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), PriPara Movie: Mi~nna de Kagayake! Kirarin☆Star Live!, Wata no Kuni Hoshi, 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: PriPara Movie: Mi~nna de Kagayake! Kirarin☆Star Live!
Japanese: 劇場版プリパラ み~んなでかがやけ! キラリン☆スターライブ!
MAL Score: 6.84
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
48: Wata no Kuni Hoshi
English: Fantasy of a Kitten
MAL Score: 6.86
After two-month-old kitten Chibi-neko is abandoned by her former owners, she is found by 18-year-old Tokio. Although his mother is allergic to cats and has a great fear of them, she agrees to let him keep the kitten because she fears he is becoming too withdrawn after failing his university entrance exams. Chibi-neko soon falls in love with Tokio.
In her own mind, Chibi-neko is a small human who speaks in human words, although people only ever seem to hear her meow, and she believes that all humans were once kittens like her. A stray cat tells Chibi-neko of a paradise called Cottonland, where dreams can come true.
The story seemed like one that you would see in an old cartoon from the 90’s or 80’s. It’s not a riveting plot. It doesn’t have any odd twists. It’s just an average plot. but it didn’t need anything big.
You can tell that this movie is pure old school anime. it has the same style as Harlock and the rose of Versailles. Every one has 70’s hair and wear a lot of sweat shirts. It’s pure nostalgia. The animation was amazingly smooth. Simple things like the wind blowing through their hair looked great. The character designs for the cats were too cute, Raphael the Persian looked so fluffy and soft. it’s a nostalgic joy.
since this movie was made in the 80’s, it has synthesized music and even an engrish music bit in the middle. I enjoyed it.
The characters were kind of bland, I have to admit. The father was silly, tokio was kind, the mother was old fashioned. There wasn’t much to them. It’s not terrible, it’s just typical.
I loved this movie to death. It had me going “awww” all through it. It’s just a silly sweet little movie.
Over all, I would have loved to have seen this movie as a child and it’s on the top of “shows I want to show my children” list.
The story begins with an abandoned humanoid kitten, Chibi-Nekko, who is subsequently scooped up on a rainy day by an 18-year-old rōnin, Tokio, who has fallen on hard times because of his inability to pass the entrance exams, in order to get into university. His mother has a phobia of cats, which she refers to as an allergy, but it is apparent throughout the film it is more of a deathly fear. Despite that, she allows Tokio to keep Chibi-Nekko because she is worried about his mental health and taking care of Chibi-Nekko brightens his mood.
*A rōnin refers to a student in Japan that has failed to enter a school at the next level. Rōnin was originally derived from the Meiji era term that means a ‘masterless samurai.’ Rōnin became reinterpreted in modern day Japan as a term for wandering students because they have no leader to serve. It’s seen as somewhat of a shameful or derogatory term because wandering samurai in the Meiji era were required to commit seppuku, suicide by disembowelment, upon the loss of their master. That, in and of itself, adds a bleak connotation to the title. Other examples of rōnin in anime are: Keitarō Urashima from Love Hina, Hideki Motosuwa from Chobits, and Yūsaku Godai from Maison Ikkoku.
It is never clearly stated whether humans see the cats as actual cats or anthropomorphized cat people. Tokio’s family treats Chibi-Nekko like a normal domesticated cat, but the Cat Maniac appears to have a homoerotic attraction for Raphael, a white-haired bishōnen cat. This makes it confusing on what stance to take when Chibi-Nekko falls in love with Tokio. It seems like they can’t verbally communicate but maybe this whole film is a metaphor for adolescent men and women, who are so socially divided that they have difficulty communicating with each other.
Chibi-Nekko believes that all cats grow up to become humans. Tokio falls in love with a beautiful young woman, named Mitsuko, and after that, Chibi-Nekko is desperate to become a human girl. Raphael informs her that it is impossible for a cat to become human and proceeds to tell her of a mystical paradise, called Cottonland, where dreams can come true.
Chibi-Nekko runs away from home in search of Cottonland but cannot find Raphael. Instead, she runs into a scruffy cat named Buchi-Nekko Suzuki and they drift around in search of the ever elusive Cottonland. After a fruitless pursuit, Chibi-Nekko ends up near Tokio’s house and his mother is finally able to overcome her fear of cats.
The emotional catharsis of this film was feeble and the journey with Chibi and Buchi-Nekko was the weakest part of the whole movie! And ultimately, an unsatisfying conclusion! It’s sad because I was initially invested in the these characters… that may be in part because of the unique concept but the delivery just didn’t drive it home for me.
I read a few complaints online about the age difference between Tokio and Chibi-Nekko, but I don’t think it was creepy at all because Chibi-Nekko’s feelings for Tokio are unrequited. Younger women get crushes on older guys all the time, it’s a normal part of growing up for many women in their adolescence. While it doesn’t necessarily cast a favorable light on shōjo manga, there’s a large sub-genre that consists of a certain female fantasy—younger girls being comforted by older men.
This comes in all varieties, from a woman in her ‘20s being attracted to a man in his ‘50s or ‘60s: an example of this is Ristorante Paradiso. Or there are a few female mangaka that have written stories like Usagi Drop or Kodomo no Jikan, relatively more controversial and risqué. I don’t believe that the vantage points of these stories are told to promote pedophilia or child grooming, more so, it is easier to convey a characters’ trauma and selfishness through a child’s eyes because the audience is less likely to harshly criticize the character. Many people are often so mentally regressed through childhood trauma that they are unable to see themselves as anything other than a ‘child.’
This is mirrored in Usagi Drop with the scene involving Rin’s mother, Masako Yoshii, an adult that is incapable of responsibility outside of her artistic career and must be constantly nurtured by her boyfriend to stay afloat. Despite being written as a 5-year-old at the beginning of the series, Rin Kaga is obviously meant to represent someone who is much older. The same can be said about Rin Kokonoe in Kodomo no Jikan, if you ignore the gross fanservice, she is written to act like a broken woman rather than a child.
Another example of the nurturing fantasy, is in Moyoco Anno’s Kantoku Fuyuki Todoki (EN: Insufficient Direction). This manga is a biographical gag manga about Moyoco’s life being married to Hideaki Anno and, in it, she refers to [Hideaki] as the ‘Director’ and herself as the ‘Baby.’ Even going so far as to portray herself as an infant with a pacifier. This isn’t because she’s promoting pedophilia but, more so, showing a need to be babied by her husband.
There definitely are instances where young children in anime are fetishized but there are other examples in which child-like characters is meant to convey a sense of vulnerability to the audience. Wata no Kuni Hoshi is an exemplar of this shōjo trope, Yumiko Ōshima’s story is meant to be one of pure childish exuberance.
The movie really pulls the stops with the seiyū, especially in regards to their *bishōnen characters. Notable performances include:
*Bishōnen is slang for pretty boy.
• Miina Tominaga as Chibi-Nekko, she is also know for voicing:
1) Karin Aoi, the lead heroine of DNA²
2) Maam, the lead heroine of Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken
3) Ritsu Sōma, Fruits Basket
4) Clare Barbland, the lead heroine of Ginga Hyōryū Vifam
5) Lin, the lead heroine of Hokuto no Ken 2
6) Noa Izumi, the lead heroine of Patlabor
7) Persia Hayami, the lead heroine in Mahō no Yōsei Persia
*Hilarious because Chibi-Nekko is identified as a PERSIAN cat at the beginning of the film!
• Bin Shimada as Tokio Suwano
—Broly, from Dragon Ball Z
• Keiko Han as Mitsuko
1) La Andromeda Promethium II, the lead heroine of Queen Millennia
2) Luna and Queen Beryl, Sailor Moon
3) Annerose von Grünewald, Ginga Eiyū Densetsu
4) Lalah Sune, Mobile Suit Gundam
5) Saori Kido, Saint Seiya
• Kaneta Shiozawa as Neko Mania
1) Ninzaburō Shiratori, Detective Conan
2) Devimon, Digimon Adventure
3) Emperor Neo, Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
4) Paul von Oberstein, Ginga Eiyū Densetsu
5) Larva, Kyūketsuhime Miyu
6) Mū Aries, Saint Seiya
7) Balrog, Street Fighter II V and Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
8) D, the protagonist of Vampire Hunter D
9) Shadi, Yū-Gi-Ō!
• Nachi Nozawa as Raphael
1) Jin Munakata, Ace wo Nerae!
2) Deimos, the protagonist of Deimos no Hanayome
3) Masumi Hayami, Glass no Kamen
4) Alexander Anderson, Hellsing
5) Cobra, the protagonist of Space Cobra
6) Hans Axel von Ferson, Berusaiyu no Bara
Kaneta Shiozawa and Nachi Nozawa both had clout in classic anime series as being typecast as beautiful male characters but, tragically, both of them passed away. Kaneta Shiozawa died of a cerebral contusion on May 9th, 2000 and Nachi Nozawa died from lung cancer on October 30th, 2010. They were both great talents in the industry.
The director, Shin’ichi Tsuji, is relatively obscure online. The most that I could dig up on his discography, other than from his work on Wata no Kuni Hoshi were credits on a couple of Scooby-Doo movies, key animation on Superman: The Animated Series, as well as him being listed as staff on Tenchi Muyō: Midsummer’s Eve and Gekijōban Jungle Taitei (EN: Jungle Emperor Leo) but it was unclear what his position was in those films. Tsuji is sparsely credited for anything on internet databases.
It’s not surprising because his directing on Wata no Kuni Hoshi isn’t bad, but the pacing is abysmal. You would think that the premise of a surreal film about a cat who believes she’s a human girl would be engaging—despite that, the story is dragged out languidly, causing any casual viewer to immediately disengage. The still-frame visuals were gorgeous but every other aspect of the visual presentation was an absolute slog fest. I give Wata no Kuni Hoshi a 5/10.
Little kitten is adopted by a depressed adult student who can’t get his life together. And yet, his mother (who has one of the most over-exaggerated cat ‘allergies’ in existence) thinks that he may regain his spark by taking care of this cat. And so, all sort of cute little misadventures ensue, as the kitten gets mixed up in all sorts of mischief.
Except, as I mentioned, the creepy part. Which is, the little kitten is a young girl in a dress. Or at least, she thinks she is. And that she will grow up to be a human! This is truly the meaning of ‘anthropomorphism’, as she engages in all sorts of human behavior and actions. But, of course, everyone else sees her as just a cat.
If you can get past that…well, then you’re left with a lazy, meandering, and largely meaningless story. Feh.
47: Haikara-san ga Tooru Movie 2: Hana no Tokyo Dai Roman
Japanese: 劇場版 はいからさんが通る 後編 ～花の東京大ロマン～
MAL Score: 6.86
The story follows Benio “Haikara-san” Hanamura, who lost her mother when she was very young and has been raised by her father, a high-ranking official in the Japanese army. As a result, she has grown into a tomboy. Contrary to traditional Japanese notions of femininity, she studies kendo, drinks sake, dresses in often outlandish-looking Western fashions instead of the traditional kimono, and is not as interested in housework as she is in literature. She also rejects the idea of arranged marriages and believes in a woman’s right to a career and to marry for love.
As the truth behind Shinobu’s disappearance was revealed, the plot became extremely predictable and got tiring quickly. The pacing was way too slow in the middle portion of this film. Every prediction I made ended up happening, even the ones I was really hoping wouldn’t.
Benio isn’t the only one who loses her agency. Things just happen to Shinobu and he’s constantly tied up in worry. He’s only spurned into action by the words of others. The only two characters that actively caused things to happen in the plot were destined to fail by the laws of shoujo. Obstacles were written out too conveniently. The ending did not feel earned.
Is it predictable? Yes.
Is it less exciting than the first one? Of course, the beginning is always the best part.
Are its characters’ actions frustrating? Frustrating as hell.
But you know what? That’s just how it should be.
I believe that most of the low scores are due to an incorrect point of view: these questions make this movie sound like crap, but only if taken out of context.
Here, we are talking about a super romantic love story, one of the most scrambled ones, with lots of love, pain, regrets and guilt.
Everything in this film follows the classical love story, but it’s still a good content, that’s why it is possible to accept all the issues above.
If you are able to predict what is going to happen during the film, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you should just keep enjoying it for what it is.
It’s obvious that the plot can’t be as fresh as the first part, we already know the story, so we can’t expect extraordinary changes.
Plus, you’ll need to bear all the “exhausting” parts (which anyway, are led by excellent characters), to finally see the happy ending we were all hoping for.
So, I agree, it’s predicable and all, but it’s still worth to watch. 🙂
I really liked the 1st movie storyline. It showed great exploration of culture and how that can unify between our main characters who come from different backgrounds. It’s a very sweet romance to watch that encompasses culture and the main character’s modern values that challenge the traditionalist ideals of the cast. BUT THIS MOVIE THREW ALL OF THAT OUT OF THE WINDOW. I WAS SO ANGRY I WAS LEGIT SCREAMING AT THE SCREEN.
They were doing so well and now THE MOVIE GOES DOWN SOME CLICHE CRINGE STORY. THINK OF ANY CLICHE ROMANCE AND THIS MOVIE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU, MY GOD. WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE THINGS THE 1ST MOVIE DEVELOPED?
This movie was consistent with that of the 1st movie. The art is decent enough and very nice to look at. I was kind of sad with the appearance change because I loved the main character’s original outfit, it was so nicely designed. The characters are all very attractive either way, so there’s some eye-candy for you all.
I don’t remember this aspect very well but the voices are decent for each character — it suits them very well. Music suits the movie’s atmosphere too.
THIS ONE REALLY WENT DOWNHILL. I really respected the main character’s personalities in the 1st movie BUT WHY WHY THIS HAD TO HAPPEN. SOME ACTIONS THE MAIN CHARACTER DID IN THE 2ND MOVIE REALLY MADE ME ANGRY. I liked these characters in the first movie but I HATE EVERYONE NOW.
From this review, DOES IT SOUND LIKE I ENJOYED IT? This movie put me through physical and emotional pain.
I DON’T recommend watching this movie. JUST WATCH THE FIRST ONE AND IMAGINE SOME BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN FANFIC STORY AFTERWARDS. I’M SURE IT’S BETTER THAN WHAT THIS MOVIE HAD TO OFFER.
46: King of Prism: Pride the Hero
Japanese: KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO-
MAL Score: 6.88
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
I watched KingPri: Pride the Hero for the first time at about 1 am. I would have thought the whole thing was some sort of weird lucid dream I had if it weren’t for some of the notes I took.
Here are some of those notes just so u can get a feel for what I thought while I was watching this shitpost of a movie:
“Energy orbs from abs???”
“I’m pretty sure I just saw a panty flash”
“AOI SHOUTA WHIPPED OUT A STRIPPER POLE!?! where the fuck did that come from???”
“Why is taiga doing pull ups on a 40ft tree?”
“These communal bath scenes have literally no purpose other than fanservice. Not that that’s a bad thing”
“Is there some sort of PR religion/cult??? why is June a nun??”
“Battle mode outfits look kinky AF”
“their catchphrase is ‘ready sparkling’ but it sounds like they are saying ‘ready spanking'”
And there’s still more
Assuming you’ve watched the first movie and PR rainbow live, we finally get to see the fricking KingPri Cup and see who really is the King of Prism (you’re probably able to tell from the title who wins if u know what’s up). While this movie does tie up a lot of loose ends from the other movie, it leaves me with more questions than answers. It doesn’t give enough attention to Louis and Shin’s weird relationship, Louis’ backstory, and hiro’s struggle through losing pride and his other scandals. The producers really tried to pull off more than they could handle in an hour.
The entire movie has no concept of subtle storytelling. Every character and every action is really fucking exaggerated. It goes as far as having the main villain act like a maniac, have some sort of weird dictator outfit, and have him literally whipping his students to show that he is evil. A dude literally spits on Hiro just to show that Hiro isn’t well liked.
It also kinda just ends on a high note right after the tournament ends. A lot of the other characters feel underdeveloped and had very little screentime so they just are kinda there. They honestly could’ve made the movie without 95% of the new cast and it’d be better( they probably only put them in because of the upcoming anime).
Overall, it’s interesting but the way they tell it is forced, lacks maturity, and rushed. The surplus of characters makes it confusing.
It’s all sparkles and bright colors with ok animation. The CG animation is actually fantastic for the live shows and they put a lot of detail in it. However, because of how detailed and almost out of context they make the live show’s art and animation, it seems like a surreal shitpost. The outfits for the show are hilarious because it’s either “generic idol boi outfit” or “do u work at a strip club???”. Also,,, the main villain dude’s facial expressions are hilariously exaggerated and remind me of what you would see in Kakegurui. During the live shows, every character becomes or already is half naked. All the boys are cute except for maybe one or two depending on what your tastes are.
I actually, unironically like some of the songs. Other ones gave me a pretty good laugh because it was cringey. All the idol characters are supposed to be around the same age but some of them sound like a chipmunk while others sound 30 but I didn’t really mind it. At one point during a live show, I distinctly remember that Louis made this weird orgasming sound so yea that’s a thing
BOI there are a lot of them. It’s the same cast from the first movie but I still don’t remember any of the new(as in not in PR Rainbow live) character’s names other than Shin, Louis, and Alex. Even then, I only remember Shin and Louis because they were kinda the main characters and Alex because his actions and outfits are so fucking extreme it’s hilarious.
While I really do love this movie, it’s only mostly ironically. The other small part of me likes it because it has the PR Rainbow Live boys in it and it was nice seeing them since I like Rainbow Live so much. I also really liked that they used references to past PR series and the girls from Rainbow Live. I knew I was in for a hell of a ride right from the opening where all the main characters were naked and had their junk blacked out to censor it.
If u liked the first movie, you’ll like this one even more. If u liked the first one just ironically, then Pride the hero is twice as gay and full of fanservice and cringe. If u liked the prequel unironically, then you’ll enjoy this movie because it finishes most of the first one’s plot.
This movie is just a mix of crazy, ridiculous, gay, and shining epicness. Yes. It is like a mix of JJBA’s crazyness and Naruto x Sasuke’s gayness.
The story itself isn’t super good. It’s rushed, lukewarm (as Ito says) and might be dull if you didn’t watch Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live. But actually, it is deeper than just “guys dancing on ice”. Just like Rainbow Live, King of Prism story’s is more complicated than it seems. It’s talking about friendship, rivalry, duty, family issues, medias,… They just couldn’t develop everything in the movie (maybe the couldn’t afford a longer one), so they just put the most important elements. It’s really subtle, so you have to rewatch the movie a few times before knowing everything.
But isn’t that great ? You discover the movie everytime you watch it again. Another great point.
The characters can be an unappealing point too. We have 7 main characters from Edel Rose that we don’t really know. They’re just archetypes here to please everyone. All those names must be complicated. And here, I just talked about the ‘main 7’. There are more characters actually. Some of them were from Rainbow Live so I know their story, it’s surely confusing for a new watcher.
I also understand how the yaoi fanservice shit isn’t appealing. I don’t like this either, it makes me super uncomfortable usually, but HERE. It’s just so ridiculous.
Like HOW is it possible not to laugh when you see two half-naked men fighting eachother, knowing one is FIGHTING WITH HIS ABS.
Alec was litteraly bombarding the crowd with his abs and created a tornado just by dancing.
Louis was embracing the whole planet.
Hiro became all dictator and played billard with the solar system.
Kazuki was surfing with a sword coming from the sky.
Prism Shows are just perfect. It makes me forget any negative point of the show. The 3DCG is fantastic, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, I think. I love the music even though the lyrics don’t mean anything.
I think if you take time, you’ll see how funny King of Prism is. And maybe after that, you’ll finally see the light. Every second of this movie is pure gold.
I can honestly not tell if this anime is for real or if it’s a parody.
I did laugh my ass off watching it. And I thought the first one was funny.
The animation is bad, the CG is horrible, its packed full of cheesy fanservice and stuff that makes absolutely no sense even with context, which made me laugh from the beginning (that has a stupidly fanservice- packed title card) until the very end.
It’s so bad that I love it (very ironically), even more so than the first one! Though now I am more confused than when watching the 1st one about wether or not it’s a parody, hmm..
I recommend it to anyone that just wanna have a laugh about how over the top japan can get with it’s boy love fanservice.
45: Versailles no Bara: Seimei Aru Kagiri Aishite
Japanese: ベルサイユのばら 生命あるかぎり愛して
MAL Score: 6.89
A theatrical re-edit/summary of the TV series. Some of the voice actors were changed (eg. Oscar is played by Keiko Toda instead of re-using the original audio by Reiko Tajima).
44: Precure Dream Stars! Movie
MAL Score: 6.90
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
43: Andersen Douwa: Ningyohime
English: Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid
Japanese: アンデルセン童話 にんぎょ姫
MAL Score: 6.94
Marina, the most beautiful mermaid in the royal Merman family, is curious about the human world. One day, she sees a handsome prince on a boat. Suddenly, a storm comes up, throwing him into the sea. Marina saves her handsome prince and guides him to the shore. Marina falls deeply in love and desperately wants to become a human. Despite the hazards, she is willing to risk it all for love.
I have always found it interesting how true to life the story is in relation to how relationships might actually work in real life. Stories and fairy tales from this age have this habit of teaching us that ‘one day our prince/princess will come and we will live happily ever after” – in this story, however, this is not what happens, but instead we are given a dose of another possible outcome. One of heartbreak and loss. And while I do believe is it an exaggerated over reaction, I always found it comforting to know at least one person was telling me a story with a real basis to it and not just some idealistic future where I work for nothing and receive everything for being good.
Another thing I loved about this anime was the music. It is very moving and fits very nicely. Also, the sound quality was good for this era. There was attention paid to background noises this world was made real to me as a result.
The art style used was popular at the time it was made, but also unique. The lines were especially clean and I like the rendering of the Sea Witch very much.
Overall, this is one of my most favourite anime of all time. While it might not be the most original story, or the greatest in any category, for me it will always be a 10.
That school was forced to close recently and the librarian asked me to take as many things as I could from the library. After wandering around like the oft-mentioned kid in a candy store, I was surprised to find that the VHS I had watched was still in the rack. I figured I had really lucked out and watched it at the first chance I had.
Yes, it was indeed childlike innocence that let me be so entranced by this movie when I first saw it. The animation, although better than a lot of others in its time period, is often stiff and flat. The story isn’t really as accurate to the story as I had thought, and in fact seems closer to the Disney version – which is pretty strange, considering that this was made first. The dub is pretty awful, especially the performance of the main character, who seems to really enjoy filling mouth flaps with bizarrely pornographic “oh”s.
But the art style is still beautiful, and the story is still much more interesting than the Disneyfied version. If you have a little girl around, I’d suggest showing her this old gem instead. I’m sure she’ll be entraced.
Now, before you start telling me that you’ve heard this story before, let me assure you that this is NOT the same classic tale that you grew up with… The one that showed you what it knew you wanted to see. Nay, this is a much darker version of the story… A version that’s based on the original Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. This is not a story of star crossed lovers overcoming the odds to find that elusive ever after that tempts our oldest heroes. Even the princess herself is two years younger than the scarlet-haired maiden you remember. This is a story of infatuation, of sacrifice, and of consequences. Should the princess fail to marry her prince before he winds up in the arms of another, she will not be shrunken down into a weed, but killed, and turned into the very sea foam that reflects the sunlight off of the waves. Will Marina obtain the same happy ending as Ariel, or will she find an outcome that’s more tragic and bittersweet?
Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid… Which I’ll be referring to by it’s Japanese title “Ningyo Hime” from now on, for the sake of my fingers… Was produced by legendary animation department of the legendary Japanese production studio, Toei. While I’m a bit ashamed to admit this, Ningyo Hime is by far the oldest anime of theirs that I’ve seen, since they didn’t put out the original Dragonball until 11 years later. Because I’m not entirely familiar with the animation of the time, and because dating must be taken into account, the over-all look of this particular anime is going to be very difficult to describe, but I can probably start by saying that in it’s time, compared to it’s contemporaries, Ningyo Hime was probably seen as being exceptionally good looking.
I can’t really say whether the animation quality at the time was a result of low budgets or just limited technology. I’d like to say it was a matter of budget, because of two factors: First, Ningyo Hime doesn’t look as good as Cyborg 009, which came out seven years prior(Looks a hell of a lot better than Speed Racer, though). Second, there’s a lot of restraint in the visual direction, as though the people producing it knew they couldn’t let their ambitions supersede their resources. I understand that the anime spectrum was a very different place back then, in a time when you had maybe twenty to thirty new titles coming out each year, as opposed to the several hundreds we get each year now, and people had to take their animation with a grain of salt, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ningyo Hime has aged very poorly.
As I said before, this film showed a lot of restraint in it’s visual direction. This is probably it’s main saving grace in terms of aesthetic. On screen movement is kept to a minimum, with most motion relegated to repetitive cycles, and close-ups during any of the rarer scenes that require more fast, precise movement. That’s not to say these techniques aren’t noticeable, but they do help a great deal. What helps even more is that a lot of the backgrounds that the characters move across are shockingly beautiful. When Marina and her dolphin friend Fritz are swimming across the screen, it’s like they’re gliding across a watercolor canvas. When they breach the surface, the sense of depth and distance is stunning. The sparkling reflections of the sun and moon off of the waves convey a very lonely, yet serene feeling.
The color palette is a bit on the dull side, but if you’re watching any of the the newer releases, everything still looks crisp and clear. The use of lighting is also very impressive, although you don’t really get the full effect outside of scenes taking place out on the ocean, above the surface. Of course, water is one of the most notoriously difficult things to animate, and I’ll have to reluctantly admit that the waves here look more like blue-green claymation than anything else. The character designs are firmly a product of their time, a sort of early shoujo aesthetic, where the only body parts that don’t look anatomically accurate are the character’s anime eyes, which are still only half as big as what most otaku are used to.
The music is also dated, but I actually quite enjoy listening to it. It’s made up of slow, pleasant tunes, played through with harps, pianos, and various wind instruments, and the original singer of the few song tracks has a perfect amount of wonder and whimsy in her voice. One thing I kind of have to knock it on is the way this music translated through to the dub. The opening credits song had all of it’s lyrics removed, leaving only the baseline and a few accompanying instruments of what used to be a really pretty song. They actually managed to rewrite the song from Marina’s graduation into English, but the dub singer just kind of mumbles her way through it, rendering it an incomprehensible mess.
And speaking of the dub… I am at a loss for words, which is exactly what I wish they had been. The title role of Marina was played by Canadian voice actress Kirsten Bishopric, who was about 20 or 21 when that movie was dubbed and released stateside, and she could not act her way out of an uncut-plastic soda ring. I know dubbing back in 1987 wasn’t on the same playing field that it is today, but since it was released on VHS in response to the popularity of the Disney version, you’d think they’d hire a main actress who doesn’t sound like a monotone Scarlet O’Hara. And her little Dolphin friend is played by, no joke, the same actresses little brother, Thor, who sounds like the only directions he was being given were “Speak really loudly into the microphone” and “Sound sad for this scene.”They both did go on to have long acting careers, fortunately, but Kirsten tragically passed in 2014 at the age of 55. The rest of the cast is more or less okay, considering the lack of screen time they got, but the dude playing the Prince Fjord, Ian Finlay, somehow has less personality than the guy who played Prince Eric, if you can believe it.
