than the males. While at the beginning they seem unexpected and interesting, they quickly fall into the routine of what every other anime school girl/boy does. I particularly detest the female characters’ behaviors on some occasions. The neighbor chick (Ryouura Natsuki) is an emotional wreck- and not even the hot kind. She’s ridiculously agile, jumping everywhere, and teasing one moment and the next she’s slapping the main guy (Seki, Kenji) for one, naive statement before crying and running off despite the fact she’s the one who just shoved him to the side of the road. I really despise the fact that violence is displayed acceptable by female anime characters simply because she’s doing it since they’re ‘close’ and ‘joking’. It’s not funny, it will never be funny, and personally, I would never want to be friends with someone who smacks me every chance they get.
The second girl (Harukawa, Kahori) is another lackluster piece of recycling. She’s shy, has big boobs, is in the student council, does music and surfs in her part time, is friends with the violent neighbor chick, and interested in the transfer student (Kyougoku, Ryouichi). We see these two talk more, bond over the piano, and this girl goes on her merry little way- gasping dramatically at everything he says and clutching her body parts as if- despite being under the pretenses that they’re trying to display her as nervous and cute- she’s coming across as someone who’s being turned on for the first time. It’s sort of awkward to say the least, and I couldn’t even spare a pitiful smile for her despite having a soft spot for quiet characters.
But perhaps I’m being too harsh, the magical guy seems to be rather intriguing after all and he’s got that mysterious aura going on too. Maybe he’ll turn out to be evil or even cross the line into the gray area an– oh nope, there he goes. He starts preaching about the ‘kokoro’ as its some sort of heart condition people must be made aware of… And, now he’s glowing..
Finally, the main guy. Well, let’s see- how would you define a guy who lets himself get beat senseless by his female neighbor/childhood friend, continually forgets to zip his pants, breaks windows in attempts to apologize for something which he hasn’t even done, and walks into a council room of people wearing a horror which even speedoes can’t outdo, puts his hand in there, pulls out a cell, and throws it across the room while uttering some dramatic line that I’m pretty sure was supposed to add to the plot had we not all been busy screaming no? You don’t define that sort of guy. You give him the one eyed twitch before getting the hell out.
Overall, the characters aren’t horrifyingly annoying to the point where you want them all slaughtered, but they are rather mediocre, slightly disturbing, and highly disappointing because they had some essence of potential.
So, should you watch it? On boring, event-less days during which you are healthy, sane, feeling as if you could care less about story lines, and prepared to let the confusion mold itself into a ball that rolls off your back with a shrugging ease. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s definitely not something you’d want to share with your friends when hanging out for fun. It’s an anime you’d watch twice in order to appreciate the animation once again and perhaps attempt tackling whatever mumbo jumbo is thrown at you- crafting it into a plot you can actually comprehend without having to be part of that niche group that read the novel (who knew there was a novel?), but it’s not a film you’d consider worth mentioning as an award-winning production since it clearly did not make it a goal to cater to the general audience. All in all, give it a shot, but keep your expectations low- even those of the art and music, just so you’ll have something to be pleasantly surprised about.
I’m sure the original story is as nuanced and engrossing as the reputation of its author would suggest. However, what the director of this film has managed to cram into these (approximate) 90 minutes is not so much a tale of psychic rivals and their attempts to impact history as it is a mishmash of awkward, stereotypically ‘anime-ish’ relationships and overt use of inanely pretty scenery and characters. The first 20 minutes of the film are unnecessarily accompanied by the constant falling of cherry blossom, for example.
Indeed, in making use of as much cliché and anime trope as he could muster, the director completely destroyed any semblance of an engaging story line, reducing the plot to a series of awkward encounters, embarrassing emotional confessions (that see the constant and mind numbing use of anime’s favourite phrase), failed philosophical musing, and out-of context and particularly unmindful quoting of Shakespeare (which seems to, of late, be quite the fashion in anime).
So, yes, if you enjoy anime simply for awkward teenage crushes and angst, as well as cute characters and pretty images, then you will likely enjoy this. Anyone looking for a tale as touching and well constructed as the likes of “The girl who leapt through time” or “Millennium actress” should look elsewhere.
Nerawareta Gakuen, or Psychic School Wars, is a misnomer. Not once did anyone have a psychic battle against one another, let alone a war. From what I saw, a new handsome transfer student brainwashes all the students that had an aptitude to do some little magic, and were sent out to bully those who do not have powers. This in turn led to the tyranny of the student council, who created an inquisition hellbent on reprimanding those who bring cell phones to school, because of course cell phones are the root of evil in a learning institution. Hypocritical I say. Of course, the underdog hero saves the day with his pervasive powers and changes the heart of the transfer student responsible. Turns out, humans were living on the moon in the future.
Admittedly, the art was very good. Very fluid motions throughout, and very beautiful scenery. I had a problem at the beginning with the sakura petals floating everywhere in every scene: on the beach, outside on the streets, at the edge of a cliff, and somehow inside a subway train. Reflections of the most random things like stairs and tables did also irk me a little. The amount of realistic details remind me of Makoto Shinkai’s works. But overall, I think the animations were the only thing other than the sound that made me watch this all in one sitting.
They captured everything pretty well to be honest. The wind, the drops of water, and the piano. Though somewhat generic, the soundtrack was soothing and fitting for the scenes they were played in. And with a cast with Kana Hanazawa and Daisuke Ono, you know that the voice actings are not half-assed.
Generic hot guy transfers into school. The main hero is known to be a pervert and at times can be serious. Pathetic-looking, and his heart wavers too easily. His childhood friend loves him ever since they were little and he never took notice. He also cracked her windows yet no one actually cared to mention anything about that. A girl whose past we barely even know attempts to commit suicide, however a hot time traveling transfer student saves her and she becomes his henchman. Another girl from the student council falls in love with the transfer student at first sight. They all have a some form of relationships with one another. Be reminded that they are all in the 8th grade.
I was seriously looking forward to Nerawareta Gakuen. From reading the synopsis, I thought that the new transfer student will rule over the school and create a brainwashed army to send them to defeat the badass main lead. With awesome battle actions and stuff. Boy, was I disappointed. Near the end of the movie, I thought they were going to go all out since the main character realized his powers. Instead, he offered to have a gathering at a beach. Pretty anticlimatic.
All this anime had were very pretty and fluid animations. The plot was pretty generic, the characters generic, and my expectations were not even close to being met. When I think of psychics, I think of people reading each other’s minds, planning out each other’s next moves in some sort of strategy. Not feeling each other’s soul or whatever and create a cliche with other psychics. I would rate this lower, but averaging the above scores, I got a perfect 7. Should the score be lower? Maybe. But I decided to be fair and just average everything together. Unfortunately for Sunrise, this work has disappointed me.
45: Gotou ni Naritai.
MAL Score: 7.06
Story of a girl born with a bad leg. Ritsuko longs to go to school and make lots of friends but it is not so easy. Her mother is very protective of her and at school she is teased by her classmates for her strange way of walking. Will she manage to keep her smile?
Considering that this was made in 1995, the animation is clearly rather sub-par, at best. However, the animators did a great job at giving every single character a distinct look and, once again, giving them physical flaws, such as obesity and small eyes and big teeth. One problem I notice in a lot of new anime nowadays is that everyone doesn’t have their own distinct look. Everyone looks the same, except with different hair styles, hair colors, and eye colors, which is especially apparent in a lot of harem and moe anime. Not only that, they’re so obsessed with beauty that they have no physical flaws, like big teeth or braces or acne or anything else like that! Even American shows feature characters with those peculiarities and insecurities! What is it with Japan and making everyone look impossibly beautiful and flawless?! Thank God this anime subverted that trope awesomely! The soundtrack isn’t memorable, really. I don’t remember any of it.
Again, like with the other two disability movies, its characters are awesome, realistic, and wonderfully developed. While they look and act slightly generic, they’re not flat-out stereotypes either, and there’s always a reason behind their actions. Heck, later on in the movie, the two main bullies who pick on Ritsuko have their reasons for being so cruel. The movie addresses the issue of love, hate, jealousy (NOT romantic jealousy, mind you), and acceptance, and it follows through its themes wonderfully. They’re all great and perfectly normal characters. The adults are good too, even though some of them may be a little weird.
If I had to name some problems this movie has, one notable one would be that at times, it gets a little too melodramatic, particularly with Ritsuko’s mother and how she reacts to the bullies. But in this case, it’s justified because Ritsuko’s mother is portrayed as an overprotective person, and Ritsuko is embarrassed by her reckless actions (Hey, what kid ISN’T embarrassed by the things their parents do at one point?), so I can let it slide. Also, while I do like Ritsuko’s doctor for being so supportive of her, I’m really confused: are blind people even allowed to be doctors? Or is he just a therapist? I have no idea, even with the subs! Are blind people allowed to be therapists?
Well, even with it’s glaringly obvious flaws, I still liked this movie. Unfortunately, the two other disability movies trump it, though it definitely shouldn’t be so neglected.
I’m usually not a fan of old anime, but it’s not like I never give them a chance. This was also an exception, and oh how glad I am it was.
Ritsuko has trouble walking, she’s been ill since birth, but did her best to keep up with the others, to be able to walk like the others.
If I really don’t want to spoiler anything, I better not write anything, because that’s the way I watched this too. I barely knew anything about what would happen.
The art is of course old, but not in the way that it ruins the enjoyment, not at all. I don’t find it bad the least bit, but in comparison to the anime of today of course it looks a bit worse. I think this shouldn’t discourage anyone to watch it.
Personally what I loved most about this was the character staff and the story. I don’t have any disability but there were several things in it that I could connect with, and I’m sure many of you would have a lot too.
This was the first anime that I literally sobbed because of. I just couldn’t hold my tears back.
44: Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan wo.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
English: The Moment You Fall in Love
MAL Score: 7.07
Following Natsuki Enomoto’s confession rehearsals with Yuu Setoguchi, their younger siblings Kotarou and Hina struggle to confess their own love. Despite a disastrous first meeting in middle school with her upperclassman Koyuki Ayase, Hina’s heart is captured by his warm smile. Initially confused by these newfound feelings, Hina soon realizes that she has fallen in love for the very first time.
Chasing after her brother Yuu and her crush Koyuki, Hina also enrolls in Sakuragaoka High School; but the threads of love are far-reaching, and they entangle Hina and her friends. Boisterous but sensitive, Hina hopes to confess her feelings to the tender-hearted Koyuki. Meanwhile, Kotarou, oblivious to his own feelings for her, is determined to always keep Hina smiling.
Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan wo.: Kokuhaku Jikkou linkai follows Hina, Kotarou, and Koyuki in high school. Their youthful love forges new relationships, but also threatens to break others.
Though I have not watched the previous movie in this series, from the official website it suggests this to be a standalone movie that you can enjoy regardless and has good reviews from people who did not watch the first one. So I went ahead to watch it. But honestly I think only the people who watched the first movie would have felt anything from it.
The main problem here is that there was almost no time for one to build an attachment to the main characters and feel anything for anyone. If you are seeking the signature heart-wringing moments in a romance movie, turn back now. There is none to be had here. There are a few cute/funny scenes but beyond that this movie is bland.
The entire movie is 65 minutes, and things progress fast. *very minor spoiler* The main characters go from first years at junior high to being in a high school in like 15 minutes. The timeskips are jarring. I got the feeling like the movie had a lack of budget and and scenes were aggressively cut for it. Of the two guys in the love triangle, one of them barely had any screentime, so you just knew who she was going to end up with. The characters and relationships are sorely underdeveloped.
This movie is very low on substance and is entirely a promotional vehicle for HoneyWorks songs. If not here for the music, don’t watch it.
the story pretty much centered around protagonist name Hina who love her senpai and her struggle to confess her love. to be honest, in terms of love story, it’s pretty much decent without any complicated stuff/event, and I like that kind of storyline.
I love the art of this movie. since the duration of movie was not that long, I think they might want to focused a little bit about the art and that’s something that I like about it’s art.
The one thing I really love about this movie is the original soundtrack. I do believe it’s the core of this anime and I really enjoy the music. Once again, Honeywork’s did an good job creating such a wonderful music.
Like a previous movie, the characters are decent. every single one of them have their own characteristic and they have their own romantic love. It’s not great but you can pretty much enjoy their action.
I do enjoy this movie. They have a certain event that makes you laugh and sometimes it makes you want to scream at them but overall, it was enjoyable.
Suki ni naru is an good movie. I do love their story, I do love their art and I do love their music. for those who want to watch simple love story, maybe you can check this out. Thank you for reading my review.
The story was very cliche but handled the cliches in the mediocre side of the spectrum. Although boring at times, it is survivable to go through all the boring moments.
Sound and Art were my shit in this film. Although it’s not as designed carefully as the music videos Honeyworks makes outstanding art which is very pretty. The sound is my jam, mostly because honeyworks makes the most songs with the catchiest toons you can’t anywhere else.
Characters were so very disappointing. To sum it all up childhood friends a boy who was a tsundere and a girl kinda acts like it as well and there’s a senpai who’s changing for someone and considered the girly type which is pretty cliche. I have watched each music video of the Confession Committee so far that has come out and the supporting characters such as the twin tail girl who looks at a girl getting separated by her classmates and why is that? It isn’t really explained at all and it would’ve been nice for more character development but you can’t really do that with supporting characters if you only have 1 hour to do so.
Overall, the series was pretty okay and is pretty shoujo-like. You would probably like this if you like the first film or shoujo manga or if you only like looking at beautiful visuals and music.
43: Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Movie 1: Operazakan – Aratanaru Satsujin
Japanese: 金田一少年の事件簿 オペラ座館 新たなる殺人
MAL Score: 7.08
Invited for a anniversary celebration, Kindaichi, Miyuki and inspector Kenmochi re-visit the Opera House. There they discover that a play of “The Phantom of the Opera” is being rehearsed again. However, it doesn’t take long when members of the acting troupe are killed by the “Phantom”. Kindaichi will once again have to solve a murder series in the Opera House.
42: Chibi Maruko-chan Movie
Japanese: ちびまる子ちゃん (1990)
MAL Score: 7.12
Chibi Maruko chan is the nickname of a sweetly obnoxious 9-year-old girl. She tricks her grandfather, ponders for hours over how to spend her allowance, and hates sitting next to ugly boys. She talks, feels and lives just as real kids do.
As the second term commences, Maruko and her classmates return to their small groups. Maruko’s group includes two naughty boys and Maruko is forced to be one of their subordinates. She seems to face a lot of pressure at school.
As the school’s athletic meet approaches, all the classmates are busy exercising. Maruko is no exception, although her laziness means that she is late sometimes. Maruko realizes that the two boys rival each other in everything they do, and that their friendship is deep and strong.
I was wrong.
I watched this movie during my breaks at work and was thoroughly engrossed in everything Maruko set out to do. I recalled my own hope and desire to do really well at simple things at school and failing at them miserably. It made me remember the friendships that I had.
The “flatness” of some of the characters’ personality was acceptable because, as a kid, I only really made the effort to know a few people really well. It made their portrayal more believable. The flamboyant one, the ugly clown, the suck-up, the orderly teacher wannabe.
The movie did a great job of reminding me that childhood may seem easier as an adult, but for the kids living it it’s just as serious and important to them that their lives go well. The ending isn’t tragic in the usual sense, and though it is predictable it is very well set up and it was hard to avoid feeling for everyone involved.
I’d recommend this movie to anyone who looks back on childhood with a little bit of longing. The art style may seem simple but it is surprisingly well-acted, both through voice and animation. They are obviously exaggerations of third-graders, but it is nevertheless believable.
41: Sayonara Watashi no Cramer Movie: First Touch
Japanese: 映画 さよなら私のクラマー ファーストタッチ
MAL Score: 7.20
14-year-old Nozomi Onda has only one thing on her mind: playing beautiful soccer. There’s just one problem: no matter how much she longs to participate in official matches, she’d have physically superior boys as opponents. But when a boy from her past confronts her on the street, she decides she can’t wait any longer.
(Source: Kodansha Comics)
I gave this series an easy 10 because it nails everything genuine about football as a sport and a way of life. Plenty of football anime struggles to stay grounded when telling their stories but with this movie, it understands the essence of football to its very core level and how that anybody can fall in love with football and play it. No superpowers, unrealistic movements or ridiculous situations. Just a girl that wants to play football and wants to do so really badly.
And speaking about Onda, her as a main character carries the show on her shoulders really well. She represents why billions of football fans love the sport so much. She lives and breathes football – and watching it in front of eyes makes her heart beat even faster as she wants to be out there playing football and not sitting on the bench. She has so much talent and most importantly- determination. She’s a stubborn little gorilla but she does so in a way that never comes off as annoying but endearing. And that’s why she is so admired and why I fell in love with her.
Story-wise, the whole battle of the sexes plotline has been done to death in all forms of media but this movie executes it really well by not having Onda magically destroy her more powerful and physically imposing male counterparts. I won’t spoil what she does but she uses her brilliant brain and of course mazy feet to counter the physical aspect and it makes for a wonderful climax as she executes them.
A last note on the CG animation, people seem to have a hate boner for them as it was used a little bit in the movie but I think it was great CG and how it should be used in anime. Football is such a dynamic sport with balls moving from back to front in mere seconds – the use of CG manages to envelope me into the game like I was watching it in real life. There is plenty of traditional animation here as well which was done great too and it was such a fun ride.
All in all, a fantastic movie and was a fitting adaptation to the wonderful manga as it says Sayonara Football to Onda in middle school – off to experience beautiful football in its sequel anime and raise the level of girls football.
This movie is an adaptation of another work by the author of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, so I didn’t have such high expectations. Well, the movie is bad.
I thought I would never see a bad sports anime like Ashita no Eleven-tachi. As much as this movie is not as shitty as Ashita no Eleven-tachi, it is still bad.
It has script convenience that isn’t the best (but it wasn’t bad either), and it was used to generate a drama.
The main character falls down playing soccer with a boy who is superior to her, and the coach forbids her to play official games just because she has an arm injury, and it wasn’t even a serious injury, doesn’t the coach know that in soccer people can get hurt?
Then comes the excuse that men have a superior physique than women. In most cases it is true, and this movie is one of those cases, but… the protagonist plays soccer with boys since always, and she is already used to it, which makes it kind of “meh”.
“Soccer is a contact sport.
I am bigger than you. A girl doesn’t even stand a chance against me.”
I wonder again:
Has the author ever seen women in professional games? Many women’s professional games are more “brutal” than men’s games, however yes, men usually have superior physical stature. Yes, I know it’s not professional gaming, that’s just an example.
I really want to understand why you are trying to give a girl a message of victimhood. Yes, there are men who think they are superior to women, but in this anime it is kind of “meh”, because the girl has been playing soccer with boys since forever, as I mentioned before. All right it is explained that in official games everything is heavier than in training, BUT THE SHOOTER HAS ONLY PLAYED ONE OFFICIAL GAME. And it’s also funny that the coach calls a boy, and he is not at all confident, unlike the protagonist.
There is a part where the main character slaps the boy saying what I mentioned above. Well, she is right to do that, at least.
At least the boy who was a friend of the protagonist some time ago, knows that he talked trash to her. This at least was something positive, it shows the character being more human. By the way, in the heat of the moment of an argument, anyone can talk some nonsense.
One thing that I thought was a little shitty was that the protagonist pretends to be her brother and arrests him in the bathroom and takes his clothes. Like, it would have been better if it showed how she did it, but no, it just happened.
After that the coach sees that she can play against the boys, and also comes up with those typical generic motivational lines… It is the typical “I can do it” anime. It is nothing innovative, I have seen this in so many anime…
At least the technician gives more detail that he cared about the protagonist and her career. In a way, it has logic. The problem is how this is executed, because, as I said before, the protagonist only fell once playing an official game and it wasn’t even a serious injury (besides this game wasn’t even detailed to see how everything happened).
Ok, fine, we know that most of the boys are bigger than the girls, but do we need to keep reminding them of this all the time?
There is also a moment when the main character says that she really has no chance against the boys’ strength, and that because of this, she wins in her own way. Aaaaah… What was all the drama about physical size for? This movie is a joke.
It seems that she wanted to say that physical size doesn’t matter, regardless if you are a man or a woman, and that her childhood friend and her coach are wrong, even though they are right. So what was the point of all this?
Comedy scenes are also not that funny, very few of them work. At least it is not as bad as in Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, which has comedy in the middle of drama where it takes away all the impact of the scene.
There is one scene in this movie where a more emotional dialogue is cut for comedy, but it is done in a very natural way, and it was well planned. This scene is at 49:00 of the film, when the characters are talking and the main character is hit by a ball and falls into the water. This was really functional, and kind of funny. Other than that, the few times it has comedy, it’s not good.
The technical part of the anime up until 01:00:00 of the movie is good, but then it has game with a CG that is not so good, but not horrible.
The movie has almost no positive points. There is so much bad stuff in it that it prevents it from being at least average. I didn’t expect much for being from the author of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, and in the end it turned out to be another bad work from a terrible author.
This review may not have been good. But that’s okay, the movie is not good either.
But the standard here is pretty low. Even though I expected something coming from YLiA’s author. But I was immediately slap to the face because of how mediocre everything in this anime.
But moving on to the movie itself.
The story is not bad. It’s actually decent, having a girl prodigy who basically got overshadowed by boys in her team because of built difference.
It presented itself really good, and didn’t hesitate to use flashbacks when it’s necessary. Basically just the right amount of everything.
Though it gets a 6 just because it is too safe. It doesn’t really do anything outside of ordinary.
Not expecting some major plot twist or anything like that, but everything in the story is forgettable af.
The characters are pretty lackluster. They aren’t bad, but they sure are pretty much just there to exist. Replace them with a cardboard and nothing would change at all.
Idk, I don’t have anything to say to them.
The music is decent as well. It’s not bad, in fact I enjoyed the ED. But the OST were pretty absent in some scenes. Because of that, some of the powerful scenes in the movie became really forgettable.
The animation is decent to bad. Basically it’s a CG-fest whenever someone is moving. It’s a disgrace to eyes.
Overall, it’s not half-bad. I recommend watching it if you’re bored and you wanna watch a soccer anime. Well, there’s not enough of a choice since there aren’t any anime yet for Blue Lock or Ao Ashi.
40: Clannad Movie
English: Clannad The Motion Picture
Japanese: 劇場版 クラナド
MAL Score: 7.24
Tomoya Okazaki is a cynical delinquent who lacks ambition as he apathetically labors through high school. During his childhood, a tragedy had caused his father to seek solace in alcoholism and neglect his son. Yet, meaningful human interaction can be a benediction, as Tomoya learns when he meets the enigmatic Nagisa Furukawa. The odd girl offers a gesture of friendship to Tomoya, but he rejects the request, dismissing it as a trivial incident. However, as he soon realizes that he is encountering Nagisa more and more often during school, Tomoya drops his discompassions and befriends the girl.
When he learns that Nagisa’s dream is to revive the Drama Club, Tomoya decides to shed his detachment from the ordinary pleasures of life and dedicate himself to helping his new friend achieve her ambition. But what starts as a simple friendship may progress into something far more deep, intimate, and life-changing. As the pair face various hardships and afflictions, Tomoya and Nagisa gradually come to terms with the challenges of life.
I highly recommend watching both the Clannad series, and the Clannad After Story series. If you still feel the urge to watch this movie, at least wait until you get to about ep 18 in After Story.
Did you get confused with the ending in Clannad After Story? Did you wish for a more realistic ending? Did you know that Clannad The Motion Picture might just be what you are looking for? Or perhaps you have heard of Clannad and Clannad After Story from all your friends, but you have yet to try it out? Clannad The Motion Picture (TMP for short) provides a great summary of all the major events that took place in the ~46 episodes (excluding OVA/recap) series between the two main protagonists. Please be mindful that the movie is retelling a story in ~90 minutes that its TV counterpart took ~1100 minutes to tell! Thus some events may seem to occur at an unreasonable pace. But nonetheless Clannad TMP is still a movie that a true Clannad fan should not miss out on.
While the story is still being told from Tomoya’s perspective, many aspects of the show depart from the TV series. Assuming you have the background from the TV series (if you have no background what-so-ever please skip the rest of this paragraph) then you should be warned that first of all, this is purely a Tomoya x Nagisa scenario with all other heroines playing a minor role, or in some cases did not even have a role. This means that Tomoya never develop any kind of deep friendship with the others and consequently did not help them when they were troubled. This in turn means no light orbs … hence a more realistic ending.
Although Clannad is a slice of life/romance anime, its similarities end there with other show of the same genre. Clannad is like a milking machine. Its whole purpose is to milk out all your emotions that you often don’t have toward anime. While the movie did not do very well in this department compared to the TV series (largely due to the lack of character development and coverage), the overall story in the movie did manage to create a similar atmosphere for viewers. This means that we still get the usual comedic side of a delinquent high schooler lifestyle. It also means a confused protagonist at a loss after being challenged by the hardships in life.
There was this “illusionary” world in Clannad TV series where they featured, with great CG animation, a girl and a robot built from scrap metal. Mirroring this concept, Clannad TMP also has an illusionary world. But instead of the girl and robot, we have a “clown”. The symbology in the two illusionary worlds is slightly different but both fit perfectly fine in their respective show. These illusions generally give the viewers more background on the characters and the way they think/feel about certain things.
Like previously stated, the characters in Clannad TMP consist of Tomoya and Nagisa. Their role did not get amplified compare to the TV series, instead the other characters just never get enough screen time. One strong point about the characters in the movie is that there is no ambiguous character relationships developed between Tomoya and various heroines. This allows us to truly enjoy Tomoya and Nagisa’s journey through life instead of wasting our time rooting for other females who will never end up with Tomoya.
One glaring eye poison of the movie is the character design of the lovable Nagisa and her equally adorable mother, Sanae. They look like characters drawn from a low budget production in the 90s (actually the looks are straight ripped out from the manga, but Toei Animation should have improved on it). Thankfully there does not appear to have much character “deformation” in the other characters, they all look similar to their TV counterpart which is definite a welcome for most fans. And thankfully (again) there does not appear to have any ear poison either. Although nothing sounds too spectacular from the movie (especially when compared to the TV series) there is no serious window shattering horrid nightmarish music/soundtracks. Lastly I recommend you not to make any comparison between the TV series and the movie since:
1. The movie was made before Clannad season one so technically there was nothing to compare to back then.
2. The movie was made by a different animation studio (Toei Animation) compare to the TV series (Kyoto Animation).
People say I shouldn’t compare to the series because the series was release after the movie. So I didn’t, but instead I compared it with the visual novel. Before that, I think Kyoto Animation did a fantastic job in porting the story from the visual novel to the series with many of the original content still remaining except the story was alter in order to make all the character’s story operate in one single universe instead of the multiple parallel universe that the visual novel runs in. So basically, in some degree comparing the series is also comparing back to the visual novel into some extend. [Sorry for any terms that might alienate non fans] While the movie only focus on Nagisa’s arc and only half way through the After story arc. I think it’s unfair to judge the series with the movie like that, simply because that it have 48 episodes to explain nearly 7 character arcs (if I’m not wrong) and a complete and lengthy After Story arc. Plus, if we were to compare the movie with the series, the movie only summarise approximately 10-12 episode worth of story from the series out of the 48.
But I say won’t compare to the series, so here’s my other point of view on the movie.
The problem with the movie is how much referencing I should be making with the vn. The movie is written to be able to stand on its own. Many other studios also do this by taking and redoing the story of other VNs to suit the timeframe and demands of the market. So why was Clannad such an exception to the modification make in the movie? Reason is simply because of the story and how it captures the heart of its audience. While I agree that one and half hours is way too short to truly and deeply capture the heart against a minimum of 90 hours gameplay or 48 episode series but then again I find Toei Animation isn’t even trying (too much business too less romance if you ask me). Ask yourself if you watched both the series and the movie, how memorable or funny moments can you remember from both of them. So the movie very feels like a summary but summary of what? I not allow to compare it with the series and it has totally different storytelling from the VN. So, I would say it like a summary of the plot or the key events of Nagisa’s arc and first half of After Story arc.
tl/dr: Same plot but different way of storytelling
Absolutely horrible. This is the part where the movie failed the most. I’m not comparing it to the series which was the total opposite of it. (FYI, the movie’s first public announcement was around March 2006 and premier on September 2007 while the series was in March 2007 and October 2008. There was only around a year of differences between both the series and the movie’s announcement date and airing dates. So the point where people are comparing the movie’s artwork with the series is quite reasonable and valid unlike the case with Kanon02 and Kanon06 where they have 4 years difference)
But I would like to also point out that my main reason of rating the artwork so low was because it was a 2007 movie and that it did not meet up standards of its time. There are just too many animation inconsistencies and the character just look too flat at some moments for me.
tl/dr: Seriously, it was a 2007 movie? I thought it was made in 1997.
