They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Kinnikuman (Movie), Kick-Heart, Bakusou Kyoudai Let’s & Go!! WGP Bousou Mini Yonku Daitsuiseki, and more!
50: Kinnikuman (Movie)
Japanese: キン肉マン (キン肉マン 奪われたチャンピオンベルト)
MAL Score: 6.34
Mari and Kinnikuman’s Championship Belt are stolen by the Octopus Dragon and his minions. Now Kinnikuman and the other Justice Choujins must travel to Planet Metro and compete in a tournament in order to win them back.
MAL Score: 6.39
By day, Romeo Maki is a respectable man who loves bringing gifts to the local orphanage, and Juliet is a newly employed nun working at said orphanage. However, by night, they are Masked Man M and Lady S, popular professional wrestlers. Kick-Heart tells the story of what happens when this dynamic pair meet in the ring, the only place where they can express their hidden desires.
Masaaki Yuasa, the acclaimed director of titles such as Mind Game and Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei, drew the idea for the main theme of Kick-Heart from this concept of pain and pleasure. He watched a French man getting tortured, and then amused himself at the thought of what it would be like if that man experienced pleasure simultaneously. Also noteworthy is that he also drew inspiration from Tiger Mask, which is where the idea for pro-wrestling came from. Eventually, Yuasa’s ideas developed into this short film, which is notable in itself for the fact that its production was funded through a Kickstarter crowdfunding project. It is thanks to Kickstarter that this delightful tale of sensual wrestling was made possible.
With that said, Kick-Heart’s story is a simple one. At only twelve minutes, it would be unreasonable to expect an in-depth exploration of the human condition. Still, Kick-Heart, with its theme of pain and pleasure, focuses on a romance that is created between a “Romeo” and a “Juliet.” The Romeo in this case is a pro-wrestler who goes by the name of “Maskman M.” In the wrestling ring, he faces off against the Juliet, “Lady S”. As the letters in their names might suggest, Romeo enjoys taking the beatings in his job, whereas Juliet enjoys dishing them out. The romance appropriately kicks off (pun somewhat intended) during a match when Romeo takes a kick from Juliet, hence the title “Kick-Heart.” Just enough information is given about these two characters so that they firmly represent the different sides of the film’s theme. While the characters themselves are not the focus, the short movie format makes this work well, as attempting to flesh out a character in a limited amount of time would instead detract from the narrative focus. Despite the fairly simple premise, the film’s monomaniacal focus on its theme of sensual pain and the contrast between the two main characters is one of its strengths.
Another one of the strengths of this short film undoubtedly lies with Yuasa’s directing. Those of you who are familiar with his works will recognize his dynamic and fast-paced style and composition, coupled with some over-the-top scenes and quirky humor. And Kick-Heart is indeed funny and entertaining, putting the main character in strange and awkward situations. Dialogue is somewhat sparse and is only used when it absolutely needs to be, or to deliver the humor. Kick-Heart is ultimately a visually-driven work, as is the case with Yuasa’s other titles.
Accordingly, the aesthetics of Kick-Heart are perhaps its greatest treat. Yuasa’s works are often known for their art styles that are significantly different from the norm, and this film is no exception. This is mostly evident in its use of vibrant and vivid colors that emphasize its lively atmosphere. The character designs are eccentric, reinforcing the quirky humor that is used throughout. A bright color palette becomes more prominent during the wrestling sequences, in which the film’s climax lies. Of course, the colorfulness of the film is not limited to the art style alone, as the use of animation is just as lively. Of particular note are scenes that are depicted in a unique and peculiar manner, such as Romeo falling in love and his heart visibly pounding to show that. As an animated film, Kick-Heart uses the visual medium to great effect, making it both a pleasure to watch and to simply look at.
The soundtrack for the film may not be outstanding in comparison to its visuals, but it emphasizes the robust nature of the film nevertheless. The track used in the opening credits sequence is an excellent indication of things to come, establishing the atmosphere in an upbeat and energetic sort of way.
Kick-Heart’s length alone makes it a difficult title to simply pass up, as it is only about half the length of an average anime episode. It is a definite recommendation to anyone who watches anime or animation in general. Fans of Masaaki Yuasa will enjoy his familiar style in this film, and others will find it a great introduction to his growing list of works. Kick-Heart may not have the scale of a feature-length film, but it certainly packs quite a punch.
Or, in this case, a kick.
Masaaki Yuasa has a reputation on MAL SO high that it’s actually difficult to find parallels. Old school, film snob magazines like Sights and Sounds will talk about François Truffaut, Federico Fellini, Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman, and Jean-Luc Godard in the same way that MAL and 4chan talk about Yuasa. That should give you a hint of just how highly he’s regarded among part of anime community. However, there is ONE Yuasa anime that nobody talks about. The one black mark on his record that MAL apparently hates. Kick Heart is that anime!
Kick Heart is a 12 minute, psychedelic romp about a masochistic luchador who is in love with a nun and lives at an orphanage as a priest. Basically, Yuasa was eating shrooms while watching Nacho Libre and decided to make this brilliant catastrophe. In Yuasa’s defense, he COULD have been inspired by the actual story of Fray Tormenta AKA Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez. I pray for the dignity of anime that he didn’t actually do this based on Nacho Libre…even though I kind of liked that movie. Stop looking at me! It wasn’t THAT bad!
Anyways, the main battle is between the luchador named Masked M (because he’s a masochist) and a sadistic luchadora named Lady S, because of course she’s a sadist. The luchadora is actually the nun that Masked M is in love with from the orphanage…because of COURSE she is.
Despite the plot and characters being nothing to write home about, this anime is actually fucking hilarious! This is laugh a minute quality and its worth watching for that reason by itself.
The animation is unsurprisingly extremely fluid and is Yuasa’s trademark style. Since this is a wrestling anime, I can say this is VINTAGE Yuasa.
The comedy value of this anime goes through the roof when you learn the backstory. This was kickstarted and funded entirely by Yuasa’s fanboys. They thought they were getting another Tatami Galaxy or Kaiba and instead they got this…thing. This anime may be the greatest troll move I’ve ever seen by an anime director. This is right up there with Inferno Cop and Ninja Slayer. The difference is that Trigger fans have come to expect stupid and over the top. Yuasa’s devoted fans must have reacted to this anime like that scene in the Producers with the elderly, mostly Jewish audience reacting to the opening of Springtime for Hitler. The difference is that they didn’t leave laughing and loving it. They left it 3s and 4s on MAL. Before this, Yuasa was someone I respected far more than I actually liked. After pulling this shit though, Yuasa is Mah BOI!
This show (or episode I should say) actually manages a plot in its short run-time. I’ve personally seen shows that can go six episodes without developing anything plot-wise, so seeing a show with an extremely brief story, that still makes itself humorous and interesting, was very refreshing.
The animation quality is good, and it fits perfectly with the tone of the show. The sound quality is even better, with a dub that actually sounds like effort was put into it. Hell, by the time you finish reading this you could’ve watched the whole thing.
Want a quick laugh? Go watch it.
48: Bakusou Kyoudai Let’s & Go!! WGP Bousou Mini Yonku Daitsuiseki
Japanese: 爆走兄弟レッツ&ゴー!! WGP 暴走ミニ四駆大追跡!
MAL Score: 6.41
Rion gets tricked into installing a chip into his racing car called “Gun Bluster” by the mini-4wd company he was associated with. His car starts racing without control and causing various riots with fellow racers, Rion teams up with the TRF Victorys and start chasing after Gun Bluster to remove the chip.
Rion, Retsu and Go Seiba along with the other TRF members, Ryo Takaba with the help of his little brother, Jiromaru, Tokichi and J are confroted with an association that is also after Gun Bluster, but what are their intentions?
United along-side their trademark mini-4wd, the TRF’s and Rion race together and avoid traps to safelly capture Gun Bluster!
47: Metal Fight Beyblade vs. Taiyou: Shakunetsu no Shinryakusha Sol Blaze
Japanese: 劇場版メタルファイト ベイブレードVS太陽 ～灼熱の侵略者ソルブレイズ～
MAL Score: 6.57
It’s summer vacation. In front of Ginga and Co, who are excited about a Beyblade tournament, Helios, a mysterious youth, stands in their way. In his hands, he possesses “Sol Blaze”, a Beyblade that has been passed down since ancient times. As intense battle between Ginga vs. Helios unfolds, extreme weather develops throughout the world.
46: Bakuten Shoot Beyblade the Movie: Gekitou!! Takao vs. Daichi
English: Beyblade the Movie: Decisive Battle! Takao VS Daichi
Japanese: 爆転シュート ベイブレード THE MOVIE 激闘！！タカオＶＳ大地
MAL Score: 6.58
The Bladebreakers are on a well deserved vacation. But, a hyperactive kid named Daichi continues to pursue Tyson for a rematch after his defeat in the Beyblade World Championships. The Bladebreakers’ vacation eventually takes a turn for the worst once they encounter mysterious Beybladers who claim to be the Dark Spirits sealed inside a strange temple. With Daichi under their control, the Shadow Bladers seek to destroy the world with their Dark BitBeasts. Together, Tyson, Max, Ray, and Kai must save not only Daichi… but the world as well…
45: Bari Bari Densetsu (1987)
MAL Score: 6.62
The film is about 4 high-schoolers who are bike racers and illegally partake in races at night on public roads.
Not really, since the same guy, Shuichi Shigeno, created Bari Bari Densetsu and Initial D – two holy grails of the petrol-heads. He also had assistance, in the form of his prominent student Jyoji Morikawa – the guy behind Hajime no Ippo.
You know a racing movie is good when it starts with a shot of an idyllic road. The morning sun is gently fondling the scenery and the birds are chirping. Suddenly the comforting scene is ripped apart by a raging motorbike noise. Two riders blast into the scene, taking the corners at a mind-blowing pace. They turn, they twist, they lean almost vertically as they literally eat the road.
The camera zooms in, shifting gears, the parts move, the engine shakes, and the bikes roar like furious wild beasts. The riders become one with the road, the lines they take paint a work of art and the sound from the bikes, revving up insatiably, creates a symphony of destruction.
When a movie conveys all this feelings, you know it’s made by a driver, for the drivers. And Shuichi Shigeno is one of the rare people with a godly talent to make this right. The detail put in his work is insane, right down to the point, where you can hear the air getting furiously sucked into the intake.
And not just the bikes, great care was also put into making detailed surroundings. You will actually recognize segments of racing tracks like Tsukuba and Suzuka, if you’re familiar with them.
Now this being a racing movie, you shouldn’t expect a great story. And it really isn’t, but by no means is it bad or boring. It’s a tale that never gets old. About a young, fast but reckless, prodigy that wants to push his limits, and a rival, who challenges his skills and helps him transcend to the next level. There is also a girl, of course, who likes to stick around the fast boys.
It’s a very down to earth, relate able story and you’ll be rooting for everyone involved by the end. It all builds up to one of the greatest races ever, with intensity hotter than any fire.
This is all wrapped in a distinct 80’s production, with the catchy music of the time. Fear not, there are plenty of moments where you’ll be listening to just pure sounds of motorbikes being pushed to the limit. Also, this being partly a motorbike gang movie you’ll get to see some action moments too. The most glorious one has to be where the main protagonist punches someone trough a closed car door (it’s as awesome as it sounds).
Speaking of motorbike anime, it’s strange that so few were made, since the Bōsōzoku were quite a popular theme in the 80’s Japan. Sure, biking is present in many of the classics of the time, like Akira, Megazone 23, etc., but only Bari Bari Densetsu seems to be fully devoted to it, besides Bobby’s In Deep, which is a bit short and experimental, but also a great biking movie.
Just like with Initial D, I can only end this review with the following words. If you’re a racing fan, you’ll scream with enjoyment while watching this. If you’re not, you will become one.
Motorcycles are so fucking cool, dude. Seeing these ones animated so well when they might be obnoxious CG blobs today makes me happy.
The story was pretty basic, and interesting to think about in connection to the mangaka’s later work, Initial D. I think Initial D First Stage is damn near perfectly paced with great stakes because it all comes down to Takumi’s relationships with the 86 and his rivalry with well-defined opponents. Bari Bari Densetsu doesn’t exactly have that. It feels a lot slower when they’re not racing and the original author’s portrayal of women he was clearly not too interested in writing is even thinner here than in Initial D. The movie stops dead for weird fan service scenes featuring the pink-haired girl (pretty cute design within this style, but it’s not my favorite style), and one of those scenes is an attempted rape at knife-point. Where the rapist is even—I shudder to write this—attempted to be redeemed as a person immediately afterward. That doesn’t work.
But, even then, the fact that the racing is mostly semi-pro here takes a bit away from the Initial D formula, because there’s no defined antagonistic opposition. The dynamic is that the two main rival characters have a love-hate relationship and they work together to win a qualifying race. That means there’s no inter-race commentary or “I have to beat him” or psychoanalyzing the action. The race starts, it looks good, and it’s over without you getting really invested in it. Of course, I think they realized this when it was initially being written because they added some crashes to make things more interesting.
I understand there’s probably more street racing in the manga, and I understand this is actually a summary of a 2-episode OVA, so there’s more for people who want more. But I enjoyed the art a bunch and was otherwise left a bit wanting by it.
Bari Bari Densetsu comes to us from the original creator of Initial D. The story follows illegal street racers on their path to professional races. Like Initial D, these teens ride on Japanese mountains swooping around corners at breakneck speeds. Additionally, if you loved the dynamic camera angles featured in Initial D, they’re even better here because it’s 100% hand-drawn and painted.
Although Bari Bari lacks the uniformity of CG art, it depicts each race from numerous camera angles. Whether it’s looking straight ahead, checking the speedometer, engine shots, or close-ups as riders lean around corners with their knee an inch away from the pavement; you’re bound to be impressed by its creators’ artistic vision. However, my favorite mid-race animation is how the camera rotates around riders causing the scenery to shift. I’ll admit, it’s not perfect, but creating the appearance of a 3D space using only hand-painted sheets of plastic is worthy of praise. Furthermore, these complex camera angles occasionally extend to non-racing scenes and create a beautiful cinematic experience throughout the entire film.
The story primarily follows Hideyoshi and Gun, two rival teens who will stop at nothing to one-up each other. They come from vastly contrasting backgrounds. My favorite is Hideyoshi due to his tragic background. Despite being in his teens, he lives alone with his sister since their parents’ death in a car accident. He sees racing as his means for providing for himself and his sister. On the other hand, Gun receives the most screen time but is characterized as an antagonist. It’s very easy to dislike him, considering how he’s played out as a disheveled jerk who constantly antagonizes Hideyoshi for no apparent reason.
Supposedly, Gun comes from a wealthy family, but they didn’t explain that well aside from the fact that he’s got an expensive bike. Maybe the 38 volume manga goes further in-depth on that. In fact, there are many characters and plot points introduced that the movie doesn’t have enough time to flesh out fully.
It feels like there should be two romance arcs, a love triangle, more in-depth characterizations for its side characters, and some backstory for how Gun and Hideyoshi met, but the movie is only 85 minutes. As you would expect of a racing movie, the plot builds up to a major race in its final chapter, and I think it’s a high point for the film. Not only does this race test the rider’s skills, but also their endurance considering it’s a long race on a sweltering day.
This immense challenge brings out the best in our characters as they push their limits as far as they can, some even crash and continue the race. In addition to the physical feats presented during this event, the struggle causes our characters to develop, leading to a fulfilling and emotional conclusion….which I absolutely hate…Seriously, this might be one of my most hated anime endings. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. I just strongly disagree with what happens and how that makes me feel.
Overall, I give Bari Bari an 8/10. While this movie only covers a fraction of the manga, I think the directors and planners did a great job of spacing everything out as not to feel too rushed, though it’s obvious this should have been at least a 24 episode series. I also didn’t like how Gun was given the superhuman strength to kick a guardrail with enough force to cancel his momentum and crumple the steel-like aluminum foil.
44: Touch 2: Sayonara no Okurimono
Japanese: タッチ2 さよならの贈り物
MAL Score: 6.68
Compilation movie of the second year of the Touch timeline. Plotwise, the movie doesn’t have much to do with the series second year.
43: Captain Tsubasa: Asu ni Mukatte Hashire!
Japanese: キャプテン翼 明日に向って走れ！
MAL Score: 6.69
The third Captain Tsubasa movie is basically about a training match of the All Japan Boy Soccer Team, but most of the time you see flashbacks of former matches, for instance the final match Nankatsu vs. Toho or when Wakabayashi challenges team captains of different sports.