So, I don’t normally review anime movies. The last one I looked at was Oblivion Island, but I did that mostly in blow-by-blow format, and in retrospect, that review kinda sucked. I was able to talk about that movie’s ending without actually spoiling it, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that with Ningyo Hime. Of course, the movie is 40 years old, and the original story it’s based on is over 100 years old, so spoiling it would be a bit like telling someone how romeo and Juliet ends… They probably already know, and if you heard about it from someone before reading this review, then they probably already told you way too much… They probably told you that it features the original tragic ending that Andersen himself conceived so many years ago. That still doesn’t mean the story’s as well known as everything else in the public domain, so before I go any further, this is my warning: I am going to address the elephant in the room.
Marina dies at the end. I won’t tell you how it happens, or what circumstances led up to it, but she does not wind up with the prince, and she does not live happily ever after. Yes, Japan was killing mermaids long before Hayden Panettiere was around to try and save them. The little mermaid dies, which stands in stark contrast to the ending of the Disney version. I’ve seen plenty of reviewers talk about this, but both movies star an entitled teenage girl who doesn’t know how good she has it, and wants more out of life. There are arguments against the Disney version stating that Ariel learns nothing, but still gets exactly what she wants in the end, while the conclusion of the anime is a lot more honest and offers a better life lesson.
Ningyo Hime teaches impressionable young children that when you obsess over somebody based on infatuation, which you’ve basically mistaken for love at first sight, and are willing to give up on everything you have just to be with them, you are most likely heading down the road to disappointment. This is a very good point, and it underlines a very important life lesson that kids need to hear. I actually have two problems with it, though. The first is that if you look at the central conflict of both movies through a modern lens, you can draw the metaphor a little further. Ariel and Marina’s conflict is very similar to the issue of gender identity.
Notice, both of these characters were obsessed with the human world before meeting their princes, so it’s not hard to surmise that they both feel, deep down, that they were born in a way that they weren’t meant to be… Mermaids who were meant to be human, just like men who were meant to be women. When you shine that light on it, the plight of both girls begins to feel less selfish and more sympathetic. Sure, their lives may be perfect from an outsider’s perspective, but are they supposed to just bottle up who they truly are and just live a lie for the rest of their lives? Doesn’t the movie where the heroine gets to be who she was born to be and love who she wants to love feel so much more powerful, now?
And my other problem is, of course, going to lead to some bigger issues. Yes, Marina experienced a tragic end that takes the literal interpretation of Ariel’s conflict to it’s more logical conclusion, but a tragedy doesn’t feel deserved unless it was inevitable. It doesn’t feel right unless there was one damning flaw the hero possessed that ultimately led to them deserving to lose it all. And I hate to say it, but Marina’s happy future was brought down by a talking cat.
I suppose in some way we’re supposed to believe that the cat is the sea witch in disguise, but that doesn’t make any sense. First of all, the witch has nothing to gain by sabotaging her client. She already has her voice, and she doesn’t seem to hate Marina at all. There is no indication that she stands to gain anything, tangible or otherwise, from the devastation of the royal family. Secondly, She’s not portrayed as being evil in this version. She’s shrewd, and she controls storms, but she seems like more of a force of nature than a villain. No, the true villain of this story is a talking cat who hates Marina, wants to see her suffer, and is able to talk to Fjord’s parents without either of them saying “Holy shit, that cat just spoke to us!”
And I’m sorry, but that’s just an example of how badly written this movie is. People complain that the Disney version brought a happy ending into the mix, but they also brought quaint little things like pacing, intricate plot points and actual characterizations. Much like the cat, most of Ningyo Hime’s meager cast of characters barely get any screen-time, being introduced to perform a role and than disappearing for the rest of the film. The perfect examples of this would be Fritz’s whale uncle(Not blood related, i’m guessing? He’s more of an uncle in a ‘family friend’ sort of way?), and the guy with the weird nose that probably died after Fjord’s ship went under. Even Marina’s Dad and her romantic rival are given bit parts, and the Disney version had much more expansive roles for them! Marina’s sisters fare a little better, but there’s eight of them, and the perform a role that would have been satisfactory had ONE side character performed it.
In a well written story, people and events that occur to further the plot aren’t just thrown away after they’ve served their purpose. Everything comes back in some way, even if it’s just in reference, or a punch-line that reveals what happened earlier as being a set-up. You can’t just resolve an issue by creating a character who can solve it and then dropping them afterwards. Take, for example, School Rumble… There are several sight gags that you think are just going to be forgotten afterwards, like Harima accidentally confessing his love to the wrong girl or turning into a monk with an entourage of zoo animals, that wound up becoming running gags and important plot points later on. Ningyo Hime is terrible about this, and it’s just as bad about weaving the characters it does have into an intricate plot. There are so many things that happened in Ningyo Hime… The wolf attack scene, in particular… That, if you didn’t see them, you wouldn’t notice anything was missing. I’m not going to say it was a bad movie, but the execution was terrible, and it desperately needed to be updated for new audiences. The Disney version did exactly that, which is why I really don’t mind the very real possibility that it ripped off the anime. Honestly, stealing from an existing source isn’t such a bad thing if you do something new with it and fix a lot of it’s problems.
Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is available in several different formats. It was originally released in VHS form, and to address another elephant in the room, yes, the mermaids were all topless in it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but for a stateside release, it did make the G rating a little misleading. A DVD release was eventually put out by UAV Corporation, but it’s so heavily edited that it can hardly be considered the same movie. Finally, last year, Discotek Media released the full film, uncut and beautifully restored, with a much more appropriate note of “Not rated” on the back. A twenty-six episode TV anime was released in the early nineties, but I haven’t seen it, so I have nothing to say. The Disney version is also available… Well, pretty much everywhere.
In it’s time, Ningyo Hime was deservedly a big deal, and I won’t take that away from it. It’s a significant entry in the history of the medium, and it’s probably the most accurate portrayal of Andersen’s original story that we’re ever going to see. It’s worth checking out at least once, but it’s not worth holding up on a pedestal. Whether you’re looking at its story from a literal or metaphorical perspective will determine whether it’s message is important one about discretion and self-control or a severely outdated one about ignoring your true self for the greater good. If all you want is to see the original dark ending to a story that inspired the Disney classic, or even if you just want to see a 14 year old anime girl’s bare breasts, then this movie is for you. As for the rest of us, it’s a significant film that should be experienced, but not celebrated. I give Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid a 5/10.
42: Precure All Stars Movie: Minna de Utau – Kiseki no Mahou
Japanese: 映画プリキュアオールスターズ みんなで歌う 奇跡の魔法！
MAL Score: 6.98
Mirai and Rico come to the human world to play, but are separated when the witch Sorciere and her servant Torauuma suddenly appear. Their aim is to acquire the tears of the 44 Precure girls, using them for her “Most Evil Magic.” Only the friendship of all 44 Precure girls will allow them to protect the world.
And this is what the movie has not. The story is simply and jet not attractive at all. Watching again all precure together lose the attraction scene a group of selected precure don’t talk and the protagonist are a new character that is plain with no personality at all. The villian is only one that has no real motive to hate everyone. Using a theme like magic, withces and a world similar to Harry Potter, story really made bad things with the plot.
The movie has some comedy specially for the little kids, this time, mascots are only for decoration and making this jokes. What about the other 40+ precures that are not fighing? Put them all toghether and make some dumb comedy to obtain what we want as a villians. What we want as a villian? Chilché things: revenge, like example. Is this bad? No, if you know how to use it.
About the characters we don’t have really good development, talking about the villian and the main cures of the season, Magical and Miracle. Precure movies are like: separate the group or the pair of cures, they have a main crisis and after a motivational talk, they try again, reunite and fight. This can be interesting, but the movie hasn’t do it well. But now they sing… no, that doesn’t help at all.
There are several animated movies with insert songs (Frozen like example, and the movie uses songs better than this) that really has good development with transmitting emotions. Watching the characters sing and doing something looks a little fake. Without songs, other movies makes better.
Songs can be good transmitting feelings, but in the movie it really doesn’t work at all. And the music isn’t good at all. It’s a musical, but the songs aren’t that good. They are generic and forgettable.
In overall is only a 5. Predictable movie, boring, the only good thing is the animation of it. Only a fan of the series can enjoy this one.
41: Aikatsu! Music Award: Minna de Shou wo MoracchaimaShow!
Japanese: アイカツ！ミュージックアワード みんなで賞をもらっちゃいまSHOW！
MAL Score: 7.01
An Aikatsu! All-Star awards ceremony will take place. The film will feature songs and stages featured throughout the anime series.
English: Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea
MAL Score: 7.07
Hitomi Kanzaki is in a very depressed mood. She only wants to sleep and fade away. Her misery summons Lord Folken who sends her to Gaea. The people of Gaea think she is the Wing Goddess, who can call upon the legendary Dragon Armor called Escaflowne. On Gaea, King Van, the sole survior of the White Dragon Clan, is also in a depressed state. Swearing an oath to get his revenge on the Black Dragon Clan that obliterated Van’s kingdom, he lives by the sword. Now that the Wing Goddess has finally appeared, she posseses Gaea’s world fate in her heart. Escaflowne will either lead Gaea to peace or total ruin.
While I have to admire Sunrise to attempt to condense the series for those unfamiliar with it, as well as breathe new life into old characters, this isn’t the way to do it. Hitomi, instead of being a shy, but head-strong girl, is now a whiny brat who contemplates suicide. Van, instead of being a bickering but brave and powerful warrior, is now Tarzan with a sword. Allen is now a clone of Sephiroth, and so forth; every character you knew from Escaflowne is ruined, and these character would still suck even to those not very familiar with the franchise (such as myself). The only improved character is Merle, who’s a good deal less annoying than she was in the TV series. In fact, she’s the best character in the whole movie! Unfortunately, that’s not a compliment.
Remember those great mecha battle scenes with Van on the Escaflowne? They’re gone now, as Van spends most of the movie slashing at things and watching them bleed. There IS a robot battle, but only one worth mention, and it doesn’t come until pretty far in to be of much notice.
Then there’s the writing. I suspect Sunrise hired Escaflowne fans in middle school to write this, as the plot and its constant mention of the same things over and over again makes Doraemon look like it was written by Charles Dickens. Not to mention how boring of a formula the movie follows: if you’ve watched anime for a few years now, you can guess what will happen before it happens.
So is there anything I liked about this movie? Well, it’s pretty, with slightly improved character designs and a good sounstrack by the great Yoko Kanno. Annnnnd that’s about it. Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea is a pointless retread of something that was good enough the first time around, and it won’t win over any new fans in its wake. And Escaflowne fans themselves should stay as far away from this turkey as possible.
Hitomi Kanzaki is depressed and considering killing herself. One day, a man appears before her and calls her the Wing Goddess, summoning her to Gaea, a world at war, where she is the ultimate arbiter of the God of the Heavens and War, Escaflowne, and, accordingly, Gaea’s destiny.
As you can probably tell, this is a complete retelling of the original series. There are far darker takes on all the characters than you saw in the series, and a completely different plot and world that they’re in, which in and of itself has its effects on them. And honestly, even though it’s worlds away from the series, it’s just as good of a story as the series told, especially in a more limited timeframe to work in. Every character from the series shows up, though some have their involvement changed around somewhat.
For most major characters, there is enough basic similarities between their design (though not necessarily their clothing) in the series and in the movie that you can tell who’s who easily. There are some characters that got a complete facelift for this, though, most notably Folken and Millerna, and the overall effect is not all that bad, really. In fact, RAWR.
The art for this is richer and draws some amazing contrasts, especially with color in some of the earlier scenes and a notable scene that goes from watercolors to full cel animation; however, the same basic style from the series is kept and exaggerated in some cases, which, at times, does not produce the greatest effects. CG is also used far more in here, and it’s kind of just as obvious as when they used it in the series.
Every character’s seiyuu was able to return for this, which adds that more of a sense of familiarity and continuity, especially if you can’t recognize them at first glance. Yoko Kanno returned to work on the soundtrack for this, and it’s just as beautiful as the series was.
So, overall, while the movie does have a more limited timeframe to work in and lots of info to convey, the new storyline and character designs are more than welcome, especially with the seiyuu returning to provide continuity, and with Yoko Kanno on the soundtrack, and a richer environment to play around in, this adaptation is just as good as the series.
The main character of Hitomi is changed from a generic plucky cipher into an actual human being, a typical teenager with suicidal tendencies, who actually has a character arc. Her plight is introduced and compressed into about five minutes very efficiently through adept usage of editing, direction, art and music, with a montage of scenes between her and her best friend, who she pushes away due to self-loathing.
Five minutes is definitely enough of watching a mopey girl and sure enough before we know it she’s teleported into Gaea for a life-changing adventure with plenty of thrills and drama. The movie is paced so well that it knows how each segment could drag the story if played out too long, but it’s also paced too fast in that the story rolls along without giving the viewer, or characters, time to breathe. It’s one of the main reasons the overall score isn’t higher than it would have been if the story were more simple or the running time longer.
Another fatal flaw is the antagonist of the story, although much better than the beardy old man of the TV series, the motivation and methodology is again woefully lacking. Just what exactly is the point of the bad guy in this story? What does he want? To destroy the world? Eh? Is that it? Why do we not even care? The writer learns his lesson from the TV series by using a better character as the main bad guy and keeping him bad, but again he doesn’t give the viewer an insight into the thought-process of the character, what he wants and why; or why other people would even follow him and do his bidding.
The movie’s not perfect and these flaws do irk, but they do not make the movie unwatchable, they simply prevent it from getting a high score. Escaflowne remains a memorable experience and worth a watch because it’s not long enough to overstay its welcome.
The TV series is, or bloody well should be, notorious for its completely out of control plot holes, twists and meaningless revelations. The movie veers away from this childish nonsense for the most part and opts for more streamlined and concise storytelling, however cliché it may appear, it’s at least solid in narrative and consistent in theme.
Now, whenever inexplicable stuff does happen, it’s dressed in abstract tones so it feels more cohesive and natural, it’s more like dreamy art that doesn’t have to make conventional sense, but relies more on mood to convey information or feeling to the viewer. Maybe I’m going too easy on the anime, but you can’t deny the powerful imagery and composition in this movie, its effective. It feels like Mamoru Oshii versus David Lynch.
Escaflowne concerns itself with fate, space and time, so its skilful editing in the movie can be understood as part of the theme, whereas in the TV series the editing was conventional yet the story made no sense. This is the key difference between TV series and movie. One is dressed up in conventional tones yet is weak narratively, while the other is an abstract enigma that makes somewhat logical sense underneath the mystery.
People who give this movie undue flak either have suspect taste or are too literal in their criticism of this reimagining of the TV show. And it is a reimagining, not a condensed version of a 26 episode show, because that would be futile and foolish.
This is the writer doing what he should have done the first time round, this is taking the core premise of Escaflowne and fulfilling its potential by working with the rest of the cast rather than doodling random crap together by himself and worming his way out with deus ex machinas every five minutes. This is a near-perfect melding of all departments of the production team gelling together to bring to the viewer a unique vision of another world and its impact on a teenager at the end of her tether.
Character designs are more ‘realistic’ than the TV series as expected, but what stands out the most is the world design which feels mystical and dreamlike, very memorable and unique, it feels like Escaflowne and not a random generic fantasy-land. The music by Yoko Kanno recycles some motifs from the TV series but includes a few new compositions and songs, all of the standard you’d expect from the master composer.
Escaflowne itself is one of the best mecha designs I’ve seen in anime, truly a beast of a ‘machine’, literally taking the flesh and blood of whoever the poor user of it is, a real tool of war, one that is a double-edged sword, quite literally. And when Kanno’s amazing music is playing it’s a sight to behold.
The last 10 minutes of the movie revert back to TV levels of idiocy with childish plot devices and character behaviour, but if you’re forgiving enough you’ll overlook these flaws and just revel in the imagery coupled with Yoko Kanno, the likes of which you’ll not see anywhere else.
39: 11-nin Iru!
English: They Were Eleven
MAL Score: 7.07
After the Interstellar Alliance established peace among most of the planets in the universe, they created the Cosmo Academy. The academy is renowned as the most elite school in existence, with its graduates guaranteed virtually any job they desire. However, one can only become a student if they pass the entrance examinations held every three years, making the competition for admission extremely fierce.
Lane Tadatos is a Terran who has managed to reach the final stage of examinations. Placed in a group of 10, he is sent to the Esperanza—a ship stranded in orbit. Their final test is to survive 53 days on the ship, without any means of communication with the outside other than an emergency forfeit button. But a serious problem emerges for the examinees when they perform a headcount. There are 11 people aboard the Esperanza, meaning that one of them is an impostor.
They Were 11 takes place in the far future where the united races of space have constructed an academy that trains the future leaders of the galaxy. Only the creme de la creme even stand a chance at passing the entrance exam. Those that do must face a final test before admission, and that’s where this particular work takes us. Ten applicants must survive on a decrepit spaceship for a giving amount of time. Upon arriving, they find their are eleven rather than the prescribed ten.
The concept for this story–as near as I can tell–is one of the most original I have found coming out of the Sci-Fi-mad 80s (note I speak here of anime originality, as certainly 11–like so many other 80s Sci-Fi works–takes the Lost in Space que as its foundation). And within the story there are enough plot twists to keep anyone from being bored. I have to say, at least one of them seemed just a little too convenient for the story to progress, but it added an interesting dynamic and allowed for a satisfactory conflict. Short of this, I can only say this is one of the best stories I’ve ever had the privilege to watch in a Sci-Fi anime.
The music and sound effects aren’t anything particularly special. I have had a separate opportunity to watch the English dub of 11 (only the sub was released on VHS), and so I’m including it in my review since the DVD is the likely copy you will find. The dub is fair. Fewer awkward moments and statements than many other dubs of 80s anime I have seen. However, I have to fall-back on saying I prefer the Japanese version. This is mostly my own feeling that one or two character’s voices aren’t fitting (though all the others are a nice match). Also, the American-equivalency of an Osakan accent was, frankly, overdone here. I therefore recommend sticking to the Japanese version.
The artwork for 11 is nice. It’s not as pretty or shiny as some other works, but it gets the job done. The character design suits the portrayal of each character. And while the players in this flick do seem to be inspired by stock character types, there’s enough interesting back story to give the important characters presence.
My enjoyment of 11 ranks right up there with Space Adventure Cobra and LOGH. I might watch the movie about twice a year on my own, but take any given opportunity to introduce it to an unfamiliar audience. 11 has several qualities that seem to have inspired later anime (such as Infinite Ryvius), so if you’re a more recent fan of the Sci-Fi genre, They Were 11 is an absolute NECESSITY to watch. You may call it Lost in Space, but by this point I think we’re beyond forcing connections between anime and early live action movies/shows. 11 stands up for itself without having to be supported by inspiration from 60s television. It’s a movie you don’t want to pass-up.
Follow Mr. Panda’s VCR of Doom series:
Although Moto Hagio is one of the most important authors of the Group of 24, along with others such as Ryoko Ikeda or Keiko Takemiya, due to her contributions to the shōjo manga, her extensive work has not found a niche in the extensive anime production. The only exception, of course, is the work that we are going to review at this time. A film that, although it does not adapt all the material of the manga, is an interesting piece within the mediocre set of medium-length and feature films of the 80s. It had no great luck with the studio because the animation is provided by Magic Bus. However, it is a film whose approach is attractive as it reminds us of a novel by Agatha Cristie with the particularity that the action takes place in space.
They were eleven (1986) is a film starring Tadatos and 10 other aspirants who want to enter the Galactic Academy, a training institution reserved for the elite. However, to pass the final test the examiners place on them, they will have to combine their survival skills and collaboration as they try to figure out who the phony among them is. In connection with this, the mysterious link between the protagonist and the spaceship where the test takes place will also be revealed. Is it really the stowaway of the ship?
As I have already said, the approach of the film may remind us of a mystery novel where there is a group of individuals locked up with a murderer. The spatial theme, on the other hand, leads us to think of feature films like Alien (1979). None really fits perfectly with what unfolds during its almost ninety minutes of footage. The “unexpected guest” factor leads to the existence of an impostor who seeks to assassinate the rest of the crew while he conceals his identity from him. But here what the “murderer” seeks is to discover if the applicants to enter the Academy have the necessary skills. For me, this particularity gives it extra points, since at least in the anime of the time there is no film or series with a similar idea.
When facing a test designed by an academic institution, it is to be assumed that the level of danger to which the characters are subjected cannot be very high. Otherwise, the candidates could die and it would not suit them. Without a doubt, the emergency button that is presented from the beginning helps to generate this idea in the viewer. If something goes wrong, everyone can press it and survive, even if that means suspending the whole group. However, the author did not fall into this error because in the course of the fifty-three days of living together a series of eventualities and setbacks not programmed by the Academy occur and that, therefore, put their lives at risk. The drift of the ship’s trajectory, the red spot virus, or the possibility of the ship exploding all serve to add enough tension to the story. In this sense, the survival aspect seems to me more than correct.
Too bad my opinion is not so favorable regarding the mystery. At first, the author succeeds in trying to confuse us using the protagonist’s memory loss. The fact that he knows the ship necessarily leads us to think that he was there previously and that the past events that explain the abandonment of the transport are related to it. Thanks to this distraction maneuver, the viewer distrusts the protagonist more than the rest. The problem with the mystery lies, however, in the scarcity of clues that lead us to discover the identity of the impostor. Virtually nothing that happens, except for the initial ruse of the stowaway, serves to get to him. If he had offered any clues as to who the telepath was, they would have helped us, but they didn’t. Observing the immaturity of some characters, on the other hand, helped to rule out several for sure. But the impostor was among the secondary ones who hardly participated and were precisely not few. A mystery should give guarantees to be solved because otherwise it is of little use.
From my point of view, the film did not choose the best approach by placing a greater emphasis on mystery. The real key point of the film is in its message: the need that all passengers have to cooperate in order to survive, despite mistrust and the deep differences that distance them. A mission that is not easy at all because it requires learning to trust others and accept each other’s differences. The play does a competent job of introducing us to the peculiarities of each of these characters because it spends part of its time allowing them to talk about their aspirations, their home of origin, the traits of their species, etc. It is as if in the same place people of different social classes, ethnicities and races were mixed, with all that that entails. Although this diversity is not so much the engine of the conflict as it is the fact that they are facing strangers, among whom one is an impostor who can be blamed for the problems they are going through. In any case, this fact greatly enhances the message of acceptance, union and cooperation. At the end of the film, the change of mentality in the crew crystallizes in an appropriate way, after an intense interaction and joint problem solving.
Before putting a full stop to the review I would like to mention a problem related to the group of characters. Although it was clear that the eleven could not count on the same attention, it is clear that about half are left over to tell the exact same story. Of the eleven passengers, less than half stood out enough for us to be aware of them. The participation of the rest was much less active and their characterization was very poor, almost inferring their characteristics from their appearance. A bug that could have been fixed by narrowing the group slightly and paying attention to them in a more balanced way. Being positive at least they contributed from a thematic point of view by showing that they are a very plural crew. Speaking of diversity, it manifested itself in matters of sex and gender roles with the hermaphroditism of Frol and Vidmenir or the position of men and women on the planet of Frol’s comic relief.
You can read my review here: https://elarmarioanimados.blogspot.com/2020/07/resena-quien-es-el-11-pasajero.html
In the distant future, warp technology has allowed humanity to explore the vast expanses of space, meeting strange races and populating other planets far away from our humble earth. They Were 11 follows Tada, a man who aspires to join the prestigious Cosmo Academy. As part of the final entrance test, all of the remaining applicants are split into groups of ten and put into actual starships to work together and survive for 53 days without outside assistance.
However, as soon as Tada and his group are safely aboard the starship, they notice something is amiss. There are 11 people aboard. Who’s the odd man out? How did he get there, and what is he after? This is the premise of They Were 11, and I have to admit, that alone compelled me to watch this movie.
For fear of spoilers, I shan’t venture too deep into the actual plot, which is definitely the main attraction. Seeing the group, riddled with suspicion and paranoia, make their way through day after day, all while facing different challenges and hardships will keep you on your toes. I wanted to find out who the 11th man was just as much as they did, and that’s a sign of solid storytelling. Naturally, there are twists and revelations along the way, as well as a conclusive ending. (Which I suspect could be controversial, but I was more than satisfied.)
Let’s talk a little bit about the characters. They’re great. A varied bunch of personalities, some of them with alien appearances, customs and physiologies. Some get more time to shine than others do, but with eleven characters and only an hour and a half to work with, that’s perfectly understandable. What we do learn about the characters in terms of background helps to not only flesh them out, but also flesh out the setting, as each character’s tale lets us learn something about his homeworld, and its struggles and conditions.
Again, I find myself limited as to what I can discuss for fear of spoiling anything. I’ll just say this; the movie has a lot of heart. There’s a sweet charm to much of the character interaction, and a few humorous moments you wouldn’t expect a movie like this to have to be found throughout. I appreciated them a lot; they provided both the characters and the viewers with a little break from the suspense.
While some viewers might be put off by the art-style, I find it delightful. It holds up well, and just looks damn good period. There’s a lot of personality in every character design, and the setting is brought to life with nice backgrounds and subdued colors. The animation doesn’t hold up quite as well, but it was never to the extent that my enjoyment was hampered at all.
Overall, “They Were 11” tells a unique, suspenseful and well crafted tale of survival and cooperation in dire and uncertain circumstances. It has heart, charm, an interesting setting, and will keep you guessing and smiling. It gets a strong recommendation from me; they rarely make’em like this, either now or back then!
38: Futari wa Precure: Max Heart Movie 2 – Yukizora no Tomodachi
English: Pretty Cure Max Heart: Friends of the Snow-Laden Sky
Japanese: ふたりはプリキュア Max Heart2 雪空のともだち
MAL Score: 7.08
On his way to visit the Queen of the Garden of Light, the Sage of the Garden of Clouds accidentally drops the egg of the Houhou. The egg lands in the Garden of Rainbows, where it is found by Hikari, attracting the attention of a powerful pair of servants of the Dark Lord.
We open with an old man carrying an egg and flying across the sky on the back of a flying squirrel, Muta. Muta warns the old man, Roshi, not to drop the egg. Roshi says he won’t but does and that’s why his grand kids never call or visit. Two ice looking guys sense the situation and move to get to the egg. We cut to the one girl… You know, the boring one who was introduced in Max Heart that I can never remember the name of… I want to say Kanade. She’s working with Akane when she finds the fluffy little bird that hatched from the egg. From there we get to see our heroines, Honoka & Nagisa, as they’re enjoying a ski trip. But what is this mysterious creature and why are Freezen & Frozen after it?