Another let down of the movie was its soundtrack. I find the soundtrack to simple and just work. Why? Because VisualArt’s/Key and Jun Meada did a great job in the visual novel with soundtrack that’s totally authentic to Clannad franchise itself. (FYI, the series reused almost all of the soundtrack from the VN which give gamers a right at home feel). So the reason wasn’t that the soundtrack was bad, it was generic but good enough and matched the scenes properly. The real problem was that the visual novel already set a very high bar for the movie which it also fail to reach expected level of quality that the visual novel have. Maybe that’s the reason why kyoani didn’t bother reinventing the wheel on the series.
td/dr: Visual novel(2004) have great soundtrack so why the movie(2007) only has ok level soundtrack?
Except Tomoya, Nagisa, Sunohara, Akio and Sanae, almost all the characters have their characters and personality changed which is a good thing as I can’t very predict was going to happen next since I can’t rely on my known knowledge about the characters. While I have no real complains as they are changed to adapt to the current storyline, but the character were less lovable (not just because of artwork but also their dialogue and choice of actions) than in the VN and series. Plus, where is FUKO????
p/s: I have no problems with the voice actors even Tomoya’s since he has no voice in the vn.
I can’t say I enjoyed fully it but it served me another way to love the series even more instead. The movie also serves a simple straight to the point ending for people that can’t fully understand what’s going on in the true After Story ending.
But the real problem for me was that the movie doesn’t have any elements that scored well for me to clinch to. It was simply because either the visual novel or the series outperformed it in every aspect that it outshined the movie and make it look bad. So, I also believe this is the biggest reason why many people didn’t like the movie.
tl/dr: Nothing to like about the movie.
Should you watch it?
YES if you are a fan of the series.
or else NO, watch and love the series than come back or don’t bother. Cause there’s better movies.
Messy straight to the point story, horrible artwork, ok soundtrack but could be better, plain simple character, no love for it cause the series took them all
39: Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
English: I’ve Always Liked You
MAL Score: 7.25
Love is blooming at Sakuragaoka High School. Natsuki Enomoto has finally mustered the courage to confess to her childhood friend, Yuu Setoguchi. However, in the final moments of her confession, an embarrassed Natsuki passes it off as a “practice confession.” Oblivious to her true feelings and struggling with his own, Yuu promises to support Natsuki in her quest for love. While Natsuki deals with her failed confession, fellow classmate Koyuki Ayase struggles with his own feelings for Natsuki. Despite his timidness, he is determined to win over her heart.
Zutto Mae Kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai follows Natsuki as she dreams of one day ending her practices and genuinely confessing to Yuu. Meanwhile, close friends also find themselves entangled in their own webs of unrequited love and unspoken affections.
The movie is your typical sweet RomCom, which talks about a group of friends being secretly in love with each other and we can’t forget the love triangle. The story wasn’t any new but to me, every single one has its own charm just like this movie which has its unique way of getting them to struggle until they find their way to master their courage to confess!!
The art was pretty nice as they show us cute smiles, sad expressions, and tears of joy, jealousy, and happiness!!.As for the sound, it was good!!!
-Art: 9/10 (a wonderful animation)
-Sound: 10/10 ( The sound was a great impact to the story)
-Character: 8/10 ( every character has her own charm)
-Overall: 9/10 (it was a great movie!! I really enjoyed it!)
If you’ve read a lot of romance manga you probably won’t consider the story as very original. The entire movie is about different characters trying to build up the courage to confess their love. However, I do not believe that there are many animated stories of this kind which makes it unique in it’s own sense. Sure, it doesn’t have any super original plot point or anything that makes it very unique, but the story is well executed for what it is and if you’re into more pure love stories, I believe you’ll like the story in this one.
I rarely care about the art in anime to be honest. The art is good and of normal 2016-standard.
Some fantastic songs that set the mood very well. Really was a big part of the movie for me.
The characters themselves are nothing out of the ordinary, but what is special is the relationships between the character. Natsuki and Yuu are your typical childhood friend love cliche, Akarin and Mochizuki have never really talked with eachother properly, and Haruki and Miou are pretty much dating, but they haven’t realized it yet. It was interesting to see all these different types of relationships in one movie.
Through most of the movie I was screaming at the characters to just get together already, but I must say that I really found the story and characters refreshing in a time where ecchi, magical girls and tragedy rules the romance anime industry.
I feel like a lot of loose ends will meet in the sequel which will be released in december, but until then I’ll give this movie an 8 overall score. It’s really worthwhile if you like pure high-school romance animes, and especially if you like series like Ao Haru Ride. Don’t expect someting AMAZING and I’ll think you’ll enjoy this movie.
Story : 6/10 || Enjoyment : 6/10
In my opinion, this movie is a nothing special romance movie compare to others. I don’t dislike this movie but for me, this kind of movie is too mainstream school set romance plus it is a movie with a cliffhanger ending which i hate the most. Besides, the duration of this movie is too short and messed up the plot.
The good about the movie is the charms of the characters with cool auras. Not to forget this movie have a heartwarming and giving some advices about love-life for viewers.
To brief my review,
Art : 9/10
I really love the art which is giving pleasant to the eyes with good sceneries.
Sound : 8/10
The songs in this movie are all my favourites before this movie was made including the ost. In other word, it is a masterpiece.
Character : 9/10
This review is just on what i’ve been thought about this movie so i hope you like it. Sorry if it is not really a good review.
38: Ansatsu Kyoushitsu: 365-nichi no Jikan
English: Assassination Classroom The Movie: 365 Days’ Time
Japanese: 劇場版 暗殺教室 365日の時間
MAL Score: 7.33
A year can change a person’s life forever. The 365 days Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High spent with their eccentric teacher, Koro-sensei, certainly did. Carrying the memories of that year close to their hearts, alumni Nagisa Shiota and Karma Akabane return to their former classroom to recall the events of that momentous time of their lives.
Nagisa and Karma are reminded by the familiar rooms, desks, chalkboard, and the class album of the events that shaped them into “assassins” and prepared them for the real world. That is the legacy of their octopus-like teacher—who had introduced himself by threatening to destroy the world if they didn’t kill him by the end of the school year—and the time spent in the bizarre yet exceptional “Assassination Classroom.”
It’s plot is that Nagisa and Karma meet up in class 3-E building years after the events of Assassination Classroom, and reminisce about all of the things that happened.
However, it has about 5 minutes of original animation, and is mostly shortened scenes from the anime.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend you watch it, as it is just a less detailed recap of the story, but if you do watch it I recommend doing it after watching both seasons of the anime, as it will spoil the ending.
There’s not much to say about the Art and Sound since it’s almost the same with the TV Series. When it comes to enjoyment, I couldn’t say that I “enjoyed” it since ninjas are cutting onions in the film.
So here’s the question: Should you watch it?
Definitely. One thing worth noting is that the film have anime-only epilogue scenes. Unfortunately, many details were left out since the film only has around 90 minutes of run time. I was also hoping for more epilogue scenes, or maybe some adapted scenes from Korotan D (search it if you don’t know).
Nevertheless, it still managed to give an emotional impact especially for those who loved the series.
There are three parts to the story: The sequel-ish focuses mainly on Karma and Nagisa visiting their old classroom, going down memory lane, and checking various places on the mountain where they spent their last year of middle school. While the first half of the story mainly focuses on the before-the-climax events of the TV series, which is given nowhere near enough time. I would’ve preferred if there was less narration and fast cuts from the past to the present day Nagisa and Karma, as it was quite off-putting and distracting. And the second half focuses on the climax, with which I have no qualms as it was as well done as in the TV version.
There are no major improvements over the sound, art, or the animation. They are as good as they were in the original TV series, which is to say pretty damn good.
Even though not that friendly to the newcomers, the movie is still a good watch for any fan of the series looking to satisfy their nostalgia, and although I believe converting 50 episodes into just a 90 minute run time was a bad decision overall, I’m still surprised at how enjoyable this movie turned out to be.
37: Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare
English: Love Me, Love Me Not
MAL Score: 7.33
Yuna and Akari are two high school girls with very different views on love: Yuna dreams about romance through rose-coloured glasses, while Akari is down-to-earth and practical. Meanwhile, high school boys Kazuomi and Rio also have different views on love: Kazuomi is an airhead who can’t grasp the concept of love, while Rio grabs onto any confession as an opportunity—so long as the girl looks cute. Will these four classmates end up leading a youthful romance that meets their expectations?
(Source: MAL News)
It was fast paced. They didn’t show much interactions between the male and female leads. The interaction between the female leads, specially how they met, didn’t seem forced. In fact, it was okay & I liked how they became friends. But, as for the interaction between the female leads & male leads, I guess many scenes were cut. So it kinda seemed forced.
I think it’d be better if this movie showed more interactions among the leads. Then, a lot of the scenes would have made more sense and would not have looked so forced.
Nevertheless, I kinda enjoyed it. I was craving for some romance anime & I got to watch it. So, if you are looking for a light hearted romance anime just like me, you can watch it.
On the one hand, I was hyped by the annoucement, because it was an romance highschool and it has been a while since I saw this kind of anime. And it doesn’t disappoint me. Indeed, I enjoyed the story, which has nothing more than the others but I still like it. We got to see two romances for the price of one, by doing that, it killed two birds with one stone so yeah why not.
Just after my viewing, I was convinced that the film was good and that nothing was missing.
On the other hand, the next day, I wondered about the film, and it’s never very good when you get there. Indeed, there are elements that are completely forgotten and characters that are not well developed or have disappeared. I think the film is about 20 minutes short of being very good. In those 20 minutes, they could have shown us what happened after high school and so on.
Nevertheless, it remains a good romance and if you are a fan of slice of life with romance, I recommend it for sure.
36: Slam Dunk (Movie)
MAL Score: 7.36
Sakuragi and the Shohoku team takes on Oda and Takezono High School. This is Sakuragi’s second match as he faces Oda, a basketball player who went to the same junior high.
Overall a respectable Slam Dunk movie and I found it pretty interesting and I will definitely rewatch it after some time.
Oda isn’t exactly an interesting character, but when the focus shifts to one more concerned with his relationship to his girlfriend, the result ranges from boring to unfortunately laughable. A scene depicting Oda slapping his girlfriend for even suggesting that basketball has made him a more unlikeable person with something missing in his life is a good summation of the two aforementioned results. The placement of this character detour also contrasts pretty poorly with this series’ patented comedy. Most of the charm of this film is placed strictly on Sakuragi’s shoulders as he boldly shows his passion for basketball (whether he knows it or not), injuring himself multiple times in the process. This culminates in the movie’s climax, in which Sakuragi makes one last desperate lunge off court as he tries to save the basketball for his team. He succeeds right before slamming face-first into a wall and rendering himself immobile for a few seconds. In those seconds, the jeers of the crowd fall silent and a lone standing ovation from the opposing team’s coach is heard. And then they all clapped 🙂 . This scene not only goes on for way too long, as it pans to every character’s reaction before clapping themselves, but it also throws away the character conflict in this film. Oda, amongst the cheers, reaches out to help Sakuragi up–immediately acknowledging him as a sportsmen without words or transition despite his constant undermining of him up until this point. I’d like to commend it for it’s subtly, but all of this comes of as really cheesy (and not in a good way as seen in the third film). Then the match is just…over. We never see the end of the match because the movie opts to transition to the two teams coaches post-game after the clapping scene. I haven’t mentioned the basketball match itself due to the very forgettable nature of it in this film; to have the end of the game not even shown tells me that the focus isn’t really on the match, but on the characters instead (which one could imagine how that might make me feel given the context of what’s been written). This comes off strange in a series usually concerned with depicting the grand battles and outcomes of a basketball match–giving hyper importance to even practice games.
On the production end this isn’t all that strong either. The OST is borrowed from the show so it’s hardly worth mentioning that it’s quality (though never utilized in any significantly impactful way). The animation this time around prioritizes having more detailed still frames rather than actually animating well. Action/Sports scenes come off as stiffly paced, and often will hold on a still frame in that uniquely awkward old-anime way which dates it instantly. It’s all moderately serviceable, but, thankfully the character performances are likable enough to enjoy.
This isn’t a horrible movie, just a really bland representation of what Slam Dunk is as a series. Though moments in this film, from a comedy standpoint, properly showcase glimmers of understanding of what the series is; the overall construction of the movie and how it goes about it almost seems misrepresentitive and confused, despite the theme of full body dedication/passion to the sport implying otherwise.
35: Takanashi Rikka Kai: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie
English: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!: Rikka Version
Japanese: 小鳥遊六花 改 ～劇場版 中二病でも恋がしたい！～
MAL Score: 7.37
Summary of the first season of the show, as seen from Rikka’s perspective with new elements.
As the synopsis states, Takanashi Rikka Kai is simply a recap of the first season of the TV-series, however it is (naturally) shorted down immensely and also mostly seen from Rikka’s perspective this time around. Most of the side stories are cut off, and the movie focuses almost solely on the relationship development between Yuuta and Rikka, which in the end is the most important part of the story, however in the very rushed format that the movie version has it definitely didn’t come out as good in comparison in the end. Then again I guess that is somewhat to be expected when it comes to recap movies.
That is not quite all there is to it however (almost though), as you can roughly divide this film into three parts:
The first 10 minutes consist entirely of new content which tries to showcase just how good the “Chuuni-fights” will look when enhanced with modern day cinema-quality CGs (on top of KyoAni’s typically high production values), as well as being just the good old Chuunibyou comedy and everything else that comes along with it.
The second part is basically the story itself which covers maybe 75% of the playtime, and it is pretty much simply what I stated earlier. If you’ve got a crystal clear recollection of the events of the first season of the TV-series you will notice some minor changes every so often regarding the spoken lines, music and shorter scenes but 95% of it is material you’ve already seen in the original anime airing.
Finally the third part covering roughly the final 10 minutes of the movie is partially an epilogue to the story thus far, and also a bit of a preview/teaser for the second season of the TV-series, which at the time this movie had its subs released had already started airing almost 2 months prior so most likely there won’t be anything in the final part that will be news to you either if you’re a fan of the series.
As a final verdict then, would I consider Takanashi Rikka Kai worth watching?
If you’re a fan of the series, then yes I would recommend you to at least try it out. No, it is not as good as the TV-series, nor is there a whole lot of material that you won’t already have seen but hey it’s still Chuunibyou, and you can never go wrong with that.
If you’re someone who merely thought the TV-series was alright but nothing spectacular, then I would probably recommend you to watch the first 10 minutes of it, as that was the only *really* new segment and since I’m going by the assumption that whomever reads this has already seen at least the first season, then with that taken into account the opening part was quite frankly the best part of the entire movie.
Overall, this is definitely not the best way to properly enjoy the Chuunibyou franchise, but if you’re just looking for some additional icing on the cake, you need not look any further than this.
This type of execution is not all that strange actually since Stand Alone Complex did just the same thing… twice. So, it is best to enjoy this movie as a sort of nostalgia rather than watching all 12 eps long of season 1. New elements do exist. Like a new footage during the prologue and epilogue. A new opening and ending and a bit of after-credit.
What you want to expect from this movie is, top notch animation, delicious sound direction and voice acting, top notch animation, and a bit of reminiscent of how sweet the Chuuni romance from season 1. Did I say animation twice? Well, because all the nuance which brought the show alive are mostly from this department. They also a bit condensing some of the unnecessary elements which helps a lot in enhancing the enjoyment. I found myself quite enjoying it during some of the scenes, and not so much in the other (this a recap, duh).
So, there is not much to tell from a recap. But if you enjoying the first season and want to be reminded why you liked the first season, Takanashi Rikka Kai: Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shita! Movie might help lead you to the world of season one without troubling you to marathon the whole season again.
34: “Bungaku Shoujo” Movie
MAL Score: 7.39
The protagonist of the story, Konoha Inoue, is a seemingly normal senior high 2nd year student. His high school life, other than a hinted incident 2 years ago, can be summed up as normal- if one can dismiss the secret fact that he used to be a female bestselling romance author. Due to that incident, however, he has now vowed never to write again.
This continued on until he was forced to join the literary club by the literary club president, the 3rd year female student Amano Tooko, a beautiful girl who has a taste for eating literary works. Now he has been tasked with writing her snack every day after school.
(Source: To Say Nothing of the Dog)
Bungaku Shoujo or Literature Girl is about a young girl, Touka Amano who eats books. Yes she literally eats books. She can’t eat normal food apparently. Of course it would have been really nice of the story to actually tell us WHY she eats books but unfortunately we have to divine that answer for ourselves. Perhaps I could have slit open a goat’s stomach or read the source materials in order to get the answer to that but honestly why should I have to? That’s the movie’s job to provide me with those necessary answers. The only answer we are given is she’s a literature girl, as if that explains everything. And thus that is the main problem with the entire movie in general, it’s called Literature Girl but it’s really not even about her. Touka is basically a side character in her own movie.
Well the real story eventually reveals itself to be about a young writer, Konoha Inoue who after winning an important literary contest a couple years before and subsequently his novel became a national sensation. But do to a personal tragedy that followed this, he has vowed to never write again. Konoha lives as an ordinary high school student since his book was published under a pseudonym and he has remained anonymous. Rather far-fetched idea really as he has seemingly managed to keep this a secret from his family as well. Of course this completely ignores the fact that it is also incredibly unlikely that a middle school student is going to have the ability to write such a novel to begin with. But I digress.
The drama that unfolds does manage to be pretty compelling however. I did find myself engaged and interested in the story. While the major story arc is adequately resolved to many additional questions linger at the end. As mentioned before we learn really next to nothing about Touka herself. The only reason I think I understood it as much as I did was by additionally watching the preview OVA and the Memorie OVA. I would suggest anyone interested in this title to do the same to get the maximum amount of enjoyment from it. I am unclear as to whether this movie will get a follow up movie or perhaps even a TV/OVA series to further explain all of this but taking this film by itself as it currently stands, I would have to say as an adaptation it fails.
As mentioned the titular character, Touka is really left to be mostly a mystery. Personality wise I found her to be a likable character which a lot of potential if they had explored it. She felt like an odd mix-mash of Haruhi Suzumiya and Yuki Nagato. But other than being likable she really doesn’t make that much of an impression. The male lead Inoue is typical for the genre. A soft spoken, effeminate nice guy. Though I did feel he was presented very well and made for an interesting character. The struggles he has in dealing with his own personal demons I think were mostly realistic and understandable. With one exception, the rest of the supporting cast is mostly just background. The only ones who really even stood out to me at all were the ones voiced by actors I happen to like.
Above all the characters would be Miu Asakura, who is at the center of all of the stories drama. She is both the films chief antagonist and protagonist, particularly over the last half of the movie. Miu by far has the biggest impact on the film and really steals the show for herself. When you consider she’s voiced by Aya Hirano, I suppose it’s not surprising she would have the most impactful role. While Miu makes for an extremely convincing psychopath, some of the reasons behind her mental break didn’t exactly add up to what she eventually became. This being said, she is the brightest spot in the show character wise.
The acting is clearly the best part of Bungaku Shoujo. I thought Aya Hirano was exceptional as the psychotic Miu and I think it might be the best pure acting performance of her career. Many other well known seiyuu stars such as Nana Mizuki and Aki Toyasaki appear but unfortunately their characters are mostly unimportant to the film. Musically this film is just average. Neither the films background music nor ED song was really that moving, despite the latter being performed by eufonius.
Artistically the film is good. The backgrounds are quite stunning and color palette is soft and pleasant. The one thing that did strike me was just how similar so many of the characters looked however. It’s almost like most of them had exactly the same face, just with different hair and eye colors. While it’s not hard to distinguish them from each other at all I just found it a bit unsettling to look at.
Overall this movie only rates as average with me. Sure I did actually enjoy the movie quite a bit despite all its warts. However the large number of important questions about the overall story and title character really detracts from it as a whole. Until such time more of this information is presented to us in future works, then I suspect only fans of the original works would really get much out of this film.
The first OVA has Japanese girl talking about some story written by the Russian classic author. I was impressed, not by the story, but by the whole concept. That cute and unusual scenario was standing out against a background of the latest anime shows, so I enthusiastically waited for the film. And here it came.
The plot revolves around Inoue Konoha, a high school student who once wrote a best-selling novel but doesn’t want to continue author career. He has a bookworm friend, Amano Tōko. She is a literature girl whose food is books, literally. Since I like books myself, I usually go berserk every time I see somebody ripping a page or something, but okay. Amano is very sympathetic character, so I easily forgave her.
The film begins like aforementioned coat of a pill: sweetly and light-heartedly like your typical romantic story. But then it throws the viewer into whirlpool of despair and psychological problems. It wasn’t the stuff I expected after watching that OVA, but I have to admit that Bungaku Shōjo works perfectly as drama. The plot is a bit rushed in the beginning and has some sharp angles but it is good at one certain thing: transmitting necessary feelings to the viewer. Bungaku Shōjo is a very atmospheric creation, and the music really helps here. Those piano-centred arrangements are definitely a good choice for a film of such kind.
Two major themes of Bungaku Shōjo are romance (of course) and books. Yeah, the books help us to express ourselves; thanks to them we can share our experience, dreams and emotions. I am somewhat an amateur writer myself and I enjoy writing short stories, so I appreciate Bungaku Shōjo for exploring the role of literature in our life.
However, there are some minor minuses in this film, like the fact that Amano is a book-eater has no real significance for the plot development. Looks like she is given that trait just to become more… mysterious and strange, I think. And I have already mentioned that the story of the film has some difficulties in it. Another thing is the art which is certainly not a masterpiece: trains look damn plastic, for example.
So, was Bungaku Shōjo good or not? In the beginning of my review I compared it with a vitamin C pill, and vitamins are nice for health, right? In fact, Bungaku Shōjo is the best romantic drama I’ve seen recently, and that is equal to 9 points in my eyes.
P.S. Night on the Galactic Railroad, a book by Miyazawa Kenji-shi, has a prominent role in the story of the film. I don’t know whether that intentional or not, but I like how Inoue Konoha, the protagonist, shares the same family name with Inoue Masaru-shi, a man known as “the father of Japanese railways”.
P.P.S. I really want Amano to try out my quantum mechanics textbook. Wonder what taste does that hell of a book have.
The Book Girl franchise consists of (for now) a movie, and a quartet of OVAs. The first OVA, Bungaku Shoujo: Kyou no Oyatsu – Hatsukoi was released in 2009 and was followed by the trio named Bungaku Shoujo: Memoire a year later. These OVAs pretty much serve as a run-up to the movie which came out right after the OVAs in 2010. The OVAs explore and set up the story for the main movie.
With a running time of one hour and forty minutes, team Bungaku Shoujo had ample opportunity to try and craft a story that is not only visually appealing but also meaningful. The problem with Bungaku Shoujo is that it is a story that has absolutely no particular reason as to why it should be told. The plot attempts to follow several strands parallely and tie them up together in the end. Each storyline involves Konoha Inoue (who is not the main character; serving to confuse things even further) and, ten points to Gryffindor, a girl. Skipping over the -dere nature of the girls, this just comes across as more of a pathetic attempt to make the story look complex and mysterious than an attempt at creating a deep and rich storytelling atmosphere.
The presence of most other characters makes no strategic sense. For example, there is this one character who’s only purpose in life seems to be to blush and act awkward in the presence of Inoue. She does don the mantle of purpose for a brief moment some time later in the movie (she slaps another character in a hospital) but this could have easily been accomplished by a far more relevant and important character. Then there is Miu Asakura, who is seemingly in love with Inoue but also wants to hurt him. Why? It’s all (apparently) because she had a bad childhood and because of a small misunderstanding. Asakura wanted to become an author and she sends in a story to a contest. To her chagrin, some other person wins the contest and this winner turns out to be none other than Inoue. Unable to bear this travesty (because Inoue never told her he was entering the contest), she commits suicide by jumping off a roof (but turns up alive later anyway). It is learned at the end of the movie that Inoue did this only to “impress” her. It is all rather headdesk worthy considering the fact that all the ensuing drama could have been avoided had Inoue not acted like an idiot and explained things to his friend. This was definitely the most grating and annoying part of the anime.
This brings up the titular character of the movie – the Book Girl. Tooko Amano is a girl who eats books. That’s pretty much it. She consumes pages with prose on them (and also poems) instead of normal food. The nutritional implications of such an escapade are many but those shall not be discussed here. Thankful to say, there are no scenes exploring the nature of her bowel movements. If there is one thing this movie had going for it, it doesn’t have any crass scenes. Plenty of useless scenes yes, but nothing crass. On the other hand, one must wonder where and how the Book Girl actually fits in into the plot. She doesn’t. Her presence (like most other characters) is very weak and she ends up as a mere plot device in the end. A plot device that the writers then try and prop up as a central character in the last few moments of the movie. Her main connection to Inoue is that he is her main source of stories for consumption. Inoue and Amano are the only members of their school’s book club. The two spend the evenings (respectively) writing and, in Amano’s case, eating stories. Apparently, she is supposed to be this wise, oddball character but she comes off quite silly and pretentious with her totally unconvincing descriptions about the ‘taste’ of the stories she eats and her general demeanour.
All the different plotlines (there are only three really) are brought together in the middle of the movie when suddenly all the characters run into one another because of a mysterious note left in a ‘Submit your love’ box (or something like that) belonging to the book club. This quickly unravels into everybody meeting everybody else and Asakura staking claim on Inoue. By this point, if one isn’t really enchanted by something in this debacle of an anime, most will be wondering why this story was ever written in the first place.
The ending is spectacularly unconvincing, and much like the anime itself, unnecessary. This is the ending in one single sentence – book girl invites all characters to a planetarium and causes psychological scenes and a resolution. In the end everybody simply walks away, with Inoue chasing after his Senpai (Amano). It is terribly underwhelming and unsatisfying. The lovers never get united, Amano just leaves for university and Inoue is left standing. If this were a harem anime (by all rights it should be one), it would be rated among the worst harem ever.
In the end, it all boils down to a general feeling of unease and boredom while watching Book Girl. It is also a sad fact that the prequel OVAs are much more fun to watch than the main movie itself. A terrible shame that such a well-produced piece of animation (indeed the artwork and the sound production are quite good) is let down by the absence of a meaningful and strong storyline.
33: Mahoutsukai Precure! Movie: Kiseki no Henshin! Cure Mofurun!
MAL Score: 7.39
Toei Animation has announced that a movie for Mahoutsukai! Precure will premiere in October 2016.
32: Aura: Maryuuin Kouga Saigo no Tatakai
English: Aura: Koga Maryuin’s Last War
MAL Score: 7.44
Ichirou Satou is an ordinary high school student who pretended that he was a hero by the name of “Maryuuin Kouga” back in middle school, which led to others frequently bullying him. Now that he has left this embarrassing phase behind, he does his best to avoid standing out and live a peaceful life, although he feels the world has become quite dull. But when he makes his way back to school one night to grab a textbook he left in class, he runs into a strange girl wearing a costume.
This girl, Ryouko Satou, happens to be his classmate and is affected by the exact same condition that he once had, holding on to a delusion that she is someone else and dressing up to reflect this. The very next day, Ichirou is asked by his teacher to become friends with Ryouko, to which he adamantly refuses, unwilling to be reminded of his own history. When he sees that she is being bullied just as he once was, however, the boy makes it his responsibility to take care of her and break her free from that which what once plagued him—the perfect job for Maryuuin Kouga.
That’s what Aura’s story is mainly about. Aura is about a story of former chuunibyou (8th grader syndrome) case who’s now trying to become a normal person, that is until a faithful encounter with a girl who calls herself as a “researcher” searching for dragon terminals. At first, he hesitates on helping her as he doesn’t want to have a relapse again but soon finds out that she needs his help.
Aura: Maryuuinkouga Saigo no Tatakai is a slice of life story that has a subliminal message. We all know the pain of bullying either as the recipient of it or as a bystander observing the damage done to the bullied. It’s never beautiful and that’s what Aura conveys. It shows how people tend to step on other people when they outshine them in certain weird and quirky ways. It is less a comedy show (unlike Chunnibyou demo koi ga shitai) and more of a drama with realistic elements.
The art and music of this show is about average and there’s nothing much to revolve about in the story but the main driving point of the show are the characters. This movie is all about character development. You start off with a doubting protagonist that would end up as a dependable friend for a lot of people. That’s the norm and this doesn’t deviate much from it except for the fact that the heroine not depended on him but he changed her. All of the characters can give you the proper emotions. You take pity on those who are being bullied and you get mad at the antagonists. Personally, there was a time I was afraid I’d punch my monitor because of the rage building up inside me. That’s how well the characters can pull you into their simple lives, something most shows can’t do.