42: Touch 3: Kimi ga Toorisugita Ato ni – Don’t Pass Me By
Japanese: タッチ３ 君が通り過ぎたあとに -DON`T PASS ME BY-
MAL Score: 6.69
Compilation movie of the third year of the Touch timeline. Contain many important plot differences, added scenes and the complete removal of an important character.
41: Captain Tsubasa: Ayaushi! Zen Nihon Jr.
Japanese: キャプテン翼 危うし！全日本Ｊｒ．
MAL Score: 6.74
The second movie is about the return match between the All Europe Soccer Team and Japan. At the beginning Hyuga denies to join the team due to his 3. defeat against Nankatsu. He practices hard with Kyra to perfect his Tiger Shot. Misaki can’t come and Wakabayashi isn’t allowed to play for he normally plays for a German team. With those lacks and Schneider’s (the European’s captain) improved skills, Tsubasa and the Japanese team have grave problems. Despite the new rules, Schneider finally want’s to beat his rival Wakabayashi with his new “illusion shot”, thus he injures Wakashimazu and Murisaki (the second and third goal keeper) with brutal face shots until Wakabayashi is finally allowed to play. In the course of the match Hyuga manages to perfect his Tiger Shot and joins the team. With those legendary players united and Hyugas new power they manage to defeat their opponent 4:3 in the last minutes.
40: Touch: Sebangou no Nai Ace
Japanese: タッチ 背番号のないエース
MAL Score: 6.75
Compilation movie of the first year of Touch timeline. Contains plot differences, added scenes and an alternate ending.
39: Aoki Densetsu Shoot! (Movie)
English: Blue Legend Shoot!
Japanese: 蒼き伝説 シュート！
MAL Score: 6.78
Frankfurt Youth team (Kubo’s team while he was in Germany) comes to Japan to play a series of friendly matches. Frankfurt Captain Rudy wanted to see why Kubo left Germany to form a team in Japan so he challenges Kakegawa High to a match.
38: Captain Tsubasa: Sekai Daikessen!! Jr. World Cup
Japanese: キャプテン翼 世界大決戦！！Ｊｒ．ワールドカップ
MAL Score: 6.82
In the fourth movie, the classical Japan-Europe match becomes intercontinental. This time they arrange a world cup with 4 teams: Japan, USA, “All Europe”, and “All South America”. In the first match, Japan easily defeats the USA 3:0 and in the second match Europe loses 2:3 against South America. In the final round S.A. shows their “soccer cyborg” Carlos Santana, a more than supreme player who seems to be undefeatable. All their classical tricks like Hyugas “Tiger Shot” or Tsubasas “Top Spin” seem to be totally worthless, but in a hard and spectacular match the Japanese learn more and more to play in unison and finally they get the win.
37: 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
36: Captain Tsubasa: Europe Daikessen
Japanese: キャプテン翼 ヨーロッパ大決戦
MAL Score: 6.88
The first Captain Tsubasa movie is about a match between an “All Europe Boy Soccer Team” and an “All Japan Boy Soccer Team” and takes place at the end of the first TV series. When the Japanese team arrives in Europe they meet incredible players with skills and strength they never had to face before.
35: Inazuma Eleven Go vs. Danball Senki W Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 イナズマイレブンGO vs ダンボール戦機W
MAL Score: 6.97
As Shinsei Inazuma Japan was about to have a match with Inazuma Legend Japan, a mysterious attack of a person and a swarm of robots interrupted, and another mysterious girl’s power drove the world into another dimension. As the world of Inazuma Eleven Go and Danball Senki W met, the two teams must work together to find out what happened to their worlds.
Before watching this movie, I had only watched the Inazuma Eleven (Go) series. So the combination of Inazuma Eleven and Danball Senki W was something new for me.
The story starts with Tenma and his team playing a match against coach Endou and his team. Then they suddenly get attacked by LBXs. At that moment the guys from Danball Senki W come into action. With the help of everybody of Raimon, they defeat de LBXs but then something else happens. Pieces of the world disapear. After that, Tenma and his team, along with Ban and his friends will try to safe the world from being erased by the enemy.
For me, who hadn’t seen Danball Senki W, was de mecha element of the movie something new. Because there is no mecha in the Inazuma Eleven series. The overall main story is a bit of the same as always, I expect that it’s also the main concept of the Danball Senki series. They get attacked and try to safe everybody. They argue sometimes, but it always ends well. Even though it’s not original, it always gets me excited and brings a smile at my face. It’s a bit of thrill that sports can bring to you.
The art was good, the drawing style of both animes was pretty much the same so it wasn’t that the characters from one anime were more detailed drawn then the other.
I also don’t really have anything to say about the sound. The sound was good, it fit the moments.
The characters of the animes are also alike. Ban is like Tenma, they’re both optimistic and help their team go through tough times. Other characters have also a bit in common. I’m not really sure if it’s the same for Danball Senki W, but in this movie, some characters from Inazuma Eleven Go who don’t really play a big role in the series, are also in this movie. (Like Hakuryuu from the other Inazuma Eleven Go movie.)
I really enjoyed this movie. Because I didn’t know Danball Senki W, it added something new for me in the movie. It’s also that, except from just one soccer match, there are two different matches, soccer and LBX. The difference is that, while soccer is physical, LBX is more mentally, because, to control a LBX you should just toutch buttons, and willpower is more important. I’m not saying that it isn’t important for soccer, ofcourse. Watching movies like this leaves a kind of happieness in me and a smile on my face. I also liked it to see the way that the characters of both series became friends.
I hope that my review helped a bit, I recommend this movie, I liked it more than the other Inazuma Eleven go movie. It is a bit different and I enjoyed watching it. I hope you will too :).
34: Nasu: Andalusia no Natsu
English: Nasu: Summer in Andalusia
Japanese: 茄子 アンダルシアの夏
MAL Score: 7.02
Pepe is a Spanish cyclist competing in an multi-stage Iberian cycling race similar to the Tour de France. He is a support rider for one of the teams competing in the race, and his role is to assist the team’s top rider in winning the overall race. As the story unfolds, the racers are set to ride through Pepe’s home town in Andalusia on the same day as the wedding of his elder brother Angel to his former girlfriend Carmen. Their relationship was a factor in his decision to leave the town to pursue professional cycling, and the wedding is a frustrating reminder that his career hasn’t turned out as he would have liked. Now, with the sponsor planning to drop him from the team and his family and friends cheering him on, Pepe abandons his assigned role and strives for glory.
The movie has three main goals: Sell you on cycling as a sport, sell you on Andalusia as a place, and connect the two together into the main character’s story. On the first two points it does really well. I know nothing about cycling nor any of the tactics that are involved. Like a lot of athletics, I tend to think that there are no tactics beyond just cycle faster than anyone else. Summer in Andalusia definitely sells me on the concept that there’s a lot more going on, between the importance of the following pack and the teamwork involved.
It does all the right tricks to make the concept interesting. Delivering the rules of the race in normal conversations between the characters that also serve as character and world building. Dropping a plot twist 15 minutes after you understand the importance of what just happens, so you get that “oh shit” moment where you realise how dramatic that twist is. By the end, when the characters enter the final straight, you understand the importance of everything so the final few minutes can just be all exhilaration and drama and random references to Didi Senft (google it) and you don’t need characters explaining to you what’s going on. It’s fantastically well paced and well told.
Arguably one place the movie doesn’t do so well is characterising the key rivals in the race. The main character is the only one who seems to have a personality. This isn’t much of an issue because the battle is mostly within the main character’s own mind. It’s all part of this larger theme of the main character trying to escape his family life and Andalusia in general, but coming back and realising he is at home here and fighting that feeling. It’s not as well worked in as the rest of the story, since it leaves it a little too vague by the end and I’m not really sure what the main character achieved. He acknowledges his homeland of Andalusia as not being completely terrible I guess?
The movie does a really good job of selling Andalusia, but when I say that I don’t mean as a wonderful place all the time like Neo-Venezia or something. They actually paint it as a sweltering, barren, near-desert place, but one that the people who live there are really proud of regardless. There’s a lot of attention to detail with the backgrounds and setting the tone of the land. It’s really well directed in general and has the feel and look of a Ghibli movie. This is probably because Summer in Andalusia basically is a Ghibli movie. It’s directed by the animation director of stuff like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away and is animated almost entirely by Ghibli staff too. Clocking in at barely 45 minutes, it’s over pretty quickly and paced really well. Comes with my firm stamp of recommendation.
Pepe out main character is part of a team that don’t exactly want him any more as he hasn’t performed and are close to firing him spurring him to fight all the way to the end. It’s his home town so there are a lot of supporters cheering him on. His brother is getting married to his ex girlfriend, its stated in the synopsis its his ex but it really only hints at it but its enough to pick up on.
It seems to be based in Spain which is rather unique setting. A lot of it takes place on the road as we follow Pepe in an open almost desert like place and an old pub restaurant place.
The art and animation are brilliant, the characters are always well animated and even when the large group of cyclists are on screen it never lets up and doesn’t resort to using still frames which i believe is often lazy so having great animation helped here. Backgrounds are really well drawn even if not a lot is going on due to the desert like setting, crowds and characters designs are simple but work well.
Sound is another great part, the background music fits perfectly with the accompanying scene and fit perfectly well with the Spanish setting, they use a very Spanish sounding tune, you know the type that is played on acoustic guitars really fast (Flamenco?) im no expert so please excuse me. It just fits perfect as the movie draws towards its climax. Voice actors did a perfect job, i felt everyone did a good job and the acting wasn’t wooden due to a decent script.
Characters are fairly likable. Pepe, although not shown is a struggling professional cyclist, or at least that’s what we can summarize from the fact the sponsor wants to fire him if he can’t do well in this race, he has a past with his brothers new wife and doesn’t seem to happy to see them together but its never played for the drama but used to show how he’s grown. Pepe’s brother seems to have no remorse over ‘stealing’ Carmen his wife but does want Pepe to succeed and always had faith in him. The old man who owns the pub is cool and generally gets everyone in high spirits and is the party maker for a lack of a better description. Everyone else had individual personalities, the guy who works at the pub, the team manager, the sponsor, guy in the wheel chair. They all make up a nice and enjoyable cast of characters.
Nasu is a really enjoyable movie that will have you pumping with excitement as the race end draws closer, his story is well told and we learn plenty despite the short running time and you may even pick up a few cycling rules or even make you want to pick up your bike. Its not a comedy buts its also not a drama and is very light hearted, the doping test is hilarious.
As such, I suppose this isn’t absolutely great as an ‘introduction’… to professional cycling, sure, even those new to it could catch up with some terminology (it’s about five words I ended up searching for, which in comparison to baseball isn’t much at all, although basketball has terminology more intuitive than ‘peloton’; if all one does is ride by oneself then that certainly is an irrelevant definition) – as it happens, also, the sequel has none of this and more characterization, which is why I thought it was an improvement upon this original.
This, though, doesn’t mean the animation itself isn’t ‘strong’… at this point Madhouse had been in the industry for decades already, even though this film is ‘old’ as of this writing… the barren lands, the Spanish terrain… all lend themselves to a certain atmosphere that, when culturally appropriate music is included, really does feel almost like a tourist advertisement or such… it isn’t really that blatant, despite the pseudo-product endorsements which are mostly there for a little comedy, but I’m still not sure if a song literally about the place in the title, which itself is often repeated, comes across as a bit too strong in the negative sense.
The marriage that parallels the race is most of the drama outside of the sport itself, which isn’t much, and not quite as deep as the drama in its sequel which does touch upon some heavy topics. I suppose the marriage is there to provide a reason behind the protagonist’s choice of career, but beyond that there isn’t really much substance behind it (then again, unless it is one’s own marriage, others’ usually lack substance too, but it’s merely a symbolic act at any rate).
I think one could say a certain highlight of the film, despite not saying ‘much’, is… the cat. Well, an interesting diversion, at the very least. Also, one cultural parallel between both films is the eggplant (where ‘Nasu’ comes from), which apparently in Spain is pickled, whereas in Japan it’s dark and spicy.
In my opinion, though, what this film had too much of that the sequel rectified is with its ratio of sport:drama – the drinking of wine, eggplants, even the marriage were all merely minor, side dramas that were never too ‘powerful’ to begin with. There was some comedy, but not too ‘strong’ either… some tinkering with some glasses gadget that reminded me of some Ghibli films, that yet again had some minor comedy and little commentary about the differences between the young and old, but it was kept very much in a corner, kind of like the television they watched the race on, which to the audience isn’t just confined to a television-within-a-television.
But, this is merely my opinion, which I think the sequel improved on… it doesn’t take away from the solid animation or the culturally accurate (I assume) additions to the narrative… this, though, turns out to be more like the real-life versions which usually have no drama outside of the sport itself, than most anime in such a genre (and the slice-of-life aspect is usually what I’m looking for, which the sequel had satisfactorily).
33: One Piece: Mezase! Kaizoku Yakyuu Ou
Japanese: ワンピース めざせ！海賊野球王
MAL Score: 7.04
Luffy and crew takes on Arlong’s crew in baseball. Announced by Bon Clay and Buggy.
In this short special. The Strawhat Pirates are on another island this time playing baseball against Arlong and some other Characters from the show Like Hachi.
The game as you can imagine is crazy and to extreme for normal baseball. But its still enjoyable to watch. As the crew uses their special techniques to score homeruns and get strike outs.
During this time Mr 2 Bon Clay and Buggy are commentating. And during this whole time you only hear these two speak. They even read out the dialogue for Luffy as he calls out his special home run Gom Gom attack.
Overall its really enjoyable to watch how the animators and artist got this special to work.
2 teams battle it out for the cup. Team Luffy vs team Fisherman. Both teams battle for the cup using their abilities to get the upper hand and the fisherman using underhanded moves. We have mr 2 and buggy as the announcers who play their part in making you laugh and the special end with biggy nicely.
I would compare this to the foxy arc because of the game theme and what followed. Anyway hope I didn’t discourage you and enjoy the special.
Story (7/10) Good
There’s really nothing to be said he’s it’s just a little what if clip of the Straw Hat Crew if they played Baseball against certain villains of their past. It’s not bad
Art and Animation (8/10) Very Good
For a 5 minute clip the art style and animation was very good and it better be! It’s only 5 minutes! If toei made this look bad then you would have to give up the little little hope you still have left for them.
The Sound was good but the fact that they had none of the voice actors playing their characters just the voice was Buggy and Mr. 1 (I think) commentating in the background AND also doing the voices of the actually other characters felt odd. But since it’s only 5 minutes it’s not to the point where it’s something to complain about because by the time you realized this is happening it’s basically over lol
The only reason I gave this section a 10 is because it’s just show casing all of the straw hat crew’s personality through a baseball game is it did it well. It reminded me of that one Sonic X baseball episode where they did the exacted same thing it was entertaining and short.
Enjoyment (7/10) Good
Like I said entertaining and short the only thing that may bother you is that the voice of Buggy the clown and Mr.1 is voice everything but the fact that it’s only 5 minutes doesn’t make it an issue it took me longer to write the review than to watch it honestly lol
Overall (7/10) Good
More Specifically (7.80/10) Good+
Short and sweet to and extent it’s so short you can’t really hate on it. You have a higher chance of enjoying yourself and wanting more than not liking this. Nothing more to be said you might as well watch it since it’s only 5 minutes like I said you might like what you see.
32: Ashita no Joe (Movie)
Japanese: あしたのジョー (1980)
MAL Score: 7.08
An abridged remake of the first Ashita no Joe TV series, released in 1980 to provide back-story for the second TV series to new fans who were not familiar with the first TV series or the manga.
The visuals are limited through most of the run, but there are parts, specifically the more intense fights, that get really intense, emphasizing how the fighters are pressing themselves to their limits. When people aren’t fighting, it’s slow, but I feel like that’s just a consequence of having to cut down a 70 episode series into 2.5 hours and retaining a lot of critical exposition.
That said, there’s not really much to learn from the movie. It rewards Joe for being petulant to a funny, but unhealthy degree, and the moral of the final arc about success not being worth compromising your entire life is more than a little obvious even if it is shown in a really powerful way.
Ashita no Joe is a film that’s very hard to evaluate or discuss outside of the context it emerged from. It’s hard to call it a *good* film, exactly: it suffers from the kind of severe pacing issues you’d expect to emerge adapting a nearly 80 episode story into a single film, and at it’s lowest points even the excellent designs can’t really save the scenes that are simply underanimated and lacking in life. But viewing the film as someone intimately aware of the legacy of Ashita no Joe, it’s hard not to instinctively look past the problems and appreciate the movie’s best moments and core appeal. For every scene that drags on there’s another that moves exactly the way you want it to and shows off the best of Dezaki Osamu’s directing, and for all the barebones, underanimated moments within the film there are excellent bits of character animation and engaging fights that put the rough linework and overall aesthetic to great use.