Let’s start with the issues with the film. The biggest one is just that it drags quite a bit. Take the ending. We get our climactic fight and then a good ten minutes of an attempted, but not well executed, secondary climax. We also have some completely pointless scenes of Honoka’s grandmother. I liked her grandmother in the series but there’s no reason for her to be in this film beyond an early phone call where she gives Honoka some advice. Nothing else she does has any impact on anything. The scenes that surround Ellen in general are just a drag. They revolve around her “bonding” with our mysterious friend but its very clumsily done since most of it is her holding the thing while looking dull or watching it also while looking dull. There’s also a part of the film that revolves around Nagisa & Honoka having a fight but the impetus behind it is really weak. Basically, Nagisa overhears some random people who have mistaken Honoka & Fujipi for a couple and she gets upset because that’s her Honoka, dammit. Here’s the thing, though, Nagisa has known since before Max Heart even started that Honoka & Fujipi are old friends and she also knows that there’s nothing more to their relationship than that. There’s absolutely no reason for her to be upset here.
There are also parts to the film I like. In concept, I like the idea of contrasting a pair of true friends who will overcome their difficulties with a pair who will only stay close when things are going their way and I do like a lot of the scenes surrounding that, even if the event that kicks off that plot point is weak. A lot of the Honoka and Nagisa scenes in general are just good. I particularly like the moment where they talk about their hearts burning for one another.
The characters are much the same as they are in the series proper. Nagisa and Honoka are still great characters. Ako is still entirely bland. It’s nice to see Shiho and Rina get some nice support scenes. The villains are nothing ground breaking but they’re fine. The same can be said for Muta, Roshi & our little bird. They’re not interesting characters but they work for what the film needs them to do. Pollun is, unfortunately, back to being a major annoyance. He does throw a loud, obnoxious tantrum in this one. Honoka and Nagisa need to start packing heavy duty duct tape.
The artwork is nicely done. The action sequences flow well and the backgrounds are well detailed. I particularly like the way the film captures both a very picturesque winter wonderland aesthetic and a very oppressive frozen wasteland at different parts. The magical kingdom isn’t nearly as pretty as the Garden of Hope was in the first Max Heart film but it’s decent enough.
I’ll quickly go through the major characters, since I’ve talked about their performances at least twice previously. Honna Youko & Yukana are great. Tanaka Rie is a great actress but her performance in this is flat because Miyuki is a bore. Ikezawa Haruna’s performance is annoying because that’s the aesthetic they decided to go with for her character. Moving on to the film exclusive characters, Nozawa Masako returns. In the last film she was Round & Honoka’s grandmother. In this one she’s Muta & Honoka’s grandmother. Her performance is good. You can’t even tell by ear that Muta and the grandmother have the same voice. Aono Takeshi voices Roshi and he does a fine job. Our villains are voiced by Kusao Takeshi & Hiyama Nobuyuki. Both of whom deliver nice performances. Hinata is voiced by Chijimatsu Sachiko and she’s decent enough. Like with the last film, Futari wa and the main series, we have a Sato Naoki soundtrack which includes Max Heart’s theme tune. Which is basically Futari Wa’s theme tune with minor changes. Still, he is a good composer and it shows here.
Honoka and Nagisa definitely have some. And it culminates in the “burning hearts” scene. Because this is PreCure and shoujo ai subtext is what they do. Actually, is it even subtext at this point? They’ve held hands while cuddling up in bed and talking about how close they are and now we get the hearts burning for each other. It might qualify as just text at this point.
This is actually what I expected from a Max Heart film when I reviewed the first one. It has some strong moments, some weak ones and just averages out to be kind of mediocre. If you enjoyed Max Heart or if you were a fan of Futari wa who doesn’t mind putting up with Yayoi and Pollun for some cute Nagisa & Honoka moments you might enjoy watching it. For myself, I give it a 5/10. Next week I’ll look at Chocolate Underground.
A new mascot character appeared for this movie in the form of Houou, who is in danger due to the attack of a duo of enemies wanting to get rid of her to bring an end to the world, this together with the previously mentioned part are what this movie focuses on and I think that it did a nice job doing so, delivering good emotional moments and showing more than ever that the bonds between Nagisa and Honoka are strong despite the problems that they might sometimes have.
The artistic quality was more or less on the same level of the TV series, which is perfectly fine because it’s nice, and the action scenes were well animated through the movie.
This movie has some characters introduced in Max Heart with big presence so it’s hard to recommend it if you haven’t watched it yet, which is a bit of a shame in case you aren’t too big on this entry but liked Futari wa, with that said, I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who likes the main duo of Futari wa and wants to see more of their frienship being a big focus.
37: Healin’ Good Precure Movie: Yume no Machi de Kyun! Tto GoGo! Dai Henshin!!
Japanese: 映画ヒーリングっど プリキュア ゆめのまちでキュン！っとGoGo！大変身！！
MAL Score: 7.08
Healin Good Precure is the 15th generation of the long running magical girl series Pretty Cure (or Precure). While the series had a strong start, it faced a rough production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time (to my knowledge) Precure had to temporarily stop airing new episodes, which impacted the series as a whole and the two Healin Good movies. (This being one of them). This movie was delayed and didn’t air until March 2021. After Healin Good had completed airing (hence why there is a quickly put together Tropical Rouge short at the end of the film). Despite the delays, Healin’ Good♡Precure Movie: Yume no Machi de Kyun! Tto GoGo! Dai Henshin!! is a wonderful film.
The plot is pretty simple: our four lead girls are visiting Tokyo and obtain these cute (and obviously plastic) dream pendants. The little pink pendants allow them to create anything the dream of! New outfits? You can make them! Fish? You can interact with them! Food? Sure! (However there are limits on how much you can create at one time).
From there the girls meet Kaguya! She tells Nodoka to leave in order to stay safe, but obviously Nodoka doesn’t take the warning and BAM! monster attack! After the Healin Good cures fight for a bit to save an innocent civilian, the epic crossover aspect of this movie kicks in! The Yes 5 cures arrive!!! They’re a real treat to see and we get some awesome action scenes with both teams.
Once that first battle calms down, the Yes 5 cures promise to meet up with the Healin Good cures. Unfortunately, the Yes 5 cures get into a bind for most of the movie. Meanwhile, Nodoka and the other girls are enjoying their Tokyo vacation with their new friend Kaguya, who I will admit, it a very likable character. This part of the movie is very endearing. <3 We soon learn that (*gasp*) Kaguya's adoptive mother is actually the villain (kind of?) and was working with the monster from before! Wow! Shocking! :0 (*sarcasm*) She is using their powers and the powers of other citizens dream flowers (I forget what they're actually called in the movie) to awaken the giant flower that can make the world a better place. After Kaguya realizes what her mother is doing to achieve her goal, they have a fight and Kaguya runs away. Kaguya's own power lessens as the movie goes on, causing her to become very weak. The Healin Good cures are now more determined than ever to save the people of Tokyo and Kaguya, in the hopes of celebrating her birthday with her the following day. Alas, things take a surprisingly dark turn. We learn that the energy Kaguya's mom had been collecting was FOR Kaguya. She wants to save Kaguya's life. 🙁 The two make up, but Kaguya still doesn't approve of her mother's methods and orders the energy to go back to the rightful owners. Unfortunately, the villain from the beginning of the movie turns on Kaguya's mom, and puts up a nasty fight. The Healin Good and Yes 5 cures are able to save the day, Kaguya has her happy ending with her mom, and... that's it! Roll credits! We do also get a fun little short with the Tropical Rouge cures. It's cute, but doesn't add anything to the movie as a whole. Even though this movie is predictable, I really enjoyed it! Even made me tear up a bit. :,) However, I do wish we saw a bit more from the Yes 5 cures. Cure Lemonade is my favorite! ART AND SOUND: 9/10 Both are absolutely wonderful! Especially considering the not-so ideal production of Healin Good as a whole. CHARACTERS: 9/10 Although certain twists were very predictable, I really felt for these characters! Kaguya and her mom steal the spotlight in this department! I truly wanted them to continue to stay by each others side. So sweet! It was also so nice to see the Healin Good cures again. I wasn't fond of the way Healin Good ended, but I really enjoy the characters. Same with Yes 5, but once again, I wish they had more screen time. OVERALL: 9/10 This film is very enjoyable for Precure fans. I would even say you might like it if you've never seen Healin Good or Yes 5 before! (Although you might be a bit confused...) This movie has a lot of heart and it was genuinely enjoyable. I'll definitely be revisiting this one. <3 [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”]Anyone who's talked to me at all in the past year and a half will know I've made it pretty clear that I LOVE Healin Good Pretty Cure. I think it's absolutely one of the best Pretty Cure seasons to come out in recent years. It has its problems, and I still think Heartcatch is better, but I just adore it. So of course I was looking forward to the movie that was going to be released for it as well...until I found out it was going to be a crossover with Yes! Pretty Cure 5. First off: Why another crossover? The All-Stars movies already do that! It's bad enough the franchise felt the need to shoehorn in the main Cures for the next series into the finale of a previous one when it's not needed, but the standalone movies are going to be crossovers, too? Furthermore, I have not seen Yes Precure 5 except for the first episode, and I have no intention of finishing it because Coco's voice annoys the piss out of me. Also, didn't Yes Precure 5 almost kill the franchise because the second season turned out really badly? But regardless of my feelings about it, the movie Eiga Healin' Good Precure Yume no Machi de Kyun! tto GoGo! Daihenshin!! exists, and I figured I might as well watch it before passing judgment on it...and because I want to see my precious Healin Good girls again. Now having watched it...yeah, this movie pretty much reinforces why shoving in the Yes Precure 5 girls was a bad idea. Now for the overall story: Nodoka's mother takes her and her friends on a special trip to Tokyo to see all the sights, something they've been looking forward to for a while. They also get to see a special virtual reality entertainment experience invented by a famous professor by the name of Gashuuin and promoted by her young daughter Kaguya. But a mysterious demon named EgoEgo causes trouble, and with the help of Kaguya and a new group of Pretty Cure, the girls manage to drive it away for now. Nodoka and Kaguya become friends, and the five of them hang out together. But Kaguya is hiding a secret that could very well cost her her life, and her mother, knowing this, is determined to do all she can to save her, even if it means hurting everyone in Tokyo in the process. Surely there's a more humane way to solve things, right? Since this is a movie, of course it has a higher animation budget than the TV show does, and it certainly shows. The colors are a lot brighter, character motion is more fluid, and the action scenes are full of great choreography. This is especially notable for the Yes Precure 5 girls, as their show, which aired back in 2007-2008, was pretty notorious for...not having much of a budget. This is probably the best the Yes Precure 5 cast has ever looked throughout their entire existence. Also, can I just say how much I love the Healin Good girls' new costumes and power-up outfits? As one-off and Deus Ex Machina-esque as they were, why didn't the show make use of their Partner Forms?! Those would have been a great addition to the TV series, and it fits with the show's themes of animals and respecting nature! The soundtrack is nice as well, though nothing too notable. The characters are where things get muggy, and have about the same issues as the show. For one, the main characters absolutely steal the show, and the staff behind the movie made sure to capture the charm they had from the TV series. Surprisingly enough, Nodoka's mother received quite a bit of time in the limelight and was even given the chance to be a badass at one point, something I definitely appreciate. But similarly to the TV series, it seems to favor developing and fleshing out one villain over the other one, leaving the second one to just be yet another power hungry villain stereotype who's evil just for the sake of it. But the biggest victims of this were, in fact, the Yes Precure 5 girls. This movie reaffirms my worries about the movie being a crossover, as instead of doing anything meaningful with them and integrating them into the plot naturally, the movie just makes them into little more than plot devices that are just there to advance the plot and nothing else. This is especially jarring for someone who has never seen Yes Precure 5, so not only do they come off as extremely bland, barely being used for anything other than fight scenes, any viewers who haven't seen the show where they came from will just feel alienated, asking themselves "Who are these people? Why are they here? How did they even get here? How do they know about the Healin Good girls? How exactly does Pegitan know where they're even from?!" This is without even remembering that Yes Precure 5 aired between 2007-2008, and Healin Good came out in 2021, so any kids born after Yes's time won't know crap about them unless they found the show on the internet or something. I was told by someone else that the Yes Precure 5 girls being in the movie doesn't alienate viewers who haven't seen their show, but they're deluding themselves. Furthermore, the Yes girls only appear at the beginning and end of the movie, never interact with the main characters beyond action scenes, are only shown in their civilian forms ONCE, and don't directly affect the story in any way whatsoever. You could cut them out entirely and nothing would be lost, which gives credence to my argument that the Healin Good movie should have been a standalone movie JUST about the Healin Good girls, as the whole crossover aspect is the movie's biggest Achilles' Heel. There was literally no reason for the Yes girls to be shoehorned into the Healin Good movie in the first place, and the movie itself provides no in-universe explanation for their Deus Ex Machina-esque appearance anyway. Coco and Nuts in particular were especially useless, and their utterly awful, ear-bleedingly grating voices absolutely did not endear them to me at all. I'm so glad the movie didn't give them much in the way of screentime. For what it's worth though, the story was at the very least intriguing. I liked Kaguya and Gashuuin's arc and cared about their plight. However, the creators seemed to rely too much on giving the girls random power-ups that come right the hell out of nowhere, hand waving it away with "Your strong feelings give you power!" and some crap like that. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids shows as much as anyone else, but you can't just give special powers to the main characters willy-nilly, they have to earn it, and the story just seemed to pull them out of its ass. Even other Pretty Cure seasons managed to execute this better, like Heartcatch and Suite. Though the worst example of this is still Mahou Tsukai Pretty Cure by far. At least in Healin Good, the girls don't get their power-ups by way of...well, dreaming about them while they're sleeping. So yeah, as much as I wanted to like the Healin Good movie more than I do, its writing decisions and shoehorning in characters from another show that contributed nothing to the movie wound up being its biggest problems. Not only that, Toei doesn't seem to want to stop making crossovers any time soon, as the upcoming Tropical Rouge Precure movie is going to be a crossover with Heartcatch. Now, I love the Heartcatch girls and all, but again, there's literally no reason for Toei to put them in there except as glorified cameos and to sell toys. That being said, I still enjoyed the Healin Good movie for what it did do. Could it have been better? Yes. Would it have been better if it wasn't a crossover? Probably, depending on the staff behind it. But I am satisfied with what we got, and I love my Healin Good girls, and they pretty much saved the movie from falling apart completely. I still think this should have been a regular standalone movie without the crossover aspect, but it's fine for what it is. Normally I'd say to only recommend this if you know about Yes Precure 5 or have seen both seasons of that, but considering the reputation that that season has for...not being very good in a lot of ways, you're not missing anything by watching this even without knowledge of Yes Precure 5. Honestly, I wouldn't want to subject anyone to the bad voice acting on that particular season for 100 episodes (Looking at you, Coco!!!). [/collapse]
36: PriPara Movie: Mi~nna no Akogare Let’s Go☆Prix Paris
Japanese: 映画 プリパラ み～んなのあこがれ レッツゴー☆プリパリ
MAL Score: 7.11
Falulu is far away in the heart of the PriPara world in Puransu. The sparkle is disappearing from the idol sacred ground PriPara, and Falulu sends an SOS message to Laala and her friends. If the sparkle doesn’t return, the PriPara world itself will disappear. Laala and her friends try to help Falulu, and they work together to save the PriPara world.
35: 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.
Review[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]I was really surprised I enjoyed this movie as much as I did. Looking at the art style and quickly finding out it’s school story about small children, and that it didn’t heavily feature crudeness or violence, I thought for sure that I would be bored out of my mind.
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.
34: Precure All Stars Movie New Stage: Mirai no Tomodachi
Japanese: 映画 プリキュアオールスターズNew Stage みらいのともだち
MAL Score: 7.14
In the city of Minato Mirai in Yokohama, the news of Fusion’s defeat by the Pretty Cures is the hottest topic in town! Girls everywhere are dressing up and acting as their favorite Cures. Only Sakagami Ayumi, the new transfer student, is alone by herself.
On her way home from school, Ayumi encounters a strange creature. After naming it Fu-Chan, Ayumi and the creature soon become good friends. However, Fu-Chan is actually a piece of Fusion, and holds the power of darkness. In an effort to make Ayumi happy, Fu-chan swallows up everything that Ayumi dislikes, creating chaos in school and throughout the city!
To help bring across Ayumi’s true feelings to Fu-Chan, all 28 Pretty Cures gather once more. When everyone’s power comes together, a miraculous light starts to shine.
Firstly, was the story. In my point of view it was something unexpected. It was focused on a special character for the movie rather than the latest pretty cures(in this case, Smile Precure). That made the story a bit interesting cause its not that I don’t like to say Pretty Cure fighting monsters and stuff, its just that I hate to keep seeing them a lot in the movies repetitively like the Pretty Cure DX 3. It seems that Toei have decided to change for something new and see how the fans would to accept it or not and how they react. Sadly as I know, many people do not seem to enjoy it and even say that Pretty Cure are getting from good to bad.
I put these down to the fact that there are no speaking lines for Max Heart, Splash Star and 5 Go Go and I do agree with. It was quite a disappointment but I always look for a brighter side in every anime I’ve watch(to avoid biasness). In the brighter side, they change the story differently and for the first time, an old villain turn nice to that special character for the movie.
And also they change the opening which I prefer. I’m starting to get sick hearing the same song at the start of every All Stars movie(but I still like it).
Only the ending was something I don’t like cause they use Smile Precure Ed. Should Toei have made another new Ending Song? But I pretty much like the new opening anyway.
Thus I would say the overall was actually quite good to the fact they change for something new and want to see how fans like it or not(though I know many are not happy with it). But I love to see all those old group transformations for the latest 4 groups and their weapons which I miss them. (I only watch up to Heartcatch Pretty Cure by the way) So in overall I think the movie was great and scored better than the DX movies and the enjoyment was good.
In conclusion, if enjoy something that are different that are usually is and also want to see Smile Precure in action(if you haven’t watch the series yet), then you better watch this one then. If you a hater that have watched this anime /movie or someone who like to see the old precures and fighting, don’t watch this one which I highly recommended for this group of people. I’m trying to be fair in both ways so that many people can be at an advantage from this review.
Though, like always, the art of this movie is really good so I’ll give it a 10, no mistakes or mess-ups.
The story was alright. It was touching too so I’ll give it a 7 because it’s also kinda like too cliche. At least, for me.
For sound, it was all right. Though I’ve heard things about the sound not matching the subs or was it because of the site I was watching it from. I looked and it looked like it didn’t match the characters speaking. So I’ll have to give it a 6 at that.
CHARACTER. This is the part that got me disappointed about this movie. It’s good that Smile Precure made their appearance in this movie, but it was all about them as well as Suite Precure and Ayumi. The Veteran Precure made an appearance, but they didn’t even get to meet the Smile Precure. All they pretty much were were cameos. Except Heartcatch and Fresh who met Smile and Ayumi, the main protagonist of the movie. Speaking of Ayumi, she turns into a Cure named Cure Echo which barely did anything. She didn’t fight or anything, she just talked to her friend named Fu-chan (Fusion) then turned back to her normal form. I expected to see a lot of fighting scenes in this movie as well as all the Cures getting all together like the other All Star movies and turning to their Super forms from the cheering and unleash some huge attack. All of this is why I’ll give it a 6.
As for enjoyment, it was good movie. I’ll give it an 8.
Overall, I’ll give this movie an 8. It has flaws in it, but it’s very cute and very good!
One day, a strange, gooey, Silver Surfer-esque dinosaur version of Godzilla called Fusion attacks the city. The Pretty Cure from all generations (from the first series to Smile. This movie was made in 2012, as Smile was airing) manage to defeat it, but because it’s a liquid monster, it leaves spawns all over the place in order to regenerate when it has enough strength. A young girl, Ayumi Sakagami, sees the footage on the news and is inspired by the Pretty Cure, but she’s new in town, shy, and unable to make friends. One day, she helps a little yellow blob on the street. It warms up to her and she names it Fu-chan. The grow extremely close and become the best of friends. But what Ayumi doesn’t know is that Fu-chan is actually one of Fusion’s spawns, and the girls from Smile and Suite Precure take notice when Fu-chan begins eating everything Ayumi claims to hate, including the entire city. When she finds out what Fu-chan has been doing, she’s horrified and wants to tell Fu-chan to stop whatever he’s doing. But she’s just a normal girl with no powers like the Pretty Cure do.
Movies tend to typically have better animation than their respective TV series, and New Stage: Mirai no Tomodachi is no different. While the animation did look a little clunky at times, I think they did a rather good job at animating the fight choreography and hand-to-hand combat, and it remains fluid even during the normal, every day scenes. It does, however, lose points for reusing transformation sequences from the show, which most movies based on magical girl anime or giant robot anime tend to do anyway. The soundtrack, while nice, didn’t really leave an impression on me except for the opening theme song, Eien no Tomodachi (Friends Forever or Eternal Friends) which is surprisingly good! It’s very rock based and not overly saccharine or J-Poppy like other magical girl anime songs tend to be (like the G3 My Little Pony theme songs). It’s the kind of song that makes you want to get up and go, and puts you in a very energetic mood. But other times the soundtrack reused tracks from other series during the transformation and final attack scenes (and from what I hear, Precure itself has a notorious reputation for reusing music pieces from other series for some reason).
The main problem with the Pretty Cure All Stars movies is that they always have to make EVERY SINGLE PRETTY CURE FROM EVERY SINGLE SERIES appear, often at the expense of making certain teams have absolutely no speaking lines or roles other than plain reinforcement or back up, which both wastes animation and serves no overall purpose than to move the plot forward. I learned in fiction writing class that you cannot create characters just for moving the plot forward. That’s not a good way to treat characters. Not only that, the other problem with the All Stars movies are that there’s just so many characters that they just aren’t able to fully utilize them all, only focusing on certain characters (in this case, the Smile and Suite Precures). Sometimes a huge cast of characters can work, but other times it really drags a medium down if done wrong, especially in a movie, where character development is already limited by an hour and a half time duration, and you just cannot devote that kind of time to developing 28 Pretty Cures. Really, Toei needs to quit with these crossovers, especially since lately they’ve been giving older characters the shaft in terms of screen time and attention, but then again, even if they did get more screen time, it still wouldn’t save this movie.
However, Mirai no Tomodachi does have some saving graces, though, and I think I’ll get lynched when I say this, but I’m going to say it anyway: One of those saving graces is Ayumi. She’s pretty much the main character in the movie, and I really like her, as I can relate to her situation quite a bit. She’s moved to a new town because of her father’s job, she’s shy, and has trouble making friends. I’m pretty much in the same situation right now. I thought she had a lot of character and development in here, and I loved her chemistry with Fu-chan. While a little bit bland and nothing noteworthy, she’s a fairly realistic character with down to earth problems people can relate to. Two more saving graces are the villain and the story. The story is simple this time around, and it’s all the better for it. It’s less about killing a bad guy, and much more about friendship, the benefits of just talking to someone instead of beating around the bush, and how important it is to clear up misunderstandings between friends. I really like a story like that, and I thought it was done really well here despite the occasional cheese. The villain is also very simple, but far from your typical cliche anime villain, though I would have liked to learn more about his past and why he attacked the city in the first place. This is a major step up from the previous All Star movies (granted, I haven’t seen them, nor do I plan to).
Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect movie, as it’s still riddled with problems, the most egregious being a big, blatant Deus Ex Machina that comes absolutely out of nowhere for no reason other than to move the plot and make Ayumi “special.” The explanation for it was rather flimsy, too. Honestly, I think the whole movie would be better off if it WASN’T a crossover movie featuring every single Pretty Cure out there. If you’re going to use Pretty Cures just as plot moving devices and treat them as reinforcement, then I think the movie would be much better off if it just cut the rest of the Pretty Cures out completely except for the Smile Precures and spend MORE time on Ayumi. That way, the animators could use the budget and storytelling potential to improve on it and use whatever potential the movie didn’t use in the end. Why bother throwing in Precures in the first place if you aren’t even going to give them speaking lines or utilize them properly?! I’ve heard complaints about the movie, the most ridiculous being that Ayumi got too much screen time. In my opinion, the movie would have been a lot better had it been just about Ayumi, and not a massive crossover made to pander to children and sell toys. The creators could have made this into a very nice movie and developed her into a more interesting character.
But, for what it’s worth, I do appreciate this movie for trying, and for actually trying to put in an effort to make this movie into more than just a giant toy commercial. It played it safe and it’s riddled with problems, I admit, but I like it for what it is. It’s nothing groundbreaking or anything, nor is it the best movie ever, but I like it’s themes and message, and it actually does attempt to deal with some subdued, realistic drama rather than just killing another bad guy. I really wish people would give Ayumi some slack, though. You should all be happy she isn’t really annoying like Chibiusa from Sailor Moon or Tagiru from Digimon Xros Wars: Time Traveling Hunter Boys!
All in all, while still a big cash grab, it’s a cute movie that’s good for a bit of light entertainment.
33: Precure Miracle Leap Movie: Minna to no Fushigi na Ichinichi
Japanese: 映画プリキュアミラクルリープ みんなとの不思議な1日
MAL Score: 7.14
The story begins when the protagonist Hikaru meets aliens Lala, Prunce, and Fuwa while watching the night sky. She learns of the “Star Palace,” where the 12 Star Princesses of the constellations kept the balance of the universe until they were attacked. Lala is searching for the legendary Precure warriors to help find the 12 scattered “Princess Star Color Pens” and revive the princesses. When Fuwa is captured by an enemy, Hikaru wishes to save Fuwa, and a Star Color Pendent and a Star Color Pen appear to allow her to transform into Cure Star. From then on she works to collect the pens and raise Fuwa, who is the key to reviving the princesses.
32: Precure All Stars Movie DX2: Kibou no Hikari☆Rainbow Jewel wo Mamore!
English: Pretty Cure All Stars DX2: Light of Hope – Protect the Rainbow Jewel!
Japanese: 映画 プリキュアオールスターズDX2 希望の光☆レインボージュエルを守れ!
MAL Score: 7.15
Tsubomi Hanasaki is woken by her best friend Erika Kurumi only to find out that their two fairies, Coffret and Shypre, have left just leaving a note explaining where to find them. Fairy Park is not only the destination of both girls, it is also the meeting point of all other Precures who planned to spend this special day together. This magical theme park holds the Rainbow Jewel, a special gem that represents all of the hopes and dreams of the world. Such a powerful stone is the object of desire of a malefic entity named Bottom who has waited one thousand years for the opportunity to possess it.
This one isn’t without its problems. The drawing style mismatches Heartcatch characters a bit, can be a little jarring. Characters weren’t as expressive as I’m used to, Erika didn’t feel all that Erikaish. Was kind of weird seeing Yuri sitting around doing nothing while all of the danger was happening, she was precure before Erika and Tsubomi after all but whatever. All I really need to feel satisfied are some good henshin sequences mixed with some kung fu and heartwarming moments and this movie has these things. One of the villains is made of solid gold and has a sweet mustache, pretty awesome. Was funny watching Erika and Tsubomi getting rolled nonstop, they were getting their butts kicked lol. Just don’t push your expectations super high and you should enjoy this movie, it’s better than a lot of standalone episodes of precure after all.