Overall, the movie is enjoyable. The flow of the story is smooth. Despite the abrupt turn of events in the middle to last scenes, the story progression feels natural and believable. It feels like you’re seeing real people and not just an animation so kudos to the voice acting staff in that division. You’re surely bound for a roller coaster of emotions for this piece that would lead you to tears, anger, and smiles. Just try to view this movie with an open mind (Please don’t try to compare this with Chu-2 since they are both different) and I’m sure you’ll enjoy every twist and turn you’re gonna go through.
On first glance, the Don Quixote is a very clunky tome of a book, with about 800 pages, full of slapstick moments, very unrealistic damsel-in-distress-esque female characters, lengthy and possibly monotonous digressions, and, even with the Modern lauded Edith Grossman translation, still reads like a sack of old bricks. The style of the book, when seen from contemporary times, is very much like Cervantes’ description of the Don and his horse, a thin crooked gentleman on an equally battered mare riding off godspeed into who knows what kind of uncharted territory. The experience of reading the book itself was, to me, partially entertaining, due to the comedy and wit of some of the scenes given that it’s one of the first books to properly use metafiction; but most of it was a lump of text after text that bored into my skull.
Yet classics must not be read in isolation. The Quixote has been called the Spanish Bible, has been lauded by all sorts of writers such as Borges, Kafka, existential philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, the orientalist Simon Leys (who wrote a very very good essay on its importance in the world) and even hated on by Nabokov. A classic is not merely a text by itself but it sucks history itself with it and must also be read within the soup of history itself. What is it exactly that makes this comedy of an old man who becomes a knight in a world where chivalry is dead and gone so edifying and grand?
The answer here is in the word ‘becomes’. This quote comes from Simon Leys’ essay:
“The occupation which Don Quixote chooses for himself is that of knight errant. He is not under the delusion that he is a knight errant—no, he sets his mind on becoming one. He does not play at being someone else, as children do in their games; he is not pretending to be someone else, like an impostor, or impersonating a character, like an actor on stage. And he adopts the profession of knight after due reflection: it is the result of a deliberate choice. After having considered other options, he finally decided that the career of a knight errant would be the most rewarding, intellectually and morally.
But how does one become a knight? Van Doren asks. By acting like a knight—which is the very opposite of pretense, of make-believe. And to act the way Don Quixote does is more than to ape. To imitate as he does is a profound apprenticeship—the true way of learning and the key to understanding. “What is the difference between acting like a great man and being one?” Van Doren asks. “To act like a poet is to write poems; to act like a statesman is to ponder the nature of goodness and justice; to act like a student is to study; to act like a knight is to think and feel like one.”
Had Don Quixote been simply and plainly mad, or had he indulged in a protracted game of self-deception and play-acting, we should not be talking of him now, Van Doren observes—“We are talking of him because we suspect that, in the end, he did become a knight.”
This is the crux of the Quixote, which is to provide a vision of a man who decided that, with nothing being right with reality, it should be slayed. The dragon in the Quixote is not the windmills, nor is it the giant, but all of life itself, and to be exact Spanish life in the 17th century, full of small little taverns and farmers leading mundane lives. And the most stunning thing of all is that he actually succeeds, in ingraining himself into the view of the reader. Regardless of whether Don Quixote is a good knight or a bad knight, by the end of the story he is still, utmost and completely, a knight.
But being a knight is no easy task, especially in a world where knights are dead. Nabokov’s great gripe with the book is that he found it to be too cruel. “Hideous cruelty —with or without the author’s intent— which riddles the whole book and befouls its humor”. The sheer about of blows that fall on the two main characters would probably be enough to cause significant limb and spinal injury to render them both invalids for life. The laughter and exploitation of the Don’s position, especially in the later part of the book, is the pinnacle of Schadenfreude. But actually what makes the Don is its cruelty. Without cruelty, the Don would not have become, to us, a knight. He would not be a knight because he would have no dragons, and nothing would prevent him from being viewed as merely a play-actor leading a life of luxurious delusion. It is because the Don struggles at any cost that he becomes edifying. Unamuno wrote an entire book arguing that Don Quixote was an existentially real human being, even more so than his creator, who has been lost more or less in the annals of history as a paper patchwork of sources and university historical analyses.
Likewise Borges himself wrote a story about a man on a strange task, to write the Don Quixote without actually reading it, by fully assimilating the writer into himself and creating the work exactly as the writer should have done. The surprising thing too is that Pierre Menard succeeds in his quest to write the Don Quixote.
It is an interesting observation to make that today’s world, rather than suffer from an exceeding amount of simulation brought about by media and video game addiction, seems in fact to also suffer from an overload of Reality. Nowadays we live in the shadow of Youtube and quick and easy video devices. There is no bad deed that is not filmed and uploaded out there. There is no embarrassment that has not been captured. We live in a world full of endless depictions of the true disgusting horrors of war, the silliness of broken testicles by people who commit acts of grandiose insanity, religious organizations and fundamentalists being stripped apart as lunatics, and all sorts of miscarriages of justice. Idealism is stark dead because no one can do any vigilantism without having shaky cam footage of some drunk idiot in a suit getting slammed by a beer bottle soberly stripping apart the fantasies of the millions behind computer screens. In some strange way society has hardened itself up against fantasy while equally basking in it. This means that the ideal world and the real world do not mingle like before but are put behind stark bars; an either/or proposition.
Without the power of fantasy, some of our greatest exploits would become woefully insignificant, and we wouldn’t be driven by the mad feelings to stop that bully or confess to that girl or do something to win the favor of the people around us. The sad thing is that now all these fairy moods are recorded down strictly and objectively in places everywhere, where men can all be judged without regard for subjectivity. Its not a bad thing though, since it also means that the grand horrors of Nazi Germany, with its monstrous spilling over of fantasy, has a much much lesser chance of coming to pass. But in the end everything must be done in moderation. An excess of fantasy is just as bad as an excess of reality; by strictly stratifying the two into two separate domains, some which the psychoanalyst Carl Jung was fighting desperately against, human being was divided without being able to become whole.
(On a side note here. Tanaka Romeo, who wrote the original Light Novel for Aura, has been considered one of the greatest writers of Visual Novels and Light Novels ever, sometimes even considered as the Shakespeare of the LN/VN industry. His major themes are usually about outcasts and people who are split away from the norm, as well as some critiques launched at social institutions. Sadly from some comments floating out there on the net, it seems his work will never be fully appreciated except in the original language.)
In today’s stratified world, reality and fantasy have both reached their extreme ends. Hard pragmatism and self-interest plagues hordes of politicians and citizens, while the other half are so far off into the realm of delusion that there is almost no referent back to reality, sometimes due to the disproportionate social backlash that results from it. Fantasies are regulated into ‘subcultures’, ‘phenomena’, ‘fashions’, ‘fads’, or even worse ‘mental disorders’ (I’m okay with the belief that certain mental symptoms can be ‘cured’ just as easily as physical symptoms, but the modern perception of mental disorder, especially among people who don’t know exactly what it means, is a whole other different matter), and other big labels indicating that these are separate from life itself, based on some tenuous set parameters where fringewalkers can mingle with other fringewalkers without falling into the general ‘mainstream’. The fact is that these are all as much manifestations of Life and Society as the so-called norm. (It may be a result of the political structure that this results. For an interesting viewpoint see Hunter S Thompson’s brilliant journal on using fringe culture to try and affect politics in Aspen.)
But in this world can then anyone be so fully and existentially self-determined to be ‘rationally fantastic’? That perfect blend of reason and fantasy that has shook many readers to the core ever since the Don Quixote was first created? There are many thinkers and people who have been posited as such, such as Che Guevara, Renzo Novatore, Max Stirner, Jack Kerouac, and other idealists. The stark difference though is that these are merely idealistic are not ‘fantasists’ like the Don.
Which brings us to Aura. This adaptation of the Tanaka Romeo light novel works by being a whole lot more cruel, and as a result a whole lot more cathartic, than that other famous Kyoani Chuunibyou work out there. Sadly it probably doesn’t do the original enough justice, and it also suffers from extensive melodrama and too black-and-white a morality. Also none of the characters ever take things to the extent that the Don does, and in the end they still come off as play-acting heroes rather than really being them. Much of the ‘humor’, if this can even be considered the comedy, comes from the insane technolingo that comes out of the main heroine’s mouth in reaction to completely ordinary situations. The movie has moments, like von Trier’s Dogville, where you get a cheap satisfaction or feel needlessly enraged because of the stark villainy and the stark heroism. This would probably work better if it had been longer, but yet for what it gives us, it’s worth a watch. But upon coming to the finale, something amazing happens. Whereas Don Quixote was about the Don’s madness striving on in spite of the relentless cruelty of the world, what happens at the end of Aura is the opposite, where madness succeeds in infecting reality, and the world transforms into an Expressionistic-Romantic landscape so brilliant and powerful that it becomes a full exaltation of the need for escape in a bitter reality.
In any case Aura walks down the road left behind by Cervantes; a critique of stark realism, and in praise of fantasy.
31: Orange: Mirai
Japanese: orange －未来－
MAL Score: 7.44
Twenty-six-year-old Hiroto Suwa; his wife, Naho; and their old high school classmates—Takako Chino, Azusa Murasaka, and Saku Hagita—visit Mt. Koubou to view the cherry blossoms together. While watching the setting sun, they reminisce about Kakeru Naruse, their friend who died 10 years ago. Mourning for him, they decide to visit Kakeru’s old home, where they learn the secret of his death from his grandmother.
Filled with regret, Suwa and his friends decide to write letters to their 16-year-old past selves to set their hearts at rest. With the knowledge contained in the letter from his future self, 16-year-old Suwa has the chance to rewrite the future. What choices will he make? What will happen in this new future?
This review contains spoilers from the original orange:
So the movie starts off with a 38 MINUTE RECAP OF ORANGE! You could have condensed this movie into a twenty minute OVA and it would have been the same thing!
So forty minutes into this amazingly interesting story, an original story begins about the future where kakeru and Naho end up together. Which sounds great but of course we aren’t going to start the original story that way NO! WE ARE GOING TO START IT WITH THE IMPOSSIBLE PSEUDO-SCIENCE OF THE TIME TRAVELING LETTERS. Yeah remember the black hole Bermuda triangle bit, that everyone agrees is one of the worst plot holes in any anime ever. Lets put emphasis on that for five minutes.
After that there is only 15 minutes left in this movie, there is no way in hell they could possibly make it original or good at this point. And I was right the next 15 minutes is just how much it sucks that Suwa didn’t end up with Naho.
And that’s the entire movie. I gained nothing from it, and I only hope no one else has to endure the hell I have.
As a fan of the original series, with Suwa being my favorite character, this movie was quite the letdown.
What bothered me the most weren’t the constant recaps of the anime (despite them being completely skippable), but the insight we got into Suwa’s route with Naho.
At some point in the movie, Suwa is reflecting on his actions and says that he pretty much exploited Naho when she was vulnerable and that’s the reason the two ended up together. His friends try to snap him out of it by saying he’s a nice person and that she fell for him naturally. Ok, I’ll take it (not a very good reason though)… Then by the end of the movie we see the two of them waking up from the “dream” we just watched. Not only do they seem distant from each other and sad, but Naho just dreamt she had a child with Kakeru, and that she was happy with that… which pretty much confirms what he was saying earlier. Had Kakeru been alive, none of it would’ve happened. Ouch.
Having that route ruined, at least I’ll get to see Suwa move on in the timeline where Kakeru is saved, I thought! Nope.
Suwa’s idea of happiness there is seeing Naho and Kakeru together… well, okay. But what about YOUR happiness? He’s still alone 10 years later… and is smiling at how close Naho and Kakeru are… talk about NTR.
The best part of the movie was seeing Hagita and Azu finally get together, that was fun.
Animation and sound were pretty much identical to the anime’s, not much to say there.
The scene where they’re watching the sunset together was nice too, but I consider everything else not worth watching.
Orange is a series where time travel is a predominant part of the plot. It allows for speculation and creates an overall very emotional watch in the form of regret and changing the future to make a better outcome. While the plot device causes holes, it works well to create tension and suspence if you can get passed it.
The production quality of Orange: Mirai is as expected. A familiar yet, unique art style that works well with the characters and environments. The camera is superb once again with great angles and sometimes incredible shots! The character designs are the same as before and there are a few times when there are slightly lower quality facial features, just like the show. But I digress, the animation was once again, consistent and of high quality. The environments are also truly beautiful and immersive, one of the highlights of this film and the show.
The characters have already been well developed at this point and the film continues to do so even more up until the end where we get to see what we wanted the whole time. Everything is tied in a great big knot by the end of Orange: Mirai which I am happy about. The anime ending is good and it works, but the ending here truly gives us a great sense of satisfaction and tear inducing happiness.
In conclusion, this is well worth the watch if you are a fan of the series or if you are hungering for an even better continuation with a statisfactory ending. The one gigantic thing I took away from this.. is a quote.
“Hanging in there, living, is the toughest thing there is.”
30: Tennis no Ouji-sama Movie 2: Eikokushiki Teikyuu Shiro Kessen!
Japanese: 劇場版テニスの王子様 英国式庭球城決戦！
MAL Score: 7.46
Following the Nationals, Seishun Academy receives an invitation to participate in a junior tennis tournament at Wimbledon. In England, Ryouma Echizen and his teammates are joined by their rivals from Hyoutei Academy, Shitenhouji Middle School, and Rikkai University-Affiliated Middle School, who have also been invited to this special event. One evening before the start of the tournament, some of the players are attacked by a group of thugs, leaving them hospitalized with injuries. The only evidence distinguishing the assailants is a silver ring that each member wears on their hand and that their leader’s name is Keith.
In an effort to stop the gang, the middle school students convene to discuss their options but are interrupted by Ling Xiu, the person who saved Ryouma the night before. Xiu identifies himself as a former member of Clack—a band of tennis players banned from official competition due to their violent playstyles and conduct. The students are warned to stay out of the affairs of Clack as they cannot hope to win against their tennis style.
Frustrated by the situation, Ryouma sneaks out with Xiu to confront Keith and the other members of Clack with the intent to take them down single-handedly. Knowing Xiu’s true objective, Ryouma is now more determined than ever to defeat Keith to save the latter from himself.
29: Momoko, Kaeru no Uta ga Kikoeru yo.
English: My Sister Momoko
MAL Score: 7.49
Momoko, who attends a special school, is both mentally and physically disabled. Every morning she becomes peevish because she can’t go to the ordinary school with her twin brother Riki. Her family soothes Momoko by singing her favorite song “The Song of Frogs.”
One day, Momoko shouts encouragement to Riki who’s playing dodgeball at an open classroom day and Riki’s team wins the game. Ryuji, whose team lost the game, is not impressed and demands that Riki stop bringing his ‘idiot sister’ to school. Riki totally loses control and hits Ryuji with all his might.
The following year, an experiment in integrated education is implemented and Momoko begins to attend Riki’s school. Unfortunately, her physical condition takes a turn for the worse and she’s sent to a hospital. Riki and all her classmates want to cheer her up and they set a goal of winning a relay race so that they would be able to tell Momoko the good news. Meanwhile, the fastest sprinter, Ryuichi, insists that he won’t be taking part in the race.
(Source: Eleven Arts)
The concept itself is quite dramatic; twins that were born early resulting in one of them getting the short end of the stick. The story is character-centered, revolving around what is important in life and how they react to differences. From little walks to the park to hospital visits to talking with friends to throwing tantrums, the ideas of life and effort are always present and affecting everyone, even the audience. Everyone has personal problems, be that her brother who loves his sister but sometimes feels ignored and burdened, or her brother’s classmate who has family problems and stoops to bullying. The essence is how they come to terms with themselves and accept their surroundings with an open heart. Even though Momoko is the center of everything, it is the people around her that we see how they change mostly through her.
Although the movie is just their everyday life, there are some events that could be said that are a bit forced or rushed to just add to the drama, but overall I did not feel that they were trying too hard. Actually, it felt as though it wanted to just present us the obvious problems one might have in such a story for the viewer to see what everyone thinks. Nonetheless, the pacing is not really bad when thinking of the big picture, however step by step there could be some gaps.
For such a movie, character development is a given even if sometimes it is a bit abrupt, but that is mostly forgiven as those cracks are filled with what is going on around them. They overcome immature thoughts, realize more about themselves and try to be a better person. The only one not getting any development is Momoko, our main heroine, who stays a hardworking, positive girl. Instead, she gets more character background. The problems she has to deal with every day give more details about her complicated life throughout the movie, which only makes her more endearing.
The art and animation look a bit older than what someone would expect from a 2003 movie maybe, but the colors are bright, the characters are cutely drawn and it fits the atmosphere of it. It is altogether generic, but there was nothing that stands out as positive or negative. The characters were distinctive and they did a good job portraying Momoko’s physical disability, as well. I could say the same pretty much about the sound. Nothing stood out, but everything fit together; the voice actors, the background music, etc.
Overall, I really liked the movie, mainly because I am a sucker for children’s sad stories. Though, who could resist an adorable little girl who is full of life and tries her hardest in a world that does not completely understand her? It brings light to a reality that is easily forgotten when people are not part of it and it is a nice reminder for everyone to be more accepting and see that things we take for granted, others are putting so much effort in attaining them.
The story’s about the Kuramoto twins, Riki and Momoko. Riki is your typical average boy who’s energetic, not very good in school grades wise, and as healthy as he can be. Momoko is another story. I didn’t quite hear or understand what she has (I found it RAW, with no subs), but she apparently is born with a lot of handicaps, one of which makes her head constantly fall to one side, as you can see. She’s thin to the point of looking like a stick figure, has to wear one of those oxygen things up her nose (what the heck are those called again?), and she has to go to a school for the handicapped. Plus, she’s shorter than Riki by a foot. Momoko hates the fact that Riki can go to a normal school and she can’t, but she calms down when she hears her favorite song about frogs. She watches Riki play dodge ball against another class’s team and cheers him on, which makes Riki win! But one of the boys on the opposite team, Ryuji, insults Riki by saying mean things about Momoko, which sets Riki off. But what happens when Momoko gets to go to Riki’s school as part of an experiment in integrated education? Will she be able to survive, or will some school bullies gain the upper hand in the school social hiearchy? And how will adults handle this new move?
Unlike Happy Birthday, Momoko was made in 2003 and, unsurprisingly enough, has better animation compared to the former, though it still has its small hiccups. I think some of those hiccups were intentional since the movie’s about disabled kids and all, so I can let it slide. Speaking of disabled kids, yes, this is the SECOND movie I found that shows ACTUAL DISABLED KIDS!!! YAY!!! Thank God, another movie that proves that nobody’s physically or mentally perfect! Seriously, the more new anime that come out, the more and more I notice that it seems Japan has some sort of complex against showing people with little deficiencies here and there, like being fat or having braces or acne or all that jazz! Seriously! What the heck? Also, the music isn’t really memorable, like Happy Birthday’s. Some nice little tunes here and there, and they fit the show, but they’re not exactly mind blowing. I don’t really mind, though I do think the frog song is a bit weird. THANKFULLY this show has MUCH BETTER sound quality than Happy Birthday, so I’ll give it credit for that too.
Oh God, the characters again! Seriously, also like Happy Birthday, the characters are what make this movie awesome. Riki’s your perfectly realistic and average 5th grade schoolboy. He likes sports, doesn’t do well in school, and can be a bit of a brat sometimes, but don’t all boys act that way? Plus he has a hard time dealing with Momoko’s disability and even thinks at one point that his parents prefer Momoko over him. Don’t we all have similar feelings like his? Don’t we all feel a little bit jealous at one point in our lives? It’s really not all that uncommon. Momoko is just awesome just for being herself. She’s disabled, yet she still wants to live and be a normal girl despite her setbacks (though I have to admit I did find her little waterworks moments rather annoying, but that’s just because I’m kinda sensitive to little kids crying. The noise hurts my ears). She can talk and walk and just be a little girl. Seriously, don’t you just want to hug her? But then again, she’s OH SO UNGODLY thin, she might break! You also have to give the creators credit for making Ryuji into a respectable character as well. He’s not big and fat and bulky like your typical school bully. He’s actually quite thin and civilized-looking, and while he does start off rather mean at first, his development throughout the movie is just pure cinematic gold. The other characters are great too, even the side characters (like Riki and Momoko’s parents, classmates, and Ryuji’s father).
Also like Happy Birthday, Momoko focuses on the treatment of others who are different, tolerance, friendship, living, and healing. Unlike Happy Birthday, this isn’t a story about child abuse (Oh God, if this was what Momoko would be about if something like that actually happened, then I’d cry buckets!). But they do share the same morals and messages. Life is short and painful, but it’s important to keep living, even when the odds are stacked against you. I seriously wish movies like this were made more in this day and age! We’re so sick and tired of all the moe crap that’s being thrown at us like garbage!!! And yes, I cried at the ending.
If I had to choose between this and Happy Birthday, for me, Happy Birthday seems to win. Oh no, I’m not saying Momoko’s inferior to it. Momoko is awesome for being what it is, but Happy Birthday had a slightly greater impact on me. But Momoko is still a wonderful, adorable, and gut wrenchingly sad movie that I wouldn’t mind showing to anyone I knew! Now if only someone would sub or license these already!!!
When I was a child, there was a young man in my primary class at church who had cerebral palsy. I never sat next to him, I never talked to him or his family, but he was always there at the end of the front row in his wheelchair, smiling and attempting to sing along. I remember the day the teachers announced proudly he had gone on his first date (as he was sixteen at the time), and he tried to tell us through his smile how it went. But I at the time didn’t appreciate what his presence meant to us, as I alongside a few other children didn’t have too many nice thoughts about him. He was the only other person I knew with a disability until I was ten when my brother at the age of three suffered a brain injury, and then a couple of years later, my other younger brother (just before the youngest was born) was diagnosed with autism.
Society is not kind to those with disabilities—physical, mental, or a combination of both. It’s better now than it was ten/twenty years ago, and sure as hell better than a century ago, but there’s still a long ways to go as long as selfishness and hard hearts exist. Yes, it IS difficult to take care of those who need help 24/7, but that’s an obstacle that can easily overshadow them who are still people, but trapped in a body that’s barely functioning as-is. Learning this as children makes it easier to love and care for the unfortunate who continue to smile every day despite their handicap.
“My Sister Momoko” is a great example of what it means to love and smile, as told through the eyes of nine-year-old Riki whose twin sister, the titular Momoko, suffers from an unnamed disability that’s rendered her physically and mentally underdeveloped. Despite the hardships he and his family go through every day, her smiles and innocent countenance bring just as much happiness to them. They are more blessed than others who go through similar ordeals as revealed in the circle of mothers with their own more-severely disabled children, and it’s Riki who learns this as much as his parents.
It’s not just Riki, it’s also his peers who learn to care and even love Momoko when she graces their company with her smiles and encouragement to her big brother. The one who goes through more development is Ryuuji, whose strict father demands he study long and hard to become the best of the best, as “only the strong come out on top in today’s world”. Hesitant as he is, he’s the one who’s the most cold toward Momoko joining the class though he takes it out mostly on Riki whose own struggles causes him to waver in his love toward his sister.
It’s almost hard to believe this was animated in 2003, as the style is reminiscent of the 90s (well, maybe the 80s as it made me think of “Barefoot Gen”, honestly), and is a little cheap-looking to boot. There’s some off-model moments here in there (mostly in the face), but I have to give them praise for how Momoko is portrayed. It’s rare to see a physically-disabled character in animation, and her frail physique and the way she supports her head on a shoulder is unique in that aspect. So many things could’ve gone wrong in animating her and keeping her consistent, but she works well with her environment, limitations and all. She also stands out in that she’s the only special needs child who is able to walk around and even talk, which also means she gets the most attention—justified, as she’s the main character, and the other disabled children have their needed screentime whenever we see her school or them on a field trip.
When it comes to voice-acting, again, Momoko stands out the most, and Kurumi Mamiya did a wonderful job. I imagine recording this movie was emotionally draining for many people involved, to be on point with emotions where appropriate must have been some form of catharsis. I’m no voice actor in the slightest, so I can only guess what goes on in those sound booths for projects like this and the amount of time and numerous takes needed to get it just right. I secretly wish this had gotten a dub somehow, but who knows if that dub would’ve hit all the right notes in a movie that can’t afford slip ups that would risk ruining the mood. I want to be optimistic in that whoever would’ve dubbed it would’ve given their all much like the original dub, but alas, it’s just a pipe dream at this point. Given its obscurity and age, I doubt anyone will pick this up at this point despite its relevance. At the very least, the English fansub did a great job, and I thank them for bringing this to light at long last.
This little film was hard to watch sometimes as it brought back a lot of bittersweet memories, and my youngest brother (who’s more severely-autistic than the other two) was constantly on my mind watching Momoko. I still think about that young man and wonder where he is today, if he’s still alive, or if his work is done and he’s finally passed on. I also still think about the other children I’ve met in my lifetime from middle school-on who had disabilities, and with some of them, I regret not being kind enough to become friends with them. My heart goes out to those families who struggle to raise their children in a world that looks down on them, who deep down wants to be rid of the burden, but love keeps them going. It may never get better on an outward appearance, but it’s better to learn and grow to be caring and nurturing toward these poor, yet happy souls than not at all. Personal experience made sure of that.
It’s been slowly picking up, but until the day comes when a children’s show/movie is able to portray disabilities without being ham-fisted, prejudiced, biased, or anything that could be harmful or just “passable”, “My Sister Momoko” will be that diamond in the rough that doesn’t try to fix the world all at once as it knows its limits, but is still positive in its message. The experience is different for each person, so if it doesn’t affect you on a personal level or make you tear up, it’s fine since it’s meant to raise awareness, but hopefully on a positive level than negative.
28: Kiniro Mosaic: Pretty Days
Japanese: きんいろモザイク Pretty Days
MAL Score: 7.52
The episode is set during a school festival where Shinobu is assigned to write a script and make outfits for her class play. Youko and Alice notice that Shinobu is sleepy every morning and are worried that she might be getting tired of all the work. Will Shinobu be able to successfully complete all her tasks in time?
(Source: MAL News)
While there is a school festival moving the plot, this movie focuses in Aya(ya) and her memories with Shinobu and Youko when they were still in middle school, putting focus on how the three friends spent their days together preparing for the entrance exam for highschool.
Even though Karen and Alice took a minor role in this movie compared to the screentimes they got in the main series, they were still as loveable as always and had their shining moments, Not to mention, the way how the backstory of Aya was executed definitely compensated for the lack of the two blondies.
The art of the movie was similar to the main series, focusing like always in putting a lot of focus in showing the various expressions of the girls, in the sound department, like most slice of life shows, this movie provides solid background songs that add to the emotions of the different scenes, but in the end tend to not be that memorable, something that happens here as well, the opening and ending themes kept the happy and sweet feelings that the ones from the main series had.
As a Kiniro Mosaic fan, this movie was as good as I hoped it to be and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the experience. I can’t recommend it enough to any viewer that enjoyed the previous two seasons of this lovable series.
Now, Kiniro Mosaic Pretty days is a movie that takes place after the events of Hello!Kiniro Mosaic, the second Season of the illustrious KINMOZA anime series, so quick warning for anyone planning on watching this: It probably goes without saying but i’ll say it anyway, Watch the first 2 seasons first, then watch this movie, as you’ll be more invested in the characters and whatnot. Now, with all that out of the way, let’s quickly go over why Kiniro Mosaic Pretty days is such a good movie shall we?
In this movie our group of main characters Shinobu, Alice, Karen, Youko, and Aya are back at it again with their moe induced antics and silly ways.
Now, while the plot involves our main girls setting up a play for the annual school festival, the real meat of the story centers around Aya, and her friendship with Shino and Youko. We see a sweet and heartwarming backstory on how the 3 girls were friends back in middle school and we see them preparing for the entrance exam for the highschool they want to attend.
There isn’t much to say about the art. The style is extremely cute, and the animation is very fluid. The character designs in particular are moe enough to give you a heart attack. Kiniro Mosaic has always been a series that’s just been very pleasant to look at, it’s like candy for your eyes.
The sound design is as great as ever. The opening and ending themes are really catchy as hell. And the voice acting is near perfect. KINMOZA is just really fun to listen to, the OST is cute/catchy, and the voice acting is really does the characters justice, they sound just how they shold be. Karen is particular having a voice that’s like hard crack for your ears.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. What makes KINMOZA such a spectacle to behold, the characters. If you watched the first 2 seasons you should know why they’re so great, and they’re just as amazing as ever in this movie. The way they act, the interactions they have with eachother, everything they do is nothing less than pure perfection in its rawest form.