Ultimately I think it is the protagonists and main characters in the film that keep it engaging even when it fails on a moment to moment level. Joe is likable and funny and kind of a jerk, and watching him grow bit by bit and find something meaningful to channel his anger and malaise into is satisfying. He has this roguish charm to him that’s just flat out fun even when you’re kind of bored and the movie is starting to drag, and despite his cruelty the tiny details in the animation when present make him feel like more than just an asshole and show you a level of interiority and complexity that keeps you rooting for him. The other characters are really solid, too, but the rapid arc of the show leaves moments that should be more dramatic (particularly regarding Tange) out of place and rushed. Still Rikiishi is compelling too, so you’re genuinely invested in both sides of the final fight, which make the events of the ending (which I won’t spoil if you happen to not know) feel impactful and satisfying.
That’s again not to say the movie manages to overcome the structural and pacing problems inherent to it: it tries to adapt a very long story into a movie: a very long movie, but still just a movie. In some ways the length only makes it harder: it manages to slow down enough to be comprehensible, but I think if the fat was trimmed and the story was adjusted a bit those 2 and a half hours or so could be slimmed into a probably better film.
Still, Ashita no Joe is I think worth watching: for historical reasons, yes, but also because there’s real value in the animation and characters on display here, and because the story has things to say and stories to tell that have impact and meaning today.
31: Yowamushi Pedal: Re:Generation
Japanese: 弱虫ペダル Re:GENERATION
MAL Score: 7.12
The summary movie compiling episodes from the 3rd season of the anime with some new scenes.
30: One Piece: Yume no Soccer Ou!
Japanese: ワンピース 夢のサッカー王!
MAL Score: 7.15
Luffy and his crew take on the Villain All-Stars in a game of soccer in order to become the Dream Soccer King. The game comes down to a pk tie-breaker shoot-out with Coby as goalie and Helmeppo refereeing.
The characters range from Buggy. Bon Clay.Zoro, Sani, Chopper, Luffy, Nami, Vivi, Ussop, Even a sepcial guest commentating and taking a shot.
All in all its short but enjoyable.
A lot of key characters appear you get Vivi, Koby, and Hellmempo, along with some memorable villains like Bon Clay and Buggy.
Sanji manages to prove his kick is continent crossing, typical. It feels like the type of specials that really needs a remake with newer character and updated animation, it would really make for an amazing standalone release if done right, as this one seemed a lot on the rushed side and needs more direction.
29: Sayonara Watashi no Cramer Movie: First Touch
Japanese: 映画 さよなら私のクラマー ファーストタッチ
MAL Score: 7.20
14-year-old Nozomi Onda has only one thing on her mind: playing beautiful soccer. There’s just one problem: no matter how much she longs to participate in official matches, she’d have physically superior boys as opponents. But when a boy from her past confronts her on the street, she decides she can’t wait any longer.
(Source: Kodansha Comics)
I gave this series an easy 10 because it nails everything genuine about football as a sport and a way of life. Plenty of football anime struggles to stay grounded when telling their stories but with this movie, it understands the essence of football to its very core level and how that anybody can fall in love with football and play it. No superpowers, unrealistic movements or ridiculous situations. Just a girl that wants to play football and wants to do so really badly.
And speaking about Onda, her as a main character carries the show on her shoulders really well. She represents why billions of football fans love the sport so much. She lives and breathes football – and watching it in front of eyes makes her heart beat even faster as she wants to be out there playing football and not sitting on the bench. She has so much talent and most importantly- determination. She’s a stubborn little gorilla but she does so in a way that never comes off as annoying but endearing. And that’s why she is so admired and why I fell in love with her.
Story-wise, the whole battle of the sexes plotline has been done to death in all forms of media but this movie executes it really well by not having Onda magically destroy her more powerful and physically imposing male counterparts. I won’t spoil what she does but she uses her brilliant brain and of course mazy feet to counter the physical aspect and it makes for a wonderful climax as she executes them.
A last note on the CG animation, people seem to have a hate boner for them as it was used a little bit in the movie but I think it was great CG and how it should be used in anime. Football is such a dynamic sport with balls moving from back to front in mere seconds – the use of CG manages to envelope me into the game like I was watching it in real life. There is plenty of traditional animation here as well which was done great too and it was such a fun ride.
All in all, a fantastic movie and was a fitting adaptation to the wonderful manga as it says Sayonara Football to Onda in middle school – off to experience beautiful football in its sequel anime and raise the level of girls football.
This movie is an adaptation of another work by the author of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, so I didn’t have such high expectations. Well, the movie is bad.
I thought I would never see a bad sports anime like Ashita no Eleven-tachi. As much as this movie is not as shitty as Ashita no Eleven-tachi, it is still bad.
It has script convenience that isn’t the best (but it wasn’t bad either), and it was used to generate a drama.
The main character falls down playing soccer with a boy who is superior to her, and the coach forbids her to play official games just because she has an arm injury, and it wasn’t even a serious injury, doesn’t the coach know that in soccer people can get hurt?
Then comes the excuse that men have a superior physique than women. In most cases it is true, and this movie is one of those cases, but… the protagonist plays soccer with boys since always, and she is already used to it, which makes it kind of “meh”.
“Soccer is a contact sport.
I am bigger than you. A girl doesn’t even stand a chance against me.”
I wonder again:
Has the author ever seen women in professional games? Many women’s professional games are more “brutal” than men’s games, however yes, men usually have superior physical stature. Yes, I know it’s not professional gaming, that’s just an example.
I really want to understand why you are trying to give a girl a message of victimhood. Yes, there are men who think they are superior to women, but in this anime it is kind of “meh”, because the girl has been playing soccer with boys since forever, as I mentioned before. All right it is explained that in official games everything is heavier than in training, BUT THE SHOOTER HAS ONLY PLAYED ONE OFFICIAL GAME. And it’s also funny that the coach calls a boy, and he is not at all confident, unlike the protagonist.
There is a part where the main character slaps the boy saying what I mentioned above. Well, she is right to do that, at least.
At least the boy who was a friend of the protagonist some time ago, knows that he talked trash to her. This at least was something positive, it shows the character being more human. By the way, in the heat of the moment of an argument, anyone can talk some nonsense.
One thing that I thought was a little shitty was that the protagonist pretends to be her brother and arrests him in the bathroom and takes his clothes. Like, it would have been better if it showed how she did it, but no, it just happened.
After that the coach sees that she can play against the boys, and also comes up with those typical generic motivational lines… It is the typical “I can do it” anime. It is nothing innovative, I have seen this in so many anime…
At least the technician gives more detail that he cared about the protagonist and her career. In a way, it has logic. The problem is how this is executed, because, as I said before, the protagonist only fell once playing an official game and it wasn’t even a serious injury (besides this game wasn’t even detailed to see how everything happened).
Ok, fine, we know that most of the boys are bigger than the girls, but do we need to keep reminding them of this all the time?
There is also a moment when the main character says that she really has no chance against the boys’ strength, and that because of this, she wins in her own way. Aaaaah… What was all the drama about physical size for? This movie is a joke.
It seems that she wanted to say that physical size doesn’t matter, regardless if you are a man or a woman, and that her childhood friend and her coach are wrong, even though they are right. So what was the point of all this?
Comedy scenes are also not that funny, very few of them work. At least it is not as bad as in Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, which has comedy in the middle of drama where it takes away all the impact of the scene.
There is one scene in this movie where a more emotional dialogue is cut for comedy, but it is done in a very natural way, and it was well planned. This scene is at 49:00 of the film, when the characters are talking and the main character is hit by a ball and falls into the water. This was really functional, and kind of funny. Other than that, the few times it has comedy, it’s not good.
The technical part of the anime up until 01:00:00 of the movie is good, but then it has game with a CG that is not so good, but not horrible.
The movie has almost no positive points. There is so much bad stuff in it that it prevents it from being at least average. I didn’t expect much for being from the author of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, and in the end it turned out to be another bad work from a terrible author.
This review may not have been good. But that’s okay, the movie is not good either.
But the standard here is pretty low. Even though I expected something coming from YLiA’s author. But I was immediately slap to the face because of how mediocre everything in this anime.
But moving on to the movie itself.
The story is not bad. It’s actually decent, having a girl prodigy who basically got overshadowed by boys in her team because of built difference.
It presented itself really good, and didn’t hesitate to use flashbacks when it’s necessary. Basically just the right amount of everything.
Though it gets a 6 just because it is too safe. It doesn’t really do anything outside of ordinary.
Not expecting some major plot twist or anything like that, but everything in the story is forgettable af.
The characters are pretty lackluster. They aren’t bad, but they sure are pretty much just there to exist. Replace them with a cardboard and nothing would change at all.
Idk, I don’t have anything to say to them.
The music is decent as well. It’s not bad, in fact I enjoyed the ED. But the OST were pretty absent in some scenes. Because of that, some of the powerful scenes in the movie became really forgettable.
The animation is decent to bad. Basically it’s a CG-fest whenever someone is moving. It’s a disgrace to eyes.
Overall, it’s not half-bad. I recommend watching it if you’re bored and you wanna watch a soccer anime. Well, there’s not enough of a choice since there aren’t any anime yet for Blue Lock or Ao Ashi.
28: Ashita no Joe 2 (Movie)
MAL Score: 7.24
It has been six months since the tragic accident in Joe and Rikiishi’s fight. Joe believes he has overcomed Rikiishi’s death and decides to make a comeback. Joe does make a successful comeback by scoring 5 KO’s by body blows. Joe is then given a shot at the national title as a means by the boxing commission to put him down. The champion, Tiger Ozaki makes use of Joe’s habits and ends up making Joe’s corner throw in the towel. Joe is afraid to throw punches at the face because of what happened to Rikiishi. Youko, Joe’s love interest and the owner of the gym where Rikiishi trained at recruits a world ranked boxer from Venezuela, Carlos Rivera, to get Joe back on his feet and pursue his boxing career to the regional and world ranks.
27: Tennis no Ouji-sama Movie 1: Futari no Samurai – The First Game
English: The Prince of Tennis: The Two Samurai, The First Game
Japanese: 劇場版 テニスの王子様 二人のサムライ The First Game
MAL Score: 7.35
Ryouma Echizen and the Seishun Academy Boys’ Tennis Team are invited to participate in an exhibition game aboard a luxury cruise ship by its owner, Hikomaro Sakurafubuki. When they arrive, the boys are shocked to discover that Ryouma’s adopted older brother, Ryouga, is the captain of the opposing team. During their first games, Seishun easily crushes their opponents, garnering excitement from the cruise spectators. However, many strange things about the cruise begin to surface—from the restaurant’s cheap sushi to a bathroom covered in marble wallpaper.
Suspecting something is amiss, the team quickly finds out that Sakurafubuki is running an illegal gambling plot and that they must lose their next set of matches in order for him to win a large sum of money. Back on the first day, their opponents were told to purposefully lose in order to make the spectators bet heavily on Seishun’s victory. If the middle schoolers do not comply, they risk losing their lives, as all of the employees on the ship are armed and working with Sakurafubuki, including Ryouga.
Relying only on themselves, the team must put their skills and intellect together to outsmart the threat around them. As Seishun decides to fight for their lives, the two sons of Samurai Nanjiro go head-to-head to determine who is the superior player.
In fact, this movie is ridiculous and over-the-top in a number of ways, and that’s exactly what’s so great about it. It takes the "junior high school tennis is serious and manly!" theme of the TV series and turns it up to eleven in ways that deny logic, physics, and the very nature of reality. Underwater tennis on the deck of a sinking ship! Energy-beam tennis that blows people’s clothes off! Tennis killing the dinosaurs! Heck, the "play this fixed tennis match… OR DIE!!!" premise alone is pretty amusing.
So if you’re looking for a serious and realistic sports anime… well, I don’t know why you’d be looking at anything Prince of Tennis-related in the first place, but you certainly won’t find it here. But if you have a sense of humor and a fondness for shounen absurdity, this movie is a lot of fun.
I think the people who made this movie is a bit too hurried to decide on the characters.
They made this filler character, Ryoga Echizen, Ryoma’s older adopted brother. In the movie he entered ryoma’s house when he was a kid. Then Ryoga went missing through the entire series… come back for a brief moment on the movie, then went missing again…
It’s just too weird…
26: Slam Dunk (Movie)
MAL Score: 7.36
Sakuragi and the Shohoku team takes on Oda and Takezono High School. This is Sakuragi’s second match as he faces Oda, a basketball player who went to the same junior high.
Overall a respectable Slam Dunk movie and I found it pretty interesting and I will definitely rewatch it after some time.
Oda isn’t exactly an interesting character, but when the focus shifts to one more concerned with his relationship to his girlfriend, the result ranges from boring to unfortunately laughable. A scene depicting Oda slapping his girlfriend for even suggesting that basketball has made him a more unlikeable person with something missing in his life is a good summation of the two aforementioned results. The placement of this character detour also contrasts pretty poorly with this series’ patented comedy. Most of the charm of this film is placed strictly on Sakuragi’s shoulders as he boldly shows his passion for basketball (whether he knows it or not), injuring himself multiple times in the process. This culminates in the movie’s climax, in which Sakuragi makes one last desperate lunge off court as he tries to save the basketball for his team. He succeeds right before slamming face-first into a wall and rendering himself immobile for a few seconds. In those seconds, the jeers of the crowd fall silent and a lone standing ovation from the opposing team’s coach is heard. And then they all clapped 🙂 . This scene not only goes on for way too long, as it pans to every character’s reaction before clapping themselves, but it also throws away the character conflict in this film. Oda, amongst the cheers, reaches out to help Sakuragi up–immediately acknowledging him as a sportsmen without words or transition despite his constant undermining of him up until this point. I’d like to commend it for it’s subtly, but all of this comes of as really cheesy (and not in a good way as seen in the third film). Then the match is just…over. We never see the end of the match because the movie opts to transition to the two teams coaches post-game after the clapping scene. I haven’t mentioned the basketball match itself due to the very forgettable nature of it in this film; to have the end of the game not even shown tells me that the focus isn’t really on the match, but on the characters instead (which one could imagine how that might make me feel given the context of what’s been written). This comes off strange in a series usually concerned with depicting the grand battles and outcomes of a basketball match–giving hyper importance to even practice games.
On the production end this isn’t all that strong either. The OST is borrowed from the show so it’s hardly worth mentioning that it’s quality (though never utilized in any significantly impactful way). The animation this time around prioritizes having more detailed still frames rather than actually animating well. Action/Sports scenes come off as stiffly paced, and often will hold on a still frame in that uniquely awkward old-anime way which dates it instantly. It’s all moderately serviceable, but, thankfully the character performances are likable enough to enjoy.
This isn’t a horrible movie, just a really bland representation of what Slam Dunk is as a series. Though moments in this film, from a comedy standpoint, properly showcase glimmers of understanding of what the series is; the overall construction of the movie and how it goes about it almost seems misrepresentitive and confused, despite the theme of full body dedication/passion to the sport implying otherwise.
25: Yowamushi Pedal: Re:RIDE
English: Yowapeda Re:RIDE
Japanese: 弱虫ペダル Re:RIDE
MAL Score: 7.36
A retelling of the first season, taking place at Toudou’s family inn where he, Makishima, and Onoda reflect on the events.
Since the third season of Yowamushi Pedal is airing right now, I had decided to refresh my memory about the two last seasons and hence I watched both recap movies, Re:RIDE and Re:ROAD.
Unfortunately, many recap movies fail at summing up the story without excluding key scenes, making them feel incomplete. But unlike these movies Re:RIDE/Re:ROAD managed to keep the original feeling of the Inter Highs in only three hours, even if the source material is much, much longer. From the iconic Onoda and Tadokoro singing scene to Izumida’s glorious “Andy! Frank!”, it literally has everything. Even some bits of the (many) background stories are shown.
Besides, the writers also included movie exclusive scenes involving Makishima, Onoda and Toudou in Re:RIDE and the Senpai Line of Hakone in Re:ROAD. These extra scenes reveal a little more about their relationships too. If you’re a fan you will love them!
Overall, both, Re:RIDE and Re:ROAD, are decent recap movies involving the highlights of the story, as well as something new to spice it up. I think it’s worth watching these recaps if you (like me) watched the anime two years ago. If your memory is still good I’d suggest to skip the recap part and just watch the movie original scenes.