Every girl appears, every fairy appears and… even the villains show up! Which in my opinion is what made this movie stand out. It feels like a celebration of the franchise and that includes the villains of course.
There’s plenty of action in this movie to enjoy but I think the final showdown was dragged out and thus became boring to watch.
This movie will not blow your mind but it’s entertaining enough to recommend to a Precure fan.
It’s a 7/10.
31: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de: Maihitoyo
Japanese: 劇場版 遙かなる時空（とき）の中で 舞一夜（まいひとよ）
MAL Score: 7.17
One rainy day, Akane crosses path with a kind young man who tacitly offers to her his coat. On their second encounter, he confesses that he has no recollection of who he is, his name or his past, but feels contented by just being with her. Besotted, Akane sets out to find his name, and to unravel his enigmatic connection with a famous cursed dance rumoured to kill anyone who attempts to perform it.
However, I liked this movie much better than the series. In my opinion, the Hachiyou Shou TV series was rather average, there was some good moments but overall there was nothing special. Too cliche, too shoujo, not enough character depth, predictable plot devices etc.
The movie can be watched as a stand alone movie (would still make sense), but since it follows the TV series (is a sequal) it may make more sense to have a better understanding before watching the movie. The plot isn’t different from the series (can be seen as an episode of the tv series), but the character depth of Akane and her relationship with the other main character made the movie good in my opinion.
As mention above, it fits the general plot line of meet enemy, fight enemy, defeat enemy. However, it was the intricacies beyond the plot events that really captivates. A coincidental meeting brings two unlikely people together, a meaningful and fragile friendship forms, but in the end was never allowed to blossom. There is hope and heartbreak. What is really great about the story lies in the portrayal of the main character Akane, and in how cruel fate can be. I will talk more regarding this in character section. I should mention here that Akuram and the oni clan are not involved in this story and does not appear at all.
Beautifully rendered art. If you have seen the series, the movie has much better art. The background was given a lot of detail and textures.
I was especially drawn to the opening music (which is the music for the dance that the movie is about) which probably biased my opinion. The music within the movie (not much) was alright, but the song for the dance really got to me. I also find it beautiful to come in a full circle, and the movie ended in a foil of how it started.
The plot of the story isn’t anything special, but what the story is really about, is the characters in it. Specifically, it is about Akane. It is a story about a miko who was being suffocated by her overprotective hachiyou guardians and by the duties pushed on her, a miko who is losing herself and confused about who she is and what she should do, a miko who is putting on a fake front for everyone but secretly breaking inside. Mostly, it focuses on the miko’s inner struggle, her guardians being unable to understand her (and her trying to appear strong for them), and how a chance meeting with a new friend changes everything.
For the character depth and development, and beauty of fate/chance meetings, I really like this movie. I would say more but I don’t want to spoil anything about the story.
Enjoyment and Overall 9/10
Because of all the emotional depth that was portrayed for Akane (and to a lesser degree, the dancer) and the character development (they’re facing a personal crisis, they go through emotional turmoil, and eventually finds some sort of solution to regain peace and become a stronger character for it), and the fact that it’s not another “nothing serious happens, nothing really changes” episode of Hachiyou shou, I find it very enjoyable overall. I also like the bittersweet ending, which has a much bigger impact than a sparkly rainbow happy ending.
If you’re not interested in seeing some character development in Akane then the movie is probably not that great for you. The whole movie revolves around Akane and her inner turmoils, everyone else takes a very minor role.
The plot was plain and frankly there is nothing much to write about. And while it is uncomplicated and easy to understand, it doesn’t captivate the audience.
Probably the only salvageable part of this ova. Peppered with bishounens (pretty boys), there is a depth of research of the traditional japanese living ways seen in its art.
The soundtrack is pleasant to ears, however while it tries hard to capture the mood of the ova, it fails short in certain parts.
Having enjoyed the set of characters in the anime series, I had looked forward to seeing them again. This ova, has tried to put in enough screen time for each of their characters, but because of this, it becomes messy. It tries too much and ends up making several characters to the point of annoyance.
In whole, while I enjoyed the appearance of more bishounens, I found the ova severely lacking to the point of annoyance. I do not recommend it to anyone except the die hard fans.
30: Chibi Maruko-chan: Watashi no Suki na Uta
Japanese: ちびまる子ちゃん わたしの好きな歌
MAL Score: 7.17
Sakura Momoko’s teacher assigns the third grade to draw an image based on their favorite song to enter a contest. Momoko loves a song she recently learned during her music class and is anxious to make a good drawing based on it. On her way to meet her relatives in Shizuoka, she meets Shouko Kimura, a university student who occasionally draws portraits at the local train station and plans to also participate in an art contest. Fascinated by her illustrations, Sakura meets Kimura once again. Shouko is enchanted by Momoko’s sympathy and honesty. They quickly become friends and end up inspiring each other in their own way.
The movie starts with Sakura momoko also known as maruko-chan learning a new song, Menkoi kouma (beloved foal), she soon gets an assignment : to think of her favorite song and draw the image that comes to mind with that song. While visiting her grandparents in Shizuoka, she meets a street artist and will quickly become friends with her. and decide she could help in creating the best drawing for her song. This movie mainly tackles their growing friendship, how parting can be difficult and also questions our relation with art under the prism of a child.
This movie is comprised of a lots of music clips which compose at least a big third of the movie as it is the main focus of the movie and they are also building its narrative.
Upon her journey cherishing this song, she will realize that what she learned wasn’t the full version and will learn, with the help of different characters, the rest of the song and its context, giving it a different signification which also echoes with her relationship with the artist. Be it by her interaction with her grandfather who only knows the modified version when he was a child which may seem silly but shows how folk songs were created and transmitted and passed on to a new generation. Later in the movie, it reveals that the song was created in time of war and the horse was taken by the army to become a warhorse sent to a far-away battlefield, destroying the precious and happy image she had at first. It gets further with her boyfriend who is from Hokkaido and his family has a farm there and loved the song because of that, joy of birth, seeing the newborn foals standing up.
« To never forget despite being parted. This happens to all of us so many times over the course of our lives… During the course of my life many things were bound to happen. But sensei’s word that day, I would never ever forget them »
Another major theme of the movie is saying goodbye to the loved ones, and the harsh reality of parting with someone, learn to cherish their memories tightly, and the storyline is simple enough to follow and still be emotional, it relies a lot on the viewer keeping the heart of a child and learn to appreciate all the little wonders in seemingly uninteresting events. Characters are kept simple and archetypal but them being that way doesn’t remove anything, in fact, that is its strength as it allows them to use empathy to its full extent. Maruko smug and naïve attitude, as well as her simplicity and her wild imagination certainly makes her adorable and relatable and her classmate all embodies one type of people we have encountered and are relatable in their own way. The way our two main characters evolve and progress throughout the movie is especially remarkable, it knows how to properly introduce them, how to foreshadow their relationship and just enough substance to make you sob at the end.
One of the other highest point of the film is its art and direction, now the normal section use of an improved version of the series, having a beautiful and marvelous pastel art as well as its varied colour palette. Where it really shines though, are the music clips where every bit of care is put to make them as well crafted as possible. Every song has its own themes and atmosphere, be it visually or the music genre it tackles.
The main song is presented differently from the clips present in this movie, it first start outs as a chorus sung by the children in the class. Then, you get to hear maruko sing it many times with a very smooth progression in how it is presented, either having it becomes an echo and having the reddish sun set as a background to symbolize nostalgia, or depicting the story of the song directly on screen and conveying the relation of the foal with his mother in a quite endearing way. Even after that, even though it is not sung, its themes and relation to the story never disappears.
As for the other songs, they vary greatly in their importance to the story, some are here just for comedic value while some plays an intricate value in the role they have to play, or in their style as it englobes different genres of music, from the dynamic pop song to a ballade but also reggae.
It would be very hard for me to talk about all of them but the most memorable for me is “Hoshi wo taberu” by tama.
“She was as beautiful as a porcelain doll on that day. Like a bubble, it seemed like she would float away and disappear. So I watched her as often as I could, while pretending to look at the fish”.
That’s how the song begins, I consider it to be a perfect symbol of their frienship being immortalized, it acts as a sort of climax for their friendship while being a nice foreshadowing of the end of the movie by the presence of the train of the galactic railroad which is smart considering how they can be close to Giovanni and Campanella.
I’d say overall kinda felt close to Fantasia, even though I believe nothing can even come close to that, but the way to tackle the narrative and to be a visual wonder and a treat for the eyes certainly makes it special to me. While I don’t know the degree of involvement of Masaaki Yuasa on this project, it seems pretty clear how it could have affected him and I see it as one of his first step into creating Mind Game.
This movie might not be perfect but it did an important job for me on the emotional level with its portrayal of childhood and all its hardships. It captures everything that makes our childhood a great adventure as well as an interesting on the relation of children with with art.
If I had to really compare it to another movie to give you an idea of what it’s like, “My neighbors the Yamada” would come to mind as the perfect example of associating a seemingly simple structure and artstyle that finally gets you hard and leaves you an everlasting heartwarming memory when it’s over.
With that said, towards the end of the movie there is a turn that is laughably regressive in its gender politics. This would be easy enough to ignore if they moved past it, but the entire remainder of the film is devoted to this turn and it really tanked my enjoyment immediately.
Spoilers: A man who has proposed to his girlfriend tells her that he has decided he wants to move back to the countryside to be a farmer. He says that she should join him. She declines, reminding him both that’d they’d already previously agreed to stay in Tokyo, and that being in the big city is very valuable for her art career.
People can change their plans and break up, that’s fair. No one needs to be a villain in this scenario, it’s perfectly fine. But the man has the audacity to state that she was putting her career before their love (mind you, *he* was the one who *abruptly* changed their plans and decided to move away) and the narrative of the movie has the further audacity to act as if the woman is wrong! Maruko convinces her that she is being selfish so she relents and they get married. This is the central story of the last 20 – 30 minutes of the film. It’s inexcusably regressive even for 90s Japan, and I promise I would be willing to look past it if the movie would just *stop focusing on it*. But it refuses to, so I do too.
This movie would have been an 8/10 but the sheer maddening, prolonged stupidity it made me endure towards the end drops it to a 5/10 in my book.
29: Yes! Precure 5 Movie: Kagami no Kuni no Miracle Daibouken!
Japanese: 映画 Yes! プリキュア５ 鏡の国のミラクル大冒険！
MAL Score: 7.27
The five girls plus Coco, Nuts, and Milk all go to visit a castle-themed theme park, where they dress up as princes and princesses and go off to have a fun-filled day. However, Coco and Nuts end up kidnapped! The girls have to save them with the help of two inhabitants of the Mirror Country, Hidarin and Migirin, by battling Shadow, an evil clown, and five girls who are also from the Mirror Country that look very familiar…
We open with a strange figure on a throne giving orders to some teddy bear looking dudes. They give him a shard of glass with Nozomi’s face on it. He transfers it into a crystal causing a shadowy figure to appear. We cut to our heroines who just watched their own show and are, naturally, feeling a bit bored. They decide to head down to a Princess theme park where all the guests dress up in cosplay for some fun. Which gets disrupted when Coco & Nuts are dragged into a mirror.
The biggest issue with the narrative is just that it’s not very interesting. Yes, all the PreCure films have been quite predictable and they’re all equally guilty of following the same pattern of having the heroines dragged into a fight to save some random magic kingdom. The others, however, had some strong character moments and interactions to make them worthwhile. Because PreCure 5 is made up of bland archetypes, it just makes the usual pattern all the more noticeable. And there aren’t a lot of fun sequences to distract from it.
The film tries to have the same sense of fun that makes the PreCure films, as a whole, entertaining in spite of their formulaic nature but it doesn’t work all that well. The sense of investment just isn’t there.
They’re still archetypes. It doesn’t help that the big draw of the film involves the PreCure fighting their dark versions. In some works, they make that cliché compelling by using the dark versions to tell you something about the characters. In this case, they pretty much all win because they draw strength from their friendship. This could have legitimately been an opportunity to add some depth to the heroines but it just doesn’t happen.
In terms of character interactions, about the best we get is a scene where Komachi, Karen & Urara are just joking around. And it is kind of a fun scene, to be fair, but there’s more focus on them participating in theme activities than there is in them actually spending time with each other.
There’s not much to say about the antagonist or the inhabitants of the mirror kingdom either. The antagonist is evil & the denizens are small, plush looking creatures that are easy to kick around.
The artwork is quite nice. The action sequences have a good amount of impact and the overall designs are nicely done. It does bother me that they spend so much time on transformation sequences when the film isn’t that long. Seriously, they have an abridged transformation scene and then one where they all transform one by one and it feels like they’re trying to pad out what is, ultimately, a fairly short film.
The acting is well done. One thing I can credit PreCure 5 with is that the acting has always been better than you’d anticipate given the lack of complexity in the characters. The Dark PreCure don’t have the same actresses as their counter parts which is an interesting decision. Nishimura Chinami, Minaguchi Yuko, Kugiyama Rie, Kiuchi Reiko & Nagasawa Miki do give pretty good performances as the dark versions. The music is decent. It’s pretty much the same thing you get from the series proper, like every PreCure film.
There really isn’t any.
Areas of Improvement:
Make the victories over the dark versions more personalised. I get it, the theme of the importance of friendship and connections has to be represented. But you can still have the girls win over their dark forms in more varied ways besides just having them all rally because they have people they care about.
Cut out the long transformation sequence. Just have the girls already transformed when they enter the mirror kingdom. We don’t need two transformation sequences in this short a period of time. It just wastes our time.
Give us stronger character interactions. I know the characters are boring archetypes, but you can still provide some entertainment by giving them fun scenes. Like the aforementioned one with Komachi, Karen & Urara.
This film, ultimately, is not very good. The characters don’t have strong enough interactions or personalities to really carry it which just makes the old PreCure film formula very noticeable. I can’t say the film is bad. If you really like Yes PreCure 5, it’ll probably be a fun time for you. But for me, it was a sub-par offering. I give it a 4/10.
However, that isn’t the only bad thing about it. We will be introduced to a new character that we’ll meet for about 30 to 40 minutes and somehow we’re meant to care deeply for this same character. Instead it just looks stupid.
This movie’s strongest aspect is the casting. We have the legendary Kugimiya Rie and Park Romi giving their voices to two new characters.
I also enjoyed the humour in this movie.
It’s a 7/10 for me.
28: Aikatsu!: Nerawareta Mahou no Aikatsu! Card
Japanese: アイカツ！ ねらわれた魔法のアイカツ！カード
MAL Score: 7.27
Short anime screened alongside Aikatsu Stars! Movie. The film and the short will mark the first time the franchise is screening a double feature.
27: Precure All Stars Movie DX: Minna Tomodachi☆Kiseki no Zenin Daishuugou!
Japanese: 映画 プリキュアオールスターズDX みんなともだちっ☆奇跡の全員大集合!
MAL Score: 7.28
Love, Miki and Inori are on their way to a dance contest, but get lost on their way to Minato Mirai. Still looking for their way, they are attacked by a monster. When the three Fresh Precure girls start to fight it, other Precures show up to support them. They all have to combine their powers to win against this mighty enemy.
Welcome to that fight: the movie.
This movie cannot be enjoyed on grounds of story. It is just character moments and sakuga linked by the loosest of plots. And I do mean loosest, the final fight is structured in a way that could potentially be infuriating. The animation is cool, and the character interactions are nice, and the sound design and metal slap… but that’s all it has going for it.
26: Cardcaptor Sakura: Kero-chan ni Omakase!
MAL Score: 7.33
Following the events of Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card, Kero and Spinel share a plate of takoyaki (octopus balls). They get into a fight over who gets the last piece, and in the process send it flying out the window. They both chase the takoyaki, and each other, in a mighty effort to be the “takoyaki captor”.
I also appreciated the chance to see a bit more of Spinel. I never thought Eriol’s familiars got enough screentime to be full characters in the main series.
This is a great short.
The story is simple, the art is consistent with what everyone has come to expect from the team working on Cardcaptor Sakura, the sound is fair, and it makes for a fun little romp.
About my only complaint would be that I wasn’t particularly fond of the music choices, but that’s just my opinion.
25: 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.
24: Marmalade Boy Movie
Japanese: ママレード ボーイ (1995)
MAL Score: 7.34
A prelude to Marmalade Boy the TV series. Yuu remembers the day when his parents decided to divorce each other and remarry with another married couple. Troubled by the news, Yuu decides to take a walk, on which he spots a girl he falls in love with at first sight. He decides to follow this unaware girl and falls more in love with her. However he discovers who the girl really is…she’s the daughter of his parents’ new lovers.
Marmalade Boy the movie, take you back to the start of the anime, and show how yuu fell in love with miki, which was before miki meet yuu, which was not shown in the anime.
I really did like this a lot and it made me understand the character of Yuu a lot more. When watching the TV series I found myself frustrated at Yuu. I could not understand how he could love a girl when they had only just met, plus a lot of the time I would question what Yuu’s true feelings for her were. This movie helped me cast away all my doubts about my Yuu and made me really fall in love with the idea of Yuu/Miki. The story is brilliant. It really makes you get how Yuu felt when his family said they were getting a divorce. The shots that were showed helped understand what it is about Miki that Yuu loves so much about her. It was also great seeing other characters and what they were like before the series begun.
I definitely do think Marmalade Boy the Movie is great for those to watch who have seen Marmalade Boy. It was very sweet and funny.
23: Uta no☆Prince-sama Movie: Maji Love Kingdom
Japanese: 劇場版 うたの☆プリンスさまっ マジLOVEキングダム
MAL Score: 7.36
Starish, Quartet Night and Heavens all get roughly equal time in the spotlight here, with each unit having two songs each, one big group number at the end, and several shuffle unit songs in the middle. The songs are all immaculately crafted upbeat J-Pop perfection, which just comes with the territory. By the end I did feel the need to immediately rush to the nearest Animate and buy all the latest Utapri CDs which was the entire point of this movie so that’s a job well done there.
Um, so yeah. If you’re a diehard Utapri fan then this is worth a watch. If you don’t care then this will not sway you. I kinda zoned out at a few points myself but seeing Ranmaru on the big screen made it all worth it.
Uta no ☆Prince-Samoa Maji LOVE Kingdom is a movie that’s basically an entire concert featuring the handsome group ST ☆RISH, the sexy group QUARTET NIGHT, and the gentlemanly group HE ☆VENS. From the very beginning, we’re immediately sucked into the concert and feel like each idol is giving it their all for us specifically. The outfits look great, the vocalist choices for each mixed group song was on point, and the entire movie felt like a genuine concert, just in an anime form.
Of course, it helps to know the Uta no ☆Prince-same fandom, so if you haven’t caught up yet on all the previous seasons, we highly recommend binge watching them before watching this movie as it’ll make the heartfelt comments feel all that much sweeter. While voice actors are the voices behind anime idols, it’s still an anime and therefore some people might not like how cartoon-y the characters sound.
The songs are geared more for anime and anime theme songs, so the type of music they sing may not be for everyone despite the famous vocalists singing them.
So what’s the point in watching ? The musics and characters.
First the musics, they are all really catchy and high quality. In my opinion they are among the best of Utapri songs.
Then the characters. Have you seen the Utapri lives and the parts when the seiyuu talk with each others ? In the movie, they have little talks in a similar way, it’s very funny and heartwarming. The way they act is also faithful to their character.
In summary, this is an animated Utapri concert, with about equal time spent on the 3 groups, amazing music, no scenario, great character interactions and a good cgi. But it is also very entertaining.
If you’re an Utapri fan go immediatly watch it, it’s a must see. If you’re not but you’re interessed in anime with music why not give it a watch.
For me it’s a movie that I love watching and I would rate it guilty pleasure/10
(sorry for my english, it’s not my first language)
22: Aikatsu Stars! Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 アイカツ スターズ！
MAL Score: 7.37
The film’s plot is set in a southern island, where a Legendary Dress Audition is taking place. Nijino Yume and the others must find secret dresses said to be hidden somewhere in the island.
Well to begin with, the story was something more common than aikatsu at first, but after a while we had its difference, which was a certain drama until, which generated good discussions about the reality of being an idol that has difficult decisions, of course it is not a great plot but for the theme of the series it fits perfectly and becomes a lot of fun to watch, for now aikatsu is not yet to take very seriously, but over time I see some chance of ending up having the moment when we will need it and This really makes a good differential with the previous series that did not have that emotion.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that the animation of aikatsu is improving a lot over time to the point of being notorious, I’m not talking about improving with the years, but rather that they are investing more in the CG itself has no comparison the current compared to the previous series, and in just a few years there was not all this change, or confirming what I said, but talking about the film he was great and the animation itself was well detailed, more so than normal because it is a movie , So here should not have problems who see, more and more they are hitting the design too, which used to have some cons.
Well we are talking about aikatsu, in a matter of music is very subjective of each one even I do not like all the songs, but this particular movie has put together several songs that I liked along with a good choreography and osts that managed to catch the right moment of Scene, for this reason I do not think this will disappoint anyone in this aspect of the movie (and I do not even think the series will disappoint, just to mention it here).
Although it does not seem like a really real drama and a little forced, I can say it was very well executed, it is quite unbelievable that it worked out in a series like aikatsu, it usually had a good tendency to get really bad but luckily There was also the entrance of some interesting characters who were of important help in the protagonist in the film, so much that I would like to review them one day in the main series. So basically, although the drama seemed a bit forced at first, it was well executed and we had the entrance of characters that did not only serve to support but the most important construction of the decisions of the protagonist in some points, so the film must satisfy also here, but This was my interpretation, I believe that it depends a lot on who sees the movie.
Well has a aikatsu fan i really liked this movie, he maybe have some misses but there are more hits than mistakes, and even the fact that i see this movie in raw format i get the entire context of the film ( my japanese skills are not that high thought only for mention), well i think if you like aikatsu this movie will be really fun for you, but i atleast will say, the first movie of aikatsu in the other series are better than this, so not get that hyped if you are going to watch.
Well i have said everything that i think about the movie, sorry for my bad english i am really trying to get better in this years, and i just expect that this movie reach atleast an 7.2 in this score, for me it deserves it, but its not that a great thing to do hahahaha, maybe i an just a fanboy of this series even i do not know for sure XD
21: 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.
20: 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.”
19: Aikatsu! Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 アイカツ！アイドルカツドウ！
MAL Score: 7.46
The story of the anime revolves around Ichigo, who was just a normal middle school student until she suddenly got involved in the world of idols. The film will center on Aikatsu!’s greatest “Super Live” concert yet, the Dai Star Miya Ichigo Matsuri. Ichigo prepares for the concert with press conferences, last-minute lessons, and more.
The main TV series has certainly seen its share of criticism over the past couple years, and I can’t say that most of that criticism is wrong. But considering the main complaint regarding Aikatsu has been its repetitiveness over time, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that its movie is a far more exciting package than the typical episode. It is not constrained by the show’s episodic formula, so there is much more freedom to explore the characters here. And it does so on a far bigger stage.
It also helps that it focuses primarily on a central group of characters (the Ichigo, Aoi, Ran trio) rather than the dozens of side characters, even if they do all show up for a brief amount of time. Aikatsu has always been strongest when it focuses on those three rather than the side characters who are more or less just walking catchphrases. That’s not to say that all of them are that way (Seira is a pretty interesting character, for example), but I can’t say I ever enjoyed it all that much when an episode would focus on someone like Otome rather than Aoi and Ichigo. They’re still here, but not really. It’s Ichigo’s story.
The movie has its share of emotional moments as well. It isn’t aiming to make anyone tear up, as it would rather deliver something heart-warming rather than sad or dramatic. It works best that way, too, I think. Compared to other idol anime such as Idolmaster which veer very much into drama territory at times (and largely fail at it due to the huge, jarring juxtaposition between happy-happy slice-of-life and the characters screaming in angst), Aikatsu feels far more honest with itself. It’s precisely because the emotional moments are natural that they even feel emotional in the first place.
I just wish they could have done this without relying on the Ichigo and Mizuki rivalry. It was a nice way to give Ichigo a push into the idol world at the start of the series, but this late into the game it just feels unnecessary. Mizuki isn’t a very exciting character in the first place: she’s ‘perfect’, popular, everyone loves her, blah blah– the typical shoujo rival who lacks any real personality of her own. I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that the series would benefit from her disappearing for a while. Ichigo is so far above her at this point that I honestly have to wonder if there’s something wrong with Mizuki’s in-show fans.
Aikatsu’s movie is oozing with visual charm, from its colourful art style to the girls’ performance on the big stage. The movie’s CG is a huge step-up from the TV series, and especially from its beginning episodes where it was genuinely distracting (and just a little bit creepy). It blends in just fine here. I’d even go as far as to say it looks nice. There’s none of the usual stilted animation and abysmal frame-rate that you typically find from CG in anime; the girls move and dance naturally. There’s also a few subtle details in the animation of the movie’s quieter moments, like Aoi listening to a conversation and nearly spilling her ice cream, that add to the ‘movie’ feeling and help the characters feel more alive and authentic.
The only real flaw with regards to the movie’s presentation is that the music is largely the same as the TV series. Considering the massive episode count of the TV series and the fact that the girls perform a song at the end of each and every episode, the music does get pretty stale after a while. There’s really not much that can be done about this with regards to the TV series (a new song every few weeks would require an astronomical budget), but it would have been nice if the movie had an all-new soundtrack, or at least something a bit closer to it. The few new tracks that are there, however, are among the series’ best.
I would not recommend watching this movie without having sufficient experience with the TV series, but I suppose it can be done if you’re wondering what the hell the series is about and perhaps don’t want to watch 140+ episodes in order to find out. Just do keep in mind that the characters are the source of the series’ enjoyment, and without any attachment to them I’m not entirely sure you’ll get all that much out of the movie.
Compared to most shoujo anime which focus on teenage drama and abusive relationships, Aikatsu conveys themes far more valuable: friendship, family, and bringing happiness to others. I don’t think Aikatsu is necessarily something you’ll be watching for its themes (they’re subtle enough that you may not even notice or care about them), but these details do succeed in making it a much more positive presence in the anime industry than most of what gets shoved at girls these days. And guys, too. The anime industry needs more Aikatsu and less harem-teenagers-superpowers-savetheworld nonsense that encompasses half of the anime airing today. Aikatsu is not deep or brilliant or anything of the sort; it’s simply excellent entertainment, which is more than even most ‘serious’ anime can say.
And really, Aikatsu is the kind of show that I could recommend to anyone without hesitation. Unless you value your masculinity more than anything else (in which case there might be some insecurity issues at play), Aikatsu being primarily aimed at 12-year-old girls shouldn’t have any impact on your enjoyment of it. It’s a better slice-of-life than just about anything that comes out these days, and the movie especially so. The idol aspect really isn’t that important. Aikatsu is much more than that.