This movie is enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll love this movie. Not once while watching this movie did I feel like I was watching something with any flaws, no, while watching this movie I found myself being reminded of why I gave season 1 a perfect 10 in the first place. I’m just happy to be alive right now because if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be able to experience such greatness.
In the end: this movie may not be perfect, but it may as well be the closest thing we got to it. Yes, this movie might have flaws (God knows I couldn’t find any though), but that doesn’t do a thing to stop it from being a 10/10. The story is sweet and heartwarming, the sound direction is spectacular, and the characters are as close to a perfect main cast as you can get.
We may never find something that is truly perfect, everyone has different tastes (while some worse than others), and it’s impossible to find something that everyone will 100% agree on. But right here, right now in my little real life headcanon we have found perfection, and it comes in the form of an anime movie that goes by the name of “Kiniro Mosaic Pretty days” thank you for your time.
I will keep this brief since you should already know all about this show from the first two seasons of it. Pretty Days is essentially a 50-minute movie of Kiniro Mosaic taking place during a school festival. The film is divided into two parts: one which covers the events of the festival itself where Shino is tasked with scriptwriting and providing costumes for a stage play, and one which tells a lengthy backstory of how Aya, Youko and Shino managed to get into high school to begin with (I.E: before Alice and Karen came to Japan).
The backstory is definitely the highlight of the movie. For most of the TV-series’ runtime, Karen has been the one taking the center stage of the show, but this time it is Aya who gets the main spotlight. Here, we get to see how she helps her two friends with less than stellar grades pass their entrance exams together, and also the conflicting emotions starting to take place within Aya herself regarding whether she should go to a better high school (as her grades are much better than Youko’s and Shino’s), or if she should pick the same one as her friends in order to be able to remain with them for a while longer. Naturally, we already know the outcome of this from the start, but the way it is presented is quite heartwarming and charming to see.
Regarding the school festival, it is perhaps a bit less impressive, but still enjoyable. It is more along the lines of what a typical episode of Kiniro Mosaic might look like in the TV-series. The girls have some light-hearted fun together whilst preparing for the stage play, and then we get to see the results of it at the end, and unsurprisingly things quickly turn chaotic and silly but all in good fun.
The art is perhaps a little bit underwhelming considering that movies generally have better visuals than TV-series do, but in this case it basically looks the same as I recall the last season doing. Of course that has always been more than enough for the show, but maybe it could have been a little bit more still this time around.
Overall, this is another one of those cases where if you have seen and liked the first two seasons of the TV-series, there is essentially no reason whatsoever not to watch Pretty Days too. If you liked one, you are basically guaranteed to like the other. While it may be considered unfortunate that Karen and Alice are largely irrelevant for large portions of the film, I also think it was about time the other girls got some more focus instead of the blondies for once. As a result, Pretty Days manages to be more than just cute and funny (though it still does that too of course), but momentarily also quite touching. And for what after all is nothing more than a simplistic moe comedy at heart, that is about all you could ever ask for.
27: Slam Dunk: Zenkoku Seiha Da! – Sakuragi Hanamichi
Japanese: スラムダンク 全国制覇だ！桜木花道
MAL Score: 7.54
Set during the Inter High Championships, Shohoku take on Tsukubu, one of this year’s dark horses. It’s a clash of acquaintances as Anzai will face his former student which is now the coach of Tsukubu, while Akagi & Kogure meet Godai their former classmate and Tsukubu’s captain. Finally Sakuragi is irked by the presence of Nango, Tsukubu’s center, who vies for Haruko’s attention.
Story was pretty good where Hanamachi has to face against a rival in a match to see who gets to be with Haruko and it had pretty good pacing and the usual funny comedy.
The art is still the same with some improvements but not by much and the music was pretty good comparable to that of the series. The characters were pretty much the same except for a couple of new introductions who were alright but they didn’t get that deep into.
Overall I enjoyed the movie. If you wanna see more of Slam Dunk and if you have finished this series this movie is a recommended watch.
26: Free! Movie 1: Timeless Medley – Kizuna
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Timeless Medley- 絆
MAL Score: 7.55
Haruka Nanase has reconciled with his rival Rin Matsuoka, and they have re-established their friendship, determined to race each other again. Now Haruka, along with Makoto Tachibana, Rei Ryuugazaki, and Nagisa Hazuki, prepare for their upcoming tournaments, determined to compete wholeheartedly and achieve victory as a team. At Samezuka Academy, Rin resolves to do the same.
Further, the seniors near graduation, and Rin has decided his future plans. However, Haruka and Makoto remain uncertain, and they begin to feel the pressure of having to choose their own paths.
Almost 80% of the movie was reused scenes from the second season of the anime, and a few snippets from the prequel movie. The movie’s own soundtrack were also used in the reused scenes and basically replaced the original music from the TV show. I did, however, liked the opening of the movie. If a person were to watch this movie before watching the 2 seasons or the prequel movie, it would lead to a lot of confusion to the viewer as the movie did not do a great job explaining the events of the prequel movie and the first season, as well as the characters. Aside from that, we only got 3-4 nice bonus scenes, although I expected much more. As a Free! fan, I kinda enjoyed the movie, but I expected more than reused scenes since there was a 1 year gap since their last work.
TL ; DR: Free! Timeless Medley Kizuna is a compilation movie that mainly focuses on the second season of the anime, mostly with reused scenes and new music that replaced the original in the anime.
I’ve seen anime do this before where they’ll sum up a season of the anime with a movie. That’s exactly what this movie is. You will get a few new scenes in this movies, which is the good part. For example, you’re gonna see a little montage of when Haru and Makoto first met. Are the added scenes necessary to understand the main story? No, but I actually thought they were pretty cool. There’s another scene where Asahi walks behind Rei at a tournament while he talks about this “glasses kid” that recommended some mental training books to him in middle school. Rei recognizes his voice and stares at him as he walks away. So, it’s those cool little Easter egg things that make this movie worth at least a skim through. You do need to have seen Starting days to get that last Easter egg, though.
Other than that, don’t watch this in place of the actual series. You’re going to miss a lot of the details that you’d get from the main series. It really does just focus on the main parts of Free!: Eternal Summer. That’s another thing: it skips right by season one. You basically get a montage of Rin and Haru, and that’s about it. Even if you watch the first season and then this movie, you’re still missing a lot of supplementary content that you get in the second season.
Personally, my recommendation is to watch everything else associated with Free! and then skim through this movie to look for the extra scenes. That’s what I did, at least. Again, I rated this like I did because the actual main story of Free! is great (you can read my other reviews on Free! to find out why), but this movie is very much a summary and not a replacement for the series. Just keep that in mind if you decide to watch it.
P.S. You do get some new Style Five music in this movie, so that’s a bonus.
Overall the movie was pretty warm and fuzzy. I don’t know how well it stands on its own but it felt very complete. It’s just a simple story of the swim club swimming in the tournament and also a coming-of-age story, basically the second season condensed. The movie didn’t really help me with my initial goal of recaps but I liked it, if not just for the new Style Five songs.
25: Slam Dunk: Shouhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi
Japanese: スラムダンク 湘北最大の危機！燃えろ桜木花道
MAL Score: 7.57
After losing the titanic match against Kainan High, Team Shohoku and a newly shaven Hanamichi Sakuragi are challenged to an exhibition match by virtual basketball unknowns Ryoukufu High. Coach Anzai sees this as an opportunity for Shohoku to regain their confidence, but Ryoukufu are revealed to have a newly assembled championship calibre lineup and may give Sakuragi & Co their toughest test yet.
Even i laughed too the same as Sakuragi’s gank, Haruko with her two friends laughed, Ryota, and Micchi laughed at Hamaichi until they stomatch hurt >.< Very Slam Dunk's style, just like they always do! Also some new characters begin to appear here, like Michael Okita and co Winning is not everything. That's the motto we got from this 3rd movie Love the ending song! Cool music and lyrics [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”]Another good movie from the Slam Dunk series. A good story with some meaning to it and the great comedy as usual with good pacing. The animation and sound were good as usual. I love the music from Slam Dunk. Some new characters were introduced in this movie but they were not that deep and were just ok. Overall an enjoyable movie and I recommend if you have finished the Slam Dunk series this movie is a recommended watch to get to the know the main and supporting characters a bit more but not completely necessary since it doesn't affect the actual story too much. [/collapse]
24: Free! Movie 2: Timeless Medley – Yakusoku
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Timeless Medley- 約束
MAL Score: 7.62
Rin Matsuoka’s childhood friend, Sousuke Yamazaki, has recently transferred to Samezuka Academy. Upon their reunion, the two reminisce about their childhood days and reaffirm their wish to swim together. Now with Rin, Sousuke, Captain Mikoshiba’s younger brother Momotarou Mikoshiba, and hard-working Aiichirou Nitori, the Samezuka relay team is formed, and their friendship deepens. However, as tournaments, races, and training go on, the reason for Sousuke’s sudden return begins to trouble him and affect his swimming. Noticing Sousuke’s change, Rin pushes to uncover what is holding him back.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]Okay, first things first, you’re getting new Style Five music in this movie and the art and story are good as always. Second, don’t watch this as a replacement to the anime series because it isn’t.
However, unlike the first movie, I do actually recommend that you skim through this movie. Let me explain: the first movie and this movie are both compilations of Free!: Eternal Summer. Each movie shows different scenes to tell the same story, but you can get most of those scenes by watching the anime, so it’s kind of useless to watch the movies. Except for the fact that you’re gonna get a few brand new scenes in both movies. The first movie’s extra scenes don’t really add much to the main storyline; they’re just there as Easter eggs. This movie, though, does feature some content that benefits the main story. You’ll also get more extra scenes in this movie than you will in the first one.
I think this is because the first movie essentially followed Haru and Iwatobi while this one followed Rin and Samezuka. Since the original story is mostly about Iwatobi, there isn’t as much content on Samezuka so they had to add more to this movie to fill the time. They do rework the scene where Haru asks Rin to come to Iwatobi. Instead of him asking Rin after a tournament, he asks Rin over the phone. Not that big of a deal, but it’s still different.
The rest of the scenes either show you something that the original story just told you about or they add something completely different to the story. For example, in the parent story, Makoto says something like “I discussed the issues about Haru with Rin.” In this movie you actually get to see that conversation. At the end of this movie, you’ll see Sosuke tell Rin about Ikuya, warning him to watch his back should he ever race against him. That’s one of the main things I think adds to the parent story because in the current storyline (Free!: Dive to the Future), it’s very possible that Rin may end up racing against Ikuya.
Some things you need to know before watching this move: It’s a good idea if you’ve seen at least Starting Days before watching this. There will be more Easter eggs in here that won’t seem as cool to you if you haven’t seen Starting Days. Also, I’d recommend watching Take Your Marks before this as well just because this movie will lead into it and it’s nice to know where it’s leading to.
Again, don’t watch this as a replacement for Free! For one, this movie and the first skip past the first season, so you need to watch that anyway. For two, it doesn’t have the little details in it that the actual series does, so you’ll miss good bits and pieces. Also, this movie is mostly about Samezuka, Rin, and Sosuke, so just watching this movie is a bad idea anyway.
However, if you haven’t seen Free! in a while or if you want to catch up on it before watching the third season or Take Your Marks, these movies are pretty good tools to use to refresh your memory and even get a few new insights on the characters. Basically, I just skimmed through the parts that are already shown in the series, and I think it was pretty effective. If you like Free!, at least take the time to watch the extra scenes because they’re worth it.
I rewatched Starting Days before watching this and boy, I’m glad I did. Our lovely boys Ikyua, Asahi and Kisumi return, looking mature and handsome as ever. What makes this film so great is the foreshadowing, or closure that the 2nd season lacked. It leaves the thread for the 3rd season to expand upon, while managing to give the audience a fresh perspective on the 2nd season without feeling bored. So yeah, this is a must-watch! Especially for Rin fans. Skim through parts the original season covered, watch the new scenes, and you’re good to go.
The beginning actually brought me to tears because there are extra scenes of Rin’s childhood when his father was alive and he was a happy little kid who admired his father. But then you also see that same child lose his father trying to deal with the pain that comes with it. You see him feel like he has to fill his father’s shoes because he’s the only son and male in the family anymore. You see how much it really hurt him and how hard he tried to stay strong for his mom and sister. How swimming was the most important thing his father ever gave him. These scenes were strong enough to break my heart. Even though we already know the details of Rin’s past, seeing these extra scenes allowed me to understand why Rin became a sort of “antagonist” in the first season, the strength Rin really had and his unchangeable love for swimming relays.
All in all, the extra scenes really helped me comprehend Rin’s character and see his side of the story. It made me realize why his friendships with everyone are so important, like why he became so upset that Sousuke didn’t tell him about his injury or why he insists on swimming relays or who he exactly swims for. If you want an eye-opener on this series especially in terms of Rin and the Samezuka swim team, give this movie a definite watch!
23: Kuroko no Basket Movie 1: Winter Cup – Kage to Hikari
English: Winter Cup Highlights Episode 1 – Winter Cup Highlights -Shadow and Light-
MAL Score: 7.66
First of three compilation films of the Kuroko no Basket franchise.
The first match of Seirin vs Touou Gakuen at the Winter Cup. Seirin swore they would get revenge from the Inter-High, but Aomine’s talents grew even stronger and Kuroko’s new move is seen through. After having all of his efforts denied by his former light, Aomine, Kuroko is benched and faces humiliation. Seeing his partner like this, something almost beast-like awakens within Kagami, and he challenges Aomine. Aomine had lost almost all sense of fighting, until he and Kagami both intensely face off with each other as they go into the Zone.
Watch it if:
– You love KnB so you’re always happy with new content.
– You kind of forgot what happened in S1 and you want to refresh your memory.
– You’re not really interested in KnB, but want to know the main events.
– You want to skip a season for some freaking reason.
Other than those, I recommend you to watch the actual series instead, or don’t watch the movie at all. After all, it’s a recap of the first season, so as a ‘stand alone’ it’s pretty crappy.
Stuffing 25 episodes in a little bit more than 1 hour, is not the easiest task ever. That’s also a reason why I don’t want to be too harsh on this movie. There are little series that pull of a decent retelling of their series in a movie, unless they change a big part of the plot. KnB isn’t anything new when it comes to that. We get to see the most important parts, but the story loses a lot of its depth and character development due to a lack of time. Which is a pity of course, as one of the great aspects of KnB were the exciting characters. The original air of mystery around the GoM, was completely removed.
Some studios try to ‘fix’ their series in the movie, by correcting the animation or adding additional scenes. As I mentioned before, this movie was a total recap. Other than the opening scene, there wasn’t anything new.
And oh God… The opening scene. What the Hell happened with the opening scene. The idea was great, the shots looked good and the song was awesome, but the animation looked so low budget it made my eyes watery. If you think I’m exaggerating, please take a look and judge for yourself: (https://twitter.com/AlphaMoku46/status/784133544117428224).
As I said, the idea looked really nice, but coming from a series that had some amazing OP’s in the past, this one is a rather big… nay.
Nevertheless I enjoyed this movie. You know why? Because it gave me that nostalgic feeling. I love KnB and I’m happy with any kind of content the franchise gives its fans. At the end, I gave it an 8 for overall enjoyment. I just felt like writing this review to warn viewers who don’t look at the movie the same way as I do.
1. Movie 1 Winter Cup Soushuuhen – Kage to Hikari
2. Movie 2 Winter Cup Soushuuhen – Namida no Saki e
3. Movie 3 Winter Cup Soushuuhen – Tobira no Mukou
Movie one, two, and three is a summarize version of Season one, two, and three. Though unlike the Season one series where it tackles first the plays Seirin made in order to participate in the Winter Cup and Season 2 moving on to the tournament itself, the Movies focuses on the Winter Cup alone and show only a bit of introduction from the Season one series. The movies consist of the highlights and the outplays Team Seirin did in order to defeat every team with a Generation of Miracles member. It is a waste not to watch them but I decided not to. Not because it will be a waste of time but I know that watching it will make my memory jamble. Since I’ve watched each episodes of all three seasons, I already know how the story goes. But apart from that fact, every bit of extras, not that important but is a part of the series, and I don’t want to forget that. Watching this movies will possibly make you forget that little bits of cute lines, scenarios from the series, and I don’t want that. You can make it a review from the seasons series though.
Kuroko No Basket Anime Review
By: Tadatoshi Fujimaki
April 15, 2019
Sports Anime genre have only one path to take, tournaments. Participating individually or by teaming up, it is the most common plot that exist. While this is not a unique one, it will be the author’s capability how he manage to capture the interest of the viewer and excite them. This series focuses on students who love playing basketball. At first, I am really not interested on watching this anime. It is kind of absurd to think of a basketball story with extraordinary skills. But after trying it out, it made me realize that the plot of the story is great. I love the simplicity of it. The main reason of why the series moves forward and how it affects every branches of the story. Unrealistic as it may seem, the lesson is still there. The creator successfully stress out the core value when playing basketball. What also made me hook on this series is the directness of every plays all of the basketball teams have. Each play only last for an average of 5 to 6 episodes. Flashbacks are there but its only on a really minimum basis. You can enjoy watching all of the plays without so much cliffhanging and annoying side stories of the characters.
It is already a known that almost all of the characters on this series are super cool. It is the reason why most of the girl watched it, I think. Aside from that fact, the development of the characters can totally be seen along the story. The changes and realization they made make them more of a human. Though not skillfully speaking. Since there are so many characters, giving all of them the spotlight is hard. And that’s whats amazing. The creator successfully introduce a past where most of the characters belong. That way, it won’t be hard tackling each of the characters past and it gives the story more time in other scenarios that needs to be displayed. I love how the story never depend on the back story of the characters so much that it will take too much time to explain it.
Sound and Animation: 10
Perfect. My phone is full of Kises’ picture. Yes, every character is so handsome but it is not only this. The animation of the story is really great. Parts where the characters show dribbling, passing, shooting or even guarding their opponents is really detailed. I love how they show the movements of the characters playing on the court, as well as their expression depending on the feeling they have. Should I also mention the voices? Yes, theirs are really cool and perfectly matches the looks of the characters.
I am not really a fan of basketball. I do not hate it, but I do not also like it. This is the first anime basketball which got me hooked. Due to so much enjoyment watching it, I’ve finished it in a more faster time than the other series I tried. Every episode will make you want more, more plays, more actions on the court, more characters to encounter with. It is really exciting, and fun to watch.
This is the best route to take for an ending on this series. The main goal of Kuroko has been met after winning the nationals with his team. But no, the story did not really move forward just because they had to win. It is because he had to bring back his loss previously. He had to bring back all of the people precious to him and he did. Fixing things that is broken and making them realize the most important thing when doing the thing they love. I am content with the ending of this series. It is simple, yet it will made you realize something important.
First of all, if you’re coming here straight after season 1 then don’t bother. I don’t know why it’s not stated anywhere on this page, but this highlights movie features half of season two, heavy with plot spoilers that should be avoided until you watch the second season. Which that out of the way, let’s start.
Say in short, this is a highlights compilation that follows the two games against Aomine from season one and season two, and as we know, the games span multiple episodes and a movie format is just the perfect take on how to screen one of them. No commercial breaks in between, no constant interruption of the opening and ending theme songs, you just get the raw content ported directly from the TV show, bundled together in a seamless way that recaps you on one of the best games from the show.
I appreciate the original opening that came with this, the song was alright however the visuals were just stunning. You could tell from that alone that more effort went into this than simply piecing together recycled scenes.
22: Slam Dunk: Hoero Basketman-damashii! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu
Japanese: スラムダンク 吠えろバスケットマン魂!!花道と流川の熱き夏
MAL Score: 7.67
Ichiro Mizusawa, a player from Rukawa’s old junior high school, Tomigoaka, is diagnosed with a crippling leg condition and wants to play one last game with Rukawa. Hanamichi sets out to help the boy and fulfill his wish.
“I am still waiting for inoue-sensei to continue slam dunk until shohoku conquers the national tournament, I think all of us do, right?!! He left us hanging, darn it! But I will still wait…. I will wait…
Well actually this movie doesn’t need a review anymore because we all know how inoue-sensei does his work, as always a great piece. n_n
Overall a very enjoyable and also an emotional Slam Dunk movie. Man I need to forget this movie if I wanna experience it again, I can’t put it in words!
21: Kuroko no Basket Movie 2: Winter Cup – Namida no Saki e
English: Winter Cup Highlights Episode 2 – Winter Cup Highlights -Beyond the Tears-
MAL Score: 7.67
Second of three compilation films of the Kuroko no Basket franchise.
Seirin faces off with Yosen in the quarter finals of the Winter Cup. Facing Yosen’s impenetrable defense with Murasakibara at its center, Kuroko manages to shoot his first point. Meanwhile, the ace battle between Kagami and Himuro also heats up. An intense battle is held until the very end. Next, Seirin faces off with Kaijo in the semi finals. Cautious of Kaijo’s ace, Kise, and his Perfect Copy ability, Seirin works fast and hard to take the lead. Kise hurts his leg and is benched, so Seirin thinks they now have their chance, but then Kaijo shows them exactly what they can do even without Kise.
Much like the first highlights movie, it’s like condensing the episodes together and slicing off all the filler and padding, leaving you only with an intense well-paced game of epic Basketball. The movie features the game against Murasakibara and Kise from season 2 and 3 respectively, this format is really working out good for this franchise.
I mean, expect nothing special, if anything, these highlights are the perfect route to take if you’re up for a lightweight rewatch, even for people who know nothing about the series.
Story: There is nothing new added to this movie. This film follows Touou and Seirin’s second game; Aomine agrees to teach Kuroko how to shoot, Seirin and Yosen play against each other, a bit of Himuro and Kagami’s past and relationship is shown, and then Kaijo and Seirin play against each other. This movie also included moments from the Teiko days, which was great at making viewers feel nostalgic. (9/10)
Art: The art is the same as the episodes. The only difference should be the opening theme song with the characters handling a ball. The ending card’s art resembled the opening theme song’s. (8/10)
Sound: The BGM was great at bringing out the intensity of the moments, and the emotions the characters experienced, including their frustration and anguish. The voice acting was done nicely, just like in the episodes. The observations, determination, and feelings of relief and joy…they were all conveyed clearly. (9/10)
Character: The characters were great. This recap did a great job at showing Kise’s character development; from someone who used to play basketball by himself to someone who realizes he loves his team and wants to lead them to victory, therefore he learned to work with them. There was good character development for Murasakibara too, because he became frustrated and unknowingly to him, deeply loves basketball. It was wonderful to see how determined Murasakibara and Kise were at winning. Also, Akashi and Aomine proved to be great audience members as they included their own thoughts to the games they watched. (9/10)
Enjoyment: I definitely enjoyed this movie. The emotions I had when I first watched Kuroko’s Basketball were revived as I relived these moments in the film. I found myself rooting for Yosen and Kaijo as I wanted them to win so much, even though I already knew who would win… I enjoyed the little moments that were given to characters who were not playing on the court. There was some comedy included to balance things out. (10/10)
Overall: This movie was a pleasure to watch. If you love the series and want to revisit it and get nostalgic, haven’t seen the series in a while and forgot parts of it, or love anything that is related to the series… it’s an overall worthwhile experience. It successfully brought back memories and highlighted important moments. (10/10)
20: Free! Movie 3: Road to the World – Yume
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Road to the World-夢
MAL Score: 7.73
Recap of the Free!: Dive to the Future TV series featuring new scenes.
Most of the Hiyori/Natsuya parts of the season were significantly shortenend and might arguably be a tad hard to understand for anyone who hasn’t seen the season. The rest was put together rather well, though I do have to say that I was surprised at the amount of new scenes.
Overall I would advise viewers to watch the whole season to get the full context. Due to the amount of new scenes this movie seems more suitable for people who have actually seen the season before and just want a small reminder/new content.
That is probably the best thing to come out of this film, if I’m honest, but only because we were deprived of it in the main story. So, like… I wouldn’t call this a summary? I mean, it totally is a summary because there’s probably about 45 minutes of recap or so (maybe less, I didn’t check), but there are SO many new scenes– way more than the first two recap films. Before I get into the new stuff, though, just know that they replaced some of the music that plays over certain scenes with different OSTs and some of those scenes got better because of it.
Anyway, so this film did recap Dive to the Future, but it also rewrote some of it. I’m not too terribly crazy about that, but then again, the main story would just take a quick edit to make everything sound as far as continuity goes. It isn’t that anything too serious is rewritten, it’s just that certain scenes got revamped so they could of them rather than playing the whole scene over again. For example, Haru and Rin saw each other again after Haru talked to his coach about his swimming. Since, I assume, the filmmakers wanted to cut the time it would take to show the coach and Haru having their conversation to give context to Rin and Haru’s meeting, they just opted for Haru and Rin to meet in a different setting. It isn’t like it’s upsetting the very story itself, it’s just different for the most part.
That’s the recap stuff done. The new stuff– boi, you better bet that there’s moments in this film that have become some of my favorite moments in the whole franchise. I won’t go into detail so the people that want to watch it can watch it fresh, but there were characters meeting up and extra conversations shown that were freaking awesome. I’ll talk about that more in a bit, but first I want to mention that this film kind of formatted itself to be a montage of the main story with deleted scenes shown in full in between. Of course, the plot did show us full scenes when it came to the big stuff that happened in the main story, but for the most part, the bulk of the scenes we got in full were scenes that filled in the spaces of time we didn’t see in the main story. Like, for example, what Sousuke was doing in Tokyo before Rin met up with him or how Haru asked his coach to train him for the IM.
Oh, that’s the other thing. These extra scenes don’t really involve Haru all that much. I got the feeling that the purpose of this film was to fill in time for the other characters; plus, Haru didn’t really need more added to his story since… well, he’s the main character. We got it all in Dive to the Future. Also, the recap starts right before the IM. Well, I mean, it does montage through what happened before then, but the first big recap scene that’s shown is the IM. There were also flashback scenes of the characters talking about their dreams when they were in elementary school, which was a nice setup for the point of the film.
I feel like I’m not really reviewing this but rather just explaining that it is in fact worth watching. Okay, so, let me explain WHY it’s worth watching. The extra scenes (I said I’d come back to this, yeah?). There were a good chunk that either filled in story we didn’t get to see but knew about or were just conversations between characters. However, there were scenes that seriously– and I mean seriously– progressed the story that you’re not gonna get literally anywhere else. That was what was so cool about watching this film. There was real development both in the story and for the characters. Not only that, but this film made connections between characters that will have a serious impact on the story going forward that you wouldn’t be aware of unless you watched this.
Basically, I just wanna say that this film is worth watching just for the new stuff. Do what I did and skim through the stuff you already know about and watch the new stuff. Oh, important point: don’t watch this as a substitute for Dive to the Future. You’ll miss out on a bunch. Though, you’ll miss out on quite a bit if you don’t watch this too. So, watch Dive to the Future first so you have context for what’s happening in this film, but definitely watch this because, holy hell, it took me on a ride. I don’t know what the future holds for Free! what with the complications with the studio, but I really, really hope that plans for the sequel movie pick back up despite the news that it was delayed because this film just set up so much more for me to be excited about going forward. Here’s to the future!
19: Free!: Take Your Marks
English: Free! -Take Your Marks-
Japanese: 特別版 Free!-Take Your Marks-
MAL Score: 7.76
Taking place between the events of Free!: Eternal Summer and Free!: Dive to the Future, Free!: Take Your Marks plays out the graduated seniors’ last summer through four different stories before they set sail for the future.
Unmei no Choice! (Destined Choice!) follows Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana searching for a new apartment for Haruka as he settles into Tokyo.
Hitou no Cooling Down! (Cooling Down at the Secret Hot Spring!) sees Aiichiro Nitori choose a graduation gift for Rin Matsuoka and Sousuke Yamazaki, while Momotaro Mikoshiba wins tickets to the Anago Hot Springs. Hoping for a trip together, Aiichiro and Momotaro invite Rin and Sousuke.
Kessoku no Batafurai! (United Butterfly!) shows Rei Ryugazaki, Nagisa Hazuki, and Gou Matsuoka creating a recruitment video to attract new club members for the next school year.
Tabidachi no Etanaru Buru! (Departing Eternal Blue!) looks into the Iwatobi and Samezuka swim teams’ plans for Rin’s surprise going-away party, as he will be departing for Australia soon.
I went to see this movie with a friend in theaters on White Day. I know what to expect as I went in blind without having even seen the trailer for it. I just assumed, “well it’s free! of course I’m going to like it” and I was right. If you are a long time fan of this franchise, you will enjoy it.