24: Inazuma Eleven Go: Kyuukyoku no Kizuna Gryphon
Japanese: 劇場版イナズマイレブンGO 究極の絆 グリフォン
MAL Score: 7.38
The Raimon team has been invited by Fifth Sector strangely to a soccer camp. When they agree, things go out of hand since it was revealed that Fifth Sector wants to eliminate them once and for all on the island called God Eden. Now, the Raimon team needs to train harder to be able to show that they have the strength to fight back and prove Fifth Sector’s doings wrong.
(Source: Inazuma Eleven Wiki)
For the music. T-Pistonz+KMC Songs are Cool and Great.
The movie is set in the middle of the first season of GO, therefore, you’ll need to have watched the series to understand whats happening. It also references plot points from late season 1 and late season 2. Tenma and co have been sent to an island to feel the wrath of Fifth Sector’s strongest teams. Not much more to be said about there. The movie introduces 2 all-powerful teams that fuse into one by the end. The backstory behind characters like Shuu, as well as some for Hakuryuu is a welcome addition. Finally, it was fun as hell seeing some of the old cast get on the field again!
Its the normal IE art, except polished up heavily as its a movie, and its the art I fell in love with. You can look past the CGI as it doesn’t impact the movie to much. The art for the hissatsus, characters, and avatars is great though.
Another reason I love IE is the music, and that sure held up in this movie. Excellent pieces and theme song additions made for an engaging and exciting movie.
What makes this movie different from the previous IE movie is that it takes the time to flesh out its antagonists, and you really never truly hate them. The protagonists are as lovable as always, though you’d need to watch the show to know whats going on in their heads.
I freaking loved this movie! Its always fun watching hissatsus and avatars going at it, and this movie implemented a few twists to make the game quite unpredictable in the end. Bringing back old cast, evolving hissatsus and avatars, and even fusing them, you’ll love the ‘action’ sports in this movie that IE has always provided.
I heartily recommend watching this movie if you are at all a fan of IE/GO. It is possibly my favorite piece of IE outside of very select parts, and its just a joy feeling like a kid again.
Thanks for reading!
23: Yowamushi Pedal: Re:ROAD
Japanese: 弱虫ペダル Re:ROAD
MAL Score: 7.42
The movie will compile the episodes from the second season of the anime, and will also have new cuts of animation.
22: Tennis no Ouji-sama Movie 2: Eikokushiki Teikyuu Shiro Kessen!
Japanese: 劇場版テニスの王子様 英国式庭球城決戦！
MAL Score: 7.46
Following the Nationals, Seishun Academy receives an invitation to participate in a junior tennis tournament at Wimbledon. In England, Ryouma Echizen and his teammates are joined by their rivals from Hyoutei Academy, Shitenhouji Middle School, and Rikkai University-Affiliated Middle School, who have also been invited to this special event. One evening before the start of the tournament, some of the players are attacked by a group of thugs, leaving them hospitalized with injuries. The only evidence distinguishing the assailants is a silver ring that each member wears on their hand and that their leader’s name is Keith.
In an effort to stop the gang, the middle school students convene to discuss their options but are interrupted by Ling Xiu, the person who saved Ryouma the night before. Xiu identifies himself as a former member of Clack—a band of tennis players banned from official competition due to their violent playstyles and conduct. The students are warned to stay out of the affairs of Clack as they cannot hope to win against their tennis style.
Frustrated by the situation, Ryouma sneaks out with Xiu to confront Keith and the other members of Clack with the intent to take them down single-handedly. Knowing Xiu’s true objective, Ryouma is now more determined than ever to defeat Keith to save the latter from himself.
21: Tennis no Ouji-sama: Atobe kara no Okurimono – Kimi ni Sasageru Tennis Prince Matsuri
English: Prince of Tennis: Atobe Kara no Okurimono
Japanese: テニスの王子様 跡部からの贈り物 君に捧げるテニプリ祭り
MAL Score: 7.48
Hyoutei Academy’s excessively wealthy and prideful tennis captain, Keigo Atobe, decides to host a giant one-day inter-school festival in order to bring together the middle school tennis circuit. The festival exudes class and wealth, befitting its host. The extravagant occasion is filled with many attractions, with the most major event being a fierce relay race between all of the schools in attendance. However, Atobe has his own reasons for hosting this Super Tennis Festival; it seems that the special day is all for a certain someone among the festival attendees.
Chihuahua Review(short&sweet): A fun, continuation extra to the Prince of Tennis. If you like the original series non-chibi fillers you’ll probably like this.
——————————>In Depth Review:<————————
STORY: This is a huge bonanza with every single character from the original series participating. Here Atobe of Hyotei Gakuen hosts a celebration to express his deep gratitude to a certain friend. During this time a variety of games are played including a dating game>_< and a relay. Story not really, but entertainment is there.
ART: Art was well done again the characters looked vibrant and the animation quality is still improving. But still it wasn’t really as great without the high quality tennis scene. So in my opinion quality was passable for an extra episode.
SOUND: There wasn’t an opening so i can’t judge it. The ED though was one of my favorite of the series as it created some nice closure to the episode and had a really fun beat to it.
CHARACTER: All the chracters were here. Obviously no character developement unless u count Atobe’s sudden good will. Even without the character developement its nice to see ALL of the characters that werent shown for a while. My favorite reunion was the lame joke guy who made the wackest japanese puns ever and then doing his little blow laugh psshXD. Seigaku fans however may feel a little unsatisfied with the regulars small but hilarious appearances.
ENJOIMENT: As a filler this definately isn’t my favorite but like i said earlier it is fun to see all the characters in various events. Only one episode so no reason to not just watch it. ^_^
OVERALL: Not really a story but with some decent sound and art it doesn’t really matter. No developement, character wise but with all the fun who really cares.
Recommendation: If you liked the original series watch this for sure. And if you liked this watch the National Tournament ^_^ for more tennis antics.
If you dissagreed OR agreed fully with me on anything feel free to message me and discss it. Always fun. @_@
I didn’t particularly like Atobe that much in the Prince of Tennis animes, but after watching this, he became one of the characters i like the most (not first tho, because that is Kaidoh
20: Yowamushi Pedal: Spare Bike
Japanese: 弱虫ペダル SPARE BIKE
MAL Score: 7.48
These are the recollections of a group of men who bet everything on their bicycles. The central pillars of their respective teams, the third years. New stories revealing their pasts are about to begin!
So Yowamushi Pedal: Spare Bike Movie is made from 3 stories from Makishima, Yuusuke and Toudou, Jinpachi past when they were first years.
So first part is about when Makishima joins Souhoku’s cycling club. Makishima was already noticeable by his green hair, but when the seniors saw his “dancing” they thought they had to do something about it…..
Second part is about Toudou, Jinpachi past. When he was in middle-school everyone seemed to think that he is cool and all. He thought that riding a bicycle was nothing out of ordinary, but then he tried joining his friend for a race competition…
Third part is also about Makishima, but this time it’s about his struggle with his bicycle and his secret from others..
So this is end of my review… And if you’re asking yourself “Should I watch this movie?” Well if you’re a fan of Yowamushi Pedal or you atleast gave it a 7 then you should becouse I found this movie quite interesting for myself..
This one is real cute, because we get to see the third years being all cute when they were just in their first year of high school. Even though the starting clip kind of hints at how we might be able to learn more about the gang member-esque member of Hakone, we don’t get to really dive more into his story–instead, we get two Makishima stories with one about Toudou in between. Although if you wait for the credits to finish, we do get a nice short clip of Arakita with a cat.
This made me simp more for Makishima, so it was pretty great. One thing that I AM concerned about is how Kinjou came to be so serious even though he wasn’t all about that 2 years ago.
And also why are Toudou’s eyes so soulless???? And he actually DID look cool when he was in middle school, and then he became that later on,,,,,, (i’m not saying headbands are lame or anything, but he’s something alright lol)
19: Slam Dunk: Zenkoku Seiha Da! – Sakuragi Hanamichi
Japanese: スラムダンク 全国制覇だ！桜木花道
MAL Score: 7.54
Set during the Inter High Championships, Shohoku take on Tsukubu, one of this year’s dark horses. It’s a clash of acquaintances as Anzai will face his former student which is now the coach of Tsukubu, while Akagi & Kogure meet Godai their former classmate and Tsukubu’s captain. Finally Sakuragi is irked by the presence of Nango, Tsukubu’s center, who vies for Haruko’s attention.
Story was pretty good where Hanamachi has to face against a rival in a match to see who gets to be with Haruko and it had pretty good pacing and the usual funny comedy.
The art is still the same with some improvements but not by much and the music was pretty good comparable to that of the series. The characters were pretty much the same except for a couple of new introductions who were alright but they didn’t get that deep into.
Overall I enjoyed the movie. If you wanna see more of Slam Dunk and if you have finished this series this movie is a recommended watch.
18: Free! Movie 1: Timeless Medley – Kizuna
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Timeless Medley- 絆
MAL Score: 7.55
Haruka Nanase has reconciled with his rival Rin Matsuoka, and they have re-established their friendship, determined to race each other again. Now Haruka, along with Makoto Tachibana, Rei Ryuugazaki, and Nagisa Hazuki, prepare for their upcoming tournaments, determined to compete wholeheartedly and achieve victory as a team. At Samezuka Academy, Rin resolves to do the same.
Further, the seniors near graduation, and Rin has decided his future plans. However, Haruka and Makoto remain uncertain, and they begin to feel the pressure of having to choose their own paths.
Almost 80% of the movie was reused scenes from the second season of the anime, and a few snippets from the prequel movie. The movie’s own soundtrack were also used in the reused scenes and basically replaced the original music from the TV show. I did, however, liked the opening of the movie. If a person were to watch this movie before watching the 2 seasons or the prequel movie, it would lead to a lot of confusion to the viewer as the movie did not do a great job explaining the events of the prequel movie and the first season, as well as the characters. Aside from that, we only got 3-4 nice bonus scenes, although I expected much more. As a Free! fan, I kinda enjoyed the movie, but I expected more than reused scenes since there was a 1 year gap since their last work.
TL ; DR: Free! Timeless Medley Kizuna is a compilation movie that mainly focuses on the second season of the anime, mostly with reused scenes and new music that replaced the original in the anime.
I’ve seen anime do this before where they’ll sum up a season of the anime with a movie. That’s exactly what this movie is. You will get a few new scenes in this movies, which is the good part. For example, you’re gonna see a little montage of when Haru and Makoto first met. Are the added scenes necessary to understand the main story? No, but I actually thought they were pretty cool. There’s another scene where Asahi walks behind Rei at a tournament while he talks about this “glasses kid” that recommended some mental training books to him in middle school. Rei recognizes his voice and stares at him as he walks away. So, it’s those cool little Easter egg things that make this movie worth at least a skim through. You do need to have seen Starting days to get that last Easter egg, though.
Other than that, don’t watch this in place of the actual series. You’re going to miss a lot of the details that you’d get from the main series. It really does just focus on the main parts of Free!: Eternal Summer. That’s another thing: it skips right by season one. You basically get a montage of Rin and Haru, and that’s about it. Even if you watch the first season and then this movie, you’re still missing a lot of supplementary content that you get in the second season.
Personally, my recommendation is to watch everything else associated with Free! and then skim through this movie to look for the extra scenes. That’s what I did, at least. Again, I rated this like I did because the actual main story of Free! is great (you can read my other reviews on Free! to find out why), but this movie is very much a summary and not a replacement for the series. Just keep that in mind if you decide to watch it.
P.S. You do get some new Style Five music in this movie, so that’s a bonus.
Overall the movie was pretty warm and fuzzy. I don’t know how well it stands on its own but it felt very complete. It’s just a simple story of the swim club swimming in the tournament and also a coming-of-age story, basically the second season condensed. The movie didn’t really help me with my initial goal of recaps but I liked it, if not just for the new Style Five songs.
17: Slam Dunk: Shouhoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi
Japanese: スラムダンク 湘北最大の危機！燃えろ桜木花道
MAL Score: 7.57
After losing the titanic match against Kainan High, Team Shohoku and a newly shaven Hanamichi Sakuragi are challenged to an exhibition match by virtual basketball unknowns Ryoukufu High. Coach Anzai sees this as an opportunity for Shohoku to regain their confidence, but Ryoukufu are revealed to have a newly assembled championship calibre lineup and may give Sakuragi & Co their toughest test yet.
Even i laughed too the same as Sakuragi’s gank, Haruko with her two friends laughed, Ryota, and Micchi laughed at Hamaichi until they stomatch hurt >.< Very Slam Dunk's style, just like they always do! Also some new characters begin to appear here, like Michael Okita and co Winning is not everything. That's the motto we got from this 3rd movie Love the ending song! Cool music and lyrics [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”]Another good movie from the Slam Dunk series. A good story with some meaning to it and the great comedy as usual with good pacing. The animation and sound were good as usual. I love the music from Slam Dunk. Some new characters were introduced in this movie but they were not that deep and were just ok. Overall an enjoyable movie and I recommend if you have finished the Slam Dunk series this movie is a recommended watch to get to the know the main and supporting characters a bit more but not completely necessary since it doesn't affect the actual story too much. [/collapse]
16: Yowamushi Pedal Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 弱虫ペダル
MAL Score: 7.59
With the Inter-high over and as the end of summer approaches, Sakamichi trains intensely with Imaizumi Shunsuke and Naruko Shoukichi so he can carry on Team Sohoku’s spirit of supporting each other entrusted to him by Kinjou Shingo, Makishima Yusuke, and Tadokoro Jin, the third years who will be graduating before long. One day, Team Sohoku receives an invitation to the Kumamoto Fire Country Mountain Race, an invitational race for teams that performed well at the Inter-high, and their captain Kinjou decides their core Inter-high team will attend.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]A story about bicycle racing team and the enjoyment of riding a bicycle together with your friends. This story takes place after Yowamushi Pedal GRANDE ROAD. I see huge improvement in storyline compared to TV series.
Throw away those stupid chit-chats during the race. This movie has less chit-chats and more straightforward in the race. It’s what an anime of bicycle race should be. Focus on the action instead of the chit-chats. The race is more sportive and more interesting in this movie. I see this as a huge improvement over the TV series.
Same as the TV series. The color is nice and the environment is beautiful. It’s very good but not something I would call visual stunning.
Same as the TV series. The music and sound effect is very good. Definitely helps building the atmosphere. Surely you can hear a detailed sound of bicycle chains and gears.
The charas are the same but there are several personality changes in some of them. This time, you’ll see Onoda Sakamichi failed to carry his order. Without Makishima in the team, Onoda takes a lot of pressure as the only climber and he loses his confidence as well. Naruko and Tadokoro started to work like teammates here. Makishima becomes an inspiring senpai.
Watching this movie is full of enjoyment. It tells us the joy of riding bicycle in general, and specifically in road race. It teach us how to race in a sportive way and to work as a team.
This movie is awesome and inspiring. If you were a fan of Yowamushi Pedal, you MUST watch this movie. If you were a bicycle fan, this movie is highly recommended. If you haven’t watched the TV series, you can watch this movie without worry (that’s what I do). The only confusion you get is the characters but you’ll know them one by one through the story just like when you watch other movies.
The main issue I can reproach to this movie is how rushed it is. The beginning is fine we can feel the Yowapeda vibes, even though everything is not entirely detailed like it would have been in the TV series. But it is still very enjoyable.
But then, there is the 2 days race. Each day of the race lasts about 20 minutes on screen, crazy considering how the 3 days of the Inter High race lasted over 35 episodes in the anime. It becomes a classic sports/action movie for this sequence, lacking the Yowapeda spirit, that is : character development (we learn nothing about the new characters introduced, for instance), psychological tension, suspense. And of course, it has plot holes. “Why are there suddenly only X people riding ?”, “How did Y catch up ?”, etc. You cannot let your mind wander for a second or you’ll miss lots of things happening, and even by watching carefully there are things you won’t be able to catch : things are not properly explained, the thoughts of the characters are mostly lacking, etc.
It was a disappointment to me as the race core is pretty much nonexistent, I feel they should have made this into a TV series of at least 12 episodes, or even better a 24 episodes one.
TL;DR : The non-race moment are fine and compare well with the TV series, the race however is way too rushed and fast paced. If you like the daily life parts of Yowapeda, you’ll enjoy this movies, but do not expect the same spirit of the TV show in the race sequences. Overall, it’s not a bad movie, there are funny moments, there’s drama and heartwarming moments, but it just cannot compare to the TV series due to its pace.
The plot is pretty fast-paced and a lack of momentum and anticipation of the cycling race present in comparison with the anime series. It is somewhat expected for a 100 minutes movie. Majority of dialogue are sport related and characters infamous lines. There were quite a few flashback scenes to help refresh your mind and help connect the between the two races.
The art and animation are just as good as the anime.
The sound and background music are rarely different from the anime series.