There’s also Aoi, and Aoi is a blessing upon the world. Yep.
The story is really simple. Ichigo is planning and producing with her friends a festival with her name, so she has to search for a good song and a new dress. This time, is a good opportunity to see all Aikatsu characters all around at the same time. So, movie is set up between season 2 and 3, so new characters like Yuri or Madoka doesn’t count.
Talking about the characters the only ones that have really development are two. The first one is Mizuki. In this movie for unique time we see what is afraid of and some of here doubts of being an idol. I can’t say more because it will be some sopilers, so… let’s continue. Ichigo is a person that anybody can admire. She knows that she can’t do things alone, so, she accepts help of anyone so this is a good thing if you want to succeed, and she does in this movie.
If I am honest the music is good, while watching the movie, a lot of Aikatsu past songs return, so, if you like idol music you can sing with the characters. Basically the festival is only to show how many song Aikatsu has. The music is enjoyable, fun and invite you to dance with the characters. But personally if you hear too much those songs later you can get tired.
The problem with this movie is that it focused only on Ichigo and that’s why I got mad with the movie at the first time I watch it. Why only Ichigo? Aikatsu have plenty of other Idols. Maybe a group festival… But thinking it, Ichigo is the first protagonist of the series, is her story, not the others (well, yes, but Ichigo is the important one). So, It is good that the movie protagonist is Ichigo. If you have this on mind you will enjoy the movie, just like me at the second round I watched it.
Overall is a 7. It is good, have an average animation, not too different of the main tv series, it doesn’t have anything new things to anime. It is only a good opportunity to hear many Aikatsu songs all gathered. This and watch a conclusion on Ichigo and Mizuki idol activities, for now.
At the start of this movie, Ichigo recieves a chance to take one big step in the world of idols with the organization of a super live event, and we follow her and all the friends (and somewhat rivals, but they are more friends than anything and I love that) that she made along the way to make it an unforgettable experience for everyone.
The pacing of this movie was fantastic and kept me hooked from start to end, seeing them prepare everything, mixing the comedy from the characters, the heartwarming moments of appreciation between them (and the people, like the designers, who brings them all the help to shine), and the struggles that happen during the preparation of such events, all leading to to the fantastic live event that made me feel like if I was there with the rest of the audience between all the songs and some surprises along the way.
This movie also touched a lot a theme that I love from this series: finding the inspiration for a dream thanks to another person. Mizuki is so important for Ichigo after changing her life making her want to enter the world of idols at the start of the TV series, and the appreciation and admiration that Ichigo feels towards her reaches me, we see that in a very satisfying way in this movie both for this two characters, and also for Akari towards Ichigo as the generations of idols keep passing and the younger characters find inspiration on the ones we have seen grow during the series.
The visuals are an improvement in comparison to the main series, with the CGI of the dance scenes delivering hard as usual, the improvement the series made on this part from the start of the series to now is impressing. In terms of songs, outside of few (and great) exceptions, the movie reuses ones from the main series, I personally don’t mind that at all since that made me sing along with the characters when they played, only making the “concert experience” even better.
I really like pixel art and the movie caught me off guard with the ending, playing the main OPs and EDs that didn’t show up before during the movie together with the pixel visuals, too good.
This movie was everything I wanted it to be coming from Aikatsu and I couldn’t be more satisfied. Definitely a must watch for any fan of the TV series.
18: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal Movie 1
Japanese: 劇場版 美少女戦士セーラームーンEternal
MAL Score: 7.46
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal serves as the fourth installment in Toei Animation’s reboot of Naoko Takeuchi’s original magical girl manga. The sequel was announced in January 2017 as a part of the franchise’s 25th anniversary and later confirmed to be a two-part anime film covering the Dream arc.
(Source: MAL News)
To put it simple – technically breathtaking. Looks gorgeous, smooth and frickin’ beautiful. Definitely best looking Sailor Moon installment ever and may be as well the best installment (or very, very close one, even it has some flaws) in general.
But there’s no suprise, movie adapts best arc of the manga and follows it strictly (considering runtime and the cuts, of course), after all this is what makes remake of Sailor Moon better, or supposed to as Crystal had some really big issues with proper execution and pacing, following the source in the stricter matter isn’t always best.
Movie fixes what didn’t really work in the Crystal series from the technical point of view, especially animation and awful CGI, nah, no more shite. The movie shines, attacking with pastel color palette and some of the best and smoothest animation I’ve seen in this series. Plus it’s bloody gorgeous, it’s amazingly beautiful and colorful. Designs are, finally, executed to the point, flawless and frickin’ hot. I waited years to get what I got. In the technical quality terms. It’s just hot.
Dead Moon arc is the best (and considerably darkest) arc in manga and was already adapted in Sailor Moon SuperS from 1995, which is one of my least favourites Sailor Moon installments, probably cuz of my high expectations and, well, love to the original. But well, here we are focused on Chiba-Usa and unlike previous adaptation she finally shines and is not small annoying cunt which u wanna smash every single time she pop up on the screen.
Character development is smoothly continued from the Crystal III plus Dead Moon Circus ain’t annoying no more as well, beauty. And the whole writing is finally focused on the story and proper arc execution. However few cuts are feeleable and unnecessary, that’s unfortunate payment for making it into two part movie and probably 3 hour long runtime for the whole arc. It might actually work.
Soundtrack is hot as fuck, main theme song is now my all-time favourite Sailor Moon song. And seiyuu work is an work of art, no suprise here tho.
Is it having a problems? Well, yeah, it’s rushed a bit, first movie clearly building hype for the second part, which is good, but as well losing it’s clarity and pacing once or twice. I would add about 20 minutes runtime to properly focus on Dead Moon Circus as intentions of them were always, well, bit childish, so good ‘ol more detailed backstory would help, on the other hand second part will bring closure (I hope) for questions and, well, will leave doors open for the final arc – STARS. But I’m afraid, that future of it lies in the movies success. And none of the 3 screenings I’ve been earlier today were full, in fact one of em was pretty empty. I guess tomorrow families will strike the cinemas. I honestly hope so.
But is it a good movie? By all means – yes. It’s the best Sailor Moon ever, even after the cuts, rushing it still manages to be a great entertainment, especially for mahou shoujo fans. And definitely for Sailor Moon fans. But it is as well for die hard fans and them alone (except kids of course, which are main audience of this franchise), it’s impossible to get into this movie without watching Crystal and will be completely out of space if someone will watch this movie by chance. But it ain’t nothing bad, it’s just how it is, the sequel after all.
It’s a very good movie. And do not disappont. IT LOOKS FUCKING AMAZING, one of the most colorful movies I’ve seen in quite a time. My Sailor Moon nerd inside is satisfied and happy. I think this is the most important and key in my final rating. It’s simply amazing.
I’ll try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible. When I’ll have to be more specific, I’ll keep spoilers as vague as I can.
The Dream arc is often regarded as the best Sailor Moon arc for its fairytale-like plot and the focus on internalized thoughts and feelings for many of our beloved characters. This movie adaption didn’t shy away from any of these factors. Being 80 minutes long, the pace is definitely fast and it’s up to you if you like it or not. The separate stories of the Inners have by default an episodic manner, and I’d like to see them fleshed out for a little longer and have their formula altered to make it more cinematic. However, the message is there, they are well done and they deliver emotionally. I find it very impressive how there aren’t any cuts really. On the contrary, some comedic and emotional scenes are prolonged. Chiaki Kon, the director, truly saved Crystal, starting from S3. Props to Fudeyasu Kazuyuki, the new scriptwriter, too.
STUNNING character designs. Kazuko Tadano truly saved the reboot. These eyes are impeccable, the expression is back. Obvious upgrade in quality since the first 2 seasons of Crystal and definitely an upgrade from S3 as well when it comes to consistency. The animation standard is more or less the same with S3, which is good. S3’s Precure essence (which I didn’t mind) is gone. SM feels completely like SM again. There are a few mediocre moments, mostly regarding motion, but they’re far from bad or being an eye sore and it’s the first time that far-off shots of the characters are consistently well-drawn and the background art is absolutely beautiful. The watercolored backgrounds are everywhere now, with much detail and depth in color, shading and lighting. Oh yes, the lighting, those eyes and faces SPARKLE. There are many stunning shots and breathtaking scenes (Ami-chan, you deserve it, you’ll see what I mean if you watch the movie lol). Such a treat.
Crystal always did well with music. I feel like it matches the atmosphere of the manga amazingly. However, this is Takanashi Yasuharu at his best. Helios and Chibiusa’s theme is so ethereal and romantic, I love the use of flute, Nehelenia’s theme is so bewitching and dark, the theme for the Amazoness Quarted is absolutely adorable and I absolutely love the theme music for Sailor Moon, Chibi Moon & the Inners. The slight melancholy of it is everything. So bittersweet and dreamy. Venus’ little theme is a also a treat. Same for the battle theme.
Crystal 1-2 cut so many goofs and individuality from the Inners. S3 brought the fun back, however, the focus wasn’t on them based on the plot. This time, both the plot and the adaption let us see them interact, feel, be goofy and think. The group feels real and I’m particularly happy for Rei, who got so snubbed in S1-2. She’s still rather quiet and not nearly as energetic and attention-grabbing as other incarnations of her, but we finally get to see a solid character. They did an amazing job dealing with Chibiusa’s Electra complex and jealousy towards Usagi, without pettiness and drama. You truly feel for her and you absolutely love how motherly Usagi is towards her, despite the occasional dorkiness. Mamoru has been good in Crystal since the start, much better than the jerk turned lifeless 40 yo dad in the 90s, but awkward direction choices in S1-2 made him a little creepy to me (a little pushy/predatory). None of that is here. He feels like such a soft and sensitive guy and I can finally root for his relationship with Usagi. You see them grow by being together and communicating. HELIOS IS NOT A SECRETIVE CREEP AND CLEARLY CHIBIUSA’S AGE THANK GOD. The Amazoness Quartet absolutely shines from the villains, they are so quirky and spirited. I also love the Amazon Trio, despite being short-lived, especially how there is a small climax regarding emotional depth. This little climax and extra humanity was a great addition the adaption made. The highlight of the film imo. It’s like with each battle of the Trio, the next in line becomes more human. Hawk’s Eye I LOVE YOU. I absolutely love their redemption in the 90s, but they were great monsters of the day here, and that’s how you should treat them imo. Zirconia is a creepy old witch blindly following orders, what’s new ;p Nehelenia through the shadows was as intimidating as I had hoped. We’ll see more of her in the next part.
The thing with Sailor Moon is that, even when there are flaws, the enjoyment never dies. Well, besides S1-2 a bit imo but anyway, let’s ignore that. There is something so endearing about this story and its characters that you can’t help but root for them. And this continues with Eternal. The spirit of the franchise is back for good.
There is soul, there is fun, there is fairytale, there is beauty and despite a few imperfect ends, the final product delivers a fun ride and you can feel the love put into it.
So the dream arc is generally considered as a fluffy and fun, light interlude to the stars arc where things get extremely dark. As a result the story is less serious and offers some backstory and world building, highlts the individual guardians, with this firts movie focusing on the inners and offers some fun character fanservice (not the lewd kind). Each guardian gets a chance to shine against the dead moon circus and pices of their past and dreams are revealed. It’s basically what crystal was lacking do to its pacing problem, cuts and bad changes. If you love the inner guardians, you’ll love the content this movie offers.
Alas, for all this movie does right, it’s tight run time hinders it. The film goes by at a rapid pace. You’ll want to give it your full attention so you don’t miss anything. Sadly the movie, much like crystal cuts some fun moments, as well as some backstory and explanatory content. If your left slightly confused by anything, I encourage you to give the manga a read to fill in the blanks. My honest oppinion though is that you’ll comprehend everything fine.
For example, I believe this will be the first time in crystal we see Rei’s grandfather. Which is rather tragic considering he was supposed to have appeared at least once before. For those of you who are familiar with the 90’s anime, the manga grandpa is quite different in both design and personality. Sadly Rei’s arc also slightly suffers from not having had Cassablanca memories adapted into either anime story. It’s a side story that greatly expand on her background and character. It would offer a little context to the information we’re given in this movie for her background.
For those of you wondering, Helios and chibiusa are portrayed excellently here. Their romance is truly a highlight and a personal favorite of mine. The old anime dragged out his reveal for far too long but the dream arc quickly reveals him to be a young boy and not a horse. Hopefully this will appease those who took issue with their romance in the old anime. Id also like to point out that both him and chibiusa are centuries old, but in the bodies of a 10 year old and 13 year old (give or take a year or 2). Just want to shut that discussion down fast.
Now the soundtrack, anyone feeling nostalgic should definitly watch the credits. An update on Baby baby love plays after the first song. If you want those 90s chibiusa x Helios feels give it a listen. Then go on youtube and search sailor moon love is in ny heart for the english dub version. The original singer recently uploaded some clean performances for it and a few other songs she did. I also encourage you to check out the official sound track of the movie. It has some great character songs like Minako’s I want to be an idol and a duet between chibiusa and Helios.
I’ll see you over on part 2. I keep some of the review the same but switch out the parts that focused on part 1 for part 2.
17: Precure All Stars Movie DX3: Mirai ni Todoke! Sekai wo Tsunagu☆Nijiiro no Hana
Japanese: 映画 プリキュアオールスターズDX3 未来に届け!世界をつなぐ☆虹色の花
MAL Score: 7.49
Precure 10th Anniversary Movie and 3rd Precure All Stars DX. Enemies are from all the Precure works.
Sound and visuals are good and the story is decent, too. However, the issue I have with this movie is the pace. With so many characters, the show introduces the newest Precures to the rest very rapidly and in a satisfying way. The movie also wastes no time to show you some action and drama. Pretty quickly you’re hooked into what you’re watching on the screen. Each Precure from each season gets its own spotlight and moment to shine and the interactions between characters from different seasons were enjoyable as well.
However, what I was liking the most was the action this movie had. Loads of attacks, combos, villains, precure teams, … explosions, magic beams, shields, power ups, etc. I was super into the fight sequences… and then the movie just stops when there’s still another 30 minutes left. It’s like every character is in slow motion walking and talking, trying to create this dramatic atmosphere that was completely unecessary and ruined the momentum the movie had and never picks it up again.
It’s a shame but the 2nd half of the movie ruined the entire experience for me. It’s a 4/10.
16: Haikara-san ga Tooru Movie 1: Benio, Hana no 17-sai
Japanese: 劇場版 はいからさんが通る 前編 ～紅緒、花の17歳～
MAL Score: 7.49
The story follows Benio “Haikara-san” Hanamura, who lost her mother when she was very young and has been raised by her father, a high-ranking official in the Japanese army. As a result, she has grown into a tomboy—contrary to traditional Japanese notions of femininity, she studies kendo, drinks sake, dresses in often outlandish-looking Western fashions instead of the traditional kimono, and is not as interested in housework as she is in literature. She also rejects the idea of arranged marriages and believes in a woman’s right to a career and to marry for love.
This is like when you fall in love with a girl, dated, but then before you fucked her you somehow realized that she has aids.
It’s also quite a bit of a surprise that this strikes a resemblance to Violet Evergarden. It is set in a historical war, there’s the “lost the one you loved” cliche, and so forth. The fact that this movie messed up triggers me so bad, I had to imagine that it didn’t even exist.
If you’re looking for a historical Shoujo “Drama” then this might be just for you. It’s good but you must be prepared for the second movie because that one is dogshit.
p.s. I gave this 10/10 because I’m assuming that the second movie doesn’t exist.
The story is put-together enjoyable and the art of storytelling has been made in a very lovely way. The transition between different scenes was often in such a smooth way that you just had to smile at how it was done. As the genre allocation of this anime says Comedy, Historical, Romance, and Shoujo, you get exactly that. I laughed or smiled a lot, while I was watching this movie and as I experienced it at the cinema I was surely not the only one with this expression aka impression of this movie. The historical aspects are also depicted quite well and one or the other scene reminded me of pictures I’ve seen before (in preparation for a presentation I made) about this era. Also, I haven’t seen such a pure romance shoujo for a while, which means some scenes have been worked out almost unrealistically perfect or smooth. But still very enjoyable and sweet. For sure something recommendable for romanticists.
The art was clean, consistent and very lovely. I wouldn’t describe it as the most artistic outstanding work ever, but it really was enjoyable. As I’ve seen this movie only once yet, I cannot further go into detail with this point.
The creators have taken great care of this production. The character design and composition also make it very enjoyable.
As it is Part 1 out of two movies, the story is not yet concluded but the first movie is in its own a great work and is not only the introduction to a bigger following story.
(Like some other multi-part movies have been created.)
OR WAS IT?!
Apparently, someone decided this story deserved a second chance, rightfully so, and decided to make a bold move: Revive the series! But instead of making it into another TV series, they decided to adapt it into two movies. Not only that, they completely changed the art style to make it appeal to modern anime audiences, with a new look and coat of paint. Having seen the first movie myself now that I have the first Blu-Ray, I can wholeheartedly say that whoever decided this anime deserved a second chance did an awesome job of bringing it back to life, even with its flaws. Because this movie is awesome and I absolutely can’t wait for the second movie to come out!
The story takes place in the 1910s-1920s, during the Taisho era, focusing on Benio Hanamura, a happy-go-lucky, ambitious young woman and the daughter of a high ranking military officer in the Japanese Army. She lost her mother when she was young, and as a result, has become quite the stubborn, individualistic tomboy, in stark contrast to the strict idea of the “good wife, wise mother” ideal of womanhood. She studies kendo, drinks sake, dresses in Western clothes, and ardently believes that a woman should be free to choose who they themselves want to marry instead of being forced to accept arranged marriages. When she finds she’s been betrothed to a man she knows nothing about, a handsome, sweet natured man named Shinobu Ijuuin, Benio tries everything she can to get out of it, from deliberately messing up her chores and housework (Which isn’t hard, since she sucks at housework anyway) to trying to set him up with her best friend, who actually likes him. But things don’t always go the way she wants them to, and circumstances might just make her realize that things might be better than she thinks.
Now, the original manga is eight volumes long, so it can be hard to try and cram so much material into two movies, much less one. Many movies have tried this and failed miserably. As of this writing, I haven’t seen the second movie yet (Though I do want to, and I’m definitely getting the Blu-Ray once it comes out!), so the review will focus solely on the first one for now. But even with the movie’s overly condensed, compressed nature, there’s a lot of things that it manages to do really well. One of those things is the animation and the character designs. As you can see, both the original manga and the anime from the 70s have VERY dated designs, with washed out colors, exaggerated sparkly eyes, huge lips, and some weird-looking, gonky faces sometimes. The producers for the new movies radically updated the character designs, making them sharper, cleaner, and more modern but still keeping it true to the shoujo aesthestic, with huge doe eyes, large eyelashes, and the men having some feminized features. The animation is beautiful, with smooth movement, lovely backgrounds and backdrops that really enhance the mood of various scenes, and it even has the characters make comedic, goofy faces like in the original Sailor Moon anime, and it works really well here.
I’m kind of biased when it comes to the soundtrack, as it’s done by one of my favorite anime composers, Michiru Oshima, who’s worked on a lot of my favorite anime such as Nabari no Ou, My Sister Momoko, Fancy Lala, Snow White with the Red Hair, the live-action Sailor Moon series, and many others. But you probably know her for her work on the original Fullmetal Alchemist, Little Witch Academia, Tatami Galaxy, and more recently, Bloom Into You. Yet again, she hits a home run with the soundtrack here, with oboes and violins that perfectly fit the quaint, romantic feel of the movie, but never to the point of getting obnoxious or overbearing, something that few soundtracks can boast.
I do have some mixed feelings about the characters, which is inevitable considering this manga tries to cram several volumes of manga into one/two movies. I will say that Benio is a relatively good lead character: She has a lot of character flaws, such as being a little too stubborn and argumentative, which can make her come across as bratty at first, but the movie never takes these traits too far to the point of making her come off as obnoxious or a bitch. Plus, while she does eventually fall in love with Shinobu, she still keeps her self-sufficient, independent personality, taking charge of her own fate. She’s an intriguing, three-dimensional character with plenty of strengths, weaknesses, and perfectly carries the movie, something which is sorely needed in the anime industry as of right now. The other characters, on the other hand, aren’t as lucky in this department. They’re all decent enough, and I love the whole ensemble, but because the movie rushes through everything, they don’t get fleshed out like Benio does, so every scene they’re in lacks emotional impact. Shinobu in particular comes off as way too perfect. His patience for Benio is saintly, he’s always nice and kind, never pressures Benio into doing anything she doesn’t want to, supports her in everything, and there isn’t a bad bone in his body. Now, don’t get me wrong, normally I love these kinds of characters, and considering that most shoujo manga/anime tend to give those kinds of characters the shaft in favor of portraying people who IRL would be considered domestic abusers in a romantic, sympathetic light, we need more characters like Shinobu. But the problem with him here is that he doesn’t have any flaws. You can’t make a character that audiences will like if you don’t give him any flaws or traits that he needs to deal with or overcome, and the only time we see him have to deal with a character flaw is at the very end, so it winds up coming way too late. Eh, maybe the next movie will rectify this. I hope it does, because as much as I like Shinobu, you can’t deny that he’s rather vanilla and too perfect for his own good.
But none of these things detract from my enjoyment of the movie as a whole. Many scenes had me on the floor laughing a lot of the time, and in a really good way. The animation is luscious, the music is great, I love all the characters despite the movie being unable to develop them and flesh them out, and I’m really excited to see the next movie. I guess all of the movie’s problems can be attributed to its format: Movies are typically better suited for standalone stories, and trying to cram 10 volumes of manga into two movies won’t yield very good results if you want to tell a whole story. Scenes have to be cut out and you have to compress other parts in order to tell the story you want to tell. As far as Haikara-san is concerned, despite its initial missteps, I think the producers did extremely well with what they had and did the best they could to do what they needed to do here. It’s a sweet, heartwarming romantic comedy that’s sure to get a laugh out of you and take you to a time long past.
All in all, while made missteps in its presentation, Haikara-san part one is definitely one of the better romances I’ve seen this year, and I normally tend to dislike romance. Now to (impatiently)eagerly wait for the next movie to come out on Blu-Ray!
15: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS: Sailor 9 Senshi Shuuketsu! Black Dream Hole no Kiseki
English: Sailor Moon SuperS the Movie: Black Dream Hole
Japanese: 美少女戦士 セーラームーン SuperS セーラー9戦士集結! ブラック ドリーム ホールの奇跡
MAL Score: 7.54
Everywhere around the world, the children sleep. Unaware of danger lurking in the shadows. But tonight, a strange darkness floats in the wind. And the children, one by one, begin to disappear. It seems to be a supernatural force that feeds on their dreams. The evil queen, Badiyanu, and her loyal fairies assist in using the “Black Dream Hole” to swallow the earth. It is up to Sailor Moon and the Sailor Soldiers to prevent the approaching Darkness.
After BSSM S, which highlights Chibi-Usa’s friendship with Tomoe Hotaru, there came BSSM SuperS which also focused on Chibi-Usa… in almost every episode. Thinking one couldn’t possibly tire of this pink-haired loud-mouthed girl, here is an enitre movie dedicated to her.
The story is weak compared to its two predecessors. The idea of fairies that kidnap children seems pretty contrived… in regards to forcing a plot that will center around Chibi-Usa. It introduces characters such as Peruru and Badiyanu who are hollow in character and mere plot-triggers.
The art quality is superb. As the third movie with a large budget, animators can afford to try new and more complicated angles, which may bother some people as the shots can be considered a little too ambitious.
The soundtrack is lacking when compared to the S or R movie. Badiyanu’s persistent laughter is very irritating, moreso than what is usual for the Evil Villianess character-type. And she laughs so often you want to shoot yourself. The theme song "Morning Moon" is introduced and it is a light and fitting song, a great addition to the other movies’ ending themes.
There is virtually no Character Development. The story presents a conflict and the Sailor Senshi must resolve it. The end.
The Enjoyment and Overall quality of this movie is average. Its delicious eye-candy but the plot fails to draw you in.
Story: 7 It could have been creative and hilarious with its villains, instead it was just overall very poorly explained. I liked the fact that they kept the dream theme connection to the SuperS season, but it just makes the movie in general more confusing in a number of matters. One being Pluto’s unexplained appearance.
Art: 10 The art was very colorful, and rich. It’s very obvious the movie was mostly centered on Mini Moon or Chibi Moon with the young kids singing the theme, along with the candy and fairy looking villains.
Sound 6: I overall always love the music of Sailor Moon, but the music in this movie was just fruity and overall childish. Asides from the transformation music, the rest of the songs were forgettable.
Character: Again, this movie is obviously centered on Mini Moon, but while she is useful in the SuperS season, she’s just a powerless princess in this movie. Sailor Moon, her team and Tuxedo Mask’s appearance in this movie was to serve as the heroes that Chibi Moon wasn’t being. I really expected Chibi Moon to be more of a help with the movie being centered on kids and dreams.
As for her sudden new “friendship” with the movie’s new character. With her constant interest in someone else in the SuperS season, getting a new crush out of nowhere in this movie just made me gag. His background wasn’t explained well enough either.
Enjoyment: 8 Although this movie had me laughing at it’s villains and certain other moments. It definitely was my least favorite of the Sailor Moon movies.
Overall: A nice movie for Sailor Moon fans.
14: Hug tto! Precure Futari wa Precure Movie: All Stars Memories
Japanese: 映画 HUGっと！プリキュア ふたりはプリキュア オールスターズメモリーズ
MAL Score: 7.55
A vengeful teru teru bozu-like monster called Miden is stealing all of the Cures’ magical powers and memories, turning them into helpless infants, barring Nagisa Misumi and Hana Nono. They must help the affected Cures to regain their abilities and fight off this new menace.
Quality action, hilarity, emotional moments. You’ll generally find this in any Precure movie and this one does all of these things well. Watching all the Precure roll around as babies was great. The lengthy scene that goes back through all of the Precure series as they fight is really cool and emotional. There is a CGI element to this movie that might throw off some viewers but I personally thought it looked pretty good not just for CG but in general. You get to see some angles and curves you don’t usually see on the drawn material.
Check it out, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
The first half is entirely hand-drawn animation, and primarily focuses on the Hugtto and Futari Wa Precure casts. It gives off a similar vibe to Hugtto itself, so if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll probably enjoy this just to see the characters you like again, and in a new context (that being that most of them are turned into babies for a short while).
The second half switches to full CG animation, which while not looking extremely impressive, given just how much action is portrayed in this second half, along with the fact that it brings in every(!) Precure from past seasons to do an attack or two, it’s likely we wouldn’t have got such a blowout without resorting to this, and all things considered, they use the models and camera movements in a dynamic enough way that the action is still satisfying throughout, with some fun character moments thrown in for good measure.