This movie is broken up into four “episodes” that are interconnected. Each episode contains a theme that is carried out by the end of it so watching only one won’t leave you on that much of a cliffhanger. However, the stories themselves are written with their target audience in mind. Personally, I was not expecting the movie to be this funny.
I found it hard to breathe at times with how hard I was laughing. I was clutching my friend’s hand in a death grip (sorry friend!) and doubling over with laughter at how some of the scenes played out. Dramatic irony is utilized a lot which, while somewhat of a cop-out, adds to the charm that is the franchise itself. None of the episodes are “deep” or delve into characterization but then again, this movie is intended for fans of the series who are already familiar with the cast.
There were a few new additions to the cast (perhaps foreshadowing their addition in S3) that only had a brief mention. It was disappointing that the new characters only had a few seconds of cameo as it would have been nice to get to know them a bit more than a name and a random quirk. I would have preferred if they weren’t brought up and the episode instead focused on the already established characters.
The art was good aside from a few moments where it was a bit…questionable. Aside from that, it was typical Kyoani quality. Beautiful scenery and visuals with only slight drawbacks regarding some frames.
To be honest, I couldn’t remember most of the OST because the theater was engulfed in laughter for almost the entire film. The ending song was really good.
I love the entire cast and I am biased in that regard. The new characters seemed interesting and a few characters from the prequel movie were included as well.
The opening scene of episode one almost gave me a heart attack and I was hyperventilating. If you like shipping the characters, you will enjoy this film. If you enjoy fan-service, you will enjoy this film. There were a lot of times where I was whispering to my friend, “I *wrote* this, like this is something I would write in a fanfic” so please take that as you will.
If you like Free! as a franchise, this movie is a must see. It’s funny, it has fan-service moments, and it has “shippy” moments (or as “shippy” as you can get from Kyoani). Regardless of whether you’re into it because of the fan-service, or into it because you like swimming, this movie has something for everyone.
I highly recommend watching it as it is a feel good, lighthearted comedy that is enjoyable for everyone.
The are 4 stories taking place between Free!: Eternal Summer and Free!: Dive to the Future show the transition for all the characters as they mature and their lives will change dramatically when the summer ends.
* Destined Choice! shows Makoto helping Haruka apartment hunt prior to college in Tokyo. The one he chooses does end up feeling like destiny, as a character from Free Starting Days shows up.
* Cooling Down at the Secret Hot Spring! Lucky Momo wins tickets to a hot spring and they give them to Rin ans Sousuke as a graduation gift. All 4 end up there and hilarious shenanigans ensue.
* United Butterfly is about the Iwatobi team’s new recruitment video. This one actually made me tear up. I want friends like this. Everyone should have friends like this. Also the reality is it is very hard to keep a specialized club going, without support, but friendship CAN last the test of time and distance. At least that’s the message here, full of hope.
* Departing Eternal Blue! Starts with Rin’s emotional reaction to a movie. OH NO we can’t be together if you love cats!!! Then the Iwatobi and Samezuka swim teams’ plans for Rin’s surprise going-away party are misinterpreted by Rin as Momo wants to date Gou. And the mis-understanding just gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger. This was great, I was laughing so hard.
The characters got a chance to dress really well in many outfits and the quality was good as usual.
This could have been better. Not sure why they did chibi Elvis outfits for the ED, I kind of miss the boy band music video versions from season 1 and 2 to be honest.
I’ve grown really attached to all of them. Except Haru, who, while talented, frankly has loads of room for improvement. I consider him a work in progress but all the rest are great and I’d be friends with all of them in a heartbeat.
I loved this installment of the Free Franchise. Time does go on. People grow up and situations change – there are so many transitions in life and this slice of life sports anime shows them to great effect. Changes don’t mean endings, but new beginnings. At the end of the day, it is up to both parties to keep in touch and keep the friendship going. If fate wills it, they’ll meet again.
Aside from the swimming competitions, it was nice to sit down and hang out with the characters for a while. It also left a nice lead-in for the third season that will be coming out soon. I enjoy watching this characters grow and change so much, and I look forward to seeing more in the next season.
I’d definitely recommend this movie to fans that love these characters. Maybe you shouldn’t stay up until 5:30 AM to watch it like I did, but you should watch it all the same. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
18: Little Witch Academia: Mahoujikake no Parade
English: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade
Japanese: リトルウィッチアカデミア 魔法仕掛けのパレード
MAL Score: 7.77
You can tell witch training is not going swimmingly for the young sorceresses Akko, Lotte, and Sucy—they face expulsion for screwing up one class too many, and their only way out is if they successfully organize their academy’s annual parade through a nearby town. But when they stumble upon the momentous discovery that the objective of the parade is to humiliate witches and commemorate their past subjugation, Akko decides it is time for a change: It is time to show the world how fantastic modern witches truly are! However, with the other girls struggling to keep up with Akko’s grandiose ambitions, and everything from mischievous boys to slumbering giants getting in their way, maybe pulling it off will require not only all the magical prowess the pupils of Luna Nova Magical Academy can muster, but also a miracle.
Like most sequels to beloved classics, expectations were quite high for Little Witch Academia 2. Considering that it was practically funded out-of-pocket by fans of the original short film via Kickstarter, anime fans really had every right to demand their money’s worth on this one. With the quality of the original and the hype that was created thereafter in mind, my inner cynicism led me to believe that LWA 2 was set up for failure. However, much to my delight, it can be said without hesitation that LWA 2 recaptures the magic of its predecessor and yet again contains more energy and charm in its little finger than the entirety of the modern anime comedy genre has in its whole body.
Synopsis: Akko and her friends are tasked with organizing the annual “witch parade” for their town. As you might have guessed, not everything goes according to their plan.
If ever there was a difficult characteristic to describe, it would be “charm”, and yet it is just that which makes LWA 2 such an entertaining and heartwarming film. It captures that innocent, child-like sense of imagination and wonder that never fails to pry your lips upwards into a smile, and does so with the utmost perfection. Despite being an adult male, this movie made me giggle like a little girl from beginning to end. It’s not just heartwarming; it’s hilarious. The comedy is spot on and it hits every note that it needs to hit. Something about this anime brings back that Disney-esque feeling of seeing your wildest dreams brought to life by the power of animation; like seeing Fantasia for the first time. In an industry that many feel lacks the soul that it once had, LWA 2 has soul in spades. It reminded me why I like anime to begin with.
Another masterful aspect of this film was the fact that its pacing was flawless. Every scene has a purpose, not a single one of them drags on for too long, and no scene is a boring one. The fast, energetic pace of LWA carries on into its sequel, and it fits the spirit of the show to a T. Despite being less than an hour long, this movie goes through a full, satisfying story arc, several character dynamics, and effectively expands upon its cast of colorful characters. There’s something beautiful about the simplicity of a well-executed children’s tale; the premise isn’t anything remarkably original, but it doesn’t have to be because the execution is all that matters. The characters don’t have remarkable amounts of depth, but they don’t need to; all that matters is that they have personality, they are entertaining, and they are likable. Disregarding a recap scene or two, which you could potentially argue were unnecessary, I wouldn’t change a thing about the story direction.
One of the most important aspects of an anime in this style is the animation. When you write a quirky, upbeat script, it is absolutely imperative that your animation is equally quirky and upbeat, otherwise the show is doomed to fail. Needless to say, Studio Trigger totally nailed it, just as they did in the original. Comedic timing is something so nuanced that it comes down to fractions of seconds, and while many lighthearted anime (even the good ones) can sometimes find themselves a bit off on their timing or not executing jokes as well as they could have, LWA 2 has no such issue. It is no exaggeration to say this movie makes the most of each and every scene. The visuals are like eye candy, everything is polished and crisp, the character designs continue to be brilliant, and every movement is about as fluent as you’ll ever see. Simply put, it’s animation done right.
To sum it all up, LWA 2 is a brilliantly executed anime movie that appeals to everyone. All ages, all genders, and all cultures won’t be able to resist cracking a smile at a movie that is simply so much fun. It’s a fast-paced, heartwarming adventure that will bring out your inner child, and I highly recommend that everyone take the time to watch it. If you ever need a pick-me-up, I can’t think of another anime that will cheer you up more than this one.
While I was worried in the opening portion of the film that we were substituting too much magic for drama, a satisfying and action-packed conclusion saw the series back at its strongest. There are areas where the original animation excelled better but there’s plenty here that also adds a lot in areas of world building and action. This latest addition to the LWA series remains a family-friendly, energetic experience that’s going to leave you beaming as the credits roll by.
Akko, Sucy and Lotte plus a trio of new characters find themselves thrust into control of the upcoming town festival. While Akko naturally wants to showcase the best of what witches have to offer, her ideas bring with it a few problems and create tension with her fellow students. That’s not all that’s at play, however. Before they know it the group are forced to band together and use everything at their disposal to overcome their biggest hurdle yet.
Having roughly 40 minutes to put together a cohesive, interesting narrative is a big challenge but Trigger managed to overcome this previously in half the time so they’ve had their practice. They also get the bonus this time of being able to cut down on a lot of exposition. They use this time well to expand the scope of the story. Because of that though there’s a little less intensity and magic. It works both ways.
The overall tone of the story is the biggest change up when compared to the previous offering, with a bit of character conflict thrown into the mix this time around. There was a real sense of adventure and exploration in the first film. Watching the characters make their way around the school grounds was exciting, the lessons were amusing and story in general was a lot more fluid. With some extra time up their sleeves Trigger opt to at least give us a lot of new characters and new settings. There’s some small thematic jumps, so it’s great to see the studio didn’t simply opt to do the exact same thing twice. Some elements of the story have certainly been copied over, but an expanded cast and setting help make it feel fresh.
Adding new locations to the world our story takes place in has its ups and downs. I felt that bringing the witches out of their school environment and into town took some of the ‘mystique’ and the ‘magic’ away from them. At the same time it’s nice to see the wider community around them and what the witches place in that universe is. When you look at it, there’s only so much Trigger could do by limiting everything to the school. While it’s wonderful to imagine all of their adventures happening in their own little bubble, it adds a new dynamic between the magical and human societies. Some may like that, others may not.
Some themes have channelled over from the first film, but the biggest change this time is the focus on friendship. In the original show it was more on having confidence in your own ability. This time Akko faces a lot more conflict and troubles with those around her, friends included. People may be a little bit put off by this slightly more serious approach but it thankfully has its purpose. Trigger use their extra minutes to create character complications that stretch over a long run of the film. The strength of friendship is an easy theme to stuff up and instead come across as cheesy. They mostly avoided that here. Everything revolving around this theme is nothing original but that hasn’t stopped it being executed fairly. Characters are shown to have retained important lessons, reflected on what they’ve been through and apply all that knowledge to find a solution – much like the first film. It’s a formula that works, even though it brings nothing new to the table. It’s easy to watch and it manages to be entertaining while doing so.
When the action kicks into another gear as the film nears its conclusion, the ride feels worthwhile. One particular moment is immensely satisfying, and you’ll know it when you see it. It’s a perfect blend of Trigger’s animation capabilities and ability to put on some memorable set pieces.
Characters + Art
Akko returns as our loveable, often inept, lead character. While Akko remains a primary source of comic relief for the show she’s a lot more proactive this time around. It’s refreshing to see that the original LWA tale has had an effect on her in that way. The original series gave her a huge shot of belief in her own capabilities as a witch and now this is a look at how she applies her new knowledge. I think some may be a bit turned off by this new, confident side of her. It’s certainly quite the leap from what we’ve seen previously. Her outgoing personality and habit of acting before thinking gets her into trouble once again. Nothing new changes there at least – and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Both Sucy and Lotte feel a little underutilised but, honestly, that’s not a big deal. That too serves a purpose of its own. When they are on screen not a second is wasted and their role to play in the story still feels meaningful. It can serve as reminder that even not being around can make the times you are more important. As for our new trio they’re not that memorable, more there just to help drive the story along than contribute anything of value. They get their odd scene of comic relief or chance to show-off but that’s about it. I think it’s also disappointing that Diana, someone who played a big role in the complication of the first film, gets cast to the back this time around. Strange that Trigger didn’t opt to make more use of a character with a more defined personality and presence than almost anyone else in the show. It’s a show that very much rides on one character, Akko, which means a lot of your enjoyment will come out of how much you can take to her character and how’s she’s changed from the first outing.
I’m personally a big fan of Trigger’s character designs. The exaggerated expressions and reactions are always worth a laugh. The studio keep things simple when it comes to effects and shading in the animation, putting most of the work into some nice backgrounds. As always in Trigger’s works there’s the odd lazy bit of animation scattered about. Some background characters look crudely drawn and it’s often very easy to pick out where the costs have been saved. Some frames look very hurriedly put together, but thankfully most pieces of action looks a treat. As a whole, however, the first LWA struck me as more visually impressive.
Even when given additional time thanks to the efforts of their backers, Trigger was going to find it hard to live up to a wonderful debut in this franchise. But they’ve come close. It’s a show dying for more exploration of its characters and an expansion of its magical elements. I like the friendship building side of things, don’t get me wrong, but there’s that sense of adventure and mystery lacking that was present in the original Little Witch Academia.
Score: 6/10 (Fair)
Little Witch Academia was a surprise upstart in the Young Animator’s Expo in 2012, and along with fellow member Death Billiards, these two productions started making waves. The fan outpouring was great, and demands fell on the then-brand new studio Trigger to make more! A kickstarter was raised, and incredibly, the $150,000 goal was smashed in 30 days with the help of nearly 8000 backers and a grand total of $625,318!! (This is all pre-Kill La Kill, guys and gals.)
Let’s get into some other nice numbers- the score on this anime.
Artwork and Animation: 10
The original was entirely hand drawn, and with an enormous budget, it turned out to be a spectacular showing of fluidity and vibrant, flashing magical colors. LWA 2 is no different; it’s absolutely stunning to watch flow across the screen. I would go so far as to say that this is on a Disney level of traditional animation both techincally and in fluidity. The magic and characters practically animate themselves right off the screen, crisply, sharply, and beautifully.
You Yoshinari doesn’t get enough recognition for his work at Trigger in my opinion. As a Key Animator and character designer for FLCL, Gurren Lagann, KLK, Dead Leaves, PSG, and others, this guy has a crazy credit list, and his work is always quality. As the director and creator for Little Witch Academia- his eye for animation really comes to life.
Sound and Voice Acting: 8
Same players, new game. Sounds great, and good performances by the VA.
Characters and Story: 9, 8
After getting in trouble in potions class by Professor Snape, the hyperactive Akko, the narcoleptic Sucy, and the brainy Lotte are forced to plan and create a parade float for the yearly festival in town. Traditionally, the parade
is about making fun of witches and reenacting middle ages witch hunts, but in a much less deadly way; but our trio team up to change the public’s opinion of witches by making it into a fun and exciting show and showcasing how cool and exciting witches can be!
Along the way, Akko gets cross ways with her friends, and ends up having to work with three new characters, the “problem children”. This little gang is constituted of Amanda O’Neill, the red headed, hot tempered girl, Constanze Braunschbank Albrechsberger, the silent German robotics engineer, and Jasminka Antonenko- the constantly grazing Russian girl.
The story is paced excellently, with not a magical drop of filler to be found. An hour of screentime practically flew by on a broom, from the opening with a very Harry Potter feel, to the magical dreams-come-true Disney ending.
It’s a very heartwarming and enchanting watch- honestly, I know I keep repeating myself, but it just feels very Disney.
Enjoyment and Overall: 9
The extra length, the new characters, and the sharp, beautiful animation really sell Little Witch Academia. It’s a fun romp through a gorgeous world.
Little Witch Academia 2 didn’t have to be astoundingly original and bold to be charming and fun. The humor hits the right marks, the visuals are awesome, and it is simply easy to enjoy. The original was a very cute work that was obviously inspired by children’s tales and movies from ages past, and this works well within that framework- another adventure, another day in the life of a little witch.
17: Seitokai Yakuindomo Movie 2
Japanese: 劇場版 生徒会役員共 2
MAL Score: 7.78
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
First off, all I can say as a longtime fan of Seitokai Yakuindomo since all the way back in 2010 (yes, it’s been over 10 years!!), is that it was an absolute joy and surprise when I found out they were making another movie for this series. After all, it’s not often an anime that debuted more than a decade ago gets a sequel, let alone an anime that’s basically just dirty joke after dirty joke. So my sincerest thanks to all the creators (and apparently crowdfunding contributors).
Onto the review – so how was the movie? Quite simply, it absolutely beat my expectations. I went into the theater expecting a lazy cash grab for desperate fans hoping to see our favorite group of pervs one more time, coasting on an old franchise’s legacy and tired running gags, but I am ecstatic to report that I was completely wrong. This second movie was even better than the first movie.
First, I was quite impressed with the framing device for this movie – it opens with Shino reminiscing about old times, with a serious tone, implying something happened since we last saw her. But this framing device pays off pretty well at the end with a great punchline joke (not going to spoil it, but be sure to watch until the very end!!!). So hats off for going the extra mile instead of simply slapping together 1 hours’ worth of non-sequitur jokes.
Second, although I admit that the whole “high school girls telling dirty jokes” novelty has completely worn off by now, the jokes themselves still work and made me laugh out loud a few times, with many smaller chuckles throughout. Yes, many of the jokes fell flat (I’d say 1/3 bad jokes, 1/3 chuckle jokes, 1/3 genuinely laugh-worthy jokes), but when there’s a joke coming every 30 seconds, there’s no time to think about the jokes that didn’t work. This is truly a rare case of quantity over quality!
Third, for those who are hoping for more of the romance angle in terms of Tsuda’s harem, this movie has also got you covered! Plenty of Shino and Hagimura blushing, and some of the other girls also hint at their entry into Tsuda’s harem. People hoping for romance fanservice will get plenty of what they want!
As for the technical aspects, the animation is on par with the first movie. To my surprise, there wasn’t much skimping on the animation like I expected. In fact, a few scenes genuinely impressed me (for example, in scenes with the girls’ hair waving and sakura petals falling). However, they reused the opening, and the music was nothing to write home about, so the sound was just OK.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this movie. It was shorter than I would have liked (less than 1 hour 15 minutes I believe), and a bit disappointed at the lack of a new opening, but I can’t really complain too much when I had a blast during that hour, and absolute nostalgia for the characters who I was unsure I’d ever see again in all their animated, perverted glory.
That being recycling 2 shorts from the 8th OVA of the second season. It’s kinda inexcusable as it in no way ties to the movie it is just there to add time. I can only assume this was meant to come out before the pandemic and they had to scramble after the fact.
the movie itself is fine It is a lot like the last movie which was mostly an extended episode. I got a few chuckles here and there but not enough to ever watch this again.
I am glad I can finally check this show off of my list.
16: Little Witch Academia
MAL Score: 7.82
For young witches everywhere, the world-renowned witch Shiny Chariot reigns as the most revered and celebrated role model. But as the girls age, so do their opinions of her—now just the mention of Chariot would get a witch labeled a child. However, undeterred in her blind admiration for Chariot, ordinary girl Atsuko Kagari enrolls into Luna Nova Magical Academy, hoping to someday become just as mesmerizing as her idol.
However, the witch academy isn’t all the fun and games Atsuko thought it would be: boring lectures, strict teachers, and students who mock Chariot plague the campus. Coupled with her own ineptness in magic, she’s seen as little more than a rebel student. But when a chance finally presents itself to prove herself to her peers and teachers, she takes it, and now it’s up to her to stop a rampaging dragon before it flattens the entire academy.
Aside from Ryo, which I can’t seem to find anywhere (if you happen to know a site, a link would be very helpful), I’ve seen all of the Anime Mirai 2013 films. All 4 are about half-an-hour long, so they’re pretty concise with their story. Death Billiards is pretty good, but it feels a bit pretentious, shoving a little philosophical question down your throat but not really making you think that much. Arve Rezzle feels like the pilot to a full series, and as such offers very little closure, but it has some nice ideas, even if those are undermined slightly by some rather half-baked characterisation and poorly executed exposition.
I’m giving my little mini reviews to the other episodes simply to give my review of Little Witch Academia some context. As someone with a rather cold demeanour, and who typically enjoys a dark thriller or gore-heavy action series, it may come across as somewhat surprising when I say that LWA is my favourite of the three. It’s almost Disney-esque, with genuinely loveable and quirky characters, a strong and functional, if not particularly complex, story and a completely uplifting tone. The humour is solid and hits you enough to make even the most stoic individual smile a bit. The animation is brilliant, with the art differing just enough from the conventions of the Japanese style to make me completely fall in love with it. Voice-acting is probably my primary gripe, but it’s not so bad that it distracts from the episode. It’s fun, and reminds me of why I need to be less tolerant of those angsty action-thrillers like Arve Rezzle that seem to make up the meat of today’s anime industry.
LWA is like Shrek. Far from being childish, this little gem is fun for everyone (though it doesn’t share Shrek’s gleeful love for sexual innuendo). Even if, like me, you’ve grown into an emotionally-jaded, highly critical badass, you may just find that Little Witch Academia has enough substance and upbeat tone to penetrate your doughy cynicism and really cheer you up.
I would genuinely rather they made a full series of this than Arve Rezzle.
Actually, Little Witch Academia caught me by surprise. I didn’t know Studio Trigger had something like that in stock and after I found out about this little gem I almost instantly decided to download it and oh boy was that a fine decision.
Reminder: This review will be spoiler free and I will refrain from going too deep into happenings and just summarize it really, really quickly. We have the main heroine Akko Kagari. As a child she was attending a magic show featuring the witch Shiny Chariot who has become an idol for Akko. Even though she is not born into a magic family she attends the name giving magic school and is friends with Sucy and Lotte.
Let’s split up this review into the five categories as usual:
There really isn’t much I can say about a one episode anime with 25 minutes without coming up with a summary or spoilers. So let’s just say that Little Witch Academia features a coherent plot. It features a look in the past of the main character and her motivations, parts of the everyday life at the academy and the interactions between multiple different characters. It’s just one episode but felt concluded and not rushed by any means.
Since it has been Studio Trigger working on this it has this certain touch you instantly get out of it if you have watched Kill la Kill before. In general the backgrounds are very nice to look at, the animation is fluid, lightning looks gorgeous and the character models are full of variety in looks and facial animations. There is nothing to complain about here.
As it is a single episode anime yet I would have never thought so much effort has been pumped into the soundtrack. It was outstanding and had a broad variety of different tunes to set the mood. I really loved that it consisted mostly of orchestral music. It just fitted so well.
Another part worth mentioning in the “Sound”-category is the voice acting. Trigger got really, really talented people on board for Little Witch Academia and it was a pure pleasure listening to them.
For a one-piece show they had a pretty adorable and varying cast reaching from the arrogant but talented witch with her two friends and the goofy main character as well as her sidekicks which would be a clumsy glasses girl and the superficially more introverted girl with the not-so-obvious but kickass abilities. All in all a very good cast of likeable characters.
I can’t remember when it was the last time 25 minutes felt that short. It was over in almost an instant and had no dull moments. It was funny, suspenseful and full of quality. Pure entertainment!
A very good anime. It is nice to see that projects like Little Witch Academia are such a success (600.000 clicks on YouTube according to Trigger). Also the second episode has been an insane hit on Kickstarter, fulfilling the 150.000$ mark in just one day. I can’t wait for more.
It was fun all along. You shouldn’t miss out on this enchanting tale! It’s worth your very time and appreciation.
*) Score is not an average
Instead of writing an essay about this i’m going to create a list of Positives and Negatives, I know when you’re just looking to see if an anime is worth watching you usually don’t want to read all that much.
– A short story which leaves room for expansion yet ties up the major loose ends and sticks to a three act structure incredibly well.
– The characters are all very different from each other, none are stereotypical archetypes and each are likeable in their own way.
– The soundtrack is not something I noticed too much, but it was enough to create the correct atmosphere for the scenario’s.
– The animation, I feel like this really needs to be stressed, by god the animation is amazing, everything is so smooth I think this might be the smoothest and most consistent animation i’ve ever seen.
– Hard to think of many.
– The soundtrack wasn’t extremely memorable, hardly much of a negative.
Like I said, it’s very difficult for me personally to find faults in Little Witch Academia, I would recommend this to almost anyone and am certainly looking forward to the future of this project.
15: Seitokai Yakuindomo Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 生徒会役員共
MAL Score: 7.86
Ousai Academy was originally an all-girls high school. Due to the declining birth rates in recent years, it was converted into a co-ed school. The first year male students would find themselves surrounded by girls and unfortunately, Tsuda Takatoshi is one of them. What’s worse, he gets scolded on his first day by the student council president Shino Amakusa, which did not give a good first impression of him. Tsuda also meets the other student council members while getting scolded, and in the end, he gets late for class. As an apology for ruining his morning, Shino lets him join the student council for various of “reasons” and he accepts it, or rather, he’s forced to accept. Thus begins his days as Tsuda soon realizes that he’s the only normal student in Ousai Academy…
The art is also usually impressive. Art took 3D visual that look like in reality. The art didntt take the scene from our reality world. That’s really amazing.
Sound is great. Tsuda Takatoshi said this anime had 5.1 Sound Surround in it.
A little bit disappointed of a part after the credit where Amakusa Shino whispered something to Tsuda Takatoshi, although we can guess it either their usually dirty jokes or some kind od confession etc.
Looking forward for the 3rd Season.
The story was all over the place just like the anime so one minute they’re on a beach and the next they’re at school before jumping back to the beach trip. You’ll either like it or you won’t but it isn’t confusing. The animation and art was amazing with shifting camera angles and bright colors that pop out nicely you can tell there was a bigger budget than season 2. I did notice that Suzu Hagimura didn’t have much screen time as usual which is funny because she was there but too short to be seen. Overall it was pretty great to watch all the characters say dumb stuff again and hopefully it leads to a season 3.
Story – 8 – Art – 10 – Sound – 10 – Character – 10 – Enjoyment – 9 –
OVERALL SCORE – 9/10 –
The writing of the movie is the same as the show. While seemingly episodic, the SYD cinematic universe is slowly progressing, mostly by means of character development. The jokes were well done, but to me, the most impressive thing about this entry was its unexpectedly high quality as a movie.
The pacing was superb. For whatever reason, SYD* left me exhausted. somehow, it felt like that season dragged on forever. In the movie, the apparent pacing problems are gone- reduced to atoms! By the end, I was completely satisfied. Nothing felt rushed or dragged on. The director absolutely nailed it.
The quality of the art and sound in this movie was unprecedented. The visual gags are still amazing, but the gags don’t break the artstyle, and the artstyle is still as beautifully simple as always. The audio was taken up a couple notches, utilizing “5.1 surround sound”, as they helpfully noted in the anime. They kept the OP in the movie, which was rather confusing given that this was meant to be played in theaters. This time, the OP was given proper, helpful animated subtitles, which helped an English-speaker like myself. “A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one”.
The characters were great. While their individual development is slow, they are progressing to a foreseeable end. As an adaptation of an ongoing slice-of-life manga, this movie doesn’t reveal all of the author’s cards in its runtime (although there is a post-credit scene that perhaps hints at something). The dynamics between the cast are still funny, even after my many hours of SYD consumption. Somehow, it feels like this show can never get old.
10/10. SYD is back, babyyyyyyyy!
14: High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days
English: Free! Starting Days
Japanese: 映画 ハイ☆スピード！ -Free! Starting Days-
MAL Score: 7.87
High☆Speed!: Free! Starting Days plunges into the past of the Iwatobi Swim Club members alongside their fellow swimmers and competitors.
Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana have started middle school and must adjust to the changes that come along with growing up. While Makoto fits in with his classmates and remains positive about swimming, Haruka struggles to befriend others or join his school’s swim club, as his previous issues with swimming trouble him. Distancing himself from his lively classmates and the swimming club, he has difficulty deciding which club to join instead. The rest of his classmates, including Makoto, are also hesitant as to which clubs to participate in. After an argument leads them to join the swimming club anyway, the boys strive to hone their skills, harmonize their swimming styles, and refine their conflicting feelings toward swimming and each other.
As determination and talent run high, witness Haruka and Makoto—along with their classmates—discover themselves and improve their talents during their starting days.
High Speed gives a closer look into the lifes of Haru and Makoto before they go to Iwatobi High (Anime Series), so it’s not necessary to see the anime before, but can be also seen as an addition to it. At the start of the movie the story goes on rather slowly, but with a lot of funny scenes, that made me laugh more than once. The watcher gets to know the new characters Ikuya and Asahi and also can recognize the ones, already shown in the anime like Kisumi or of course the main characters Makoto and Haru. After this the stoy goes on with a faster pace, but for me it didn’t feel rushed at any time and the time went by like nothing. The fanservice strongly focused on the relationship between Haru and Makoto in this movie, which is amazing for a fangirl like me but could be rather annoying for someone, who is not into it that much. But it’s Free so I guess we gotta live with it .(It’s not like I would complain about it anyway) Towards the end of the movie the story gets a lot more emotional and really moved me to tears sometimes. Sadly the ending was a bit disappointing since it felt abrupt for me and for a moment I wasn’t even sure if it was over already. I kept wondering why Asahi and Ikuya didn’t appeared a single time in the anime (f. e. in a flashback) even though they built a strong friendship with Makoto and Haru in the movie.