The original characters from the anime series are present with a few introduction of new characters. However Midousuji is completely absent from the movie and the plot focuses on the Sohoku and Hakone team members. It was initially expected the new characters role as antagonist would bring excitement to the movie but there is complete lack of it and serve rarely any importance.
Despite some negative points, the movie had some unexpected results of the race, funny references to respective characters and some parts make you laugh hysterically.
I personally enjoyed watching the movie coming as a fan of the anime series. Lots of references to the characters and the series what made the movie enjoyable. The movie is definitely a fan-service and recommended for those who are acquainted with the series.
15: Free! Movie 2: Timeless Medley – Yakusoku
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Timeless Medley- 約束
MAL Score: 7.62
Rin Matsuoka’s childhood friend, Sousuke Yamazaki, has recently transferred to Samezuka Academy. Upon their reunion, the two reminisce about their childhood days and reaffirm their wish to swim together. Now with Rin, Sousuke, Captain Mikoshiba’s younger brother Momotarou Mikoshiba, and hard-working Aiichirou Nitori, the Samezuka relay team is formed, and their friendship deepens. However, as tournaments, races, and training go on, the reason for Sousuke’s sudden return begins to trouble him and affect his swimming. Noticing Sousuke’s change, Rin pushes to uncover what is holding him back.
However, unlike the first movie, I do actually recommend that you skim through this movie. Let me explain: the first movie and this movie are both compilations of Free!: Eternal Summer. Each movie shows different scenes to tell the same story, but you can get most of those scenes by watching the anime, so it’s kind of useless to watch the movies. Except for the fact that you’re gonna get a few brand new scenes in both movies. The first movie’s extra scenes don’t really add much to the main storyline; they’re just there as Easter eggs. This movie, though, does feature some content that benefits the main story. You’ll also get more extra scenes in this movie than you will in the first one.
I think this is because the first movie essentially followed Haru and Iwatobi while this one followed Rin and Samezuka. Since the original story is mostly about Iwatobi, there isn’t as much content on Samezuka so they had to add more to this movie to fill the time. They do rework the scene where Haru asks Rin to come to Iwatobi. Instead of him asking Rin after a tournament, he asks Rin over the phone. Not that big of a deal, but it’s still different.
The rest of the scenes either show you something that the original story just told you about or they add something completely different to the story. For example, in the parent story, Makoto says something like “I discussed the issues about Haru with Rin.” In this movie you actually get to see that conversation. At the end of this movie, you’ll see Sosuke tell Rin about Ikuya, warning him to watch his back should he ever race against him. That’s one of the main things I think adds to the parent story because in the current storyline (Free!: Dive to the Future), it’s very possible that Rin may end up racing against Ikuya.
Some things you need to know before watching this move: It’s a good idea if you’ve seen at least Starting Days before watching this. There will be more Easter eggs in here that won’t seem as cool to you if you haven’t seen Starting Days. Also, I’d recommend watching Take Your Marks before this as well just because this movie will lead into it and it’s nice to know where it’s leading to.
Again, don’t watch this as a replacement for Free! For one, this movie and the first skip past the first season, so you need to watch that anyway. For two, it doesn’t have the little details in it that the actual series does, so you’ll miss good bits and pieces. Also, this movie is mostly about Samezuka, Rin, and Sosuke, so just watching this movie is a bad idea anyway.
However, if you haven’t seen Free! in a while or if you want to catch up on it before watching the third season or Take Your Marks, these movies are pretty good tools to use to refresh your memory and even get a few new insights on the characters. Basically, I just skimmed through the parts that are already shown in the series, and I think it was pretty effective. If you like Free!, at least take the time to watch the extra scenes because they’re worth it.
I rewatched Starting Days before watching this and boy, I’m glad I did. Our lovely boys Ikyua, Asahi and Kisumi return, looking mature and handsome as ever. What makes this film so great is the foreshadowing, or closure that the 2nd season lacked. It leaves the thread for the 3rd season to expand upon, while managing to give the audience a fresh perspective on the 2nd season without feeling bored. So yeah, this is a must-watch! Especially for Rin fans. Skim through parts the original season covered, watch the new scenes, and you’re good to go.
The beginning actually brought me to tears because there are extra scenes of Rin’s childhood when his father was alive and he was a happy little kid who admired his father. But then you also see that same child lose his father trying to deal with the pain that comes with it. You see him feel like he has to fill his father’s shoes because he’s the only son and male in the family anymore. You see how much it really hurt him and how hard he tried to stay strong for his mom and sister. How swimming was the most important thing his father ever gave him. These scenes were strong enough to break my heart. Even though we already know the details of Rin’s past, seeing these extra scenes allowed me to understand why Rin became a sort of “antagonist” in the first season, the strength Rin really had and his unchangeable love for swimming relays.
All in all, the extra scenes really helped me comprehend Rin’s character and see his side of the story. It made me realize why his friendships with everyone are so important, like why he became so upset that Sousuke didn’t tell him about his injury or why he insists on swimming relays or who he exactly swims for. If you want an eye-opener on this series especially in terms of Rin and the Samezuka swim team, give this movie a definite watch!
14: Slam Dunk: Hoero Basketman-damashii! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu
Japanese: スラムダンク 吠えろバスケットマン魂!!花道と流川の熱き夏
MAL Score: 7.67
Ichiro Mizusawa, a player from Rukawa’s old junior high school, Tomigoaka, is diagnosed with a crippling leg condition and wants to play one last game with Rukawa. Hanamichi sets out to help the boy and fulfill his wish.
“I am still waiting for inoue-sensei to continue slam dunk until shohoku conquers the national tournament, I think all of us do, right?!! He left us hanging, darn it! But I will still wait…. I will wait…
Well actually this movie doesn’t need a review anymore because we all know how inoue-sensei does his work, as always a great piece. n_n
Overall a very enjoyable and also an emotional Slam Dunk movie. Man I need to forget this movie if I wanna experience it again, I can’t put it in words!
13: Detective Conan Movie 16: The Eleventh Striker
Japanese: 劇場版 名探偵コナン 11人目のストライカー
MAL Score: 7.72
In Touto Stadium, a J. League soccer match is taking place. During this, Detective Kogorou Mouri receives a bomb threat from an unknown caller and a mysterious riddle that points to its location. Conan Edogawa must now save the fans of the game before the time runs out.
Fortunately, with Conan’s quick actions and clever thinking, the bomb is discovered and the explosion is evaded. The culprit does not stop there; Detective Kogorou is informed of another hidden bomb set to explode at a large event in the city. Forced into a race against time, with thousands of more lives at stake, Conan must decipher another riddle, discover the place of the bomb, and catch the culprit in order to escape a terrible tragedy.
Story (5/10): When a mysterious bomb threat is issued, it appears to be targeting the J-League, leaving a mystery in the hands of our little Great Detective: why target soccer, who is this bomber, and what does a seemingly unrelated incident have to do with it?
I hope you like soccer and the J-League, cause booooy are they prominent here. My limited knowledge of soccer helped me get most of what was being said, but man there is just too much worshiping of the J-League here. There are a (I’m assuming) slew of actual soccer stars here, and they just completely flew over my head. Like to the point where I said “OK movie I get it, J-League is the bestest, just stop!”.
But honestly? A lot of this movie just seems tacked on. While the mystery itself and the execution of the bomb threats is actually pretty entertaining, the rest of the story just seems rather boring. I really can’t go into more without hitting spoilers, but a lot of the movie feels way too artificially structured and has no real natural flow to it. It’s just average at best.
Art (8/10): Here is where the movie shines, since the soccer matches were really well animated. The whole movie actually looks really good, with action sequences being the highlight. Other than that it just looks good and holds the trend of the movies having better art than the series.
Sound (7/10): It’s a Detective Conan movie. It plays the same music as always. And it’s good. (Help, I’m running out of lines to talk about the music. :V)
Character (5/10): This movie just kind of juggles characters around and doesn’t use them well at all. Conan, Ai, Professor Agasa, and the police characters come out OK, but everyone else is just…there, I guess.
The movie cast is also stupidly huge (seriously). There are a ton of soccer player characters, and I’m not really sure why we needed to spend time with only 2 of them for like 4 minutes at most. I guess it was to help set up the climax, but it’s really a waste. Plus half of the initial suspects just poof away after the midway point, so they were basically just there to be red herrings. (And while that’s normally forgivable and such, the movie tries to hold onto them far longer than needed.)
The final culprit is also supremely whiny and while his motivation would kind of drive a person to the notion of a personal attack, I’m not sure to it makes sense in the scale of the story. Also they start going crazy at the end for…reasons? I dunno, everyone here just felt weak (and funnily enough, sort of mirror the last movies cast. Huh.)
(Also the Detective Boys are at their most annoying, since apparently the story really needed them to throw a soccer ball at Conan in the most contrived way possible, along with not listening to anyone (as usual).)
Enjoyment (5/10): I gotta be honest. This movie was boring. All the random soccer people showing up was almost overwhelming and everything just feeling stilted made this not fun to sit through. I will give the movie credit that beginning at the first bombing action scene and going to prior to the last confrontation, it was fairly fun. But the beginning and final climax were just not as fulfilling.
The end gag about Rans’ story was also just dumb. Come on show, you’ve done better.
In the end, Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker was a somewhat average movie, though part of that relies on how much you like the movie cast and all the J-League praising. (Oddly enough the soccer explanations are actually pretty interesting.) The action scenes are really fun and the mystery engaging, but the actual cast is fairly boring and the payoff is kind of unsatisfying. I would only recommend it to the DC fans to just watch it to get out of the way if you want to watch all the movies, but otherwise I’m very hesitant to recommend it.
5/10 = average at best, boring as hell at worst; hope you like the J-League, cause it’s just nonstop praise for them, though the soccer aspect is actually pretty interesting; mystery is fun, but the characters are boring; DC faithful might be bored, or at least I was;
In this movie Mouri Kogorou murders a small child in drunken confusion. I shit you not. He stops an ambulance and that may have lead to the death of a small child. Which is kind of important to the plot, but HE certainly doesn’t dwell upon it.
This is also the movie where Conan messes up all over the place and gets sloppy. I don’t know if they were trying to be a little more realistic, but he seems to have trouble making the jumps and perfect landings. As such the ending takes a bit more time to end how you expect it to end… with Conan kicking a soccer ball into something to stop the timer. If you couldn’t guess that’s what was going to happen, you must be new here.
Overall this movie is about soccer. It’s officially sponsored by J-League, whose team members actually show up in the movie. The whole plot is pretty much copy pasted from the previous. We have bombs going to go off and Conan has to stop it. Only this time it’s soccer themed. Really it’s getting boring. I kind of remember Conan movies having a bit more mystery and intrigue. Also it seems some of the hints they give are kind fo disjointed as they don’t give you the other clues and have you put them together.
It’s hinted the next movie has a cruise ship in it. I can only hope it hasn’t been rigged up with bombs that Conan has to stop.
One of the first complaints has to do with soccer being a prominent theme, which people claim comes across as shallow pandering. While it’s true that this movie does heavily feature Japanese Soccer League players, what people forget is that Conan is a big soccer fan. It’d be like bashing Phantom of Baker Street just because it panders too much to Sherlock fans. Even if the movie was J-league fan service, that doesn’t change the fact that the movie still makes use of the soccer themes and characters in the main story.
Another complaint has to do with how this movie copies the story of another movie in the series, specifically the Time-Bombed Skyscraper. While that movie is fun, I did think that there were some places it could improve on. For instance, the lack of mystery surrounding the main culprit. Here, they at least tried to complicate things with extra suspects and other elements to help engage the audience in figuring out whodunit. The soccer references, refined art style and epic cinematography help give it its own unique shine while polishing out the kinks in the original framework.
In terms of legitimate criticism, there are some things I do consider to be slight nitpicks. While the music is serviceable, it can sometimes sound very “Rugrats-like”, with the exception of the song that plays when everything explodes (that song is awesome). The resolution at the end is very cheesy, but it’s still really satisfying (“the eleventh striker was you after all”). While the J-league does have a purpose in the main plot, it would’ve been nice to see them after the criminal was caught. Would’ve given them some nice closure, ya know?
Overall, this movie is too good to be getting all of this undeserved flak. A good Detective Conan movie doesn’t need Kaito Kid or the Black Organization to be good (that in itself is its own form of pandering). As long as the movie stays true to what Detective Conan is, it doesn’t matter how much soccer fan service there is. Of all the movies that I’ve reviewed so far, Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker is, indeed, faithful to what Detective Conan is.
12: Free! Movie 3: Road to the World – Yume
Japanese: 劇場版 Free!-Road to the World-夢
MAL Score: 7.73
Recap of the Free!: Dive to the Future TV series featuring new scenes.
Most of the Hiyori/Natsuya parts of the season were significantly shortenend and might arguably be a tad hard to understand for anyone who hasn’t seen the season. The rest was put together rather well, though I do have to say that I was surprised at the amount of new scenes.
Overall I would advise viewers to watch the whole season to get the full context. Due to the amount of new scenes this movie seems more suitable for people who have actually seen the season before and just want a small reminder/new content.
That is probably the best thing to come out of this film, if I’m honest, but only because we were deprived of it in the main story. So, like… I wouldn’t call this a summary? I mean, it totally is a summary because there’s probably about 45 minutes of recap or so (maybe less, I didn’t check), but there are SO many new scenes– way more than the first two recap films. Before I get into the new stuff, though, just know that they replaced some of the music that plays over certain scenes with different OSTs and some of those scenes got better because of it.
Anyway, so this film did recap Dive to the Future, but it also rewrote some of it. I’m not too terribly crazy about that, but then again, the main story would just take a quick edit to make everything sound as far as continuity goes. It isn’t that anything too serious is rewritten, it’s just that certain scenes got revamped so they could of them rather than playing the whole scene over again. For example, Haru and Rin saw each other again after Haru talked to his coach about his swimming. Since, I assume, the filmmakers wanted to cut the time it would take to show the coach and Haru having their conversation to give context to Rin and Haru’s meeting, they just opted for Haru and Rin to meet in a different setting. It isn’t like it’s upsetting the very story itself, it’s just different for the most part.
That’s the recap stuff done. The new stuff– boi, you better bet that there’s moments in this film that have become some of my favorite moments in the whole franchise. I won’t go into detail so the people that want to watch it can watch it fresh, but there were characters meeting up and extra conversations shown that were freaking awesome. I’ll talk about that more in a bit, but first I want to mention that this film kind of formatted itself to be a montage of the main story with deleted scenes shown in full in between. Of course, the plot did show us full scenes when it came to the big stuff that happened in the main story, but for the most part, the bulk of the scenes we got in full were scenes that filled in the spaces of time we didn’t see in the main story. Like, for example, what Sousuke was doing in Tokyo before Rin met up with him or how Haru asked his coach to train him for the IM.
Oh, that’s the other thing. These extra scenes don’t really involve Haru all that much. I got the feeling that the purpose of this film was to fill in time for the other characters; plus, Haru didn’t really need more added to his story since… well, he’s the main character. We got it all in Dive to the Future. Also, the recap starts right before the IM. Well, I mean, it does montage through what happened before then, but the first big recap scene that’s shown is the IM. There were also flashback scenes of the characters talking about their dreams when they were in elementary school, which was a nice setup for the point of the film.
I feel like I’m not really reviewing this but rather just explaining that it is in fact worth watching. Okay, so, let me explain WHY it’s worth watching. The extra scenes (I said I’d come back to this, yeah?). There were a good chunk that either filled in story we didn’t get to see but knew about or were just conversations between characters. However, there were scenes that seriously– and I mean seriously– progressed the story that you’re not gonna get literally anywhere else. That was what was so cool about watching this film. There was real development both in the story and for the characters. Not only that, but this film made connections between characters that will have a serious impact on the story going forward that you wouldn’t be aware of unless you watched this.
Basically, I just wanna say that this film is worth watching just for the new stuff. Do what I did and skim through the stuff you already know about and watch the new stuff. Oh, important point: don’t watch this as a substitute for Dive to the Future. You’ll miss out on a bunch. Though, you’ll miss out on quite a bit if you don’t watch this too. So, watch Dive to the Future first so you have context for what’s happening in this film, but definitely watch this because, holy hell, it took me on a ride. I don’t know what the future holds for Free! what with the complications with the studio, but I really, really hope that plans for the sequel movie pick back up despite the news that it was delayed because this film just set up so much more for me to be excited about going forward. Here’s to the future!
11: Kuroko no Basket Movie 3: Winter Cup – Tobira no Mukou
English: Winter Cup Highlights Episode 3 – Winter Cup Highlights -Crossing the Door-
MAL Score: 7.74
Third of three compilation films of the Kuroko no Basket franchise.