The plot is nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. If you’re watching this movie, it should be to see all the Precure in a single movie, or at the very least, to see the Hugtto/Futari Wa casts a bit more (beyond those two, the other Precure mostly just show up for a minute or two to do an attack then fade into the background). The fact that this is a children’s movie becomes quite apparent at a few specific moments where the audience is literally instructed to cheer the Precure on with an item that was handed out in Japanese theaters, which could put some people off given that’s not how anybody is going to be watching the movie at this point, but I honestly found that element charming in spite of how cheesy it was.
All in all, if you just like the Precure characters and want to see some fun moments with them along with some pretty cool action, and don’t mind a barebones plot and half of the movie switching to a CG artstyle, this is easy to recommend as something quick and easy to throw on and have a good time with (it’s only about 75 minutes long). The more Precure you’ve seen the more inclined you’ll be to enjoy this, but even as a casual fan, I found a lot of simple fun in it.
In other words, this thing is created with the only purpose of selling toys to “kids”… Even if the great majority of people watching this franchise by this time are grown-up men (That’s not really something bad… well, kinda)
Pretty Average… It follows the formula of a kid’s movie pretty close.
A villain appears, do something evil, the heroes of the movie have to discover what is going on, there is a lot of light comedy and light music, not a true tension and a happy ending for the kids because the writers don’t want they to cry.
It becomes boring with the time, because of how predictable all it was, the plot obviously has conveniences, like “Kids, cheer up your favorite Cure and it will win”, because it is supposed to be for little kids.
There’s no true emotional impact, the main reason why the bad guy is bad came out of nowhere, and it is resolved out of nowhere… a complete leak of tension.
The only part when things became a little more entertainment was when the battle scenes show up, the animation was nice, the sound effects were nice… Was just brain-dead fun action.
For everything else, nothing is really unique or has an impact.
There are the typical archetypes with absolutely no-development.
The 55 warriors only appear for a couple of minutes in the movie, the main characters are only living the adventure, they really don’t show us how they feel… Maybe just for a little minute, but it felt rushed and a little bit forced.
There’s a couple of Yuri references in some scenes for the Otaku fans that are watching this movie. it is kind of distracting.
It was actually pretty good, the CGI was particularly impressive in the movie, with the movement of the characters, the colors, the backgrounds, the scales, the designs… It was really impressive and outstanding in terms of presentation.
But that doesn’t make the movie better.
Nothing really stands out, the voice acting is generic, the music is fine, and the sound effects kind of cool… but nothing more.
In general, it is your typical average kid’s movie with nothing really special in it… With the big differences that the great majority of people watching this are grown-up men.
13: Majo Minarai wo Sagashite
MAL Score: 7.57
27-year-old Tokyo office worker Mire Yoshizuki just returned to Japan, while 22-year-old fourth-year college student Sora Nagase aspires to be a teacher, and 20-year-old boyish Reika Kawatani is a part-time Hiroshima okonomiyaki shop worker and freelancer. What draws together these three women from completely different walks of life is a magic gem. A “New Magical Story” begins when they are mysteriously brought together by chance and embark on a journey.
If you want to watch this movie or are curious about it, there is a chance you have seen the TV series. To those, I warn: this story is not about the magical girls. It is about being inspired by the Doremi series. The movie is through and through about the three protagonists: Mire, Reika, and Sora. The trio is very well fleshed out and developed in the movie. They are completely different young women who by coincidence meet and bond once they discover they are all big fans of Ojamajo Doremi.
Initially I was a bit disappointed with the movie since the movie occasionally hints that the magical girls might appear, but we must realize that it has been 15 years since the ending of the last season of the TV series. This movie was made for everyone. For those who have never seen the show and maybe make them curious about it. And for the ones who did watch it a long time ago (or maybe recently), it is easy to connect to the trio of protagonists since you can easily see the philosophy of the show incorporated into them. We see how much they still love the show despite so many years have gone by.
Overall, it is a decent movie that can be seen by anyone. Despite the absence of a magical setting, the movie really captures the incantation and the storytelling of such a remarkable TV show for kids.
Now, for any Doremi fans expecting this to be a new movie about the girls, you’re out of luck. It’s not about fighting an evil queen, there’s literally no magic at all, and the girls we’ve come to know and love aren’t the focus of the movie. This is because Ojamajo Doremi, in this movie, is a show that the three main characters watched and are fans of. Kind of like how Digimon Tamers made the first and second seasons into a show the main kids in that show watch. Anyway, the story centers on three very different women, living very different lives, and having to deal with various problems. Reika is a young woman trying to make ends meet and get into college, but is stuck in part-time jobs, her lazy boyfriend is constantly stealing her hard-earned money, and she herself is reeling from her family’s divorce. Sora, a college student, is struggling with training to become a teacher, as she got too caught up in trying to help a special needs child, and begins to question whether she’s fit to be a teacher. Mire works at a trade company, but is constantly belittled and degraded by her bosses for being a woman and for speaking her mind, and they waste no time taking all the credit for her achievements. The three find themselves meeting at a real life location used in their favorite show, and after finding out they’re all fans of the Doremi anime, they decide to indulge in some anime tourism in order to find reprieve from their troubled lives and find solace in each other’s company. It becomes an experience that the three of them will never forget.
For anyone wondering, although the movie is filled to the brim with references to the show and its characters, you don’t need to have seen the show in order to enjoy this movie, thankfully. The movie tells its own original story about three completely new characters, all adults, and how they become friends through their shared love of their favorite children’s show, and the hardships they face and overcome along the way. Basically, it’s a low-key, slice-of-life road trip anime movie…and honestly, I really like this approach, as not only does it allow the movie to stand as its own entity without relying too much on the Doremi brand, so that it doesn’t alienate newcomers, it also presents relatable conflicts and storylines that people in positions similar to the main trio can sympathize with. Even without the Doremi connection, this is a movie about the friendships you forge through shared passions and helping each other. The same story can be told using nearly any other anime one can find, but it’s often more poignant when children’s shows are involved. I mean, who hasn’t befriended someone because they liked the same TV show? That’s basically how I tried forging friendships as a kid, and I still do to this day! It really hits home whether you’re into Ojamajo Doremi or not, and that kind of universal appeal is just amazing to me.
A lot of animation staff from the original series returned to make this movie, and although I haven’t seen much of the series, I can recognize it’s animation style from miles away, and based on stuff the staff worked on after this, such as Heartcatch Pretty Cure, it’s very easy to recognize. Large, sparkly eyes, exaggerated cartoony expressions and movements for comedic scenes, zany animation, fluid and smooth movement, thick linework, all of it is on display here, and it surprisingly fits the movie’s overall tone quite well. Animation isn’t always about having great artwork or having the biggest budget, but being able to bring the characters to life, and I think the animators who worked on this pulled that off wonderfully. It helps that the background art is very pleasing to the eyes, filled to the brim with color and detail, and consistently excellent all around. The soundtrack is no slouch either, with no shortage of great tunes and a whole variety of instruments like saxophones, oboes, full on-orchestras, and every single piece of background music absolutely rocked. Also, the movie contains a much slower, more melancholy version of the first TV anime’s opening theme, “Ojamajo Carnival!!” and the TV version is much more peppy, fast paced, squeaky, and akin to stuff you’d see on a Saturday morning cartoon. Honestly, I’m probably going to commit blasphemy for saying this, but…I actually like the movie’s version of it better than the original, because I found the original to be way too obnoxious for my liking. The movie’s slower, low-key version with its acoustic guitar, lovely piano tunes, and softer vocals is more my jam. Sorry!!
Of course, the heart and soul of this movie comes from the characters, especially the main trio. Not gonna lie, I love all these precious beans. Every single one of them is perfectly likeable and three-dimensional even with the movie’s short run time, all displaying their strengths, flaws, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and the things that make them who they are. They’re a fun bunch with their own eclectic personalities and different approaches to life, making them the kind of people you know you want to root for. Even the minor characters they run into have more to them than just one character trait, with plenty of subtle nuances to their characters that make them stand out from the usual archetypes associated with them. The fun in the movie comes from seeing how these characters deal with and overcome the various adversaries that make up the roadblocks in their lives, and seeing them help each other through their hard times. Also, seeing Mire judo-throw Reika’s awful boyfriend and tell him off was satisfying as hell. Best girl right there. Everything from the way these girls carry themselves to how they connect over their shared love of Ojamajo Doremi makes them all feel like people, their actions throughout the story are realistic, and the movie really wastes no time in showing what these girls are like, actually giving you good reasons to care about them. I can wholeheartedly say that Looking For Magical Doremi did a bang-up job in making me care about this loveable trio, and I want all three of them to be happy!
With all the praises I’m singing for this movie though, as far as flaws go, I can really only find two, and IMHO, they’re pretty inconsequential. One is that Mire and Reika get into an argument about how the latter dealt with a recent event, and while I can understand where the other girls were coming from, I don’t think they should have tried to paint Mire as completely in the wrong about what she said to Reika, because she’s actually right. Could she have said what she said more delicately? Sure, but Mire is technically right about Reika’s inaction during said event, and in some way, Reika did have a right to be told the truth. The second one is the scene at the very very end, just before the credits, as it comes across as a little too magical for an otherwise grounded story. But that’s really it in terms of drawbacks, and even then, they didn’t kill my enjoyment of the movie one bit. Actual hardcore fans of the Doremi franchise are bound to take issue with how different this movie is compared to the other ones, especially with it not being about the Doremi girls at all, and I can understand where they’d be coming from. I did read that the creators did originally want the movie to be about the 20-year-old versions of the Doremi girls finding a time capsule that they buried during their graduation, but had concerns that doing that would alienate viewers who weren’t in that generation and figured the best way to go would be to appeal to a more general audience than just Doremi fans, so that newcomers could have an easier time watching the movie without feeling lost, if they hadn’t watched the show. I personally think this was a good decision on their part, because it helps the movie stand on its own without relying too much on simply cashing in on the nostalgia, something other movies have a hard time doing. Plus, the story of the original Doremi girls is over, and they don’t really need to overstay their welcome. Who says you can’t try something new once in a while?
Whether you’re a fan of Ojamajo Doremi or not, this is an absolutely amazing and wonderful movie that really deserves more love. Please watch it!!
The music is back, the visual style is back, the writing is back, the themes are back, even the situations with magical stage are back and for adults who like to get drunk with friends (which was already in the original doremi anyway) but now there’s more. It looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful and it is beautiful.
12: Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
English: Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena
Japanese: 少女革命ウテナ アドゥレセンス黙示録
MAL Score: 7.61
All eyes are on Utena Tenjou, a mysterious transfer student to Ohtori Academy. But Utena’s eyes seem to be fixed on one familiar face that stands out among the rest—Touga Kiryuu, Utena’s childhood friend. Touga knows of Utena’s past and possesses knowledge of the Mark of the Rose, a set of unique rings worn by those who compete for the hand of the Rose Bride. The Rose Bride, Himemiya Anthy, belongs to whomever wins her in a duel, and the one that wins all the duels is said to be given the power to bring revolution to the world. Utena is drawn into the duels, but Touga and their complicated history together may end up unraveling everything. Nothing is as it seems in this retelling of the original anime series.
So I watched it and wondered what sort of crack I had smoked before popping the DVD in. Apparently, I had not smoked any crack, and it was just Utena that was messing with my head.
The story is…I don’t know. Up to now, I hardly know what happened. It’s long, convoluted, and they don’t ever, EVER explain what the hell happened. Well, they sort of did, with visual symbolism. But I’m sort of dumb in a fabulous way, so I barely understood any of that.
The art and animation was top-notch though. It looked incredible. The sound was great too.
Characters were…interesting, to say the least. I was pretty certain that at least four people in the main cast were homosexual, or maybe it’s just all the flower imagery that threw me off.
I didn’t enjoy this movie because I spent the whole time tugging at my marvellous hair wondering ‘WTF?!’ is going on.
It’s not unfabulous, and it’s worth a watch, I say.
Adolescence of Utena is best described as the TV series retold in two hours or less with different plot elements bought up or discarded, with some characters absent, and lots and lots of symbolism and, some would argue, a heavy dose of crack.
I would highly suggest watching the series going into this. I watched this first, then watched the series, and then watched this, and I found that the series helped me understand it more, which is what the creators intended with this. And then the movie, in turn, helped me understand elements of the series that I didn’t before, which in turn helped me understand the movie more, which helped me understand the series… it’s a cycle of positive feedback. And it’s amazing.
The art for this is a lot smoother than it was in the series, though it is still heavily stylized. A definite improvement.
The music has a lot of the same themes, subtly reworked for the movie, which gives it a whole new feel. There are also some new vocal pieces that don’t have to do with the duelling songs, and they’re quite addictive.
Most of the vocal cast was able to return for this, except for Akio’s seiyuu, which just adds a nice touch to this.
An amazing movie, and one of my favorite anime movies to date.
That’s not to say the symbolism’s the only thing worth watching the movie for. Every moment of screentime is purely entertaining, whether symbolism is the focus or not. The only real complaint I had with the TV series was that some episodes felt repetitive and didn’t seem to contribute much to the main characters’ development or the overall plot. Here, however, every fight scene, every conversation, everything really matters. The movie is not content to simply have a fight: at the same time the fight is going on, there is development for Utena, Anthy, whoever she’s fighting with, and even background characters.
The backgrounds themselves also deserve a mention. The school puts Hogwarts to shame, as it’s constantly in motion, and there’s always something interesting to look at. Everything is constantly in motion, and while this is partially for symbolism, it helps to make the series very pretty. Though some of the reviews complain about the music, I had no problems here. Absolute Destiny Apocalypse is as awesome as ever, and the rest of the music is also great. Perhaps not as wonderful as in the series, but still very fitting.
Other than the symbolism, the main draw of the movie is the characters. Utena herself is even more magnificent than in the series, simultaneously vulnerable and strong. And not vulnerable in the way typical strong anime females are often vulnerable, but in the way you’d expect any middle school girl to be. That vulnerability causes problems for her at times, but she deals with it in an appropriate and realistic way, as it contributes nicely to her development. Utena’s relationships, especially with Touga and Anthy, are all interesting as well, as they help her grow in interesting ways throughout the movie, and their interactions are always clever and witty.
As a final note, I should add that this movie works best when you’ve seen the series first. Almost nothing is the same as it was in the series, but a lot of the minor characters are better understood with the series’ development behind them. If you’ve watched the series, the movie is a splendid treat.
11: Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 1
English: Cardcaptor Sakura The Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 カードキャプターさくら
MAL Score: 7.64
During an after-school shopping trip, Sakura Kinomoto decides to participate in the Tomoeda Shopping District’s year-end lottery, with the grand prize being a round trip to Hong Kong. Surprisingly, she draws the winning ball. Alongside her best friend Tomoyo Daidouji, her older brother Touya, her crush Yukito Tsukishiro, and Keroberos, Sakura heads off to Hong Kong.
However, vacation for the Cardcaptor will get cut short. Little does Sakura know, the trip may be connected to her recent, prophetic dreams featuring a mysterious woman and Clow Reed himself, creator of the Clow Cards.
Set after the first season, Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie takes Sakura to an entirely new environment: Hong Kong. After winning a five-day trip at a local store, Sakura is given the opportunity to travel to a different country for the first time in her life. Things are not quite so simple, though, and as several foreboding dreams and supernatural phenomenons soon reveal, there is more to her winning the trip than a mere game of luck.
The first twenty minutes are fairly promising, immediately opening with a tense fight for one of the Clow Cards. Hearing a few beloved tracks from the series once again evokes a sense of nostalgia, and the characters quickly show that they are just as endearing as ever. Kero-chan remains his frivolous, gluttonous self, while Touya continues to tease Sakura for amusing results. Some of the best moments are those early on with the characters travelling through Hong Kong and taking in the sights, and the beautiful artwork makes these scenes all the more breathtaking.
Eyecandy is certainly not something that is lacking in this film. Fluid animation, detailed expressions and stunning scenery all set the visuals of Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie to a much higher standard than most animated films. Hong Kong is presented as far more than a busy metropolis, with a diverse set of authentic locales being used to effectively portray the culture. Unfortunately, the moments highlighting the characters’ experiences with the city are all too fleeting. Instead we are gifted with a trite and highly predictable story for the remainder of the film.
It’s around the point where Sakura finds herself drawn to a shrine that things steadily go downhill. Most notably, Li and Meiling show up from absolutely nowhere. In the exact same area of a massive city, with no prior knowledge that either group would even be there. There’s even the cliche of bumping into each other in Meiling’s case. How is the viewer supposed to take the movie seriously when it relies on absurd plot conveniences so early on? An explanation may have made the scene less silly, but there is not even that. “What are you doing here?”, asks Sakura. A question left unanswered.
The rest of the story focuses on a vengeful spirit who drags Sakura into a conflict that is only tangentially related to her. This represents the main issue with this film– it doesn’t have any relevance to the overarching story. None of the characters are developed aside from a few scenes with Li’s mother and Clow Reed’s past relationship with the spirit. There’s no sense of accomplishment once the conflict is finally resolved, and the only emotional value is during a scene with Sakura relating to the spirit’s unrequited love. Unless you are a particularly patient viewer, there’s a strong chance that you will find yourself bored with anything beyond the first thirty minutes.
Much of the film takes itself far too seriously and as a result, most of the charm from the TV series is absent here. Dramatic moments were common in the main series, but they were always interspersed with comedy and had relevance to the story. Not here. It is ceaseless drama distinguished by superfluous (though pretty) action scenes and vague, cliched lines about destiny. It just doesn’t work.
As for the sound, the voice acting is exceptional and the eclectic soundtrack compliments the setting especially well. Traditional Chinese music is used while the characters traverse through the city, and a palatable mix of jazz and orchestral music plays during the action sequences. The ending song is also quite nice and serves as a satisfying conclusion to a bittersweet story. It’s hard to find much fault with the technical aspects of the film.
Despite a variety of complaints, Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie is not bad by any means. Compared to most anime movies, and particularly within the mahou shoujo genre, it is still well above average. Fans of the series will most likely find some level of enjoyment here between the disappointment, and at only 80-minutes long it’s hard to go wrong with the prospect of more Cardcaptor Sakura.
Still, considering the quality of the main series, decent just isn’t enough here.
The art, as usual for a CLAMP adaption, is gorgeous. But the dub is AWFUL, and changes the dialogue around completely. Avoid it at all costs.
One of my favorite things about this movie was story expansion into Clow’s life. He’s a very interesting character, and the story from his past in this movie I think would make a great anime series on it’s own.
I wish I had known to watch this chronologically! I watched it after I had watched the entire series. It seems like it’s supposed to take place between season one and season two, even though it came out right after season two had finished airing, based off of her wand as well as a couple of other things I wouldn’t want to risk spoiling about the main series. So if you’re reading this review and haven’t watched CCS yet for some reason, I recommend watching this at the end of season one.
Don’t skip this just because some people didn’t like it as much! It’s eighty minutes of top quality Cardcaptor Sakura!
10: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Kaguya-hime no Koibito
English: Sailor Moon S Movie: Hearts in Ice
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーンS かぐや姫の恋人
MAL Score: 7.68
An unusual snow storm hits Tokyo and the Sailor Senshi discover that an evil snow queen Kaguya, wants to freeze the entire earth. It’s up to the Inner Sailor Senshi along with the Outers, to defeat the Queen. Meanwhile, Luna falls in love with a human astronomer named Kakeru whose girlfriend is an astronaut about to take a space shuttle mission. Kakeru becomes ill and Luna wishes she could be a human to help him.
In my opinion, the S movie stands head and shoulders above the other two in almost every way. I’m glad that the focus is on Luna instead of Usagi. Not that I dislike Usagi (quite the opposite), but we get plenty of her in the TV series, so it’s nice to see something different. Also, they managed to fit quite a bit of stuff into a short running time without making it feel too rushed. The story isn’t the most original or innovative, but it still hits all the right notes.
Speaking of hitting all the right notes, the best thing about this movie is the music! It uses all the various musical cues to great effect, without going too over-the-top. My favorite is the beautiful, heartbreaking theme used for Luna– I cry when I listen to it. The music does a great job of punctuating and enhancing every scene and without it, I don’t think I would have enjoyed this movie so much.
1. It is actually based off the manga, though in my opinion the manga was way better (you even get to see a party in the beginning of the manga as well as Usagi using the Luna Pen, which she hasn’t used in a long time!
2. I happen to like Luna, who some may think is a nag, but at least she does care for Usagi and is actually quite useful in a lot of ways. Anyways, this is based mainly on Luna.
3. C’mon, you just gotta love the plot as well as the background music and the characters and villians too. And may i say, the artwork is gorgeous!
It’s about a guy named Kakeru, who dreams of going up to the moon And dreaming of a princess from the moon named Kaguya, who he is fascinated by. He is a scientist who has deep feelings for his childhood friend and partner, Himeko, who secretly loves him in return.
Anyways, Luna begins to fall in love with Kakeru after saving her from getting ran over, during which she caught a cold and stuff. Anyways, Luna falls in love with Kakeru and a love triangle forms in front of them and Himeko.
Meanwhile Earth is being controlled by a snow demon named Kaguya also, who wants to take revenge on Earth and stuff.
It’s a really good movie that is my favorite out of them all, and i recommend in buying the movie as well as watching the movie too. You’ll love it!
Story: Ok I’ll be honest, when I first watched this movie as a kid, the plotline concerning the scientists confused me. I wasn’t too sure what their connection was to the movie’s villain, or what was going on between the two of them. After watching it again when I was older, I finally slowly understood it. They seemed to mix up the timeline with the past and present, and it can get easy to mix them up.
Other than that, the story consists mainly of Luna, and her feelings towards ‘stuck being only a cat’. I was disappointed; they didn’t take this chance to explain more about both Luna and especially Artemis’s past as the manga did, but overall it still was a pretty good plot even with our usual main characters not being seen as much.
Art: Once again, the art is basic Sailor Moon style and there is nothing really that stands out. The ending scene is really nice to look at, especially the transformation sequence.
Sound: Sound wasn’t so much of a deal. Didn’t have breakthrough songs, and the sounds of the Snow Dancers made my ears bleed.
Character: I’m going to say it here and now. Luna’s outcome at the end was the only reason I liked this movie. I cared little for the supporting characters, and the main characters were hardly present.
Another good point was the outer scouts made a believable appearance in this movie with the absence of Saturn, who hadn’t yet appeared in the series timeline. The movie even managed to squeeze in short moments between Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask and Mini Moon.
Enjoyment: I liked the movie and thought it was cute to see Luna’s outcome and Artemis acting adorable. I wouldn’t say it’s not necessary to watch because it does have some important scenes to see before getting into the SuperS season.
Overall: A cute fluffy movie, but overall nothing huge.
9: Star☆Twinkle Precure: Hoshi no Uta ni Omoi wo Komete
Japanese: 映画スター☆トゥインクルプリキュア 星のうたに想いをこめて
MAL Score: 7.68
When a meteor shower causes a mysterious star-shaped alien to land in Lala Hagoromo and Hikaru Hoshina’s home, the girls find themselves having to take care of the mischievous creature whom they name “Yuma.” Although their relationship gets off to a rocky start, Lala and Yuma eventually connect through their similar passions for music and exploration.
However, when strange alien hunters targeting Yuma arrive on Earth, the girls learn that there is more to Yuma than what meets the eye. In protecting Yuma, the Star☆Twinkle Precure find themselves entangled in an astronomical battle where the fate of the galaxy is at stake! Will Yuma feel the Precure’s emotions through their melody, and can they make the necessary sacrifices to defend everything they love?
There’s something important we have to discuss though, and that’s the character design on the water seijin. The water-themed hunter that played a villainous role. That thing is extremely physically attractive. I want to be its gf or at least have it kill me or something. There are worse ways to die. I’d watch a 48 ep series with that thing as the main character. And that’s just talking about its standard form character design, it fights in a really cool way too. The other hunters were of course really awesome but I want to bashfully hold hands with water seijin.
But it’s exactly that which made me very thrilled and more glad I watched this movie.
The story itself had a very interesting theme of having an alien named UMA get exposed to Earth life. That sense of fascination was satisfying and relaxing to sit through. And, to have UMA decide its perception of how Earth is like based on the things that happen around it is a very clever implication of how people are in the real world. I would know, because I am someone like that.
The insert song Twinkle Stars is one of my favourite songs of all time in Precure and while it may have repeated a similar trope of Go Princess’ all-star movie it was a very fitting end to the story.
The movie also focussed on Lala’s opinion as an alien living on Earth. It was an absolute fit for the character and showed her responsible, cautious side in addition to being a friendly and sweet girl. The fact that the season had thrown Cure Star out of the window for a unique take on having Milky seemingly breaking the typical Pink Cure spotlight trope of Precure made the movie’s continuation of it fresh.
In a nutshell, I wouldn’t exactly recommend the movie in comparison to some other Precure movies but for all the backlash the main season received, it elevated the status of its movie and made it a hidden jewel I was thrilled to uncover.
Honestly, all this film did was bore me. While it has some cute moments with the new alien, Yuma, and a girl trying to take Fuwa home as a plushie, the story was boring. I am of the mindset that a movie based on a TV show really needs to justify itself with an amazing plot not possible in a 22 minute episode, and not only was the movie not an improvement from the anime, in all departments but the animation it was a downgrade! It’s just mindblowing that they’re able to make an interesting concept like an alien that can be dangerous with the wrong influences and turn it into something so boring.
The biggest problem I had was how boring the villains were. We have grown to love Kappard, Tenjo, and the other villains from the anime, and the movie would have been a perfect opportunity to expand upon these characters or even finish Tenjo’s arc in a larger than life way. Instead, we waste our time with a group of new elemental villains who are bland and generic. They are not threatening or interesting at all, the stakes feel so low even when the cures are trying to protect this alien. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys were rejected villains from the first draft of the anime.
Of course the animation is spectacular, that would be the one redeeming aspect of the movie, but unless you’re here solely for the animation and nothing else, this movie is very unlikely to satisfy you as a Star Twinkle Precure fan.
8: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal Movie 2
Japanese: 劇場版 美少女戦士セーラームーンEternal
MAL Score: 7.68
So the dream arc is my favorite story arc of sailor moon. I even adore the supers adaptation of it. The second movie does an excellent job of adapting the remainder of the dream arc. It has beautiful animation and character designs, a beautiful soundtrack with some nostalgia thrown in and a fantastic story. The second movie is where the plot really starts moving forward.
So the dream arc offers some backstory and world building, highlights the individual guardians, with this second movie focusing on the outer guardians as well as some development for both mamoru and Usagi. Get prepared to learn more about the silver millennium, Mamo and the Golden Crystal. The Golden Crystal’s role is quite different from the 90’s anime and far more interesting. People have complained about mamo being useless for far too long. It’s about time he gains the ability to truly stand with his love. It’s too bad it took so long, we won’t be seeing much of it in this movie or hereafter.