All in all I will give the Story a solid 8!
The Art will forever be one of the things I love most about Free! The Art is just incredibly outstanding! The backgrounds f. e. the cherry blossoms are really detailed. Also in scenes, where the watcher sees with Harus eyes, when he swims, or when a pool is shown, the water is also drawn with a lot of effort and looks truly beautiful. The beautiful art style also applies to the characters. The character design is amazing and also matches with their personalities a lot. Every single character looks stunning in his own way and had his own unique appearance. There were no characters (excluding supernumerarys) that looked much like each other, except the ones where it was logical because they’re related (-> Ikuya and Natsuya (brothers) have the same eyes).
I think this text shows clearly that I can’t give the Art anyhing less than 10 points, it’s just absolutely amazing!
Okay, first about the seiyuus (japanese voice actors): I’m really glad that they decided to keep the seiyuus for Haru, Makoto, Rin, Sousuke and Kisumi, with the reason that their voices start to deepen at that age. I’m really in love with the Free! Cast and even though the voices sometimes seemed a bit too dark for such small boys, their voices brought something well-known in the movie and connected it to the anime series, which I really liked. Also the voices for the new characters fitted their personality. Sadly the „their-voices-start-to-change-at-that-age“ – theory didn’t work on Nagisa, so they casted a woman to synchronize him. In my opinion his voice was a bit too high and annoying at some time… Another thing I have to highlight about the seiyuus is the amazing work of Tatsuhisa Suzuki as the voice of Makoto. I always think that Makoto is one of his best roles ever, because he managed to adapt his voice without sounding odd, even though Makotos voice distinguishes a lot from Tatsuhisas „normal“ voice.
Talking about Suzuki-san , this leads to the second topic: the music. Some of you maybe know that the Theme Song „Aching Horns“ was performed by Tatsuhisas band „Oldcodex“ with him as a singer. Of course it’s a matter of taste and if you like J-Rock, but in my opinion the song is really amazing and will always remember me of the movie!
The soundtrack playing during the movie was good and really beautiful sometimes but sadly I don’t remember most of the tracks and had to look them up again before writing this review…what I noticed however was that they took some soundtracks from the anime and revised them. (For example the well-known track „Words that changed my Life“ got a new version called „Precious Words“ in High Speed)
After all I will give 9 out of 10 points for the sound!
At the beginning some of the characters may not seem understandable to the watcher since their reactions to some situations don’t really make sense to them. However later most characters get at least one scene of the movie focusing on them and revealing their backstory, which makes them more understandable for the watcher and feel sorry for them. Some of their storys really made me cry. But it was not only for the new characters like Ikuya and his brother but also with characters, some of you already know from the anime! High Speed showed especially Makotos flaws more exactly than the anime did and made me feel really sad for him. Also I can understand Sousukes character even more now after watching the movie. Concerning the side characters I’m really happy they included some already known characters like Nagisa and even Rei, even though they were not important for the plot at that time. I also like the new side characters, like Nao and Natsuya!
All in all 9 points for the characters~
For me as a huuuge Free! Fan the movie was just the best movie ever! (I did my best to be objective though~) I think people, that are interested in anime about sport but also about friendship will love this movie, especially if they enjoyed the anime series too! The movie has funny as well as emotional scenes in it and for someone who likes this combinaton, it’s definitely a good recommendation!
I would totally watch it again and again so 10 points for me!
Thanks for reading I hope I stayed more or less objective ^^’
Man, the story. I did keep my expectations low. Or, I didn’t really expect anything at all (neither positive nor negative stuff) and I ended up being blown away.
It starts off by introducing all of the characters very well, one by one. About the first half of the movie, we’re getting to know them and the setting. And then the emotional drama starts happening. Haruka, Makoto, Ikuya and Asahi go through mental challenges, Makoto is questioning his choices, Haruka isn’t too sure about himself or his friends either. They’re all facing struggles thats effects them as a team.
It’s easy to keep up with this movie, the main aspects aren’t too complicated and we only focus on one big thing at a time.
Kyoto Animation did an amazing job with the art, style, animation, background details and usage of colors. Everything goes so well with each other and this movie is just stunning to watch.
Same applies to the music. Free! wouldn’t have been Free! without this music.
I was worried about the new characters, mainly Ikuya and Asahi. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one that got reminded of Haruka and Momotarou when I took my first glance at them. But High Speed suprised me! Yes, Ikuya’s facial expressions are similar to Haru’s, but he’s still very different as a character. Asahi is energetic like Momo, but he’s still different from him. What I’m trying to say is that all of the characters ended up being different and likable.
Haruka and Makoto are.. Well, pretty much just like how you would expect. Their strong bond is very known, and you can clearly see it in this movie. Haru knows when something is off about Makoto and same goes for Makoto. In the flashbacks from the actual show, their bond didn’t seem that strong, so I’m glad that we got to see how close they actually were as kids/pre-teens. Makoto also shows a deeper side of himself.
I would say that Ikuya had the hardest time. He was a quiet boy, but he would still talk whenever he could and add a bunch of comments. I respect Ikuya as a character because he had so much more pressure on him than the others. As his bonds with the boys got stronger, he would open up more, and share more about his life. He’s also a very cute character, almost being shy in the beginning.
Asahi would be more of a stereotypical character in anime, but there’s still something special about him. The way that he interacts with the others makes him seem like an idiot, but being his confident self, it doesn’t bother him. However, he’s still facing other types of struggles.
All of the characters end up being very strong, and they have great developments.
I loved how Nagisa, Rei, Sousuke and Rin would pop up once in a while, I mean, they were still involved with the main characters’ lives. Plus, it was so nice to see what /they/ were doing in the meanwhile. Don’t get me wrong, they only showed up at occasions where it fit, when they were useful to the plot.
(During the dramatic, moments near the end, I WAS SO SCARED AND WORRIED FOR ALL OF THEM, I GOT EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO THEM SUPER QUICKLY. They went through so much ohh lord)
I truly enjoyed this movie to the fullest. I’m already very interested in swimming, and the messages that Free! is trying to bring about friendship, the future and freedom, are also important to me. Starting Days does bring up a lot of the same stuff from the actual show, but I would say that first and foremost; this movie is about acceptance, of oneself and of others (the key to happiness). It’s all about these boys being willing to work together as a team. And It’s so beautiful.
I recommend this movie to people that value these aspects in life, or just want to have a good time.
I’m going to go and rewatch this now.
The story, while nothing exceptional, is solid. There is a degree of repetitiveness among the two seasons of the anime and this movie in terms of main themes and sources of conflict, and if this movie’s other elements weren’t so well-done I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. Fortunately, that’s not the case. The movie had uncertainty about the future, family drama, and, as this is Free!, friendship being its main drivers, and while it did get a bit too melodramatic sometimes, overall I feel that the story was handled well and made for a movie that had some substance instead of having it be an hour of fanservice, which was a route they could have easily gone down.
There are some moments in the film that feel a bit awkward or shoehorned in (for example, Sousuke had more interaction with the gang than I’d previously thought from the way they act towards each other in the future, and I did question Haruka’s future attitude towards competing.) but I don’t think they detracted from my enjoyment of the film in a major way.
Where I feel this movie did an exceptional job is its characters. I was worried, at first, with such a large number of the main cast (especially since there is already an established universe) being original characters (not counting the novels). I was pleasantly surprised that all of them received some amount of development and had good, believable dynamics with each other. Overall, both new and familiar characters were likeable in their own ways, and I found myself emotionally invested in them.
One other thing that the movie did excellently is developing the relationship between Makoto and Haruka. For characters whose relationship in the future is already so well-known, their interaction in the movie never felt unimportant and are, in fact, what I believe are some of the strongest points of the movie, whether or not the larger franchise is considered. I left the theatre with a greater appreciation of their friendship, and I believe a better understanding of the relationship between the characters’ older selves.
This being a KyoAni production, it was definitely a visual treat. While
I do think their style can be rather bland, the movie is undeniably very pretty, with fluid animation, great backgrounds, and good use of colour when it counts. There is one particular scene between Makoto and Haruka that was animated beautifully (more so than the rest if the film,) which I feel really emphasised it as a pivotal moment.
The sound and music were also fine, and served their purpose well. The music will sound familiar to those who have seen the series. It’s not a soundtrack that will merit multiple replays on its own, but it was definitely effective in the context of the movie.
Overall, this is a movie I can recommend without reservations to a fan of the series. While I can see how it might be less interesting to someone not already interested in Free!, I think it still merits a watch for anyone who wants to see a beautifully animated but sometimes slow-moving coming-of-age film.
Note: I saw this movie in Japanese with no English subtitles. I am currently a Japanese language student, and while I’m confident that I understood almost everything in the movie, there may have been some things I missed. I will update this review if my opinions change after I see it again once the DVD comes out.
13: Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda.
English: The Anthem of the Heart
MAL Score: 7.89
Jun Naruse is a chatterbox whose life is colored by fairy tales and happy endings. However, influenced by her deep belief in those tales, she is too naive and trusting, and her words soon shatter her family’s bond when she inadvertently reveals her father’s affair. Naruse is scarred for life after being blamed for her parent’s divorce, and her regrets soon manifest into a fairy egg—a being who seals her mouth from speaking in order to protect everyone’s happy ending.
Now, even in high school, Naruse’s speech remains locked by the fairy egg. Even trying to speak causes her stomach to twist. Though unable to convey her thoughts through words, she is unexpectedly chosen to perform in a musical alongside three other students: Takumi Sakagami, Natsuki Nitou, and Daiki Tasaki. Naruse makes her way to the club room to reject the daunting task, but changes her mind when she overhears Sakagami’s beautiful singing.
Perhaps the fairy egg “curse” does not apply to singing, and perhaps Sakagami is the fairy tale prince she has been seeking all along. Will Naruse be able to convey the anthem of her heart?
Right now, there are 725 that have watched this movie. “Wow!”, You say, “That’s even less than Legend of The Galactic Heroes!” So here’s THE deal I’m offering you. You get to be part of the exclusive 725 people (Now 726 if you watch it) who get to see something AMAZING. Care to hear my sales pitch?
Right now, 161 people, a good 21% percent of viewers, have rated this anime 10 OUT OF 10. Now that’s not for no reason.
Lets kick this off with the story. Important background knowledge first: A young girl named Naruse stumbles upon a magnificent hilltop castle. Her curiosity makes her see something she should not have: Her father coming down from the castle with what seems to be a princess- but Naruse has never seen her father with this princess before. Excited, she goes tell her mother about the castle upon the hill and how her father was going down the hill with another princess. Having been told something Naruse shouldn’t have said, her Father is kicked out and the family is torn apart. Then, a magical egg prince appears and seals her ability to speak because she wishes not to hurt people with her words anymore. [Words aren’t very good to describe the aforementioned parts without spoiling it] HOWEVER this all changes when she is forced to sing in a musical, and much to her surprise, she finds herself able to express her feeling and thoughts through song.
The meat of the plot revolves around her, and a bunch of other individuals, having to organize and participate in a school musical after being unwillingly chosen to do it. Among them a baseball captain, Tasaki, and 2 other students, Sakagami and Nitou. They are all developed quite nicely in the time of 1 hour and 59 minutes. The dramatic conflict is quite well played out, tension rising between Sakagami and Tasaki at the start, Tasaki and his baseball team, along with romantic conflict forming between Naruse, Sakagami, and Nitou, this love triangle of uncertainty. Thus, I really enjoyed watching that. I could go into further detail about all of it but you’d rather save it for when you actually watch the movie. What I can say, is that there is a very strong sense of resolution to the story and the character development [How characters change] is absolutely spot on. Especially Naruse’s, as she is the main focus, on how she transforms from a quiet, unnoticed, kind of girl to someone willing to stand up for others and express herself, ever so slowly, through sometimes moments where she forces herself to shout her feelings and moments where she just begins to sing at the most random of times. [This show is a little like a musical, or at least music and song focused at times]
The art was not bad even though art doesn’t play much of a role in this sort of setting. But now we get to the music. The music shines when the characters are writing or singing songs. There is a rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” in Japanese and the lyrics are altered to reflect what Naruse wishes to say, which is to express her thoughts and feelings [Even musical the characters organize is a retelling of Naruse’s story made more child friendly]. This song isn’t heard a lot throughout the movie, but I shed a tear when it was sung during the performance of their musical. Evoking emotions is what the creators intend to do, and they did it damn well.
Overall this movie intended to be dramatic yet heartwarming, provoking the viewer’s emotions to what it called for, and this show is all that. A beautiful piece of entertainment that will live on in the heart of the 726th viewer. What else do you expect from the writer of AnoHana?
[VIEWER WARNING: The drama is, to be honest, quite important when deciding if you want to watch this or not. It’s a great part of the show. If you can’t stand high school type drama, or you can’t just click with it [essentially all drama we can’t relate to we call “Melodrama”], perhaps you shouldn’t watch this despite it being well portrayed and executed in my opinion. It’s like people who don’t like burgers will never eat any, no matter how good they are.]
[EDIT: At the time of this review I did not know that this hasn’t been released in English subs for streaming/download. For those wondering, I watched it on Singapore Airline’s in flight entertainment system in English subs. Sorry for not knowing and I hope it is available soon!]
So the film starts with a little girl named Jun Naruse indulging in her Utena-like fantasies regarding a prince finding a princess when she sees her father leaving a castle-like love hotel with another woman. Not understanding what it means, she tells her mother about the incident and her father is soon given the boot, but not before reassuring her that his leaving was completely Jun’s fault. Fucking jackass. But since Jun is a kid, she sincerely believes it’s her fault to the point that she imagines a strange egg-shaped creature who tells her that her talkative personality needs to go if she wants to stop hurting people. Thus, Jun ends up getting the reputation of the girl who never talks by the time she enters high school and we get a promising setup about a girl having to face her inner demons in order to live a normal boring life.
After the timeskip, the film kickstarts by having the head teacher randomly choose four people to serve on the class council, and for good measure, he decides that they should be in charge of having the class put on a musical for the school festival because he’s just that much of a carefree jackass. Why? Because all good dramas have musical events in them and we needed a reason to get our outcast leads to participate in it no matter how contrived, let alone a reason to meet each other in the first place. So in addition to Jun and her personal problems, we get three other characters thrown in the equation, each with their own issues and romantic preferences between each other. I won’t spoil who’s hot for who, but the additional cast members are a nice boy who has no hobbies of his own, a gruff big dude who used to be the school’s top baseball player, and a cheerleader who puts on a confident facade to hide the fact that she had personal experiences with the nice boy in middle school. Think back to Anohana with these character types in mind, and you should be able to figure it out. Then become frustrated as the movie seems to change these preferences whenever the plot demands it.
Like most Mari Okada works, the film loses its way a short ways in in regards to discovering the best way to tell this story, because it keeps glancing at the “how to write drama” handbook whenever it’s confused on how to progress things and grabbing something from a really successful work without understanding why it worked when it did it. So what we end up with is a bloated mish-mash of underdeveloped tropes that tend to get in each other’s way rather than do any complementing. Most of the story is told in a rather dry manner where the characters just go through the motions and hang out with each other in order to establish that the little girl might like the shorter of the two males and that he might be the prince that will allow her to talk. But then she starts to speak up for herself because she wants to participate in the music club’s activities because for some reason, she really wants to sing despite never showing any interest in it before. And then people are surprised she can talk. Then they aren’t. I kept on feeling like I missed a post-it note explaining these transitions somewhere down the road.
And despite the story pushing Jun’s problems, it never takes center-stage as much as it should, mostly due to the fact that it never feels like her inability to talk meshes well with any of the romantic entanglements or personal issues the other characters face. At times, it feels like Jun’s inability to talk is just a vehicle to make her fall in love and deal with the consequences. I find that disappointing, because romance holds up about as well as action in standing on its own aka not well at all. It also doesn’t help that good chunk of the subplots have that usual “came up with the set pieces first” problem you’d expect to see in a visual novel anime. The big gruff dude of the main cast is tangled in a conflict regarding his team and pushing them to the nationals that adds fuck all to the plot and only exists so that he’d have something to do, with said conflict getting swept under the rug after a few scenes and said guy losing any sense of importance throughout the story afterwards.
Also, as much as we see him, the main male lead never acts as anything more than an arbiter for events rather than a fleshed-out character with his own motivations. Any problem he experiences is always tied to one of the female characters, and it generally tends to circle back so that their problems are rooted in their relationship with him and nothing else besides vague motivations we never get to truly understand. I’ll admit that where it finally ends up did stick in my mind, although it’s a pity that the scenes preceding it were a real chore. I really wish Okada would stop it with conclusions where the characters cry and yell out all the frustrations that have been boiling up over time like it’s some form of triumph. That’s only true if the revelation lives up to the magnitude caused by the character’s overacting, and Jun overcoming her ability to stop acting like a spoiled brat isn’t exactly something worthy of a Lifetime achievement award. Especially since that problem was pretty much inserted in at the last minute due to that classic and incredibly tired “I heard something I shouldn’t have” plot element that I thought we were over by now. There should be a rule in that drama handbook with the statement “don’t do this crap!”
Buried somewhere underneath all the slipshodness, there’s potential for an interesting story regarding personal problems and overcoming them, but in this team’s hands, it’s like trying to wring out noise from a giraffe. All the characters act dramatic whenever it’s convenient for them after overly long periods of slow boils that can’t stay focused long enough to develop into anything noteworthy, and the connection between their problems is thinner than a woman’s spread legs when you start bringing up your opinion on right-wing policies. At its best Anthem of the Heart can most accurately be described as the quintessential example of a teenage anime drama, and I don’t mean that in a good way. It has all the elements you’d expect of its genre, but the way they’re executed is so wide-spread and bland that I grew bored and stopped caring about the characters thirty minutes in, then groaned when I realized that the movie was two hours long rather than the ninety minutes I initially thought. And it was really wearing on my patience during the ninety-minute mark, let me tell you that.
The film does sort of come into its own by the end, but it’s not worth the long stretch of muddled subplots and dry buildup to get to that point. And all the ending really did at the end of the day was remind me of the vastly superior The Girl Who Leapt Through Time as well as the also superior Sound Euphonium. If you have the opportunity to go see Anthem of the Heart, I’d recommend watching those anime instead and simulating the experience by pretending the characters are all Final Fantasy archetypes by way of a Hot Topic filter. In other words, the emo whiners from Kingdom Hearts.
With regards to the film’s story, Kokosake’s slice of life storytelling successfully portrays a situation that many people can relate to. In general, this plot sets to resolve the protagonists’ internal conflicts through the events of resolving the story’s conflict. In Kokosake’s case, Naruse Jun, the protagonist of the anime, has her internal conflict in which she cannot speak her true feelings—the main conflict that the film revolves around. As the story progresses, the resolution of the story’s conflict, the school musical, helped her to “open up her heart.” Cleverly enough, the story not only resolves Naruse Jun’s internal conflict, but also resolves the conflicts of the other protagonists in the film.
The characters’ development in Kokosake was also enjoyable to watch. Kokosake’s plot is very beneficial toward developing the main protagonists’ relationship, communication, and their feelings toward each other. For example, Naruse’s personality changes as the story progresses. Naruse’s actions to “break out of her shell” is hilarious and at the same time relatable, making the film more interesting. There are some bits of comedy and typical anime tropes that tangent off the main story. But, overall, the story is well paced, has enough content to convey the film’s message, and concisely portrays the actions that Naruse Jun and the other protagonists take to resolve the main conflict.
The artwork that portrays this story brings the animation to life. With Anohana’s and Toradora’s art style, Kokosake’s artwork impressively makes the animation look realistic. The film’s settings is well drawn and emits an earthly vibe throughout the film. The characters of the anime were drawn really well to the point where anime seems to be merging with reality. The characters movements in the animation follow most physics and their facial expressions—especially Naruse’s expressions—is exaggerated to express emotions and feelings. Since Naruse does not initially communicate with actual words in the film, her facial expressions and body language conveys an idea about what she is trying to say. With this realistic and expressive art style, Kokosake’s art is one quality that makes the anime a beautiful film.
But, one of the main qualities that makes Kokosake such a beautiful film is through sound. Because the anime aims to encourage the freedom of expression, the voice acting and music are exaggerated. The voice acting matches the characters and their personalities and the music is well composed to match the situations during the plot, enhancing the liveliness of the anime. As the protagonists who can talk speak, the music serves as a substitute for Naruse’s silence and embellishes the atmosphere of the film. It may be because of the film’s music that enables people to shed tears along with the nostalgic story.
With this, Kokosake’s plot, artwork, voice acting, and soundtrack enhances the anime’s beauty, making the movie enjoyable to watch. The film does indeed beautifully conveys its theme. Thus, Kokosake’s coming of age story is one of many good anime that people young and old can enjoy.
But, the decision of whether this anime is worth watching is definitely up to you. I acknowledge and respect any opinions that you have for this anime and I hope that you will read my reviews in the future.
Thank You So Much For Reading!
12: Haikyuu!! Movie 1: Owari to Hajimari
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 終わりと始まり
MAL Score: 7.94
First Haikyuu!! recap movie.
It didn’t really provide new content or anything, but if its been a while since you watched the first season (and never continued to the second) it’s pretty helpful.
The artstyle, sound, and characters are same as before. Beautifully well done.
The story is a little smooshed together (as all recaps are) which is perfectly fine.
If you have just finished watching the first season of Haikyuu there is absolutely no need to watch this movie at all.
If you’re like I am, and watched it a few years ago and completely forget basically everything that happened I would recommend watching the first and second recap movie before moving on to the next season. You’ll basically get all the information you need from the anime you’ve already finished in a much quicker time span. Which is the good thing about this recap! If you don’t have all the time in the world to completely rewatch the entire season (which would be 25 episodes amounting to 600 minutes) you could watch both movies which would amount to 177 minutes instead. It’s pretty convenient.
Overall I’d give it a 6/10, it’s fine. It’s a good recap but it’s not original content.
The art style is lovable and memorable, but at the same time – if you pause it at almost any point, it looks VERY strange, i.e. facial expressions, weird arm movements, etc.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series – but those sound effects are very strong. They always fit the overall feel of the situation perfectly and the music never fails to bring hype.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
This is a recap of some the anime first season. It has how Hinata joins Karasuno and how he meets again and teams up with his rival Kageyama, then we see how the team gets back Nishinoya and Ashai back into the team after there fight and finally, we see how Karasuno finally gets there match against there rival team Nekoma High.
This recap wasn’t bad, art, the sound stayed the same from the anime. Nekoma High team is my favourite team amongst the rest and I like some the character that is in the team
I enjoyed this recap, as it refreshed me of the first half of the season of Haikyuu
11: Haikyuu!! Movie 2: Shousha to Haisha
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 勝者と敗者
MAL Score: 7.97
Second Haikyuu!! recap movie.
It provided it’s purpose in making the viewer remember “Wait, what happened in the first season?”
It’s been so long since I watched the first season, and I really didn’t feel like rewatching it to entirety because of how long that would have taken.
So instead, I’ve watched the first and second recap movies.
If you still remember what happened during the first season, this is something you can skip.
But if you’re like me and have absolutely forget the entirety of the story it definitely helps you prepare for season 2.
It smooshes together the first season of 600 minutes, into two movie recaps of 177 minutes.
So needless to say, there is a lot of detail missing. So if you haven’t watched the first season at all and thought to replace it with the recap movies, don’t.
This show is amazing in many ways the recap movies simply can’t capture.
Overall the recap movies are a 6/10 for me, they’re just fine. Not a masterpiece in any way and they’re only to serve one purpose, not provide new or interesting content.
The art style is lovable and memorable, just… don’t pause it.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series, but they helped make the franchise even more enjoyable so that is not a bad thing.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
This was another recap of the half of the first season
The recap showed the match of Karuasuno vs Datakou and Karusono vs Aoba Jousai and how they won against Datakou but lost against Aoba Jousai. The Art and sound were just the same as it was some parts were from the original anime and the characters are just the Karusuno, Datakou and Aoba Jousai teams. The recap I enjoyed as it had the best parts from the first season mainly when Nishinoya saved the ball with his feet was really great moment.
The recap wasn’t bad, it told half the first season within an hour and a half, maybe a bit rushed but it was still good
10: Kuroko no Basket Movie 4: Last Game
English: Kuroko’s Basketball the Movie: Last Game
Japanese: 劇場版 黒子のバスケ LAST GAME
MAL Score: 8.07
Hailing from America, Jabberwock—a street basketball team with skills comparable to those of the NBA—has come to Japan to play an exhibition match against Strky, a team of former third-year students who once played in the Interhigh and Winter Cup. However, due to the vast difference in skill, Jabberwock easily wins. Their captain, Nash Gold Jr., mocks the basketball style of all players in Japan by comparing them to monkeys.
Infuriated by the nasty comment, Kagetora Aida challenges them to a revenge match. Because of pride and the belief that the results will be no different, Nash accepts the challenge. Kagetora then assembles Vorpal Swords, a team composed of the Generation of Miracles, including Kuroko Tetsuya and Kagami Taiga, for they are the only ones who stand a chance against a foe that seems unbeatable from every angle.
I love Kuroko no Basket, a lot, it’s had a large personal effect on my life, and I’ve been waiting for the past 2 years for this movie as my most anticipated piece of media. I knew everything that would happen as I have read the manga previously, so this movie delivering what I want was more a question of adaptation than a question of the content itself. Considering that they decide to show The Last Game in movie format, time constraints were definitely one of my concerns, especially since the manga was extremely text heavy and was being published monthly, but The Last Game delivered me the perfect last hurrah for the franchise that leaves me more content than even the TV series ending which I thought was stellar.
The art of The Last Game is slightly different than the TV series with less notable shading and a lighter color palette, character designs look a lot sleeker and a lot of the Generation of Miracles members have had subtle changes to their appearances like Murasakibara’s even longer hair or Midorima’s combover. The visual effects for this movie are fantastic, usage of “The Zone” and “Perfect Copy” have never looked so crisp and a lot of the plays that are used are animated brilliantly. There are some still frames present, but these are edited well enough that they do not become an issue. There are a lot of dynamic camera angles used especially when it comes to high level plays, characters’ bodies move especially fluid when they are doing streetball like maneuvers.
Sound in The Last Game is stellar, the traditional blend of electric and metal in the OST from the series stays strong bringing pure tension to every scene. The sound mixing is great, as there are certain moments like when they zoom in on Midorima’s remote or whenever Akashi or Nash use the Emperor/Belial Eye that fit perfectly. The insert songs by Granrodeo and Kensho Ono (especially the latter) are in sync perfectly with the action on screen, Kensho Ono’s “Against The Wind” might be one of the most tonally relevant insert songs I’ve ever heard. However the best thing about this movie by far is the voice performances. Huge props to all of the Seiyuu’s who voice the Generation of Miracles but specific props to Jason Silver’s awesomely hammy performance as well as Hiroshi Kamiya for displaying Akashi’s struggle with his identity and his weaknesses as a leader and overcoming that all in the span of the film. Also the Engrish is fucking hilarious, classic KnB Engrish.
The plot is pretty basic, a foreign team steamroll the D Team and basically disrespect the entire Japanese race and their athletic ability. I don’t think characters could be any more racist, basic or agenda driven than Jabberwock. But that’s what makes them so easily detestable, I fucking HATE all of them, especially Nash and Nash’s competence on the court and ability as a captain on par with Akashi just makes his horribleness even more infuriating. But this film is not about Jabberwock, it never was. This movie is a love letter to Kagami and The Generation of Miracles. Each of them gets adequate screentime and it truly feels like that nobody got shafted in this film which is something I thought the manga didn’t do correctly as I was visably mad at Kagami and Aomine’s misuse in the Extra Game manga but the get plenty of shine here. Kise and Akashi get major focus in this game and honestly although everyone held their own, they are by far the MVPs of this game. The fact that there was also less focus on isolation play and every single character was assisting others showed that the Generation of Miracles has grown, because they stopped operating as a team when they were at Teiko.
Aside from the game itself, I think the buildup and the ending were also substantial and necessary. Although I think 20 minutes for the introduction to Jabberwock was not necessary and it could have been done in less time, however there was never a point where I wanted to speed up the film to get to “the good stuff”. The ending is sort of open and emotionally wrenching, I gave a spoiler warning but I absolutely do not want to spoil this ending, but it was bittersweet but still absolutely perfect.