Rakuzan and Shutoku face off in the semi finals at the Winter Cup. Despite struggling with Akashi’s Emperor Eye that sees through everything, Midorima and Takao fight back with their consecutive plays, and the whole Shutoku team bites back at Rakuzan. However, it doesn’t take long before Akashi crushes all of their hopes. It is decided that the finals will be fought between Seirin and Rakuzan. Kagami immediately enters the Zone as soon as the match starts, but it is no match for Akashi. Facing an extreme difference in ability against Rakuzan, Seirin loses their hope a number of times during the match. However, Kuroko doesn’t give up, and continues to strongly fight against Akashi.
1. Movie 1 Winter Cup Soushuuhen – Kage to Hikari
2. Movie 2 Winter Cup Soushuuhen – Namida no Saki e
3. Movie 3 Winter Cup Soushuuhen – Tobira no Mukou
Movie one, two, and three is a summarize version of Season one, two, and three. Though unlike the Season one series where it tackles first the plays Seirin made in order to participate in the Winter Cup and Season 2 moving on to the tournament itself, the Movies focuses on the Winter Cup alone and show only a bit of introduction from the Season one series. The movies consist of the highlights and the outplays Team Seirin did in order to defeat every team with a Generation of Miracles member. It is a waste not to watch them but I decided not to. Not because it will be a waste of time but I know that watching it will make my memory jamble. Since I’ve watched each episodes of all three seasons, I already know how the story goes. But apart from that fact, every bit of extras, not that important but is a part of the series, and I don’t want to forget that. Watching this movies will possibly make you forget that little bits of cute lines, scenarios from the series, and I don’t want that. You can make it a review from the seasons series though.
Kuroko No Basket Anime Review
By: Tadatoshi Fujimaki
April 15, 2019
Sports Anime genre have only one path to take, tournaments. Participating individually or by teaming up, it is the most common plot that exist. While this is not a unique one, it will be the author’s capability how he manage to capture the interest of the viewer and excite them. This series focuses on students who love playing basketball. At first, I am really not interested on watching this anime. It is kind of absurd to think of a basketball story with extraordinary skills. But after trying it out, it made me realize that the plot of the story is great. I love the simplicity of it. The main reason of why the series moves forward and how it affects every branches of the story. Unrealistic as it may seem, the lesson is still there. The creator successfully stress out the core value when playing basketball. What also made me hook on this series is the directness of every plays all of the basketball teams have. Each play only last for an average of 5 to 6 episodes. Flashbacks are there but its only on a really minimum basis. You can enjoy watching all of the plays without so much cliffhanging and annoying side stories of the characters.
It is already a known that almost all of the characters on this series are super cool. It is the reason why most of the girl watched it, I think. Aside from that fact, the development of the characters can totally be seen along the story. The changes and realization they made make them more of a human. Though not skillfully speaking. Since there are so many characters, giving all of them the spotlight is hard. And that’s whats amazing. The creator successfully introduce a past where most of the characters belong. That way, it won’t be hard tackling each of the characters past and it gives the story more time in other scenarios that needs to be displayed. I love how the story never depend on the back story of the characters so much that it will take too much time to explain it.
Sound and Animation: 10
Perfect. My phone is full of Kises’ picture. Yes, every character is so handsome but it is not only this. The animation of the story is really great. Parts where the characters show dribbling, passing, shooting or even guarding their opponents is really detailed. I love how they show the movements of the characters playing on the court, as well as their expression depending on the feeling they have. Should I also mention the voices? Yes, theirs are really cool and perfectly matches the looks of the characters.
I am not really a fan of basketball. I do not hate it, but I do not also like it. This is the first anime basketball which got me hooked. Due to so much enjoyment watching it, I’ve finished it in a more faster time than the other series I tried. Every episode will make you want more, more plays, more actions on the court, more characters to encounter with. It is really exciting, and fun to watch.
This is the best route to take for an ending on this series. The main goal of Kuroko has been met after winning the nationals with his team. But no, the story did not really move forward just because they had to win. It is because he had to bring back his loss previously. He had to bring back all of the people precious to him and he did. Fixing things that is broken and making them realize the most important thing when doing the thing they love. I am content with the ending of this series. It is simple, yet it will made you realize something important.
It says i need to write a longer review while most people would tell me i elaborate too much when i explain myself. But there’s nothing more to say, the animation alone makes it worth it
Even this isnt long enough, exactly how long does it need to be to be long enough. All i wanted to say was in the first paragraph
This being the latest entry in the highlight movies, thankfully, you can watch it after you’ve finished the third season, unlike the previous ones which included contents from different seasons.
The highlight had two games, it covers the game between Rakuzan and Midorima’s team briefly then moves all the +1 hour focus to the final between Seirin and Rakuzan. It almost feels like the perfect medicine for the show’s slow pacing. A lot of people complain about the games being too long and drag on for longer than needed.
10: New Initial D Movie: Legend 1 – Kakusei
English: Initial D Legend 1 Awakening
Japanese: 新劇場版 頭文字［イニシャル］D Legend1 -覚醒-
MAL Score: 7.76
The first movie in a trilogy, focusing on the battle against the Takahashi brothers.
Initial D’s movie retelling- itself an adaptation of an adaptation- is not one that aims to reinvent the series it is based on. It is yet another sort of compilation movie, an inferior version of the TV series that came before. Does that mean the movie itself sucks? Not necessarily, though it is beyond any doubt a disappointment.
I’m not entirely sure why Initial D is being remade since 1998 isn’t exactly what I would consider to be ‘old’. I suppose it exists as a way for anime fans who detest anything from before the 2000’s (you have my condolences) to get into the series with its pretty new visuals. And look nice it does, although the movie has lost far more than it has gained.
Let me first mention the positives before I start complaining: Initial D Kakusei looks fantastic. First Stage was admittedly pretty rough-looking with its cheap CG during the races, which often detracted from the experience and made it resemble some sort of weird PS2 game. The CG in Kakusei, on the other hand, is thankfully kept to the bare minimum. I can hardly fault the original series for its CG considering the money situation is very different between TV series and movies, but it is still an upgrade nonetheless. Speedlines are far more effective than bouncy bouncy CG cars rolling around.
Takumi’s new voice actor is also a far better fit. Takumi sounded like a 40-year-old man in the original series (really, what the hell was up with that?), whereas here he actually sounds like a teenager. Miyano Mamoru makes Takumi seem more alive and human, less lethargic, especially when you consider the same voice actor also played Okabe from Steins;Gate. It’s a nice change, since in the original series it was like Takumi just didn’t give a damn about much of anything. It is a bit strange to hear such a popular voice actor in his role, though. I’ve heard him in so many different anime now that I just can’t identify him with Takumi.
Others do not fare nearly as well, with Keisuke being robbed of all personality by his new seiyuu. Depending on your tastes, you might also find the story to be lacking in emotion or humanity. And you would be correct, as this has been (at least for me) the main issue with the franchise. There’s a lot of cool moments to satisfy both action and racing fans, but there’s nothing to really make you care about the characters. The romance here feels even more tacked on and superficial than usual, considering the movie removes important scenes like an enraged Takumi punching Mogi’s ex-boyfriend. Here, Mogi is just eye-candy and Takumi a quiet badass. Yawn.
The decision to use (generic) rock music rather than Eurobeat, the series’ staple, is beyond disappointing– it’s actually baffling. There is a major lack of intensity during the races as a result of this stupid decision. Whereas tracks like ‘Heartbeat’ or ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ blasting would often make the entire race, here the songs merely accompany it. The rock music has its place in anime, but Initial D is not where it belongs; it feels like something you’d find in a show like Kuroko no Basket instead. I don’t necessarily wish the same tracks from First Stage were reused here ad-nauseum (the entire thing would reek of laziness), but certainly it could have at least tried to preserve the same mood and atmosphere from the original series. Maybe people new to the series won’t care all that much, but it’s a bummer to see the Eurobeat gone. It was by far the best thing about the series. Initial D was the music.
The pacing is also very strange since it’s trying to tell a story in movie format while moving at the speed of a TV series. If the bigwigs behind the anime wanted to go for the movie approach, they should have tightened up the pacing and covered a much larger amount of content. It doesn’t use the medium to its advantage; it just feels like a compilation with pretty visuals rather than an actual movie.
People new to Initial D should be aware that, like the original series, there’s a bit of car and racing terminology that is pretty much gibberish to anyone who doesn’t follow the scene. It doesn’t really impede the enjoyment, though, since the spectacle is still more than enough. Most of it simply boils down to Takumi being a drifting god, anyway.
Should you watch Initial D Kakusei? I can’t say I recommend it. It’s simply an inferior version of the original series with prettier visuals. If visuals are all that matter to you, then hey, I suppose you’ll have a pretty good time. But if you value characters, music and mood to any extent, you would be better off just watching (or rewatching) First Stage instead. There are much better things you could spend the hour with instead. You could watch three episodes of Aikatsu, for example!
The pacing of this movie works for the way it is. Nothing feels to rushed but the specifics of Natsuki’s story is more hidden this time. Other than that, fans of Initial D who have prior exposure know what to expect. As for the final race, if you play the arcade games, the pace of the race works in accurate conjunction to that so I can’t really make an excuse it feels to rushed. I mean, most players can beat Akina in about 3 minutes.
As fans of the original TV series are aware, the voice cast has entirely changed and I felt it was unnecessary. I mean, Gundam for the most part very rarely changes the cast and neither has the new Evangelion series. The cast are still active and can still play. The only name I can recognize is Miyano Mamoru, most famous as the voices of Light from Death Note and Setsuna from Gundam. I say his performance works for what it is but I think it is the voice direction as opposed to his abilities as a performer is what I have an issue with. There are instances where you can get a reaction out of him as opposed to saying you fucked Natsuki or whatever. I felt there were instances where his reactions were completely out of character, or at least what I am used to.
Bunta’s voice feels weak compared to Ishizuka Unshou’s original performance. The rest of the cast to me lacks the personality of the original TV series voice actors.
And in other sad news that I find criminal. The Eurobeat and MOVE are no longer part of the soundtrack. Try to imagine a Cowboy Bebop reboot/remake without the jazz and that’s how some Initial D fans probably feel. Half of the music is heavy bass with weak techno cords and the other half is generic J-Rock. I say viewers who have no prior exposure to the original series will have no issue with this factor but to me, the Eurobeat and MOVE is part of the identity of Initial D.
As for the character design, it is sharp and crisp and more in tune with that of 4th to Final Stage. As for the races, I felt it was too over reliant on above and below angles and close ups. I felt this ruined Takumi’s inertia drift he did against his first race against Keisuke. In the 1998 series, granted the quality is not that great, but the set up and execution made it exciting. I felt this series lacked that. There are instances it works, and instances it doesn’t. Another issue is the frame rate. With the upper angles, the frame rate felt rough but the lower angles the frame rate was much smoother.
Overall, I say long time fans of Initial D will have mixed feelings for the right reasons. I say viewers with no familiarity will be more open minded to the changes and may enjoy it.
STORY- 5/10 DRAW: Initial D always represented a bit of a paradox in story terms to me. The plot remains simple and consistent throughout, but I could never really follow it. I know what happens, but it usually ends up becoming a big blur in my head. It by and large follows Character X races main character, main character wins in a very cool way. The story is a copy/paste from the manga and anime, but with a few differences. 1, Mogi is downplayed. 2, A lot of the ‘meat’ is trimmed off to make the story fit into an hour length package. 3, In the anime and manga, a character almost causes a head on collision and wrecks his car. In the movie, the same accident is caused not by another car, but a bump. and 4, In the anime and the manga, the main character goes straight home after the Akina race, but in the movie, a rival character confronts the main at the bottom of the mountain in order to have an important conversation that would not have fit elsewhere. I think that these differences are small enough to call this category a wash.
ART- 9/10 NEW WINS: Holy crap. This is where the first stage needed this remake the most. In first stage, the animators used a CGI tool that they clearly did not have the hang of. Not only did it look like a PSone was rendering the frames, but the cars never really moved right, especially at low speeds. Now, the cars all look stunning, the action is fast-paced and crisp, and the cars are moving more or less like they actually would. There are a few jarring moments, like when a car does a J-turn, but the animators never got the hang of J-turns anyway. I am not a fan of some of the screenplay, for example, where the POV will be a wide angle, then suddenly moves forward an absurd amount to emphasize the action and goes back to wide angle to appear artsy. Fortunately, the wonky cinematography is the exception and not the rule, and I found myself enjoying many of the moving shots. The actual human characters look cleaner and sharper. by far the biggest improvement is Itsuki, who looks significantly less like a giant-faced mutant. All things considered, the new version has better art in nearly every way. The old just can’t compare.
SOUND- 3/10 OLD WINS: Betrayal is a pretty weak word to describe my feelings on the background music in the movie. Initial D always had fast, energetic, and catchy eurobeat music in the background for a sample, look up “Space Boy Initial D” or “Don’t Stop the Music Initial D” on Youtube. It seems like a stupid combination at first, but it just ‘clicks’ in the most satisfying ways. The movie on the other hand, ditches the eurobeat in favor of the most generic rock music on the planet. Initial D First Stage relied less on the animation to convey speed and more on the eurobeat to draw the viewer into the race. This new version is quite the opposite. It ends up being so tragic, because if the producers had decided to keep the eurobeat and update the animation at the same time, the result would have been magnificent at worst. Like the Star Wars prequels with better acting… and no Jar-Jar.
CHARACTER- 6/10 OLD WINS: Not much to talk about, both the anime and the movie have identical characters with identical stories, but the anime just had so much more time to develop them. An hour is really short for a feature length film, and the movie does its best and does a good job of character development, but it is not quite enough.
ENJOYMENT- 7/10 OLD WINS:I wanted to like the movie more than the series, but I enjoyed the old anime series more than the new movie. The eurobeat is too good, the nostalgia too strong, and the QUALITY animation gives its share of laughs.
OVERALL- 6/10 OLD WINS: The important part here is the movie COULD have been better than the original series if it had about 20 more minutes of hardcore supporting character development, and had the glorious eurobeat soundtrack. But the fact is, it doesn’t. I just wish it did.
9: Free!: Take Your Marks
English: Free! -Take Your Marks-
Japanese: 特別版 Free!-Take Your Marks-
MAL Score: 7.76
Taking place between the events of Free!: Eternal Summer and Free!: Dive to the Future, Free!: Take Your Marks plays out the graduated seniors’ last summer through four different stories before they set sail for the future.
Unmei no Choice! (Destined Choice!) follows Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana searching for a new apartment for Haruka as he settles into Tokyo.
Hitou no Cooling Down! (Cooling Down at the Secret Hot Spring!) sees Aiichiro Nitori choose a graduation gift for Rin Matsuoka and Sousuke Yamazaki, while Momotaro Mikoshiba wins tickets to the Anago Hot Springs. Hoping for a trip together, Aiichiro and Momotaro invite Rin and Sousuke.
Kessoku no Batafurai! (United Butterfly!) shows Rei Ryugazaki, Nagisa Hazuki, and Gou Matsuoka creating a recruitment video to attract new club members for the next school year.
Tabidachi no Etanaru Buru! (Departing Eternal Blue!) looks into the Iwatobi and Samezuka swim teams’ plans for Rin’s surprise going-away party, as he will be departing for Australia soon.
I went to see this movie with a friend in theaters on White Day. I know what to expect as I went in blind without having even seen the trailer for it. I just assumed, “well it’s free! of course I’m going to like it” and I was right. If you are a long time fan of this franchise, you will enjoy it.
This movie is broken up into four “episodes” that are interconnected. Each episode contains a theme that is carried out by the end of it so watching only one won’t leave you on that much of a cliffhanger. However, the stories themselves are written with their target audience in mind. Personally, I was not expecting the movie to be this funny.
I found it hard to breathe at times with how hard I was laughing. I was clutching my friend’s hand in a death grip (sorry friend!) and doubling over with laughter at how some of the scenes played out. Dramatic irony is utilized a lot which, while somewhat of a cop-out, adds to the charm that is the franchise itself. None of the episodes are “deep” or delve into characterization but then again, this movie is intended for fans of the series who are already familiar with the cast.
There were a few new additions to the cast (perhaps foreshadowing their addition in S3) that only had a brief mention. It was disappointing that the new characters only had a few seconds of cameo as it would have been nice to get to know them a bit more than a name and a random quirk. I would have preferred if they weren’t brought up and the episode instead focused on the already established characters.
The art was good aside from a few moments where it was a bit…questionable. Aside from that, it was typical Kyoani quality. Beautiful scenery and visuals with only slight drawbacks regarding some frames.