Now Nehelenia is a petty woman and I adore her and her circus. The Amazoness Quartetbis such a fun group and I’m thrilled to finally see them in all their guardian glory. The old anime redeemed them as well but made the bad choice to not reveal that they are sailor Guardians destined to fight with Chibiusa. It instead chose to lightly hint that they’ll meet again and then never show it. Unlike in the supers arc adaptation, Nehelenia is completely defeated here and won’t be an opponent in the stars arc. She also has no tragic backstory bit is instead quite similar to Maleficent, the wicked fairy, from Sleeping Beauty. While she doesn’t have a tragic story this time around, she does offer an interesting perspective when paired with Queen Serenty.
Alas, for all this movie does right, it’s tight run time hinders it. The film goes by at a rapid pace. You’ll want to give it your full attention so you don’t miss anything. Sadly the movie, much like crystal cuts some fun moments, as well as some backstory and explanatory content. If your left slightly confused by anything, I encourage you to give the manga a read to fill in the blanks. My honest oppinion though is that you’ll comprehend everything fine.
For example, I believe in the manga the guardians visit their castles or at the very least we get a view of them. Each one has a fantastic design and we’re a gift from Queen Serenity upon the birth of each guardian. The anime cuts the backstory and were just sort of told they have castles and need to channel their power to help sailor moon.
For those of you wondering, yes saturn has a transformation at last. And it is completely underwhelming. It’s animated beautifully, there’s just not really much to it. They could of kept it relatively the same but with a little more oomph. Like have her state on the crystal rocks around her or something. We waited years for this and will only see it once.
Helios and chibiusa are portrayed excellently here. Their romance is truly a highlight and a personal favorite of mine. The resolution to their character arcs is far stronger here and it it climaxes with a moment that heralds back to the iconic Usagi and Mamo moment in arc 1 where the silver crystal reveals itself and saves him. Only this is Chibiusa’s moment to shine.
Now the soundtrack, anyone feeling nostalgic should definitly watch the credits. While the first film used the first ending of super s the second film used the second and it’s just as fantastic as you’d think. It will make you want to dance like the guardians did in the old ed visual.. The other song played during the credits is another character song that can be found on the soundtrack. Please give it a listen.
Well that’s it for now. The movies were fantastic despite their faults. Let’s hope we see the stars arc soon. I’d be happy for wither a few more movies or a season. As long as it comes fast.
“Inside each of us is a star”
I’ll try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible. When I’ll have to be more specific, I’ll keep spoilers as vague as I can.
The pacing just naturally flows better compared to part 1. Manga and adaption got it. The action builts up steadily and consistently. It feels like a long fairytale. I love the Sleeping Beauty elements. The first 20 minutes are all about the Outer Senshi and their story is spectacular, with amazing chemistry between them and I loved the direction of Hotaru’s awakening. The backstory of Elysion, Helios and the Golden Crystal is just so much better than the 90’s. You see the unity between the world of dreams, the Earth and the Moon. It makes you actually care about what seemed to be a horseland LOL. The story does such a good job balancing the dynamic between Mamoru and the Senshi. The romance in this film, not just the lovers type, but also idealistically speaking, is touching and has a classic touch to it. Like reading a classic novel. Loved the talk about the relationship of light and darkness and the inner drive of each person shining through adversion. No complaints about the adaption but more about the story itself now. I wish we had a background for the status of the Senshi, Luna and Artemis in their past lives. Some things take place that would be more impactful if they had a deeper and clearer explanation besides magic and the power of prayer. Not bad or a deal-breaker, but a solid backstory would take the moment these “things” happen to new heights imo.
The first and last 25 minutes are spectacular. Very delicate, detailed, fluffy, and dreamy. Some gore-y parts were toned down, but anything regarding Nehelenia is flesh-y and just great. The parts in between are simple with a bolder look, however very consistent. It’s hard to spot the different animation directors frame by frame which I appreciate a lot. This “harsher” look kind of fits the events of the movie in this time frame. Everything is dark and gloomy, there is a lot of angst, idk, I don’t mind it. If you compare it with the parts before and after, you notice the difference, but while you’re at it, you are not bombarded with super gorgeous and then not so gorgeous shots, it’s all on the same level. I read reviews bashing it, but it was pretty darn solid imo. No complaints really. Nothing extreme. Stock footages for the Outers were really pretty imo. World Shaking is just IT. Dead Scream too. Saturn’s transformation is short but very smooth.
There was significant less use of music in this part, which I found interesting, especially when Usagi first encountered Nehelenia. I personally find this intriguing, but it can be jarring to some. The theme of the Outers is a banger. Moon Effect, the song where all the Senshi get to sing while facing Nehelenia, is so catchy and dramatic. Gotta mention the ending theme, Moon Colour Chainon, which is absolutely beautiful and Naoko deliivered with the lyrics. I love the new versions of Watashi Tachi Ni Naritakute & Rashiku Ikimasho after it. Vocals on fire. Nothing else to add compared to part 1. Crystal/Eternal’s music is always ethereal and fits the source material to a T. I also have to mention the sound effects. I love the use of the 90’s ones and all the new ones. So sharp and dramatic.
The Outers have so much humanity in their plotline at the beginning. In 20 minutes you just get to see all of their emotions and connections. It’s wonderfully depicted. Peak SM for me. Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship is so loving. The dynamic is healthy and it’s refreshing to see. They feel equal. Usagi making smart observations and helping to advance the plot is super pleasing. She is idealistic in such a mature way. I love her speech at the end. You can see her growth so clearly. Mamoru having a presence in battle is great. The Inners don’t have a significant moment of their own until the climax, but they got their moment in part 1. The cats are just there advising and observing, as always, but they are as squeezable as ever. Helios and Chibiusa are so cute, straight out of a Disney movie. Another healthy dynamic completely missing from the 90’s. The Quartet is absolutely adorable. Love their interactions with Chibi Moon and Saturn. Speaking of Hotaru/Saturn, she is so damn powerful and such a loving cutie. You root for her all the way through. There is balance and connection between human Hotaru and Senshi Saturn. They feel different, but also united this time. Nehelenia doesn’t have this big emotional outburst and background of the 90s anime, but the immense vanity and cold-heartedness is a solid characterization and I don’t mind it at all. *Zirconia* keeps being *old* and creepy. Part of me wishes the tie with the *young and beautiful Nehelenia* was more clear, but that’s also what I like? It’s kind of obvious in this case.
Again, this felt like a classic fairytale. A smooth ride all the way to the end. You have the bonds, the dreams, the emotions, the idealism and the unity. That’s Sailor Moon.
One of the things I’m not very happy about them is that I’m still not convinced that the movie format was the best for it. Specially in the first film, you can clearly see that episodic style and how the original manga chapters were made. Even though I’ve read the manga I believe everyone could notice that. If they would have made a 8-9 episode series it could have been better. But who knows.
Anyway, I also don’t agree about the animation quality. The problem isn’t that the production doesn’t seem to be made during 5 long years, but I’d directly said it has too many flaws to be a film. Normally anime films are more detailed and cared.
But, of course, I’m not saying these two are bad films. As always in Sailor Moon, we’ve got a very emotional and bittersweet story with lots of action, love, and superpowers. And it’s a really pleasure to finally see a Sailor Saturn’s transformation sequence. If you are a Moonie, you’ll obviously enjoy this so much.
7: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R: The Movie
English: Sailor Moon R: The Movie – The Promise of the Rose
Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーンＲ THE MOVIE
MAL Score: 7.70
When Mamoru was little he gave a rose to a little boy named Fiore. Fiore promised that one day he would bring Mamoru lots of flowers. Now Fiore has come back to earth but his intentions are not merely to fulfil a promise…
We open with the sailor soldiers going to a greenhouse/ garden to look at flowers. Everything seems to be going well and laughter is in abundance. That’s when a strange guy approaches Mamoru and takes his hand in a very suggestive fashion while telling him that he’s brought a flower like he promised. Usagi notices and tells him that Mamoru is her boyfriend. He responds by pushing her away, shifting appearance to look very similar to Ail and Ann & teleporting away with a flowery effect. But he vows to bring Mamoru lots of flowers. Mamoru mentions the name “Fiore” and goes off on his own. Leaving the soldiers to contemplate what it all means and Usagi to try to deal with her boyfriend’s probable bisexuality. Although she really has no room to judge given that she’s attracted to at least three other women over the course of the anime.
Now, I actually do like that they use their words and try to reason with the antagonist rather than just going into a long fight scene. I also do like that they make Fiore sympathetic, which is pretty common for Sailor Moon villains, instead of evil for the evils. The film also has some good comedic moments, some with Chibi-Usa, although I only begrudgingly admit that I liked some of her scenes. I also like that the film’s story is self-contained, giving you enough information that you can easily understand it even if you haven’t seen the series leading up to it. The film’s major narrative flaw is the ending. A lot of the stuff leading up to it is good, but it moves into an obvious fake out scene with a cheap resolution. Now, it really needed a little time after that scene to wrap things up properly. Instead, the movie just ends abruptly. It feels like they couldn’t think of a good way to wrap things up and just decided not to bother.
The sailor soldiers remain fun, entertaining and interesting characters. Some of the best scenes in the film involve the five of them just having fun or explore their bonds with each other. Fiore is also a great character and I did, overall, like what they did with his story arc. The weak links are Chibi-Usa, who gets some funny scenes but is still a pretty annoying character, and Mamoru, who is just as bland and generically good as he’s always been. The difference is that in the series he stayed largely on the sidelines as a secondary character and in this film he’s one of the major focus characters. It does make his dullness more noticeable.
The art is good. The character designs look as nice as ever. The action sequences flow better than they do in most of the series with some of the stock attack animations being replaced by more active scenes, although there are certainly plenty of the stock animations present. The backgrounds are lively and nicely detailed, certainly moreso than was present in the first series at least.
The vocal cast is superb, as it is in the main series. Mitsuishi Kotono, Hisakawa Aya, Tomizawa Michie, Shinohara Emi and Fukami Rica are joined by Touma Yumi as the Kisenian flower and Midorikawa Hikaru as Fiore. Sailor Moon fans may recognise them as the same duo who played Ail and Ann in R. Which is a little confusing given that the film’s story really has nothing to do with the main R storyline in spite of the title. Still, they all give great performances. The music is really good. Sure, some of it is recycled from the series but it was good music then and it’s still just as good.
Given that the plot revolves on another man with an obvious crush on Mamoru and that Mamoru does respond to his feelings pretty favorably in spite of Fiore’s feelings being arguably one-sided, I’m going to give it a ho-yay factor of a 5/10.
Sailor Moon R: The Movie does have a lot to recommend it. The characters, aside from a certain two, are really good. The story itself is compelling and features a lot of good moments. The voice acting and music are great. It’s not a great film, however. It suffers from a weak ending. It feels incomplete. One of the focus characters is Generic Male Love Interest #403. If you’re a fan of the Sailor Moon franchise and you haven’t seen it, check it out. You’ll probably like it okay, at the very least. My final rating is going to be a 7/10. Tomorrow, a film from a different famous Toei animation franchise. Yes, this one is probably the first one you thought of.
Story: Truly an interesting story for a short movie. It provided some background to Tuxedo Mask’s mysterious past.
Art: Art was typical Sailor Moon style, but some scenes were very well drawn and detailed. The battle scenes were fast-paced but full of such detail that it I believe it made certain scenes feel much more tense and moving.
Sound: Sound definitely was my favorite part of this movie. This movie made many fans who claimed they hated the American dub to make an exception when it came to Promise of the Rose. Songs created for the movie were my favorites out of the entire series.
Character: Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask scenes were abundant in this movie compared to the other movies. It’s obvious this movie was meant for R’s season. Tuxedo Mask expresses his emotions more openly and visibly.
Enjoyment: I really loved this movie. I felt sorry for one of the villains, was touched by the movie’s romance, and thrilled at the battle scene. There wasn’t much lagging as the other movies had.
Overall: As I said before it’s my favorite of the three. If you love Sailor Moon for its romance between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, definitely this is a movie to see.
6: Coquelicot-zaka kara
English: From Up on Poppy Hill
MAL Score: 7.81
Atop a hill overlooking a seaside port sits a boarding house named Coquelicot Manor. Since the building is run by her family, Umi Matsuzaki carries out many of the duties involved in managing the small establishment, such as preparing meals for her fellow boarders. When she isn’t at home, she is a student at the local high school—one that is currently dealing with a small crisis.
In anticipation of the upcoming Olympic Games, a beloved old clubhouse is set to be demolished to make way for a modern building. As a result, a large part of the student body has banded together, working tirelessly to prevent this from happening. Umi finds herself helping the newspaper club to spread information about this cause where she befriends Shun Kazama, whom she gradually begins to fall in love with. But Shun is an orphan who doesn’t know much about his origins, and when the two begin searching for clues to the boy’s past, they discover that they may have a lot more in common than either of them could have thought.
[Writtten by MAL Rewrite]
Goro doesn’t deserve to be making Ghibli movies just yet. Maybe gaining more experience doing other things would prepare him for that special of roles, but instead what we’re left with is his experimentations and learning process stamped with the Ghibli logo. It’s diluting the brand. His two films aren’t even pandering to mainstream audiences; that’s certainly not a complaint that can be directed at him, but his films are just directorial missteps that don’t utilise the tools of animation to their best potential. It’s as if after the drubbing he got for Earthsea he thought to himself “I’ll direct a story set in 60’s Japan, the critics will like that!”
Earthsea was a disappointment on every level. There are some detractors of that opinion, but the general consensus from viewers is that Earthsea is far low on the list of Ghibli films you should watch. From Up On Poppy Hill at least has some modicum of charm and old school aesthetic about it that keeps it from being a complete failure however. The last thirty minutes are the best with more pace, urgency and melodramatic moments, but it’s a slog to get there.
The animation is not special in any way other than bringing to life 1960’s Japan with typical Ghibli detail. The story is a simple coming-of-age tale that lacks any life or bite. There is a revelation that sparks things up somewhat, but even that is ultimately diffused. Hayao himself co-wrote the script with the screenwriter of Earthsea, and I like to imagine he tried to make the clubhouse scenes lively in order to bring life to the story.
The music, like everything else with this film, is inoffensive and bland. Joe Hisaishi is not in sight. There’s just nothing here to latch onto and keep in your memory as something to return to. I can recall numerous scenes and musical motifs of previous Ghibli films, but from this all I will recall is the main character pulling up a flag. There are no creative scene compositions, no efficient editing tricks; no passion in the bringing of this tale. The last thirty minutes had developments that could have made a better film by themselves, in a manner similar to Grave of the Fireflies.
When Hayao made Ponyo, you could see his childlike passion for the project in the bluray extras, and you can see it in the work itself, it’s bold and full of life, and contains the most amazing depiction of sea waves I’ve seen in animation. Goro needs to ask himself why he’s a director, and for our sake he needs to find the answer on his own time, and not on Ghibli’s dime.
The story is about family, love and determination. I found that each of these elements were strongly portrayed throughout movie by the two main characters and in the end these elements brought the characters together. The symbolic themes such as the flags, the photographs and the club house are shown many times and tie major elements together.Though these elements make the story strong, it also makes it very melodramatic and it doesn’t help that the pacing is very slow. Throughout the movie, I never felt in “awe” and there were some scenes where I felt I lost attention. There were also scenes and major themes that weren’t fully developed and left me with a “there’s something missing” feeling. Though the story is very melodramatic to say the least and when explaining all of the drama, I felt that they rushed the explanations and therefore made everything seem a tad unbelievable. All in all though, the story is very sweet and even with the slow pacing, it will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling on the inside.
Everything from the scenery to the character design were impeccable. the colours were strong and like any Ghibli Production the details put into making the watchers believe that they are in the story were definitely there.
Every song and the BGM fit well with the scene and the and in movies with lots of drama where the music helps to understand the characters feelings, the music is very important. For example, the main/ending song “Summer of Goodbye” is a slow and gentle song which is kind of how the movie was. I also felt that the music did a lot to relate the time period such as the song, “I Shall Walk Looking Up” which was kind of a barber shop quartet type of song which made the story actually feel like it was taking place in the 60’s.
I’m going to focus on the main characters Umi and Shun even though the other characters were important, I think these two made the movie as interesting as it was.
You can tell right off the bat that Umi is a very responsible person, she takes care of everyone in her house, all the while going to school. She also seems to be a very symbolic person as she [SPOILER ALERT] follows a the routine of bringing a glass of water and flowers to her fathers picture and raising the flag for him every morning [END SPOILER].
Shun is a rebel with a cause because from the beginning of when we meet him, he shows his daredevil (attention seeking) side by jumping from the club house. Though he wants to draw attention to his cause (preserving the club house), we know that what he really wants is the attention of one special girl.
The love between these characters is strong and innocent and it makes you think how far are you willing to compromise for the one you love.
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Beautiful art and music and characters, just wish the story had fewer developmental flaws. It’s a definite must see because it’s a lovely story…however if you are expecting magic and intrigue, don’t get your hopes up.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I actually really enjoyed From Up on Poppy Hill. The characters were likeable – not particularly in-depth or rich, but likeable – and the quirky supporting cast were always there to pick up any slack. In fact, I would say that the supporting cast is one of my favourites from a Ghibli film so far, beautifully designed and entertaining to watch.
The story was engaging, too: a simple teenage romance with a couple of surprising plot twists and an ultimately uplifting result. It may not have been full of drama and suspense, but the film had that wonderful Ghibli charm to it, reminding me of some of their other simpler works: Only Yesterday and Whisper of the Heart (the latter being a personal all-time favourite).
Whilst the plot may have been slow-moving, a faster one wasn’t really required. The world of the story was, as always, built beautifully, and it was a pleasure to watch events unfold even when they were unfolding quite cautiously. This, of course, was because of the astounding artwork, backgrounds and animation more than anything. There’s not really anything more to say on this, it’s just beautiful.
The music also deserves a mention. The opening and closing songs were lovely, very fitting and atmospheric, and whilst I can’t really pinpoint a specific part of the background OST that I enjoyed, I can safely say that it always suited the scene it was played against, whether or not it was anything particularly special.
I was also pleasantly surprised at how good the English dubbed voice acting was, for the most part. (I can’t comment on the original Japanese as I didn’t watch it).
So, to summarise; this film isn’t for everyone. It doesn’t have a very describable plot, nor does it have any particular deep characterisation or meaning (unless I was missing something). It’s comparable to a nice soup in winter; it might not be the most exciting or substantial thing ever, but it’s comforting and sympathetic and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Unless, of course, you don’t like soup. But anyway, you get my point.
It’s not the best work ever to come from Ghibli, but it’s still a lovely film, it has an irresistible charm and it’s definitely worth a watch.
5: Natsume Yuujinchou: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihousha
Japanese: 夏目友人帳 石起こしと怪しき来訪者
MAL Score: 8.09
The film will be made up of two stories: “Ishi Okoshi” and “Ayashiki Raihousha.” In “Ishi Okoshi,” Natsume meets a small youkai called Mitsumi in a forest. Mitsumi is entrusted to wake up the divine youkai “Iwatetsu” from its deep slumber. Mitsumi weighs on Natsume’s mind, so he sets out to help Mitsumi with his task.
In “Ayashiki Raihousha,” a mysterious visitor appears in front of Tanuma. Nearly every day, the visitor visits Tanuma, talks to him a little, and then leaves. Natsume, who knows the visitor is a youkai, worries for Tanuma, but Tanuma enjoys these exchanges with the youkai. The youkai means no harm, but Tanuma’s health slowly starts to deteriorate.
First part is about helping mitsumi the Ishi-okoshi to do his quest. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Nice combination of comedy and heartwarming moments with a slight touch of drama. And I always welcomed more hinoe screentime.
Second part was interesting in its own way and opened up the relationship between two friends and two neighbors. We saw more through misuzu, tanuma, and sasame, the neighbor/rival of misuzu. Overall great stories, first story was a bit better.
Artstyle remains almost the same, but nice tweaks have been applied.
Nothing special about the sounds. Usual osts used. Seiyuus were done good as usual.
Overall, natsume yuujinchou: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihousha is another great movie which was nothing less expected from the franchise. Never misses the chance to make you mesmerized with its own world, characters and the story.
Anyone who has watched the main series Should know that the mc deals with yokais by returning them their names. This movie had none of that.
This two episodes felt like the mc is a side character whose presence makes no difference.
The first part was about a yokai whom was tasked to wake another yokai up from his slumber. Not much action or drama. Mc just ran around with the yokai looking for the other yokai’s location. This part was boring given that most of the main series already has a slow pace to each episode, this part of the movie (if you can call this a movie, I will come to that later) was extremely draggy even by this series’s standards.
The second part of the movie was about mc’s friend, the one whose father is the chief monk of a temple. This second part of the movie was slightly better as we get to see a little bit more action as the horse yokai had abit of a short battle with the yokai that possessed the mc’s friend. We don’t get to see this yokai as the creators were too lazy to come up with a new design. They just changed the mc’s friend’s eyes and show that to be the yokai that possessed the mc’s friend.
Oh there was this squiggly mess that appeared for a few seconds that you will miss if you blinked, when they showed the yokai that possessed the mc’s friend, left his body to battle the horse yokai. This part of the movie was slightly better than the first part.
This movie is only 52 mins long and for the price of movies ticket nowadays, it’s not worth watching on the big screen as it felt more like an ova than a “movie”. Pacing was very slow that a guy two rows in front of me, started snoring (yes he fell asleep during the first part of the movie).
This felt like a money grab by the creators as they used the name of this popular franchise (don’t get me wrong, I loved the series hence decided to watch this in the movies) to con people into watching this at the movies when it felt like an ova that comes when you purchase the series on dvd/blu ray.
Definitely does not live up to original series 3/10
Natsume Yuujinchou is one of the very very few anime I consider an art. Always coming up with new stories and adding intereseting characters without being repetitve nor forced. It has been like that for many years and I hope it continues to be so.
This “Movie” is pretty much 2 different OVAs combined together. The 2 stories are based on the same themes, trust and friendship, and that might explain why they were grouped together.
The first story is about an adorable little Yokai called Mitsumi. Mitsumi is entrusted with the mission to awaken ,Gantetsu, the Yokai Master she follows. She is using a small map to get there but there is a small problem she faces while doing that, every other Yokai is trying to get that map to earn the reward from waking him up.
The second story is about Tanuma who just woke up from a very weird dream. He is then met by a unique visitor who came to his house and is starting to see him almost daily. Between the feeling of being happy to interact with the same Yokai Natsume sees and the feeling of not wanting to ask Natsume and making him worry, Tanuma goes on and starts meeting with the guy waiting to see what that will lead him to.
Both the stories were done brilliantly and their conclusions are ones that leave you satisfied.
The art, animation and overall direction were brilliant and the voice actors did a very good job. I personally loved Misumi’s voice as it was so cute :”D
Overall, a 10/10. A really entertaining “Movie” that is just what I really needed to watch. Hoping to see more of Natsume soon.
Would recommend it and would recommend the whole series.
4: Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: Fuuin Sareta Card
English: Card Captor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
Japanese: 劇場版 カードキャプターさくら 封印されたカード
MAL Score: 8.21
For this year’s Nadeshiko Festival, Sakura Kinomoto’s elementary school class is presenting a play. She will portray a princess who struggles to respond to the love confession of the neighboring country’s prince. Sakura empathizes with her character all too well, since she herself still owes an answer to the boy who confessed his love for her four months ago.
When cousins Shaoran and Meiling Li return from Hong Kong to pay a surprise visit to their friends in Japan, Sakura receives further encouragement to finally declare her feelings. However, she is repeatedly distracted by a presence reminiscent of a Clow Card as well as unexplained disappearances around town.
Eventually, Sakura learns of another of Clow Reed’s creations—the “Nothing”—which was formerly sealed away beneath the magician’s old house. It has power equal to all 52 cards Sakura possesses, and furthermore, it wants to take those cards away from her! Objects, space, and people disappear from Tomoeda with each card that is stolen. Sakura sets out to capture the Nothing so everything will return to normal, but what must she sacrifice in the process?
Story 10/10: The story was a lot more gripping to me than the first movie, mostly because this movie was a direct sequel to the series. I truly enjoy the relationship between Syaoran and Sakura and was rather disappointed in how the series ended, without Sakura being able to say how she felt about him. Another thing I was afraid of with this movie is that it would feel like a giant monster of the week, but I felt that the antagonist and the conflict in the story were rather unique as far as the series is concerned and it was interesting enough to not bore me within the first half hour.
Art 10/10: This may be a little biased, but I’ve always been a fan of CLAMP’s art. The problem with a lot of anime movies is that they get such a bad rep that the funding for the movies are significantly less than the series. As such, many times you’ll find that a movie based off an anime series has lowered animation quality than the series itself. I was really glad, then, when I found no quality loss in this movie. It’s still as bright and flashy as the series and the characters haven’t started to suffer from Anime Movie Deformity Syndrom.
Sound 9/10: Something that’s always kind of bugged me about this movie is that every version I’ve seen of it, the sound quality is drastically lowered. It isn’t as bad as the first movie, but it sounded like it was recorded playing out of speakers and then THAT recording is what was played in the series. I mean, it isn’t the worst sound I’ve ever heard, but it was enough to break the perfect 10 record I’m giving this series.
Character 10/10: I’ve always loved this series’s characters. CCS characters have always been really unique and vibrant, catching my attention very easily. They all have their own pros and cons that don’t fit easily into anime stereotypes. For this movie in particular, since they were exploring unknown territory, such as the deepening relationship with Syaoran and Sakura, I was afraid a lot of out-of-character experiences would occur, where the characters weren’t acting at all in their personality. Thankfully everything was pulled off without changing personalities or giving you a bad taste in your mouth.
Enjoyment 10/10: I think this is just a summary of what I’ve been saying all along: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The characters were wonderful, as was the story they were wrapped in, and the art and music weren’t enough to turn me away from it. I love watching this movie again and again, and I hope you will too.
The movie takes place after the anime TV series, where Sakura is still reflecting on Li’s confession from before he moved… Yeah. One day Sakura notices a presence while walking around with Tomoyo at an amusment park which was being built where a character of the series previously lived, and there she meets Li, who is visting from Hong Kong with Meilin. As the movie goes on, Sakura makes several attempts to tell Li how she really feels about him, and during this time she notices that her Sakura Cards are starting to disappear, and that a 53th card is behind it all….
As I watched the plot of the movie unfold, I had a serious case of deja vu. Why I don’t know, it could possibly be that the plot had something of an inkling to the previous movie where the antagonist of the story was taking things away from Sakura, actually, I think that’s what it was. Anyway, that aside, the plot was alright, it was good enough to keep my attention, though I was also watching to see if there was any real advances in Sakura’s and Li’s relationship…
Well, this is probably the part of the review that I dislike the most, since I always say the same thing. But anyway, the animation was the same as the TV series, so I didn’t feel like I was watching something totally different, though I wasn’t sure if I was looking at the same Yue. The coloring of the backgrounds fitted their respective scenes (does that make sense?), though some parts did seem dark and… yeah.