It’s been a long wait to see this movie, but after watching it I can confirm that Kuroko no Basket: The Last Game is everything I hoped it would be and more.
Just to get it out of the way: it’s fair to call it a finale because it calls itself last game, as opposed to its manga counterpart that just called itself extra game, which was much more harder to be harsh on it for that reason.
The best part of the movie was seeing how the Generation of Miracles were no longer bloodthirsty psychopaths who’d stab someone with scissors. Seeing them as normal, chill teens was pretty refreshing. Them having retconned Kagami wanting to be an NBA player is also an appreciated touch, it filled in the whole of none of them having any clear goal beyond just becoming really good high school basketball players that the series had for its entire run, and because of it, it also gave some of the other characters goals too. Sadly, the same can’t be said about the other aspects of the movie.
The villains are definitely the worst part. Seeing as fans of the series are used to asshole antagonists who just talk about how no one can stop them and how they wish a proper challenger would show up, it’s probably not that hard to be lenient towards them at first, but it slowly becomes apparent that there won’t be much to them as it goes on. Gold and Silva don’t get any moment where we see what shaped their beliefs and attitude and they don’t get any kind of character arc by the end either, they don’t have any nuance or depth to them, they only exist to get beaten down. It’s quite ironic, really, for a series whose whole point was about showing disillusioned teens the fun of basketball and teaching them to not be stuck-up pricks, the final villains end up being exactly that and don’t even get the same kind of treatment the show prided itself on being about.
For an anime tie-in movie, it somehow managed to look exactly like and sometimes worse than the tv show. Other than the parts featuring hyper-realistic animation early on during the 2nd match, which had very weird camera angles and felt less explosive compared to some of the more well-known cuts from the main series, the movie kept using its usual technique of still frames and close-ups .
It really just felt like a cashgrab rather than a fulfilling epilogue, all things considered.
also no meteor jam D:
True to the title it is about having one more game and what better way to do it then with the ultimate dream team.
Watched this in SM cinema Cebu, Philippines on 5/23/17.
The best streetball team in the world who are from America have come to Japan for an exhibition match and decimated their opponent and have insulted all of Japan’s basketball players. In retaliation a coach decided to gather the generation of miracles featuring Kagami and a few benchwarmers to slay the Jabberwock team.
The opposing team keeps getting surprised by the level of talent the Vorpal Swords displays but that doesn’t mean that they themselves don’t have their own abilities to counter even the almighty zone. Ability after ability, skill after skill and even an eye for an eye the game continues with each shot, dribble, pass, block, steal, rebound and sweat being countered at every turn.
Eventually the generation of miracles would use new abilities to counter the malevolent force of their enemies. From using multiple zones, zone technique combos, natural ability fusing, reawakenings and even old tricks just to get an edge over the opposition. The last game truly has alot of show off as a final sendoff.
Unfortunately not everyone goes into a zone here and there’s also no 5 man zone present but it is still fun regardless of my personal disappointments. We also get to see one guy finally going 100% full power despite not going into zone.
It just goes to show that basketball is a truly fun game where even the most ridiculous of shots can go in. My personal motto in basketball is “No matter how perfect the form of your shot is, it is never 100% guaranteed while no matter how ridiculous or far your shot is, it is never a true 0% probability”. So while Kuroko’s basketball maybe full of unbelievable powers it doesn’t mean it’s not impossible for anyone. Though the consistency of theirs is where the true question of improbability lies. I myself personally am similar to Aomine since I do circus shots that amaze people with the consistency and even the level of ridiculous range and poses, like a 3-point skyhook now and then.
It also shows how far they have to reach if they ever want to play again on an international stage, especially if any of them ever want to aim for the NBA. Which is of course the aim of Kagami.
So give it a go and don’t forget to stay and watch after the credits rolled for an extra farewell scene.
9: Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 才能とセンス
MAL Score: 8.08
Recap film that will cover the match against Aobajosai High School that took place in the second season.
(Source: MAL News)
TL;DR: Watch for the additional scenes on Seijoh at the end of the movie if you want to know more about them after their match.
I absolutely love Haikyuu!, and I have no qualms re-watching every episode of the anime series to recap the story. I have always avoid recap movies as I get more kicks out of watching every small detail rather than just watching all the major developments.
That said, I adore Seijoh as much as Karasuno, and the end of season 2 have always leave a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I felt that there was no proper closure for Seijoh’s match from their POV. The movie have additional scenes on what happens in Seijoh after the match. The fact that they are not just another “side character” team, but a proper rival team that deserves a bit of insight on how their emotional and psychological state outside of the game is like really showcases the beauty of this anime.
I am not a manga person, so the additional animated scenes to tell us a bit more of the rival characters that I have grown so attached to really brings me so much comfort. hahahaha.
The third recap movie for the Haikyuu series for the 2nd season. The recap shows us when Karasuno shows us the training camp they go where they practice getting better and stronger with the other teams. Then after that, we see the fight against Hinata and Kageyama on how they blame themselves for not working hard enough then we see how each Karasuno is continuing their training and how we are introduced to new moves/techniques like the tempo’s that Hinata and Kageyama learn then we see we the match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai and how Karasuno won but we see some extra scenes, not from anime which shows some of the Aobajousai team after their match and how they felt on losing the match and knowing some they will be leaving the team after high school.
So this recap wasn’t bad, showed the major points in the second season and yes it took some parts away from the anime like when Daichi gets hit in the cheek or the other matches before the main match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai but in replace of some of those parts was those extra scenes which weren’t bad as it showed the side of Aobajousai and how they will continue playing volleyball even after that loss. This recap was good, I liked it
The art style is only slightly less detailed in this recap and reuses some scenes, so at times it felt a little lazy.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
Hajime Iwaizumi (Iwa-chan, Iwa)
8: Haikyuu!! Movie 4: Concept no Tatakai
Japanese: ハイキュー!! コンセプトの戦い
MAL Score: 8.13
Recap film that will cover the match against Shiratorizawa Academy that took place in the third season.
(Source: MAL News)
I am a big fan of Haikyuu! here, but not much of a manga person. The movie contains some scenes that are not included in the main series. There’s even a little extra flashback scene here that tells us where the phrase “One point that worth a hundred” actually comes from. The additional scenes on Shiratorizawa were endearing too.
The recap itself was done pretty well too, better than the previous 3 recap movies. Not to say their recap was bad, just that there were too many important moments (to me) in the timeline that the previous 3 recap movies span across, and the movie itself wasn’t able to capture all of them.
The art style is on par with the third season and is very well detailed. The small details on the faces and outfits of Shiratorizawa leaves you with your mouth agape
The sound effects here are very well used and well placed, it all flowed smoothly and the dramatic silences, as well as voice acting, were all phenomenal.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
The fourth recap movie that recaps the entire third season of Haikyuu. So this recap is basically the entire battle of Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa. The recap was good it had all the battle major moments like when Tsukishima stops Ushijima spike or the final rally of the two teams trying to score the final point to win and we see Karasuno winning but at the end of the credits we see some extra scenes from Shriatorizawa side after there battle and how Ushijima is giving the new roles to the second and first years to help their team grow stronger as they will be leaving team knowing they won’t be able to participate in the next inter-high with each other but yet they will continue to play volleyball.
Just like the rest of the recaps, I liked them, it kept, the art and sound the same and how I enjoyed some of the moments and those extra scenes are a nice way to show what other teams are doing which also the third recap showed for Aobajosai team. I really liked this recap.
7: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me
Japanese: 映画 中二病でも恋がしたい！-Take On Me-
MAL Score: 8.14
Although already a third-year high school student, Rikka Takanashi remains a chuunibyou—a “disease” that causes people to fantasize about themselves and their surroundings. Her relationship with Yuuta Togashi has also gone unchanged for the past six months, and with entrance exams right around the corner, both of them strive to enroll at the same college. However, Tooka—Rikka’s elder sister—decides to take Rikka to Italy as she has found a stable job there. This unforeseen turn of events causes a commotion between the couple as neither of them want to be separated from each other. Desperate for ideas, they seek assistance from their friends, and after a brief conversation, they come up with a plan—to elope.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me is a sensational drama featuring the couple—Yuuta and Rikka—as they journey across Japan. The two attempt to prevent Rikka from being taken to Italy, but will they be able to succeed in doing so?
This movie is practically identical to the anime series, offering new content and pushing the romance onward. Fans and haters will hold similar thoughts about this sequel for the given reason. Those who thought Tamako Love Story is the best conclusion KyoAni has ever given, will find Take On Me give them a gentle bitchslap in the face.
Our story is amazing. The daily life of Rikka and Yuuta where we run from place to another in absolutely ridiculous tempo. The movie is practically a presentation of what side-tracking means. Much like the mind of a child, the focus changes from one play to another. Our characters constantly getting interested from new things and interacting with the newly discovered, only to find something better moments later. This type of ADHD narrative holds some beauty for sure.
My favorite scene was the one where Rikka was supposed to study, but wore night goggles and ate cookies instead. If this is not how you life properly then I don’t know what is. My favorite meme was Rikka failing to enter Mordor. As a person who also has found automatic doors to be my enemies, I can totally identify. My favorite explanation was Rikka’s take on motion sickness. It’s the devil!
There are 4 core flaws here that all made me drop my score by one:
– No date at a zoo arc
– No one drinks dr. Peter
– Deko’s hair rolls didn’t K.O anyone
– They didn’t use the song ‘Take On Me’ by a-ha even once
– When Rikka brought destruction upon earth, there were no casualties
– The movie contained direct to indirect kisses in 5:1 ratio which is way too low
– The amount of Yuuta and Rikka holding hands totaled mere 16 minutes. What travesty.
I started from 11 because this thing is beyond perfect by default, and I refuse to count because math is for nerds.
I recommend this movie to intellectual people as there was a symbolic artwork in the background, The Creation of Adam. There were also countless eggies from earlier KyoAni shows, such as the stuffed animal being a character (Talking Pimp-Bird-san) from Tamako Market. I have decided to release my review with a score of a 10/10 to prove that I, indeed, understood these references.
Those who don’t think this review is amazing most likely didn’t yet see the movie, or my references failed. Either way, this movie is beyond happy and I especially recommend this to people who aren’t because you will be after watching it.
The movie is a big, pretty piece of f*cking nothing. Nothing happens in the grand scheme of the Chuunibyou series. There are no themes here that aren’t tackled somewhere else in this series, but the worst part of it is it dangles genuine character growth in front of you and then it spits on it and sneers at you, “How could you? How could you genuinely expect these characters to develop and change and grow? Don’t you know you need to accept all the imperfections and bla bla bla”
Rikka’s character arc in this movie is utterly ruined, because it would rather pander to it’s base and keep everyone’s precious status quo than possibly challenge the viewer. These characters are stuck undergoing their Sisyphean task of being the same dull characters they were in the rest of the series.
The idea of Rikka finally maturing and dealing with the adult world in a healthy way is a very interesting one, but the execution is atrocious instead choosing to romanticize her unhealthy delusions because “As long as someone encourages you delusions- I mean loves you for you are, you need not grow” She has grown past the need for these eight-grade delusions, but because the audience hasn’t, she will be perpetually stuck as a mentally ill teenager.
Take On Me begins with Rikka up to her usual antics. She’s in her third year of high school now, but not only does she still have chunibyo, she and Yuta still haven’t even kissed. This alone strains credibility, but fortunately the film immediately identifies this as a problem to be fixed. Rikka and Yuta go on a journey around Japan together, knowing that they’re escaping from impending reality, but wanting to maintain their current relationship until the end. Fans who have been waiting to see progress between these two will probably come out of the film feeling satisfied.
It is starting to get tiresome, however, to see this series revolve around the same “will they or won’t they?” romance in its third instalment. Rikka and Yuta may be an official couple, but if anything, they’ve gone backwards since the first season. By this stage, Rikka has some prosaic issues that she ought to be worrying about—like whether she can pass her entrance exams—but her only moments of introspection show her worrying about whether falling more in love with Yuta will make her “lose” her powers. This is the exact same conflict that was central to the second season. This time, at least, Take On Me allows Rikka and Yuta to progress their romance, but the issues of Rikka’s grades and future are never brought up past the beginning of the film. It’s a sweet resolution, yes, but it’s frustrating to watch these kids work through the same basic issues every time.
On the other hand, it’s not the destination that matters so much as the journey. As a road trip story, Take On Me encapsulates that idea perfectly. Fans of Kyoto Animation shows will get an extra kick out this film, as the characters visit the locations shown in Tamako Market, Sound! Euphonium, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Clannad, and other familiar series. Not only do these various locations provide fodder for some amusing sight gags and referential humor, it also gives the characters a chance to breathe outside the school setting. The gags feel fresh here; it’s especially funny to see Nibutani and Dekomori take on the role of the ineffectual pursuers. Their hilarious frenemy dynamic definitely steals the show more than once.
I should note that not every character gets a chance to shine in this film. Kumin-senpai has apparently graduated but still hangs around the school anyway, but this setup is a bit of a waste since she barely contributes to the plot in any meaningful way. Shichimiya, meanwhile, is stuck playing the same role she had in the second season—the friendly antagonist who pushes Rikka to make an important choice. To be fair, the series has always had a problem with utilizing all of its characters effectively, but I do wish Kumin and Shichimiya could have more chances to show off their quirks in this film.
It’s also a bit disappointing that the production values aren’t quite as polished as they could be. The film by no means looks bad—this is a Kyoto Animation production we’re talking about—but there were some noticeable imperfections with the compositing in particular. 3D objects like vehicles stood out against the 2D backgrounds more than they usually do for a Kyoto Animation production. I also couldn’t help but notice that the crowd scenes didn’t have as many background characters drawn in them as usual. The animation itself was on par with the TV anime series, which is to say it was full of energy and stylistic flourishes, but for a cinematic feature, Take On Me was a bit of a letdown.
In short, Take On Me is the quintessential Chunibyo experience: it captures the charms of the TV series but also the flaws. On a thematic level, the series has already said everything it needed to say in the first season; everything since has been an extended encore. The film functions best as fanservice, not just for Chunibyo fans, but for anyone who has ever loved a Kyoto Animation production. Take On Me is at its most fun when its jokes veer off the plot’s beaten track to revel in the countless Easter eggs aimed at KyoAni fans. I won’t spoil these, as spotting them for yourself is half the fun, but after watching the film I’ve started to think that maybe the world is ready for a Kyoto Animation extended universe saga.
Overall, I recommend Take On Me only for Kyoto Animation fans who weren’t too jaded by the second season of the Chunibyo TV series. Actually, you can probably understand the film without watching the second season. Only Shichimiya was a new development in that season, and her role is pretty much the same in the film anyway. Also, do watch this film if you’re a fan of the shipping, as it absolutely does deliver by the end. Otherwise, my general recommendation for Chunibyo is to stick to the first season of the TV series—it’s the best telling of the same story.
6: Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo
English: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
MAL Score: 8.16
Makoto Konno is in her last year of high school, but is having a hard time deciding what to do with her future. In between enduring the pressure of her teachers and killing time with her best friends, Makoto’s life suddenly changes when she accidentally discovers that she is capable of literally leaping through time.
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo follows Makoto as she plays around with her newfound power. However, she soon learns the hard way that every choice has a consequence, and time is a lot more complicated than it may seem.
However, everything has a consequence.
Even the seemingly most insignificant and puerile of acts can have grave consequences, as such acts are often made out of ignorance or selfishness; both which are traits that rarely bring out a good result if actions are based on them. Our heroine has to learn this the hard way, as she sees how fateful her so-called insignificant acts are, and how wrong she is in her childish beliefs. What she want is merely to keep the fun times around; with her and her two beloved friends. She wants time to stop, to remain in the present. However, time is inexorable; the future is relentlessly closing in on us. And she has to learn this the hard way. But she learns. Through hardships, through death, and most important of all, through love, she learns that the future is not something to be avoided. Rather it is something to be cherished; something one should embrace.
And that is the basics of the plot and characters in this story; a girl who repeatedly travels back in time to keep the times as they are, and actually learns during this process that it is better to look forward and into the future rather than intransigently dwell on the present. Her two friends aren’t focused on that much, but both are portrayed beautifully when they are, both the though-shelled Chiaki and the obliging Kousuke. Accompanying the beautiful plot is a standard-fare movie animation; which means beautiful and detailed landscapes, cityscapes and backgrounds. And while character movements are fluid, the designs themselves are a bit lackluster, and should have been more detailed. The soundtrack which follows on top is equally beautiful, with serene piano tracks accompanying the at times laughter-provoking and at times melancholy story, and a somewhat expected, yet beautiful ending theme.
Toki wo Kakeru Shojo is a beautiful movie, which is good for many things, but especially its underlying hints about looking towards the future and accepting that the present will change as well as the simple message that every act has a consequence; especially childish and ignorant acts at that. And even if such themes does not interest you, I think this beautiful story is well worth spending one and a half hour of your life watching.
Although the character art is simple, I love it <i>because</i> it is simple and clean. The backgrounds, environment, and special effects are a different thing entirely. They are rendered in such gloriously realistic detail. The landscapes, the classrooms, the streets — I have never seen such detail in an animated film. It makes things like Beowulf and Final Fantasy: Advent Children look really silly.
The movie also has such beautiful sound. The effects are perfect and clear. This is topped off by one of the most beautiful soundtrack and score I’ve ever heard outside of…well, nothing! The music is so appropriately poignant at times that I almost cried from it, fifteen minutes into the movie. I actually knew, glowing reviews aside, fifteen minutes in, that it was going to be a wonderful film. I mean, if the music can make goosebumps rise on my arms, then it can probably save even a disaster of a film — which this is certainly not. The ending theme is the most appropriate song ever written for any anime. Ever. Just listening to it makes me go "awwwww" and I really want to find it. I’m making it my mission. It’s like a direct line to Makoto’s head at the end, and made me cry all over again. I’m really not normally a sap, but I’m very sensitive to music, and this movie’s music is just so awesome. Not in a grandiose and sweeping sense, but in a gentler, more subtle way. (In fact, subtle describes this whole movie: subtle but effective.)
The characters are also very well-written, complemented by good voice actors. Chiaki’s has a tendency to mumble so much, I can barely understand him sometimes, but it actually fits his character well. They’re quite convincing as high-schoolers, though, and I love how they were all created so realistically, without following any staple formulae or types. They’re all just…normal, even though two of them can do very abnormal things.
Though the plot itself is very simple, the way the characters develop throughout the seemingly minor conflicts (and that big, heart-pounding one toward the end) gives the story incredible depth. And when it reached the ending, I didn’t want it to end but, at the same time, I felt the ending was perfect. I’m a sucker for this type of ending: very, very hanging. Like most of the novels and movies and anime I like, the movie ends just when another story is about to start — the rest of Konno Makoto’s life. I mean, the movie is set within two or three days, I think, though with the time leaps it may feel like it takes place for a much longer period of time. Those days are when Makoto is merely poised at the threshhold: summer is drawing near, school is almost out, and they have to decide on their majors. Yet what happens in that short time is so profound that I’m sure it will affect the rest of her life.
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo also drives home a message. The line "time waits for no one" is mentioned several times during the course of the film, and by the end it makes sense why the writer chose that line. That there is no time like the present seems like such a cliche, but when we can’t leap through time and change events to suit us, the present is all the time we have. We have to cherish each day as it comes and each person as they are, for how do we know that by tomorrow they won’t be gone?
Our protagonist, Makoto, is having a bad day. She woke up late. She flunked a quiz. She got into an accident while trying to cook tempura, another student was tossed into her, sandwiching her between two other students for a while and she heard strange sounds when turning in some questionnaires only to find no one in the next room. Things take their worst turn when her bike’s brakes fail and she’s tossed in front of an oncoming train. That’s when she finds herself back in the past a couple minutes before the accident. Her aunt tells her that it was a time leap, but Makoto doesn’t believe such a thing is possible until, after some experimentation, she discovers how it works. She puts on a cricket uniform with celery in the lapel and leaps through time and space in search of adventure.
Actually, she uses her new found power to do better on tests, perform better at baseball, have fun and, most importantly, avoid slightly awkward situations. Yeah, our protagonist is neither smart nor creative. At first, she’s having a lot of fun but then she learns that her actions are having consequences, as actions are liable to have. Yeah, about half the film is made up of Makoto using her powers to mess around in relatively innocuous ways and the other half is comprised of her trying to fix things that go wrong. Honestly, it’s pretty boring. You keep expecting something interesting to happen with it, but it never does. There is one genuinely dramatic moment, but it doesn’t even last ten minutes. The main romance is kind of stupid and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given the circumstances presented.
Our cast is bland. Really, really bland. None of them are particularly interesting, but none of them are obnoxious or terrible characters either. There’s just nothing that makes them distinguishable from other characters we’ve seen thousands of times, if not more. Makoto is an idiot who gains a really amazing ability but can’t be bothered to think of anything to do with it aside from playing around. Her friends are the generic nice, reliable guy and the generic off-putting guy with a good heart. Then we have all the secondary characters like the supportive friend, the shy girl and so on.
The art is really good with nice detailed backgrounds and character designs that, though simple, look good. The time traveling effect is appropriately strange and is also well animated.
The voice acting is competent. None of the actors give really exceptional performances, but none of them do badly either. They all do decently. The music is also okay. It doesn’t really stand out in the slightest either positively or negatively.
There is no ho-yay in this. 1/10.
The Girl who Leapt through time is a hard film to discuss. Not because it’s complicated but because it’s tedious and generic. It’s a story about time travel where the time travel is never used in either an interesting or a creative way. It’s like a mystery story where the detective solves minor mysteries that don’t really have any impact. Sure, you can do it but you’re going to have to have really strong characters to pull it off. Not the rather generic cast you get in this. That being said, there’s nothing really wrong with the film. In the end my rating is going to be a 5/10. It’s average. If the concept of a girl traveling through time to make her everyday life better appeals to you, check it out. If you want something more compelling out of your time travel stories, stick to Steins;Gate, Back to the Future, The Time Machine, or any number of other stories. Tomorrow, film festival week ends with a look at a certain film involving cyborgs.
5: Doukyuusei (Movie)
English: Doukyusei -Classmates-
MAL Score: 8.32
Hikaru Kusakabe is a normal, carefree boy in a rock band who is always focused on the present. During the summer, his entire class is forced to participate in an upcoming chorus festival. By coincidence, he discovers his classmate Rihito Sajou—known for being an honor student with excellent grades—practicing his singing alone. Sajou just cannot seem to get their class’ song right, and Kusakabe, delighted at seeing a new side of his straight-laced classmate, offers to help him prepare for the event.
Although their lives and personalities are total opposites, they begin to grow closer as time progresses. But with the pressure of an unknown future, what will become of them and their growing relationship?
It really just doesn’t live up to modern standards of progressive ethics. In fact, it just falls into all Yaoi content I’ve seen so far, just a infestation of zero consent and very close to just highlighting “rape” in a positive light.
When someone says “No!” that means no. This movie just throws that completely out the window in exchange for extremely weak character “progression”. Their relationship goes from amazing to terrible in literally minutes. The movie forces drama as much as the writer probably wanted the characters to “force” each other.
AGAIN do not watch this. Its revolting and borderline disgusting.
Based on the very popular manga of the same name, this movie follows Hikaru Kusakabe and Rihito Sajou, two high school students of the same age, through their journey of self-discovery and their first love.
Story (8/10): Even tho this movie is good, the story isn’t very deep or emotional. In real life first loves can be a very complicated thing, but not for these characters. The story flows as it should be, there’s isn’t a “dramatic twist” or a “love rival” or a “love triangle”, this movie didn’t need that at all, it’s just them falling in love and enjoying each-other. Nothing more, nothing less.
Art (9/10): Doukyuusei has a very unique kind of artstyle. I personally think it works PERFECTLY with the movie and the characters but you’ll have to see it for yourself.
Characters (9/10): the characters are what makes this movie WORK. How they interact with eachother is the cutest thing you’ll ever see. You can feel the love they have for eachother, and that’s an big accomplishment for the mangaka, the studio and specially the director.
Overall: If you’re looking for a hardcore yaoi movie then you’ll be disappointed because this movie is very romantic and REAL. You can easily feel the characters and understand their actions because they’re very relatable.
Anyway, WATCH IT.
The artstyle is unique and simpler than what we’re used to, I really liked it. It’s very similar to the manga artist’s artsyle. Animation is smooth and fits this movie perfectly. Just the animation itself made me laugh a several times. The backgrounds are also gorgeous. I loved all of the usage of colors.
The soundtrack somehow gave Doukyuusei a realistic vibe, and Galileo Galilei’s song playing at the ending was perfect.
Both Kusakabe and Sajou are mostly chill characters, and seeing them get along like this makes me very happy. Their love doesn’t seem forced, which is in my opinion the most important thing when it comes to love stories. Sajou is a typical nerd/careful character, but something about him makes him stand out, as if there’s something that he really wants. Kusakabe is not like the typical rock star/talk-without-thinking character. He’s calm and very nice. They are both just high school students, which is very easy to notice. They make dumb choices like every teenager does. I love how their ages actually show through their personalities.
I would recommend this movie to anyone, whether they like shounen-ai or not. This is what a good love story looks like: characters falling in love the most natural way.
The only thing I didn’t like was one of the changes from the manga. I wish that they would tell us something about Sajou earlier. ***SPOILER He has a fear of trains SPOILER IS OVER*** In the manga, they made this very clear, and it cleared up what was going on in some of the scenes. In the anime, this didn’t come through well at all, and has definitely caused confusions.
4: 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.
3: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Yumemiru Shoujo no Yume wo Minai
English: Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl
MAL Score: 8.65
Six months ago, Sakuta Azusagawa had a chance encounter with a bunny girl in a library. Ever since then, he’s been blissfully happy with his girlfriend: Mai Sakurajima, that same bunny girl. However, the reappearance of his mysterious first crush, the now-adult Shouko Makinohara, adds a new complication to his relationship with Mai. To make matters worse, he then encounters a middle school Shouko in the hospital, suffering from a grave illness. Mysteriously, his old scars begin throbbing whenever he’s near her.
With Shouko’s bizarre situation somehow revolving around him, Sakuta will need to come to terms with his own conflicting feelings, for better or worse. With a girl’s life in his hands, just what can he do?
I’d like to avoid spoilers as well as I can.
Everything was awesome. Truths about Shouko are told with comfortable speed, with absorbing mood,with beautiful musics.
And those truths are so touching… I could’t help shedding tears over and over again. Most of audience was looked moved and weeping like me.
I really liked protagonist Sakuta already then, but I even respected Sakuta after he knew Shouko’s truth and behaved for her sake. And Mai, she already said ‘I love Sakuta than he thinks so’ in series, but I almost cried how she showed her love for Sakuta among this movie.
Every persons are great, I can say this is a culmination of series.
I recommend this movie from the bottom of my heart, and strongly wish fans of this series oversea also can watch this outstanding work.
Thanks for reading.
(Before judging, read the entirety.)
I wasn’t anticipating this. I wasn’t having high expectations for it. I did not even feel one bit of hype. But for some reason, I decided to go out with my friends and watch this movie. Expectations were low, yet this movie still somehow managed to exceedingly dismay me. No I’m being way too generous. This movie just took a full shit on my face, and squandered my precious money and time. As unsurprising as it is, the positive responses are regardless absurd, leaving me no choice but to write lengthily. I want to make it clear that I found the series to be quite okay, and I honestly wasn’t expecting the movie to be any better, if not, worse. And yes, it indeed was, probably tenfold worse. “Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl” is one of the worst movies I’ve ever watched in a very long time. To be honest, I’d never expect this movie to be this awful of an evidently devious disingenuous melodramatic tear-gushing tryhard.
Before this review, as to some opinions, this might seem like a nitpicking review, but no. Neglecting plot holes, poor characterization, etc. and claiming one is avoiding nitpicking is foolish. This will be a full in-depth analysis to thus express why I dislike this movie so much.
After the indisputable success of the series and for being only a 90-minute movie, I very much believe us audience deserve better quality than this. It’s basically akin to the series, which isn’t atrocious, just mediocre. Though, I want to particularly point out the awful CGI (human CGI is inarguably one of the worst backgrounds this industry has to offer) as well as the queer 2D drawing in the middle of a 3D background. I might be griping, but I expect a movie’s quality to exceed this. The animation is acceptable most of the time. If anything, my complaint would essentially hinge on some specific off-quality scenes, but I think it was not critical. The art style is never of my liking because I find the character design and color palette dull, but I got used to it eventually so again, it’s fine. In conclusion, everything is average.