To be honest, I couldn’t remember most of the OST because the theater was engulfed in laughter for almost the entire film. The ending song was really good.
I love the entire cast and I am biased in that regard. The new characters seemed interesting and a few characters from the prequel movie were included as well.
The opening scene of episode one almost gave me a heart attack and I was hyperventilating. If you like shipping the characters, you will enjoy this film. If you enjoy fan-service, you will enjoy this film. There were a lot of times where I was whispering to my friend, “I *wrote* this, like this is something I would write in a fanfic” so please take that as you will.
If you like Free! as a franchise, this movie is a must see. It’s funny, it has fan-service moments, and it has “shippy” moments (or as “shippy” as you can get from Kyoani). Regardless of whether you’re into it because of the fan-service, or into it because you like swimming, this movie has something for everyone.
I highly recommend watching it as it is a feel good, lighthearted comedy that is enjoyable for everyone.
The are 4 stories taking place between Free!: Eternal Summer and Free!: Dive to the Future show the transition for all the characters as they mature and their lives will change dramatically when the summer ends.
* Destined Choice! shows Makoto helping Haruka apartment hunt prior to college in Tokyo. The one he chooses does end up feeling like destiny, as a character from Free Starting Days shows up.
* Cooling Down at the Secret Hot Spring! Lucky Momo wins tickets to a hot spring and they give them to Rin ans Sousuke as a graduation gift. All 4 end up there and hilarious shenanigans ensue.
* United Butterfly is about the Iwatobi team’s new recruitment video. This one actually made me tear up. I want friends like this. Everyone should have friends like this. Also the reality is it is very hard to keep a specialized club going, without support, but friendship CAN last the test of time and distance. At least that’s the message here, full of hope.
* Departing Eternal Blue! Starts with Rin’s emotional reaction to a movie. OH NO we can’t be together if you love cats!!! Then the Iwatobi and Samezuka swim teams’ plans for Rin’s surprise going-away party are misinterpreted by Rin as Momo wants to date Gou. And the mis-understanding just gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger. This was great, I was laughing so hard.
The characters got a chance to dress really well in many outfits and the quality was good as usual.
This could have been better. Not sure why they did chibi Elvis outfits for the ED, I kind of miss the boy band music video versions from season 1 and 2 to be honest.
I’ve grown really attached to all of them. Except Haru, who, while talented, frankly has loads of room for improvement. I consider him a work in progress but all the rest are great and I’d be friends with all of them in a heartbeat.
I loved this installment of the Free Franchise. Time does go on. People grow up and situations change – there are so many transitions in life and this slice of life sports anime shows them to great effect. Changes don’t mean endings, but new beginnings. At the end of the day, it is up to both parties to keep in touch and keep the friendship going. If fate wills it, they’ll meet again.
Aside from the swimming competitions, it was nice to sit down and hang out with the characters for a while. It also left a nice lead-in for the third season that will be coming out soon. I enjoy watching this characters grow and change so much, and I look forward to seeing more in the next season.
I’d definitely recommend this movie to fans that love these characters. Maybe you shouldn’t stay up until 5:30 AM to watch it like I did, but you should watch it all the same. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
8: High☆Speed! Movie: Free! Starting Days
English: Free! Starting Days
Japanese: 映画 ハイ☆スピード！ -Free! Starting Days-
MAL Score: 7.87
High☆Speed!: Free! Starting Days plunges into the past of the Iwatobi Swim Club members alongside their fellow swimmers and competitors.
Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana have started middle school and must adjust to the changes that come along with growing up. While Makoto fits in with his classmates and remains positive about swimming, Haruka struggles to befriend others or join his school’s swim club, as his previous issues with swimming trouble him. Distancing himself from his lively classmates and the swimming club, he has difficulty deciding which club to join instead. The rest of his classmates, including Makoto, are also hesitant as to which clubs to participate in. After an argument leads them to join the swimming club anyway, the boys strive to hone their skills, harmonize their swimming styles, and refine their conflicting feelings toward swimming and each other.
As determination and talent run high, witness Haruka and Makoto—along with their classmates—discover themselves and improve their talents during their starting days.
High Speed gives a closer look into the lifes of Haru and Makoto before they go to Iwatobi High (Anime Series), so it’s not necessary to see the anime before, but can be also seen as an addition to it. At the start of the movie the story goes on rather slowly, but with a lot of funny scenes, that made me laugh more than once. The watcher gets to know the new characters Ikuya and Asahi and also can recognize the ones, already shown in the anime like Kisumi or of course the main characters Makoto and Haru. After this the stoy goes on with a faster pace, but for me it didn’t feel rushed at any time and the time went by like nothing. The fanservice strongly focused on the relationship between Haru and Makoto in this movie, which is amazing for a fangirl like me but could be rather annoying for someone, who is not into it that much. But it’s Free so I guess we gotta live with it .(It’s not like I would complain about it anyway) Towards the end of the movie the story gets a lot more emotional and really moved me to tears sometimes. Sadly the ending was a bit disappointing since it felt abrupt for me and for a moment I wasn’t even sure if it was over already. I kept wondering why Asahi and Ikuya didn’t appeared a single time in the anime (f. e. in a flashback) even though they built a strong friendship with Makoto and Haru in the movie.
All in all I will give the Story a solid 8!
The Art will forever be one of the things I love most about Free! The Art is just incredibly outstanding! The backgrounds f. e. the cherry blossoms are really detailed. Also in scenes, where the watcher sees with Harus eyes, when he swims, or when a pool is shown, the water is also drawn with a lot of effort and looks truly beautiful. The beautiful art style also applies to the characters. The character design is amazing and also matches with their personalities a lot. Every single character looks stunning in his own way and had his own unique appearance. There were no characters (excluding supernumerarys) that looked much like each other, except the ones where it was logical because they’re related (-> Ikuya and Natsuya (brothers) have the same eyes).
I think this text shows clearly that I can’t give the Art anyhing less than 10 points, it’s just absolutely amazing!
Okay, first about the seiyuus (japanese voice actors): I’m really glad that they decided to keep the seiyuus for Haru, Makoto, Rin, Sousuke and Kisumi, with the reason that their voices start to deepen at that age. I’m really in love with the Free! Cast and even though the voices sometimes seemed a bit too dark for such small boys, their voices brought something well-known in the movie and connected it to the anime series, which I really liked. Also the voices for the new characters fitted their personality. Sadly the „their-voices-start-to-change-at-that-age“ – theory didn’t work on Nagisa, so they casted a woman to synchronize him. In my opinion his voice was a bit too high and annoying at some time… Another thing I have to highlight about the seiyuus is the amazing work of Tatsuhisa Suzuki as the voice of Makoto. I always think that Makoto is one of his best roles ever, because he managed to adapt his voice without sounding odd, even though Makotos voice distinguishes a lot from Tatsuhisas „normal“ voice.
Talking about Suzuki-san , this leads to the second topic: the music. Some of you maybe know that the Theme Song „Aching Horns“ was performed by Tatsuhisas band „Oldcodex“ with him as a singer. Of course it’s a matter of taste and if you like J-Rock, but in my opinion the song is really amazing and will always remember me of the movie!
The soundtrack playing during the movie was good and really beautiful sometimes but sadly I don’t remember most of the tracks and had to look them up again before writing this review…what I noticed however was that they took some soundtracks from the anime and revised them. (For example the well-known track „Words that changed my Life“ got a new version called „Precious Words“ in High Speed)
After all I will give 9 out of 10 points for the sound!
At the beginning some of the characters may not seem understandable to the watcher since their reactions to some situations don’t really make sense to them. However later most characters get at least one scene of the movie focusing on them and revealing their backstory, which makes them more understandable for the watcher and feel sorry for them. Some of their storys really made me cry. But it was not only for the new characters like Ikuya and his brother but also with characters, some of you already know from the anime! High Speed showed especially Makotos flaws more exactly than the anime did and made me feel really sad for him. Also I can understand Sousukes character even more now after watching the movie. Concerning the side characters I’m really happy they included some already known characters like Nagisa and even Rei, even though they were not important for the plot at that time. I also like the new side characters, like Nao and Natsuya!
All in all 9 points for the characters~
For me as a huuuge Free! Fan the movie was just the best movie ever! (I did my best to be objective though~) I think people, that are interested in anime about sport but also about friendship will love this movie, especially if they enjoyed the anime series too! The movie has funny as well as emotional scenes in it and for someone who likes this combinaton, it’s definitely a good recommendation!
I would totally watch it again and again so 10 points for me!
Thanks for reading I hope I stayed more or less objective ^^’
Man, the story. I did keep my expectations low. Or, I didn’t really expect anything at all (neither positive nor negative stuff) and I ended up being blown away.
It starts off by introducing all of the characters very well, one by one. About the first half of the movie, we’re getting to know them and the setting. And then the emotional drama starts happening. Haruka, Makoto, Ikuya and Asahi go through mental challenges, Makoto is questioning his choices, Haruka isn’t too sure about himself or his friends either. They’re all facing struggles thats effects them as a team.
It’s easy to keep up with this movie, the main aspects aren’t too complicated and we only focus on one big thing at a time.
Kyoto Animation did an amazing job with the art, style, animation, background details and usage of colors. Everything goes so well with each other and this movie is just stunning to watch.
Same applies to the music. Free! wouldn’t have been Free! without this music.
I was worried about the new characters, mainly Ikuya and Asahi. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one that got reminded of Haruka and Momotarou when I took my first glance at them. But High Speed suprised me! Yes, Ikuya’s facial expressions are similar to Haru’s, but he’s still very different as a character. Asahi is energetic like Momo, but he’s still different from him. What I’m trying to say is that all of the characters ended up being different and likable.
Haruka and Makoto are.. Well, pretty much just like how you would expect. Their strong bond is very known, and you can clearly see it in this movie. Haru knows when something is off about Makoto and same goes for Makoto. In the flashbacks from the actual show, their bond didn’t seem that strong, so I’m glad that we got to see how close they actually were as kids/pre-teens. Makoto also shows a deeper side of himself.
I would say that Ikuya had the hardest time. He was a quiet boy, but he would still talk whenever he could and add a bunch of comments. I respect Ikuya as a character because he had so much more pressure on him than the others. As his bonds with the boys got stronger, he would open up more, and share more about his life. He’s also a very cute character, almost being shy in the beginning.
Asahi would be more of a stereotypical character in anime, but there’s still something special about him. The way that he interacts with the others makes him seem like an idiot, but being his confident self, it doesn’t bother him. However, he’s still facing other types of struggles.
All of the characters end up being very strong, and they have great developments.
I loved how Nagisa, Rei, Sousuke and Rin would pop up once in a while, I mean, they were still involved with the main characters’ lives. Plus, it was so nice to see what /they/ were doing in the meanwhile. Don’t get me wrong, they only showed up at occasions where it fit, when they were useful to the plot.
(During the dramatic, moments near the end, I WAS SO SCARED AND WORRIED FOR ALL OF THEM, I GOT EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO THEM SUPER QUICKLY. They went through so much ohh lord)
I truly enjoyed this movie to the fullest. I’m already very interested in swimming, and the messages that Free! is trying to bring about friendship, the future and freedom, are also important to me. Starting Days does bring up a lot of the same stuff from the actual show, but I would say that first and foremost; this movie is about acceptance, of oneself and of others (the key to happiness). It’s all about these boys being willing to work together as a team. And It’s so beautiful.
I recommend this movie to people that value these aspects in life, or just want to have a good time.
I’m going to go and rewatch this now.
The story, while nothing exceptional, is solid. There is a degree of repetitiveness among the two seasons of the anime and this movie in terms of main themes and sources of conflict, and if this movie’s other elements weren’t so well-done I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. Fortunately, that’s not the case. The movie had uncertainty about the future, family drama, and, as this is Free!, friendship being its main drivers, and while it did get a bit too melodramatic sometimes, overall I feel that the story was handled well and made for a movie that had some substance instead of having it be an hour of fanservice, which was a route they could have easily gone down.
There are some moments in the film that feel a bit awkward or shoehorned in (for example, Sousuke had more interaction with the gang than I’d previously thought from the way they act towards each other in the future, and I did question Haruka’s future attitude towards competing.) but I don’t think they detracted from my enjoyment of the film in a major way.
Where I feel this movie did an exceptional job is its characters. I was worried, at first, with such a large number of the main cast (especially since there is already an established universe) being original characters (not counting the novels). I was pleasantly surprised that all of them received some amount of development and had good, believable dynamics with each other. Overall, both new and familiar characters were likeable in their own ways, and I found myself emotionally invested in them.
One other thing that the movie did excellently is developing the relationship between Makoto and Haruka. For characters whose relationship in the future is already so well-known, their interaction in the movie never felt unimportant and are, in fact, what I believe are some of the strongest points of the movie, whether or not the larger franchise is considered. I left the theatre with a greater appreciation of their friendship, and I believe a better understanding of the relationship between the characters’ older selves.
This being a KyoAni production, it was definitely a visual treat. While
I do think their style can be rather bland, the movie is undeniably very pretty, with fluid animation, great backgrounds, and good use of colour when it counts. There is one particular scene between Makoto and Haruka that was animated beautifully (more so than the rest if the film,) which I feel really emphasised it as a pivotal moment.
The sound and music were also fine, and served their purpose well. The music will sound familiar to those who have seen the series. It’s not a soundtrack that will merit multiple replays on its own, but it was definitely effective in the context of the movie.
Overall, this is a movie I can recommend without reservations to a fan of the series. While I can see how it might be less interesting to someone not already interested in Free!, I think it still merits a watch for anyone who wants to see a beautifully animated but sometimes slow-moving coming-of-age film.
Note: I saw this movie in Japanese with no English subtitles. I am currently a Japanese language student, and while I’m confident that I understood almost everything in the movie, there may have been some things I missed. I will update this review if my opinions change after I see it again once the DVD comes out.
7: Initial D Third Stage
Japanese: 頭文字〈イニシャル〉D THIRD STAGE
MAL Score: 7.88
Takumi Fujiwara is a skilled street racer, but he suffers a crushing loss against the team Emperor’s leader Kyoichi Sudou due to his AE86 experiencing an engine failure. Doubting his abilities, the recent high school graduate is then approached by the Akagi RedSuns’ team leader Ryousuke Takahashi, who proposes the formation of a professional street racing team. Although it would be the ideal way to improve as a street racer, Takumi remains undecided.
Does the young street racer have what it takes to become a professional? Perhaps Ryousuke and the RedSuns can help him reevaluate his own doubts and misconceptions concerning street racing. However, first and foremost, Takumi decides to settle the score with Kyoichi Sudou…
Well, the art, resolution, and the cg continue to progress. The art is cleaner and more detailed, and the cg’s rendering also improves. The races as usual are exciting, but have more of a gimmick or twist behind them this time, which makes them fresh and original in addition of allowing the races to take place in a new environment. And you can never get bored of breath taking drifts. However, some problems I have in this movie are that the races this time tends to end more anti-climatically more than usual.
Fortunately for some, the tech speak is virtually non-existent this time so it’ll be easy to follow and just simply enjoy the races. But I say the tech speak in the previous sagas are always a big help in getting a professional understanding of how the cars and techniques work. But that’s just me.
Well, I can’t really add too much about the voice acting since anything I said in the previous reviews can be applied here too. However, the addition of Kai played by Canna Nobutoshi is a great one. He is very intimidating and hot blooded as Kai like other roles he has played such as Guts from Berserk, Tasuki from Fushigi Yuugi, and Knuckles from Sonic. The music is still the number one trait has always captivated me to Initial D, and is a great representative of the fast and fun nature of this anime. The opening theme Gamble Rumble by MOVE goes very well to the sequence and is always in tradition that MOVE is part of the soundtrack, and I love the insertion of Crazy for Love as well. The ending theme Jirenma adds a new kind of feel to this series as well that you have to watch to understand what I mean.
Like I said, to get into this movie, and understand and enjoy it, you have to see the first 2 seasons to understand a lot of things such as Takumi’s developing acquainting with Ryosuke, why Takumi is avoiding Natsuki and what ended their relationship, and the score he has to settle with the Emperors. To me, this movie is an extension of season 2 and transitions very well into the 4th stage. This movie does an excellent job of standing on its own by further developing Takumi’s character, and balancing his issues and resolving them.
Third Stage involves a few larger plot points and many of the smaller plot points from First and Second Stage that remain unfinished. We’re not treated to anything earth shattering, but it is a necessary part of the overall initial D storyline. Unfortunately even in the manga, you couldn’t get away from some of the plot points that were opened and yet unclosed, so Third Stage serves as that closure. Some may find it a bit more tedious when compared to the other stages, but I find it enjoyable as it delivers a lot of satisfaction from closed plot lines.