Background music was okay, though I don’t really remember any of it (despite the fact I just watched it) except for the dramatic parts, which were good. I absolutely loathed the vocal insert songs and I didn’t really pay attention to them.
…I watched the dub to this, and I sort of regret doing so, not because I thought they were bad, but because I simply wasn’t really used to them, which happened with another series that I watched. I also thought that Sakura’s voice could’ve been a little… lower… But I loved Eriol/Eli’s voice, which is some proof of me not being used to the voices since I haven’t heard his voice in the series. However, I do have to note that the pronouncations of the names in this movie were accuate, or more so than the series, though I’m not sure what Eriol’s name is anymore…
Erm. The characters do remain true to their TV series and manga counterparts, Sakura being a bit dense, and Tomoyo being… well, Tomoyo. Their interations, especially Li and Sakura’s are very cute, since it’s young love, and you know that you have to go “Aw….” when you see it, or you’re like me and you giggle, especially with the movie’s closing line.
The antagonist, the Nothing/Nameless/Whatever Her Name Is Card is probably my favorite character because she does seem rather human, she’s not being evil for the sake of being evil, it’s because she wants her friends back, and yeah… You can’t really help but feel sorry for her.
I can’t really say that I really really loved this, but I think that it was okay. The sound really brought it down for me, and at times I did want to stop watching, but I kept on watching because I didn’t want to drop it…
The Good: Ah… Probably characters. They are just cute and lovable!
The Bad: …But I didn’t enjoy their voices all that much, nor any of the background music…
i really love the works of CLAMP, especially cardcaptor sakura.
in the anime, syaoran grew a warm feeling for sakura and when he confessed, sakura was at first, confused but in the end, she knew what she also feels for him. the ending was kinda “bitin” but still, i’m satisfied with it…
then, i saw this movie. i was really excited to watch it and witness the continuation of their lovestory.
i won’t spoil anyone esp those who didn’t watch it yet but i’m telling you it’s really a happy ending for them.
the movie is really heart-warming and “nakakakilig”.
i was “kinikilig” the whole time and i’m super-duper satisfied with its ending.
they finally heard each other’s feelings…they finally told “it”. 😀 got the hint?
3: Mimi wo Sumaseba
English: Whisper of the Heart
MAL Score: 8.22
Shizuku Tsukishima is an energetic 14-year-old girl who enjoys reading and writing poetry in her free time. Glancing at the checkout cards of her books one evening, she notices that her library books are frequently checked out by a boy named Seiji Amasawa. Curiosity strikes Shizuku, and she decides to search for the boy who shares her love for literature.
Meeting a peculiar cat on the train, Shizuku follows the animal and is eventually led to a quaint antique shop, where she learns about a cat statuette known as “The Baron.” Taking an interest in the shop, she surprisingly finds Seiji, and the two quickly befriend one another. Shizuku learns while acquainting herself with Seiji that he has a dream that he would like to fulfill, causing her dismay as she remains uncertain of her future and has yet to recognize her talents.
However, as her relationship with Seiji grows, Shizuku becomes determined to work toward a goal. Guided by the whispers of her heart and inspiration from The Baron, she resolves to carve out her own potential and dreams.
Regarding this film in comparison to other films Miyazaki has been a part of, this one seems to by far have the fewest fantastic elements (that is, elements which contain impossible occurrences or imaginary creatures). If I could compare it to any other Miyazaki film, I would say that it is most like My Neighbor Totoro, in that they both focus on the more or less ordinary lives of their characters, rather than large, sweeping plots. It is something that needs to be watched with a mind set that is not waiting for something to move forward, or endanger the characters lives, or otherwise throw them into an absurd situation. Everything that happens in the plot is very believable, yet has its own magic about it because of the playful way it is presented.
One thing that was especially impressive about this film, although most Miyazaki films carry this trait, was the accuracy of the child psychology (and psychology in general). When you watch the characters of this film interact with each other, and when you see things happen to them and how it affects them, you get a feeling of profound truth. This film is dramatic, but it was not cinema dramatic, it was true dramatic. If a character is sad, that doesn’t become their entire personality, it is something that affects their personality. The reason I ramble so long about this is because of how rare it is to see in any medium of art. It is something that if you are looking for it, it is truly beautiful and astounding. This quality of work is not easily imitated.
If you ask me why I rate the art a “9” I will tell it is because of its expressiveness. The landscapes are beautiful, sure, but the real reason I give it a 9 is because of the work put into the animations of every character. There is nothing lazy about it, and there is a uniqueness to the characters movements that takes serious attention. Most films will cut corners in this department, but even though you could call this movie’s art dated, that doesn’t decrease the pleasure gained from its attentiveness.
Still, I will hesitate to recommend this to everyone. If you want a plot that ‘actually goes somewhere,’ so to speak, this film will not give that to you. If you want a film with a tonne of weird and unbelievable things (such as you may be used to with Miyazaki), this film will also not deliver that. What this film delivers is a very detailed picture of its characters which is at times heart warming, at other times heart breaking, and at all times true.
True to form as a Ghibli production, this film complements its character driven narrative with a slew of wall-paper worthy long shots and vibrant animation schemes which I have yet to see that often even in more recent large scale production anime ( there are several such scenes in the latter half of the film, but no spoilers here of course!). Not much else to say here, I recommend you watch the film and see for yourself.
Sound quality in the film was solid throughout. But what really won me over was the Japanese rendition of Jon Denver’s country road. Not only was it an impressive rendition by itself, it was incredibly appropriate for the small town slice-of-life feel that the creators seemed to be going for. Even after hearing it on replay throughout the film, I did not tire of that song, which in my opinion, speaks volumes for how fitting the song was for the film’s overall atmosphere. Sadly, the other background music did go relatively unnoticed, but upon re-watching the movie and listening to the original soundtrack again, the rest of the background music was quite good as well.
When we think of studio Ghbli we often times think of Hayao Miyazaki and sometimes Isao Takahata. In the case of Whisper of the heart, we have a tale with all the flavor and style reminiscent of these Ghibli greats, and yet was directed by neither Miyazaki nor Takahata but instead by a man named Yoshifumi Kondō, whose life was cut tragically short after the release of his 1st and only film. A darn shame too, because at the time he was considered a legitimate candidate to succeed Miyazaki as head of the studio.
As a film that seems almost forgotten among the plethora of excellent productions from studio Ghibli, Whisper of the Heart is a much watch as an entry level anime for people just getting into the medium and as a deeper exploration into the world of anime film for seasoned veterans out there. In addition, as with all Ghibli films, Whisper of the Heart feels like it was made with a general audience in mind, so you needn’t be a fan of slice-of-life to enjoy watching it.
Even if you end up not liking this film I hope you found my review helpful. Of course I am always looking to improve, so feedback is always appreciated.
Just leave a message on my profile thread if you have any comments, criticisms, or just wanna talk about anime!!
Working on the themes of adolescence and infatuation giving rise to a wonderful journey of self discovery, Studio Ghibli presents us with Mimi wo Sumaseba also commonly known as Whisper of the Heart. The story mainly revolves around the female lead, Shizuku Tsukishima, a junior high school girl living in New Tama Town. The story progresses as Shizuku constantly finds a certain someone, named Seiji Awasama, always issuing books before she does at her town library, which leads her to grow a sense of respect while her imagination weaves together a personality of Seiji as one could only describe as the “Prince Charming of her life.” Much to her disappointment, Seiji is any thing but the “prince charming” she had imagined him to be; but Seiji had a unique charm of his own. One thing led to another and soon, Shizuku starts facing typical teenage life problem ranging from the urge to rebel against her parent’s wishes, unnecessarily squabbling with her siblings, while also realising she has fallen in love with the “not-the-prince-charming-she-had-imagined”, Seiji. Hereby follows a movie about self discovery, presented in the most heartwarming way possible.
Now it may seem like any other teenage-romance on pen and paper, but Whisper of the Heart, has its own charm, specially due to the way it presents itself. The problem with most romance shows now a days is that they tend to be extremely dull or overly melodramatic and their predictable plot structure doesn’t help them much either. While being melodramatic, most also tend to be highly unrealistic with their character interactions, their behaviour, body language and much more which just brings their over all quality down. Whisper of the heart, throws all these out of the window and carves its path through this genre in a rather realistic and dramatic way, without crossing the dreaded line between the dramatic and the melodramatic. Character interactions are seamless and seem as realistic as it can get for a story of such sorts. Characters behave as a mere reflection of any other ordinary teenager, as they would to the shown circumstances and these strokes of realism are even more integrated into the movie with the help of detailed, subtle body language of the the characters through which many emotions are shown, rather than told through mere dialogue exchange.
The characters themselves are rather eccentric even though they are fairly ordinary people. The female lead, Shizuka, is a rather charming and adorable girl. Her relation with her family and her friends is well portrayed through meaningful dialogue. Her monologues of what she thinks about her sister, mother, her best friends and her general view of the situations she faces helps build up her base character along with her relationship with the side characters in a gradual and methodical way. The development that Shizuka goes through the movie, simply put, is phenomenal. From a naive junior high student, who didn’t know what she wanted to do with her talent, and on the bigger scale, with her life; Shizuka realises her field of interest and recognises her talents. Her love for writing also explores her vivid and colourful imagination. She comes to realise the importance of family and meeting up with family expectations, while chasing her individual dream too, but the main motivation behind most of her development is her love interest, Seiji.
Seiji is quite the character himself. He is shown as an ordinary boy, working at his grandfather’s small antique shop, while learning both, to build and play the violin. The development between Seiji and Shizuko’s romantic relationship, albeit a bit cheesy, was handled with great care. While Seiji doesn’t receive as much development as Shizuko on screen, most of his character development is rather implied. While maintaining Seiji’s lively manner, we see a sense of responsibility grow in him which we naturally see in most teens as they go through their phase of adolescence. His growth in sense of responsibility is established through his interactions with Shizuko, specially, the conversation they have on the school rooftop where they realise they have to work their way so that they could live and spend more time together in the future.All these character interactions which lead to their subtle development, was neatly woven together by the skilful hands of the director, Yoshifumi Kondou, who is known for his works in various other critically acclaimed works such as Omoide Poroporo and Akage no Anne as an animation director.
Studio Ghibli has always been known for sending the audience into another magical dimension with their various works, but sometimes, due to the lack of proper direction, the whole magical element backfires, and in the end, the movie tends to become a mess. Thankfully, Whisper of the Heart, is not one of these movies! Even though the movie is highly realistic at its core, Studio Ghibli didn’t stop from adding their key fantasy elements into the movie. And with the efficient direction, these were used to enhance the whole experience of the viewer. Shizuka’s main writing work is dynamically shown, rather than being simply narrated. These scenes range from talking rabbits wearing monocles to riding an air stream to an unknown mysterious castle. All these fantasy elements are integrated into the movie with great caress without leaving deep scars on the strokes of realism, the movie portrays.
The animation delivered by Studio Ghibli, as usual, is fantastic. Great detail is maintained in almost every frame and the movement of characters and the general motion is as fluid as it can get. The landscape scenes are pretty eye candy and the movie is completely devoid of any ugly CGI. There are some great camera angles used when necessary, sometime to show the overarching city while some soothing music plays to evoke a strange feeling of nostalgia. The artistic direction of the movie takes credits when the fantasy world is involved, as the colour palette becomes much more vibrant and animation becomes subtly smoother and camera angles range from the typical to experimental ones where Shizuka is shown riding the winds to the castle.
Along with the magical animation, the movie imbues a deep sense of nostalgia with its musical direction. The movie begins with Olivia Newton John’s cover of the famous song, Country Road, which itself evokes a warm fuzzy feeling in the viewer, making them feel right at home. Other than that particular cover of John Dever’s, country road, a japanese rendition is sung many times in the movie and their placement couldn’t have been more correct which added to the overall atmosphere of the film, whenever they were used. A personal favourite would be when Seiji plays the violin and Shizuka sings along and the elders join in with various other instruments, to create one of the most joyous and heart warming scenes in anime for me personally, but one could feel free to disagree, I guess. Other soundtracks just add to the magic of the film and its overarching, heartwarming atmosphere. To weave such a fantastic atmosphere, and evoke feelings of nostalgia with the music alone, credits must be given to the “music director”, Yuuiji Nomi who is also known for his quirky OST’s in Nichijou.
With all that said and done, I must conclude by saying that Whisper of the Heart is a wonderful coming of age film; and a journey of self discovery. This film has something for everybody to enjoy, whether it be seeing yourself as a teenager grow up in the movie, facing similar problems or for parents, who could see how to co-operate with their child when they’re in their rebellious phase of life and let them freely chase their dreams. The fantastic musical score coupled with the fluid animation has the right balance of drama imbibed into it. It may appear to some as a typical animated work at first glance but once the experience is over, many will quickly realise that Whisper of the Heart is anything but typical.
And yeah, Country Roads, will never be the same again, for me at least.
2: Hotarubi no Mori e
MAL Score: 8.33
Intrigued by the tale of a mountain god, six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa loses her way in the ancient forest while visiting her uncle. Exhausted and desperate for help, Hotaru is thrilled to find a masked forest spirit named Gin. She learns the hard way that she should not touch the boy, or he would disappear. In spite of this, Gin leads Hotaru out of the forest and warns her never to return when she promises to come again with a gift.
Paying no heed to his cautionary words, and despite being separated by both distance and planes of existence, Hotaru and Gin become close friends as she visits him every summer. However, their relationship and resolve are put to the test, when romantic feelings conflict with the one and only rule.
Based on Yuki Midorikawa’s manga of the same name, Hotarubi no Mori e is a tale of friendship and compromise of two people who should never have crossed paths, as their lives become hopelessly intertwined.
Time is cruel. Time is responsible for the summers that come and go, for the leaves in autumn that shrivel and fall to the ground at the mercy of the next toddler looking to create satisfying crunching sounds, for the long and cold winters.
You come to love the smell of rain in the spring or the cool breeze of a summer night and then poof. It’s gone.
Much like a fleeting summer’s day, the main characters in Hotarubi no Mori e are bound by the chains of time. He cannot leave the forest for fear of being touched by a human and she cannot see him until three seasons have passed and summer comes again. And so, the two spend time together when they can, and as she grows up with him she realizes there will come a day when time will yet again become their enemy.
Their time together is short, meaningful and ultimately bittersweet. Much like the anime itself.
Hotarubi no Mori e is a beautiful movie that takes the idea of forbidden love, a topic that has been overly done and worn out by bad soap-opera themed dramas, and remakes the idea in an elegant, refreshing manner. Much of the brilliance in this anime can be accredited to the captivating character and background designs as well as the honesty that shines through in the writing. The anime pulls us viewers in with dramatic music and writing while keeping everything light and down-to-earth. And it does all of this in a mere 45 minutes.
Forbidden love, playful love, intense love, a love that is not love. With all of these takes on love, can we really be sure of what love is? Simply put, love is a universal… well, for lack of a better word, thing.
Nobody really knows what love is but everyone has their own interpretation of the word. Plato once said, “at the touch of love, everyone is a poet”. And it’s true. The concept of love is incredibly popular and you can probably find more pieces of literature or entertainment that center around love than any other genre. This anime specifically has taken the idea of a physical love and completely thrown it out of the window, all the while proving with gusto that love doesn’t have to be physical to be just as emotionally impacting.
You see, the anime focuses on the more important ideas about love that maybe we’ve all kind of forgotten.
Like the happiness you feel when you’re near them.
Like the first time you saw them laugh.
Like when it’s suffocating to be with them because you don’t know what to do or say.
Hotarubi no mori e gracefully weaves these elements into a heartbreaking tale of a first love. Sure, it’s lighthearted and even a little fun, but a love founded on emotions is the heaviest burden you can imagine.
As stated before, the art this anime is nothing short of breath-taking. The designers definitely knew what they were doing when it came to setting the mood with soft pastel colors or adding bursts of colors to enhance a scene. Although it wasn’t exactly memorable, the art did help to add an extra element of beauty. Similarly, the soundtrack to this anime was also very fitting and nice. Especially the ending song, “Natsu wo Miteita” (I saw summer) which had the feel of summer that is longed for but will never return. The art and sound really worked together well with what was happening on screen. Everything fit together perfectly like puzzle pieces.
To end this review, I will rebound back to the very beginning and touch upon the subject of love again with our two main characters Hotaru and Gin. What makes this anime so special, what makes it stand out from all of the others that claim to give you the true meaning of love is that it’s believable and honest, despite having the supernatural theme of spirits. Despite their wishes, the two are bound by circumstances that are out of their control.
They cannot touch.
They cannot see each other outside of the forest.
They are reunited in the summer and are separated in the fall, over and over again.
And against all odds, they try their best to maintain the connection they’ve built through years of playing in the grassy fields, spending time by the lake on a warm summer night talking in hushed voices or confiding in one another under the light of the fireflies — a connection stronger than any kind of physical love can ever provide.
The ending may come as a shock to you. Having read the premise, and a few other stories with similar plots, it didn’t come as a shock to me. And although I knew it was coming, I couldn’t stop myself from crying when it did. This anime was touching and nostalgic. I know it was good because I was left with an empty feeling after watching it — like the feeling of longing after something that time has already taken away.
Like the ever-changing seasons, this anime will pull you in, get you attached to the characters, make you love it and then…poof. It’ll end.
[THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS AHEAD NOW!!!] Now for the detail of why I didn’t like this movie:
In this kind of short, emotional movie, the characters have to be easy to get attached to, since the short time of the movies gives no times for the viewer to get accustomed to them and feel empathy towards them, and no snobbish quote about love can change the fact that the characters in the movie have no personality, and are very forgettable. Hotaru the main character has 2 traits to her, she got lost in the forest, and is in love with the other chraracter, Gin. She is as bland as it gets, she boils down to this person saved me thus I have to love them. Maybe she fell in love with Gin because of the time she passed during all her summers with him, but most of the movie is just the writer bashing your head in trying to make SURE your remember that if Gin touches a human he dies. Wow, thanks, after the 4th time you told me I forgot, so thanks for the new heads up random voices from the forest.
This is where my biggest problem comes from, instead of developing a sweet relationship between an almost immortal spirit and an aging young girl, and have the character that was supposed to live on forever die, thus creating a sad and tragic ending, the movie was basically 45 minutes of being reminded that Gin was going to die. Even worst is that that ending came out of nowhere. Not in a good way like I was surprised, like in the sense that I have no idea why he just died when he did. There was no buildup, no emotion, it just happened after a weird festival thing that was frankly pointless.
The more I think about it, this movie is quite pointless, nothing is developed, all you get is a 45 minute movie about a young girl who likes a spirit and how she gets told 10000 times that her lover is basically as good as dead. Thanks, but if you try to hard to make me sad, instead of writing characters I will feel sad about, I’m not going to cry at your super at of nowhere unemotional death scene.
Just like I said, listen to the soundtrack, because it’s probably the only thing I thoroughly enjoyed. From the same writer Nastume Yuujinchou which is miles better. And watch Garden of Words if you want a 45 minutes emotional movie about growing up and impossible love.
Or you could just go watch Train Wars, at least that has the bonus of being entertaining.
I started to watch this because it was written by Yuki Midorikawa. I loved her previous work “Natsume Yuuchinjou” and I was hoping this would be another good anime to pass my time on. I was not wrong.
I am sure that on this movie there are many reviewers who has retold the summary of this story in their own review which I am going to skip over because I am pretty sure you get the gist of it.
The whole plot was well put together. Even though the movie was only 40 mins. long, it did not seem rushed at all. Every scene flowed well into place.
BEWARE: READ ANY FURTHER AND THERE MIGHT BE SPOILERS!!
The characters were well played and none of them annoyed me, which is a plus point for me. It was really heartbreaking to see both Gin and Hotaru growing up to be good friends and eventually falling in love. Seeing them both struggling to hold each other and feel each other’s warmth did make my eyes water.
Whenever I watch any anime, I am really careful about the ending because even though an anime could be great, the ending could really kill the whole story for me. But the ending on this movie was too good. Though it would be better if they could get together, but that did not happen…it was still beautiful though!
I definitely recommend this!! Can’t wait to see what Yuki Midorikawa comes up with next! ^^
1: Natsume Yuujinchou Movie: Utsusemi ni Musubu
English: Natsume Yujin-cho the Movie: Ephemeral Bond
Japanese: 劇場版 夏目友人帳 ～うつせみに結ぶ～
MAL Score: 8.42
Takashi Natsume and his spirit companion Madara, nicknamed “Nyanko,” continue returning the names of spirits from the Book of Friends given by his late grandmother Reiko Natsume.
On his way back from school one day, Takashi encounters a lurking spirit named Monmonbou, who recalls memories of Takashi’s grandmother after hearing his name. Takashi’s natural curiosity leads him to explore a mysterious town where his grandmother used to live. Befriending her old acquaintance Yorie Tsumura and Yorie’s son Mukuo, Takashi unveils more of his grandmother’s past.
In the meantime, Nyanko detours for food and stumbles upon a suspicious “Spirit Seed,” which miraculously sprouts into a fruit tree overnight. Giving in to temptation, Nyanko consumes the fruit, splitting him into three. Seeking a solution to Nyanko’s predicament, Takashi and his friends lend a hand, unexpectedly uncovering more secrets the town holds in the process.
I enjoyed it very much.
Now, where’s my 7th season?
Because MAL is a butt and wants me to write a longer review, I just want to say that Nyanko-sensei is the most precious anime character to every exist. I want my very own Nyanko-sensei to hold and snuggle. Hopefully he doesn’t drink all my beer though.
Whenever there is a movie made for an anime it usually has some random action and mainly flawed plot but thankfully this is not the case, this feels more like a longer episode of natsume rather than a movie, it is soothing, relaxing and it personally made me very happy considering I didn’t like part 6 as much as the rest.
The story is great and unique and the fact that this is a movie after 6 seasons with each season having 12/13 episodes with ovas for every season yet there is such a good idea like this still being presented for the first time makes me happy, I won’t spoil anything but it sure was a very fun ride though I will say the fact that we got to know that not every human despised reiko was so heartwarming.
The art is phenomenal as well as the animation but it felt a bit lacky in that part but I know a 100% flawless animation is extremely difficult to obtain anyways so it wasn’t a big problem or anything.
The OSTs/Ending song were great as ususal.
Overall a 10/10, it helped me forget about my other worries and was an incredibly fun ride.
Would recommend it even as a stand-alone movie and not part of a series.
Every time I review something from Natsume, I feel like all I do is gush about the same things over and over, but it really is such a great anime series that it’s hard not to give it praise for the things it does really well. For example, the art style in this anime has always been really interesting to me. I didn’t really find it completely appealing at first since I’m so picky, but it’s honestly the only art style this anime could ever have. The colors being dull yet colorful as they are, the character designs being simple and mundane, and the landscapes being expansive and entrancing are all reasons that this sort of art style works so well for a calming and magical anime such as Natsume.
The story in this film specifically was very interesting. The whole film felt like a long episode of Natsume, which was great because all the little stories we got in this film were connected. The only bit of narrative that we didn’t really get this go around was a more in depth look at Natsume’s past and his mindset at the time of some of his harder encounters with people. That was something I really enjoyed about the most recent seasons of Natsume, and I was hoping that this movie would really delve into it, though the story we got was still pure Natsume, and I loved that.
The one thing that I will always love above all else in this anime are the characters themselves. This story of the Book of Friends is able to open such a broad pathway for us, as viewers, to experience some really lovely narratives that– while short-lived– make us feel a multitude of emotions, almost as if we’ve spent a lifetime in them. This film was no different, and maybe even better since we got to spend a little more time here than we normally get to.
It’s always been really difficult for me to talk about Natsume Yuujinchou because there’s not a whole lot TO say as it speaks for itself. It’s a series that’ll make everybody feel at peace and happy, but it’s still got a wealth of depth and things to teach the people that watch it. The world, the stories, the people– it’s all so unique when it comes to Natsume’s Book of Friends, and it’s not something you’d regret getting into at all. I’m really looking forward to spending more time in this world, should the opportunity arise, and I’m glad I’ve gotten to spend so much time there already. This is definitely my go-to anime for a rainy day.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Natsume Yuujinchou Movie: Utsusemi ni Musubu
2. Hotarubi no Mori e
3. Mimi wo Sumaseba
4. Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: Fuuin Sareta Card
5. Natsume Yuujinchou: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihousha
6. Coquelicot-zaka kara
7. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R: The Movie
8. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Kaguya-hime no Koibito
9. Star☆Twinkle Precure: Hoshi no Uta ni Omoi wo Komete
10. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal Movie 2
11. Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 1
12. Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
13. Majo Minarai wo Sagashite
14. Hug tto! Precure Futari wa Precure Movie: All Stars Memories
15. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS: Sailor 9 Senshi Shuuketsu! Black Dream Hole no Kiseki
16. Precure All Stars Movie DX3: Mirai ni Todoke! Sekai wo Tsunagu☆Nijiiro no Hana
17. Haikara-san ga Tooru Movie 1: Benio, Hana no 17-sai
18. Aikatsu! Movie
19. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal Movie 1
20. Orange: Mirai
21. Mahoutsukai Precure! Movie: Kiseki no Henshin! Cure Mofurun!
22. Aikatsu Stars! Movie
23. Uta no☆Prince-sama Movie: Maji Love Kingdom
24. Marmalade Boy Movie
25. Cardcaptor Sakura: Kero-chan ni Omakase!
26. Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare
27. Precure All Stars Movie DX: Minna Tomodachi☆Kiseki no Zenin Daishuugou!
28. Yes! Precure 5 Movie: Kagami no Kuni no Miracle Daibouken!
29. Aikatsu!: Nerawareta Mahou no Aikatsu! Card
30. Harukanaru Toki no Naka de: Maihitoyo
31. Chibi Maruko-chan: Watashi no Suki na Uta
32. Precure All Stars Movie DX2: Kibou no Hikari☆Rainbow Jewel wo Mamore!
33. Precure All Stars Movie New Stage: Mirai no Tomodachi
34. Precure Miracle Leap Movie: Minna to no Fushigi na Ichinichi
35. Chibi Maruko-chan Movie
36. PriPara Movie: Mi~nna no Akogare Let’s Go☆Prix Paris
37. Futari wa Precure: Max Heart Movie 2 – Yukizora no Tomodachi
38. Healin’ Good Precure Movie: Yume no Machi de Kyun! Tto GoGo! Dai Henshin!!
40. 11-nin Iru!
41. Aikatsu! Music Award: Minna de Shou wo MoracchaimaShow!
42. Precure All Stars Movie: Minna de Utau – Kiseki no Mahou
43. Andersen Douwa: Ningyohime
44. Precure Dream Stars! Movie
45. Versailles no Bara: Seimei Aru Kagiri Aishite
46. King of Prism: Pride the Hero
47. Wata no Kuni Hoshi
48. Haikara-san ga Tooru Movie 2: Hana no Tokyo Dai Roman
49. PriPara Movie: Mi~nna de Kagayake! Kirarin☆Star Live!
50. Ace wo Nerae! (1979)