I could not have been moved or impressed by this kind of plot, really. If anything, I was abhorred by the blatantly manipulative story that has no consistency or substance whatsoever. Basically, the movie is in toto a tear-fest where virtually every character has to cascade their interminable rivulet of tears to intimate their insuperable pain for at least not once, but twice, for such is the most subtle and artistic method to present one’s dejected emotions. On serious note, crying should’ve been powerful and relevantly timed, unlike this lazy and dodgy representation of one’s sadness.
The premise is essentially time-travel yet written abysmally. With a bit of non-sense quantum physics blabbering and a few illogical small talks with the smart eye-glassed girl, the idea of time traveling is thereby conceptualized. And it never demonstrates any beforehand conditions and repercussions of time travel, as if the author himself doesn’t know what he is writing about. But that inconsistency aside, I’d like to criticize the approach to this idea itself. Anyone who acknowledges the more or less impenetrable idea called ‘time’ simply understands that time travel necessitates meticulous fictional accounts. By making it so vague and providing so little details, it feels as though the director was trying to make things as feasible as possible, but in a way that viewers would be disabused that it made sense because it said so. In other words, since the movie never fully explains how you time travel but simply derive it from quantum physics and some ambiguous supernatural phenomenon (meaning it would seem sophisticated and condensed), it could trick viewers into thinking that it ultimately makes sense regardless of how non-sensical it might turn out to be (I.e. whenever a ramification arises, we are forced to automatically accept it while simultaneously think “Oh, didn’t know that could happen, I guess time traveling really isn’t all that easy. I must express some meager empathy to the characters now must I not?”). Honestly, everything is just randomly presented without much exposition via this time travel concept, for the sake of plot convenience that completely steers clear of any proper explanation; and I simply could not appreciate the fact that the author would do anything to control the emotions of their audience, in which this case involves a poorly-written premise.
I also notice people have stated how this movie reminded them of some other popular anime such as “The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi” or “Steins;Gate”. It wouldn’t be unjust to call out how this movie plagiarizes a lot of ideas and styles, and I believe it is already quite clear in the first place so I see no point in dissecting the similarities. I guess Kamoshida Hajime should learn something from Tarantino or some successful “stealers” next time. For not only this man’s writing resembles just a bit too much with the other successful works viz. literally copying ideas, but he also fails to properly utilize its context. This is effortless and talentless.
The lack of connections betwwen every event is also what I’ve mentioned. The plot crams so many things and results in various climaxes, which makes it very separating. Though, I think even a plot like this might be more affiliated if the execution is on-point. Not to mention, the movie’s philosophy, which is the plausibility of changing one’s fate and what measure ought to be taken, can be a decent concept if well-executed. Thus, I will further develop these ideas in the Execution segment.
Absolutely appalling. I saw zero characterization other than some (once again) manipulative emotional shit from the young Shouko writing her dreams onto a homework paper. The thing about our protagonists is that they are superficial scalloping bods who have no prominent traits, to the point where they are quite undistinguishable. If you think making lecherous jokes about private woman matters is quirky, unique and writing-demanding then you sure have a grave problem, which I won’t solve it for you here unfortunately.
Anyway, while it’s true that our characters act upon propensity, such is too shallow to be deemed as ‘realistic’ characterization. As a result, the characters become awkwardly predictable, simple and even unnatural. Meaning every decision a character makes just doesn’t indicate anything remotely noteworthy. I.e. showing all the phases of depression that Sakuta has to undergo, from going to the beach, weeping to sillily shouting “Can anyone save…?”, means nothing. Whilst being established upon propensity, this scene is nothing but a subpar ‘conspicuous aka not quite subtle’ implication of depression that I find absolutely lazy, dull and clumsily obvious, and such (I believe) over 3-minute long scene does not further develop anything other than characters being sad in an irksomely overdramatic way. Instead of spending time on constant mourning and crying scenes like this (which take up the majority of its runtime), the movie could’ve made it much more subtle and short, which is far more effectively emotional, and preferably delving further into the characters. It’s only obvious to assume that Sakuta would suffer boundlessly without having to show it in the most extreme way, which makes this entire scene futile. It serves no purpose and is handled annoyingly overdramatically and unrealistically, only for the sake of sensationalization, not characterization. What’s worse is that the movie attempts to make the characters so facile and faultless that their resemblance to a human is completely nonexistent (and is also why they’re so undistinguishable). To be fair, it’s impossible to say there is any characterization whatsoever in this movie. And the absence of subtlety comes in every single way possible, prominently in characterization.
And again, I know saying this is redundant at this point, but please, don’t just approve how crying automatically suffices characterization. As to my explanation of how the plot misuses and awfully exploits it, this movie is a perfect exemplification of how crying could become a non-thematic and irrelevant device of emotional manipulation rather than good character writing/development (which is nothing superior to your orthodox ill-fitting fan service).
I can rest assured that I’m not the only person to feel that the pacing is all over the place and is never appropriate with the event happening. It’s sluggish at parts where I have no idea what’s so important (such as all the futile conversations between Sakuta and his friends after a certain death that he chose to let go for it was seemingly out of his capability, all just to show Ah, tranquility is back baby), whereas some important dialogues are unceremoniously bundled. Often times, things happen without any build-up. Awful pacing.
The execution is perhaps the worst factor of all, ruining what could’ve been an okay movie. To me, it doesn’t matter how good the plot is, since if it’s poorly executed, then everything already collapses. And truly, this is where the movie fails to deliver anything remotely cohesive or meaningful.
First prominent issue is that structurally, the movie feels like four episodes crammed together, with no coherent, consistent narrative. With probably roughly 3 climaxes (or so) and a handful of endings, being underwhelmed would be an understatement to transcribe my feelings. Essentially, every “fake ending” always tags along with a climax; thus, nothing feels emphasized, taking also the mere 90-minute duration into account. Not to mention I was so confused whenever it “faked” its conclusion. I literally couldn’t stop checking the time to confirm whether the “ending” I was seeing was just some sort of funny bamboozlement or not.
That being said, I believe the director focuses way too much on his redundant ‘impactful’ climaxes with out of the blue twists and yet he still fails to properly do so; also for that matter, he completely disregards the importance of theme impartation. In other words, having so many climaxes in a single movie primarily for the intent of having emotional weight, it really loses its focus on what it really wants to be, or convey. This is why its philosophy doesn’t matter. Let’s say the themes are sacrifice and love, and the underlying philosophy is the great length taken to change one’s fate, which people might bring up to reasonably defend the movie. Now, if the author really wants to express the said ideas, or anything else you could possibly analyze from this movie, then that should’ve been the focus. Instead, we’ve spent a large chunk of the movie looking at characters crying and saying they’re sad, literally. So regardless of the philosophy, being this excessive about emotional manipulation neglectfully undermines the focal of the story. What’s worse is that fate, or sacrifice, or any idea presented in the movie, are such loose and flimsy concepts in this movie. As stated, since nothing has any sort of real exposition to lay a concrete foundation, the author can just do whatever he wants, however stupid. Like conveniently rewriting future by simply “not meeting a certain someone” as if time-travel can just be that easy. This makes the whole “fate”, or “sacrifice” idea pointless. It feels underwhelming for bearing so little consequences, opposing the entire philosophy of fate and sacrifice itself. But maybe I’m overthinking, because I honestly just feel like “what we see is what we get”. The manipulative execution really makes everything feel superficial after all.
And yet so far I haven’t even nitpicked on trivial stuffs, because it would ineluctably lead to me hate-speeching endlessly (“wtf is that scene where Shouko helpes Sakuta to get on the bed? That is one of the most, if not the most artistically distasteful scene in a movie that takes itself seriously”), but lets not talk about that here. On side note, the jokes are dry as usual, but far more unfunny and cheap. I, unlike many, particularly find it uncomfortably skeptical about the likelihood of Sakuta’s lecherous jokes to realistically achieve its magnificent triumph like in this series. I would wholeheartedly recommend people to stop laughing at this jester’s unfunny little jokes about woman’s body and habits really, for I find it highly unappetizing.
I believe there’s nothing to be enunciated here. I struggled every second for it to end and cringed every time a character broke down and shed their incessant outpouring of tears. I hated this.
Boring typical rom-com music, I don’t remember much. Voice acting is actually fairly good.
I hate the title. All these long ass names that visually and content-wise attract viewers trend should stop. It’s cancerous.
This is an awful movie, and I would never recommend this movie to anyone, you have my words. I literally can’t imagine how anyone walking out of the theater be crying over this movie (good thing is there’s no one in my theater did, even better, most were just laughter). Maybe I’m way too apathetic, but this movie gave me absolutely no emotions that it should’ve given. Or rather, it doesn’t really matter, because the sole intent of this entire movie is seemingly to make you sad at any cost. As impassive as I am, I still hope for God’s sake the score will get lowered and this will no longer be in the Top 100.
2: Kimi no Na wa.
English: Your Name.
MAL Score: 8.90
Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school girl, yearns to live the life of a boy in the bustling city of Tokyo—a dream that stands in stark contrast to her present life in the countryside. Meanwhile in the city, Taki Tachibana lives a busy life as a high school student while juggling his part-time job and hopes for a future in architecture.
One day, Mitsuha awakens in a room that is not her own and suddenly finds herself living the dream life in Tokyo—but in Taki’s body! Elsewhere, Taki finds himself living Mitsuha’s life in the humble countryside. In pursuit of an answer to this strange phenomenon, they begin to search for one another.
Kimi no Na wa. revolves around Mitsuha and Taki’s actions, which begin to have a dramatic impact on each other’s lives, weaving them into a fabric held together by fate and circumstance.
I watched this film at Anime Expo 2016 Los Angeles. I’ll try to keep my review as spoiler-less as possible.
The film holds true to all the expectations of a Makoto Shinkai production, from heartfelt smiles to crying the 5th time within the last 30 minutes. His signature metaphorical use of trains, the idea of a hopeless and distant love, and beautiful scenery really dive you emotionally into the story, even for how generic and simple it may seem.
The story is fairly straightforward; It’s very easy to guess where the story will head, but that doesn’t mean to say I didn’t enjoy it. It warrants a 7 simply because I felt a lack of emotional depth from the characters. This lacking depth makes me constantly question the characters’ actions throughout the film, and because I am constantly searching for a motivation for their actions besides purely as plot devices, I am effectively removed from the immersion. However, this does not take away from my overall score which I shall highlight later.
As expected of a Makoto Shinkai film, the artwork is beautiful. The production quality is off the charts. The art in itself is enough to evoke tears, as it did for me during even the trailer. His choice of colors and use of movement and focus within the frame really help you pay attention to what you need to pay attention to, while also not skimping out and leaving out detail if your eyes do decide to stray, which I recommend you do while watching any Makoto Shinkai film for every blur, light flare, and particle floating along the screen really do add incredible amounts of emotion to the scene. My friends and I consider most Makoto Shinkai films as “5 Wallpapers per Second” and for good reason.
Granted I watched this film in an auditorium with hundreds of people, I can’t give an accurate score as of writing this review. I don’t know who did the music for the film, but during the Q&A Panel held with Shinkai, he mentioned that he messaged one of his favorite bands that he was working on a film, and wanted them to do the music, to which they said yes.
The music was done by the band RADWIMPS, a Japanese rock/alternative rock band. Some people have come to me asking whether or not this took away from the cinematic or emotional feel of the film, but in my opinion it helped in a way characterize the characters of Mitsuha and Taki. Rock music carries with it a sense of youth. Bringing that youthful feeling to the film’s soundtrack helps to establish the sense of naivety to the characters and their interactions. It really helps establish the characters as teenagers who don’t know or care about right from wrong, but rather would do what they feel in their heart is the right thing to do, which is exactly what motivates Mitsuha and Taki in their adventure.
I wouldn’t say I have much of a complaint about main characters Taki and Mitsuha. We all can relate to the high school phase of our lives, it appeals to us because stories we read or watch in books or films set on characters that are going through this remind us of our own springtime of youth. Shinkai did a good job at portraying them and their relationships. My main gripe is that I feel they weren’t explored enough to feel a strong sense of emotional attachment. Their lives, personalities, traits, habits, friends, lifestyles, etc are all explored in the first ~20 minutes, I personally felt that we only skimmed the surface of these characters and are forced to go further into the shallow end of a pool, only hoping that it gets deeper to actually swim around in this world of possibilities. I wanted to laugh, cry, and even relate more with the characters, but I felt that I only read about them in a story, or saw them in a film (which I did).
I wanted to feel they could have actually existed, but the film seems to be a bit too reliant on cliche tropes to incite certain emotions. The feeling I felt is similar to seeing characters smiling and laughing with each other, and having to individually accept that this is enough to establish their inner motivations, time spent together, individual goals, etc. I felt like it wasn’t enough, and just had to accept that Taki and Mitsuha were the way they were. It felt sometimes that their actions were baseless and lacking a strong motivation to be deserving of the emotion the characters poured into their actions. As if acting on a limb to do something as insane as climbing a mountain alone. I will admit that this can be disputed, however, as they are still children/teenagers, and we all do weird things for no reason growing up.
As little as I felt I delved into the personalities of the characters, I did enjoy the film a lot. Shinkai’s metaphorical use of trains just continuing to go along their routes that diverge in several ways really applies in this film, as much as it did in 5 Centimeters per Second. Everyone’s lives diverge in different ways, things happen in dreams and are forgotten the next day, things happen in reality and are forgotten over a lifetime. I enjoyed Taki’s and Mitsuha’s struggles throughout the film to help each other, and as much as it made me well up tears in my eyes, I enjoyed his questioning of how much our memories make up who we are.
Edit: I watched this at the World Premier in Los Angeles on July 3rd. It was released in Japanese theaters on August 26th. It is set to be streamed online (for north america) via funimation, hopefully within the next month or so.
Spectacular animation. There is one particular scene near the beginning which has a sort of “3D camera rotation” that looks so real that I thought it was rendered; but at the last second, the character turned their head, and I was able to tell that it had been entirely hand-drawn. There are scenes where basic physics are completely altered, yet they managed to make it 100% smooth, dragging me along through the character’s experience.
Characters. Due to the movie format, most of the characters had very simple personalities. The depth of the characters was sacrificed for the overarching story, ultimately leading to the main characters having deeper personalities, with the side characters left behind. Don’t be confused though. For the format, the character depth that they managed to convey was incredible. Small hints were blended into many scenes, discretely conveying the characters’ backgrounds and personalities.
Sound. The depth of the musical score was incredible, though I will need to re-watch it with my usual headphones before committing fully. There was not a single sound that felt out of place. All the characters’ voices suited their appearances, leading to a very immersive experience.
Story. The story is conceptually very simple, but a lot of depth is added as the story goes on. The show drives several important points, which can be very philosophical, without being too complicated for the average viewer to understand. Additionally, none of the story is sacrificed in order to drive these ideas, they are inseparably blended together.
Impact. During the show, I laughed, and I cried. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s a big deal. At the time of writing, only two other anime have made me cry. Also, I was at the premier, and thus out in public; I certainly wasn’t the only one. Please don’t approach this anime lightly. It’s truly an experience that you can never forget.
Timing. During the movie, there is a sequence where two characters get to know each other, which felt slightly rushed. It could have been better to have the full experience played out, or at least pieces of it, lengthening the movie as required.
World building. The depth of the story and characters took a toll on the world’s completeness, leaving some unanswered questions. Most characters didn’t have worldviews or ideas of right vs wrong, there simply wasn’t time to develop them. Also, where the world came from, and what the ending implies for the world itself, is left unanswered.
— I wrote this review immediately after leaving the premier. I will continue and edit it after I have had time to process the movie’s depth.
An absolute mess. Without spoiling it, this movie fails to get into the main plot until roughly halfway through. Before that point, it views like a teenage slice of life; nothing to be disappointed by. After the halfway mark, the plot becomes incredibly contrived with no logic, reason, or thought put into its creation. There were at least 4 separate climaxes (which is inexcusable for any movie which is not Return of the King) and an overly drawn out epilogue sequence. The main climax happens off screen, which negates the entire build up to it, because Shinkai wanted to have a reveal with little weight. There are an unacceptable amount of plotholes, mostly due to the concept of Musubi. There’s little coherence, and amateur directing/writing displayed frequently throughout. To differentiate this from his other movies, Shinkai infused supernatural elements with romance, which fails horribly at enhancing the movie and instead detracts very significantly. Even amongst the people who love this movie, there is a large percentage that find the plot messy.
It’s Makoto Shinkai. If movies were judged by aesthetics alone, this would be one of the best ones. There are no issues with the art. Scene composition is mostly great, the animation was very high quality, and the art style was beautiful. While there are not as many wallpaper opportunities as in 5cm/s, the quality of them is significantly higher. Watch this in the highest possible quality you can find. Worth watching for the art alone. The animation is what you’d expect from a high budget movie, but it’s not anything revolutionary. There are several scenes that move beautifully and feel like magic to look at. The animation quality isn’t quite up to Ghibli standards but it is nothing to scoff at.
Voice actors were quite good and played different roles effectively. The change in voice aesthetic was notable during the first half when they were body swapping. The soundtrack was unmemorable, but set the scene adequately, and it may help to broaden your horizons and expose you to new music. Sound FX and general background noise was well produced and sounded natural. The opening sequence song in particular stood out and is worth a listen, but I can’t say that for most of the soundtrack.
The mains were adolescents, which meant there was a lot of adolescent stuff going on in the first half. The characters were interesting initially, though none stood out as incredibly well written and became less and less captivating as the movie went on. The main positive about the characters was that they mostly felt natural, save for when they were clearly not meant to. Side characters were certainly more natural than the mains, and contributed well to the atmosphere of the movie. They develop plot stupidity and have no depth or drive other than the forced romance, and plot amnesia is introduced for added gratuitous drama. There is no reason for the characters to become stupid, or amnesiacs, and it detracts from the believability of the characters and the plot.
Buy this on bluray because it looks stunning. Don’t expect good characters, or a remotely good plot, but do expect to salivate at another of Shinkai’s wallpaper opportunity movies. Worth the watch for the visuals. It’s an awful movie that looks good.
1: Koe no Katachi
English: A Silent Voice
MAL Score: 8.97
As a wild youth, elementary school student Shouya Ishida sought to beat boredom in the cruelest ways. When the deaf Shouko Nishimiya transfers into his class, Shouya and the rest of his class thoughtlessly bully her for fun. However, when her mother notifies the school, he is singled out and blamed for everything done to her. With Shouko transferring out of the school, Shouya is left at the mercy of his classmates. He is heartlessly ostracized all throughout elementary and middle school, while teachers turn a blind eye.
Now in his third year of high school, Shouya is still plagued by his wrongdoings as a young boy. Sincerely regretting his past actions, he sets out on a journey of redemption: to meet Shouko once more and make amends.
Koe no Katachi tells the heartwarming tale of Shouya’s reunion with Shouko and his honest attempts to redeem himself, all while being continually haunted by the shadows of his past.
Nishimiya’s entire character is her illness. She is paper thin with her sole character trait being she likes to feed fish. She is so inhuman it is gross. Moe being used in this way is offensive. Including deafness or any other handicap into anime is an exciting idea, and I laud the attempt. Sadly, the execution is simply sickening. A personality-less self-insert male character who wants to repent for mistakes he made when he was a child falls in love with the object of his errs. It’s inherently questionable to approach this topic from a romantic perspective because it’s hard to sympathize with an object. And that is what Nishimiya is, an object. To be affected on, for us to pity, for us to see illness in a “new light,” to justify against bullying, to see the indomitable human spirit. A show like Monster works this concept excellently because it uses the object of interest (Johan) as more of a symbol. This work tries to make Nishimiya a character as deeply developed as Shouya but they foist too many roles on an underdeveloped symbol, not even mentioning her role as a character.
Shouya, Ueno, and Ishida are all flat. Their motives are drawn to plot points not to logic. Ueno shows up when things finally start moving in a direction the audience would be satisfied with in tacky KyoAni fashion. Drama in this work is so over-the-top and predictable it’s borderline cringe-worthy. Even if you could swallow the unbelievable developments that lead to the saccharine mid-section of the film the way it dissolves is so inauthentic. Shouya shows no signs of development and no effort to change throughout the work and then magically obtains a group of friends.
As for the abstract? The art? If you polish it up enough and use a voice technique the audience is unfamiliar with you have the safest ticket to visual and audio praise you can muster. Are there creative shots in this work? Impressive blocking of characters? Fresh setting or new takes on animation/style? No. This is a typical KyoAni work. They stuck with what sells.
What the point is thematically I can’t tell you. I can tell you that this film is successfully doing what it wanted to do. Capitalize on disease using moe with the highest budget in the industry. This work is not even average, it is bad. Please stop and think about why you feel the way you do when you watch this work. If you’re crying is it because Nishimiya is a person you have become endeared by or are you crying because she’s like an injured puppy? Affection for things like this a wonderful human trait, but this work is dubious.
[Art] 10 – Characters true to their manga designs, high quality animation.
[Sound] 7 – Creative use of sound/music. Nothing too special and memorable besides theme song.
[Character] 7 – Side characters had their story severely cut. Leaving some with empty character.
[Enjoyment] 10 – Tears, sadness, anger, happiness and laughs, the whole package.
[Overall] 8 – Definitely would watch again.
For those wondering how and where I watched this film, I watched in Japan. At Keisei Rosa10 in Chiba on September 17th.
Having read the manga 4 times over and crying every time, I went into the theater not expecting much tears as I have pretty much dried up my emotional experience with this manga.
However, much to my surprise, it has been a very, very long time since I have cried that much while watching a movie. Even comparing to a similar anime film Anthem of the Heart, which surprisingly lacked the ability to really give me a tearful moment. Not to say it wasn’t a bad movie, but if you liked that one, you will certainly like this.
Be prepared for a emotional roller coaster as the movie plays with your ever so weakening heart as the movie progresses.
That being said, this is no perfect movie. The story falls short, very short in terms of character/plot progression outside of the two main characters. Perhaps it was because of the limit of having to cram the story into a 2 hour film that the writers had to cut corners.
However, story/character development of Shoya was spot on. The movie clearly delivered his character and it was very easy to sympathize and relate to the character. Same with Shoko, though the film did leave out some specifics, the repercussions of Shoko’s existence could be felt where one may even agree with Ueno who despised her.
Unfortunately, the remaining characters were pretty much left out. And the overall story was ultimately incomplete because of this. With audiences who hasn’t read the manga asking why some characters were even there. Character development with the side characters were very lacking and a lot of important details were stripped apart leaving a big hole in the story.
The only character who avoided this cut was Yuzuru who retained a lot of her details and character development.
This meant that people who haven’t read the manga can be very confused by the end of the movie. As I had heard people talking about while leaving the theater.
Many details were left out, but the film retained a lot of the core elements from the manga in puzzle pieces, allowing those who read the manga to fill in the gaps to understand what it means. But that also meant those who haven’t were left scratching their heads.
Besides the emotional road trip of your lifetime, Nagatsuka’s moments in the film are very comedic and actually funny in a lot of ways. Often when the audience was laughing, it was usually when Nagatsuka was at his antics.
As for the art, no complaints here. Besides having some overally familiar Kyoani characters faces, Kyoto Animation has done a excellent job in representing the characters true to the manga. It’s no Makoto Shinkai film, but the quality is nothing to scoff at. The high quality is retained throughout the entire film and no lazy production was visible.
Voice acting was top notch and sounded very familiar to daily Japanese life. Though overall sound was okay. The creative use of music in the film is a bonus. Besides that, not much to write home about.
The movie tried to stay true to the manga as best as it could and in the core elements in delivering the original message that the manga had, it succeeded. But unfortunately while following the path, they dropped a lot of it’s side content.
The movie was able to deliver the core plot of the manga.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable film and I can’t wait for the disc release.
A quick overview: Koe no Katachi is a very well done film, although not without shortcomings, and which has dealt with (a) complex issue(s), and which leaves the viewer with questions but no easy conclusions. It is a powerful enough film to remember and ponder over, and people may draw different lessons, or perhaps none.
Pros: The sound and vision (KnK is top-notch Japanimation. I dare say that in some aspects, it is better than a Ghibli film). The ambient piano background music really matches with parts of the film, and the use of marimbas and even silence at the dramatic climax worked out well. Shoko Nishimiya is adorable when she has that half-proud and half-shy face when she does ponytail. Cute, but elegantly done and not unpleasant. However, was this better than Tamako Loves Story – I cannot tell. There were recognizably magical rooftop sequences in Yamada’s K-On! and at the classroom and school ground with Midori in Tamako Love Story. I am not sure whether KnK had such “magic” moment despite its very fluid art.
Voice actors have all done a great job. Saori Hayami, Yuki Aoi, Miyu Irino were expectedly good, and Kaneko Yuki (who played Midori in Tamako) was a great pick for Ueno, another difficult character.
Con: I feel that the original manga’s theme was very challenging for a very young manga artist to deal with; I also felt that some themes weren’t fully explored or developed properly. Besides the bullying/redemption theme, there is an attachment/detachment in relationship theme, and on top of that, a male-female friendship and romance theme. Those themes coexisted and had resonated against each other for sure, but it’s not done in a well-calculated and clear-cut way. That was the main issue of the serial manga, and to explore those themes, the manga author had to involve the characters to comes to terms with each other in a slightly forced situation (like the movie club and the event of going to a theme park).
Although the story line of the movie club was completely cut and altered, the theme park sequence was saved for the film- which still felt forced. However, I felt that Reiko Yoshida has done a nearly perfect job with script-writing and editing the story to be able to fit in for a two hours film. My only grievance is that the reason behind Nishimiya’s decision at the climax was not convincingly told (which was as in the manga- but the Manga fully told Shoko’s mother’s sufferings of being divorced because of her child’s disabilities and sis Yuzuru’s side story of being bullied because of the same reason- so there was a more natural reason why Shoko should have cumulative feeling of guilt that she was making other people involved with her unhappy [and not just that sense of guilt towards breaking up Shoya’s relationship with others]). Viewers might be puzzled then why Shoko had to make that decision in the climax (as it was already not exactly written convincingly to start with in the original manga).
Final verdict: Having written down the cons, this is a very challenging work of art (yes, “art”, which is not simple “entertainment”), and it did choke my heart at several moments. This won’t be everyone’s favorite, as it deals with a serious and dark issue, and as it’s not all straightforward (as in Tamako Love Story) – but it leaves viewers questioning about their own relationship with other people in the past and present.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Koe no Katachi
2. Kimi no Na wa.
3. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Yumemiru Shoujo no Yume wo Minai
4. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu
5. Doukyuusei (Movie)
6. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo
7. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me
8. Haikyuu!! Movie 4: Concept no Tatakai
9. Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense
10. Kuroko no Basket Movie 4: Last Game
11. Haikyuu!! Movie 2: Shousha to Haisha
12. Haikyuu!! Movie 1: Owari to Hajimari
13. Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda.
14. High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days
15. Seitokai Yakuindomo Movie
16. Little Witch Academia
17. Seitokai Yakuindomo Movie 2
18. Little Witch Academia: Mahoujikake no Parade
19. Free!: Take Your Marks
20. Free! Movie 3: Road to the World – Yume
21. Slam Dunk: Hoero Basketman-damashii! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu
22. Kuroko no Basket Movie 2: Winter Cup – Namida no Saki e
23. Kuroko no Basket Movie 1: Winter Cup – Kage to Hikari
24. Free! Movie 2: Timeless Medley – Yakusoku
25. Slam Dunk: Shouhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi
26. Free! Movie 1: Timeless Medley – Kizuna
27. Slam Dunk: Zenkoku Seiha Da! – Sakuragi Hanamichi
28. Kiniro Mosaic: Pretty Days
29. Momoko, Kaeru no Uta ga Kikoeru yo.
30. Tennis no Ouji-sama Movie 2: Eikokushiki Teikyuu Shiro Kessen!
31. Aura: Maryuuin Kouga Saigo no Tatakai
32. Orange: Mirai
33. “Bungaku Shoujo” Movie
34. Mahoutsukai Precure! Movie: Kiseki no Henshin! Cure Mofurun!
35. Takanashi Rikka Kai: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie
36. Slam Dunk (Movie)
37. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu: 365-nichi no Jikan
38. Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare
39. Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
40. Clannad Movie
41. Sayonara Watashi no Cramer Movie: First Touch
42. Chibi Maruko-chan Movie
43. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Movie 1: Operazakan – Aratanaru Satsujin
44. Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan wo.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
45. Gotou ni Naritai.
46. Crayon Shin-chan Movie 06: Dengeki! Buta no Hizume Daisakusen
47. Nerawareta Gakuen
48. Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation
49. Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation – Stargazer
50. Ace wo Nerae! (1979)