Both CGI and drawn art takes a big leap in the movie compared to any previous installment in the series. CGI especially is incredible compared to the previous stages. Drawn art is treated to an overhaul of rich colors and generally looks much better than First and Second Stage. There is a point in the beginning of the movie where I actually remarked to myself just how rich the blue was of the gas station uniforms. Sunsets are well drawn and play an integral part in the settings of this movie and in the metaphorical sense.
Sound quality is good, both acting languages (English, Japanese) are well done and comprehensible. The Eurobeat is great and really helps propel the excitement of the races. OST music outside of the Eurobeat is much better and the car sounds are equivalent to that of Second Stage.
Compared to the previous stages, characters shine in Third Stage. Much of the plot revolves around their growth and change. Mogi is featured, Itsuki continues to mature and Takumi undergoes a comparatively massive shift in development.
It’s hard to say how I feel overall about Initial D Third Stage. It gives you a ton of closed plot points, a few exciting races and tons of character development and interaction. Yet at the same time, it feels melancholic. Nonetheless, it is an important part of the Initial D storyline and a must watch.
The story told is about Takumi’s effort to tie all the loose ends from the past two series. So, we’ve got races, development of his craving for becoming the best driver and an emotional part involving Mogi.
Most of the races are as good as always, but there is one which due to the nature of the rival becomes even more interesting. From this race we will also hear some more of Bunta’s story which is a very good thing.
Although Christmas and snow fit love emotional story like nothing else, while watching that part of the movie I had the strange feeling that it was simply taking too long, especially that similarly to what we’ve seen before when it comes to emotions Takumi is definitely on the slow side.
The animation is better than in the second season. The races seem more realistic, the car models are more detailed and even the character animation stepped up a notch. It’s a shame though that there is still such a wide gap between the quality of how the races and characters are animated.
When it comes to sound it is the same thing we have experienced before. So, once again will listen to good voice acting combined with eurobeat music. It seems that the Initial D style simply does not get old and sounds as good as always.
Most of the time we will be seeing characters, which Takumi has encoutered before. Two chracters are however worth pointing out.
First we have Takumi’s greatest enemy in the movie, who all though plays a short part in the story is one of the most memorable characters from the movie.
Secondly, we have the guy who gets involved with Mogi. Since the Mogi part of the plot is way too long for my taste, the least would be to let the viewers know why the hell is he acting like that.
Concluding, it was a pleasent feeling to see the animation improve, but still as a whole the movie is not as good as the second season of the series, but mark my words when I say… ‘You have to watch it!’.
6: Haikyuu!! Movie 1: Owari to Hajimari
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 終わりと始まり
MAL Score: 7.94
First Haikyuu!! recap movie.
It didn’t really provide new content or anything, but if its been a while since you watched the first season (and never continued to the second) it’s pretty helpful.
The artstyle, sound, and characters are same as before. Beautifully well done.
The story is a little smooshed together (as all recaps are) which is perfectly fine.
If you have just finished watching the first season of Haikyuu there is absolutely no need to watch this movie at all.
If you’re like I am, and watched it a few years ago and completely forget basically everything that happened I would recommend watching the first and second recap movie before moving on to the next season. You’ll basically get all the information you need from the anime you’ve already finished in a much quicker time span. Which is the good thing about this recap! If you don’t have all the time in the world to completely rewatch the entire season (which would be 25 episodes amounting to 600 minutes) you could watch both movies which would amount to 177 minutes instead. It’s pretty convenient.
Overall I’d give it a 6/10, it’s fine. It’s a good recap but it’s not original content.
The art style is lovable and memorable, but at the same time – if you pause it at almost any point, it looks VERY strange, i.e. facial expressions, weird arm movements, etc.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series – but those sound effects are very strong. They always fit the overall feel of the situation perfectly and the music never fails to bring hype.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
This is a recap of some the anime first season. It has how Hinata joins Karasuno and how he meets again and teams up with his rival Kageyama, then we see how the team gets back Nishinoya and Ashai back into the team after there fight and finally, we see how Karasuno finally gets there match against there rival team Nekoma High.
This recap wasn’t bad, art, the sound stayed the same from the anime. Nekoma High team is my favourite team amongst the rest and I like some the character that is in the team
I enjoyed this recap, as it refreshed me of the first half of the season of Haikyuu
5: Haikyuu!! Movie 2: Shousha to Haisha
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 勝者と敗者
MAL Score: 7.97
Second Haikyuu!! recap movie.
It provided it’s purpose in making the viewer remember “Wait, what happened in the first season?”
It’s been so long since I watched the first season, and I really didn’t feel like rewatching it to entirety because of how long that would have taken.
So instead, I’ve watched the first and second recap movies.
If you still remember what happened during the first season, this is something you can skip.
But if you’re like me and have absolutely forget the entirety of the story it definitely helps you prepare for season 2.
It smooshes together the first season of 600 minutes, into two movie recaps of 177 minutes.
So needless to say, there is a lot of detail missing. So if you haven’t watched the first season at all and thought to replace it with the recap movies, don’t.
This show is amazing in many ways the recap movies simply can’t capture.
Overall the recap movies are a 6/10 for me, they’re just fine. Not a masterpiece in any way and they’re only to serve one purpose, not provide new or interesting content.
The art style is lovable and memorable, just… don’t pause it.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series, but they helped make the franchise even more enjoyable so that is not a bad thing.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
This was another recap of the half of the first season
The recap showed the match of Karuasuno vs Datakou and Karusono vs Aoba Jousai and how they won against Datakou but lost against Aoba Jousai. The Art and sound were just the same as it was some parts were from the original anime and the characters are just the Karusuno, Datakou and Aoba Jousai teams. The recap I enjoyed as it had the best parts from the first season mainly when Nishinoya saved the ball with his feet was really great moment.
The recap wasn’t bad, it told half the first season within an hour and a half, maybe a bit rushed but it was still good
4: Major Movie: Yuujou no Winning Shot
Japanese: 劇場版MAJOR 友情の一球（ウイニングショット）
MAL Score: 8.00
Goro briefly returns to Japan after a triumphant campaign in the US. He is heading towards Fukuoka where he played baseball when he was a fifth grader. Having just moved into a new town, this is where Goro faced a critical point in his life.
Major: Yuujou no Ikkyuu is the first and only movie in the Major series and is best watched after finishing the first season. It can be classified as a filler since the main details are recapped in the first episode of the second season but it’s highly recommended to be watched before moving on to the next season.
The MAL (source: ANN) synopsis had me confused at first too. A “triumphant campaign in the US”?! When did that ever happen? Just to clear things up, this story is told in retrospect by the Goro from the end of season four. It’s a flashback of the events that occurred after he left his hometown and the reason as to why he changes his pitching style.
Despite its low rating (relative to the other Major titles), I really enjoyed this movie. Although it has a typical “Goro” storyline, his determination and perseverance really shows no matter how many times you’ve seen it before.
This is actually my first review on MAL so far. I know that it’s pretty short, but I’d prefer not to go with the Art/Sound/Story/Enjoyment/Character rating that most reviewers go with. I mainly wrote this up to clear any confusion that anyone would have regarding the order in which to watch the titles in this series. I’m open to feedback, but please don’t be too harsh!
I find that a lot of people that have seen the Major series have not seen this movie which is a shame because the quality of the movie stays consistent compared to the rest.
Here are a list of things you gain from watching this movie:
– Further character development for Goro
– A full understanding of what happened between S1 and S2
– A very hype series of games!
Overall it was a very enjoyable watch which is expected because it’s Major. This movie is heavily underwatched around here so if you haven’t already seen it and have watched the rest of the series, what the hell are you doing, go and watch it!
Now Ill say that this was one great baseball movie! The characters pretty much all balanced each other out like they should for a good baseball team to work well together.
The main character is a guy who is highly skilled in baseball and loves baseball with all his heart. His goal isnt to be the best player on the team, its to help his team members get better so they can all enjoy winning together.
In movies its hard to tell a lot cuz you can ruin it but, Ill tell you the main character goes through some hard decisions on whether hes risking his future baseball career or not helping his team like he wants.
This struggle just shows how much he cares for his team.
I recommend people definitely watch this if they love baseball, but also those that like movies or shows about how strong and how important friendship is to people.
If you like my review post on my profile or add me as a friend : )
3: Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 才能とセンス
MAL Score: 8.08
Recap film that will cover the match against Aobajosai High School that took place in the second season.
(Source: MAL News)
TL;DR: Watch for the additional scenes on Seijoh at the end of the movie if you want to know more about them after their match.
I absolutely love Haikyuu!, and I have no qualms re-watching every episode of the anime series to recap the story. I have always avoid recap movies as I get more kicks out of watching every small detail rather than just watching all the major developments.
That said, I adore Seijoh as much as Karasuno, and the end of season 2 have always leave a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I felt that there was no proper closure for Seijoh’s match from their POV. The movie have additional scenes on what happens in Seijoh after the match. The fact that they are not just another “side character” team, but a proper rival team that deserves a bit of insight on how their emotional and psychological state outside of the game is like really showcases the beauty of this anime.
I am not a manga person, so the additional animated scenes to tell us a bit more of the rival characters that I have grown so attached to really brings me so much comfort. hahahaha.
The third recap movie for the Haikyuu series for the 2nd season. The recap shows us when Karasuno shows us the training camp they go where they practice getting better and stronger with the other teams. Then after that, we see the fight against Hinata and Kageyama on how they blame themselves for not working hard enough then we see how each Karasuno is continuing their training and how we are introduced to new moves/techniques like the tempo’s that Hinata and Kageyama learn then we see we the match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai and how Karasuno won but we see some extra scenes, not from anime which shows some of the Aobajousai team after their match and how they felt on losing the match and knowing some they will be leaving the team after high school.
So this recap wasn’t bad, showed the major points in the second season and yes it took some parts away from the anime like when Daichi gets hit in the cheek or the other matches before the main match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai but in replace of some of those parts was those extra scenes which weren’t bad as it showed the side of Aobajousai and how they will continue playing volleyball even after that loss. This recap was good, I liked it
The art style is only slightly less detailed in this recap and reuses some scenes, so at times it felt a little lazy.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
Hajime Iwaizumi (Iwa-chan, Iwa)
2: Haikyuu!! Movie 4: Concept no Tatakai
Japanese: ハイキュー!! コンセプトの戦い
MAL Score: 8.13
Recap film that will cover the match against Shiratorizawa Academy that took place in the third season.
(Source: MAL News)
I am a big fan of Haikyuu! here, but not much of a manga person. The movie contains some scenes that are not included in the main series. There’s even a little extra flashback scene here that tells us where the phrase “One point that worth a hundred” actually comes from. The additional scenes on Shiratorizawa were endearing too.
The recap itself was done pretty well too, better than the previous 3 recap movies. Not to say their recap was bad, just that there were too many important moments (to me) in the timeline that the previous 3 recap movies span across, and the movie itself wasn’t able to capture all of them.
The art style is on par with the third season and is very well detailed. The small details on the faces and outfits of Shiratorizawa leaves you with your mouth agape
The sound effects here are very well used and well placed, it all flowed smoothly and the dramatic silences, as well as voice acting, were all phenomenal.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
The fourth recap movie that recaps the entire third season of Haikyuu. So this recap is basically the entire battle of Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa. The recap was good it had all the battle major moments like when Tsukishima stops Ushijima spike or the final rally of the two teams trying to score the final point to win and we see Karasuno winning but at the end of the credits we see some extra scenes from Shriatorizawa side after there battle and how Ushijima is giving the new roles to the second and first years to help their team grow stronger as they will be leaving team knowing they won’t be able to participate in the next inter-high with each other but yet they will continue to play volleyball.
Just like the rest of the recaps, I liked them, it kept, the art and sound the same and how I enjoyed some of the moments and those extra scenes are a nice way to show what other teams are doing which also the third recap showed for Aobajosai team. I really liked this recap.
MAL Score: 8.29
Every five years, an exhilarating race called Redline is held, and the universe’s most anticipated competition has only one rule: that there are none. Racers are pushed to their absolute limit—a feeling that daredevil driver JP knows all too well. Having just qualified to participate in Redline, he is eager to battle against the other highly skilled drivers, particularly the beautiful rising star and the only other human that qualified, Sonoshee McLaren.
But this year’s Redline may be far more dangerous than usual—it has been announced to take place on the planet Roboworld with its trigger-happy military and criminals who look to turn the race to their own advantage. However, the potential danger doesn’t stop the racers; in fact, it only adds to the thrill. Relying solely on his vehicle’s speed, JP prepares for the event to come, aiming to take first place in the biggest race of his life.
As a film about racing, the plot is fairly standard fare, but the larger than life presentation coupled with the sheer imagination and creativity that has gone into Redline is second to none. The story – despite cliches – is both exhilarating and incredibly well paced. The action is, as you would imagine; fast, fantastic and full of adrenaline. The drama is at times cheesy, but it fits well with the films over-the-top attitude. The crazy antics in Redline make it clear the film isn’t to be taken too seriously; it isn’t a production that sets out to challenge our minds, but rather an exhilarating thrill-ride that’s sole purpose is to entertain. In that respect, the story delivers and then some.
The tagline for Redline during its release was ‘Witness the Future of Animation’ and it’s safe to say the studio never doubted the creativity of the team behind the film. Madhouse handled the production, with second key animation from Gainax – the films full development totaled seven years, with over one hundred thousand hand-made drawings. The amount of action and detail on screen at any one time is so vast the film begs for repeat viewings. The animation – in a word – is mind-blowing. The film is full of colour, detail and beauty like no other, the art style is vigorous and unique, and the character designs are fresh, exuberant and interesting.
The music – chiefly a variety of electronic compositions – is sublime. It blends seamlessly with Redline’s fast-paced visuals, the sound editing is first-rate and the vocal tracks leave warm, fuzzy feelings – especially the ending song. The vocal talent is superb and particularly noteworthy; the film employs actors rather than seiyu in the leading roles. The leading man – JP – is voiced by Takuya Kimura, a member of the pop group SMAP and veteran actor who starred in Yoji Yamada’s The Hidden Blade, part of the directors Oscar nominated samurai trilogy. The leading lady – Sonoshee – is portrayed by none other than Yu Aoi; an actress with many award-winning films under her belt, multiple of which were directed by national treasure and acclaimed auteur Shunji Iwai. Lastly, JP’s right-hand man Frisbee is handled by Tadanobu Asano, one of few Japanese actors making a name for himself in Hollywood (recently he starred in Marvel’s Thor). To quote journalist Helen McCarthy; “casting him was a stroke of genius.”
The main characters all very much fit into conventional archetypes, but they’re not made to be complex, deep, thoughtful beings. The characters, like the story and presentation, are themselves larger than life, quite literally. JP and Sonoshee alone make up about half the human population in the entire film; all of the other characters belong to their respective alien races, besides two other humans. The characters are written to be entertaining, to build the scale of the film and to perform as the archetypes we know and love, but that’s not to say they’re by any means flat; the main characters receive a sufficient amount of development, and the supporting cast is comprised of an exceedingly rich, varied, exciting and incredibly fun horde of wonderful characters.
Redline is a film not to be taken too seriously and anyone doing so has certainly missed the point. Needless to say, if you want a realistic racing film then you have come to the wrong place. However, if you want a fast, funny, eye-watering, explosive experience that will suck you into a world which words barely do justice, this is the film you’re after. But, more than a film, Redline is an experience. Every element works in melody, bouncing off and complementing one another, ultimately creating a tremendous overall work that is magical to behold, completely unlike any other anime production to date.
The first 10 minutes do an excellent job of letting viewers know what’s in store for them. It’s here that the film treats us to an intense and gorgeously animated race sequence and equally beautiful backgrounds and character models. From there on out it’s clear that the films intent is to overwhelm the viewer with adrenaline-filled races brought to life with mouth-watering animation and sound. Storyline and character development are of the lowest priority.
It’s no surprise, then, that Redline sticks closely to the usual 3 act structure. We’re first given a taste of things to come while the personalities and motivations of the major players are established, topped off with introducing the long term goal. The second act is all about the preparation with some rudimentary attempts at character development while act 3 is the main attraction: a 40-minute onslaught of non-stop racing packed with over-the-top, high speed moments and more explosions than 3 Michael Bay films put together.
Sounds good on paper. But Redline goes so overboard with its spectacle that it somehow becomes a bit dull. It’s simply too much.
First off, there are too many characters. The main characters are pretty forgettable and the only contestant who was somewhat cool was the established champion. The film further hurts itself by introducing subplots and characters who aren’t related to the race. A sizable chunk of screentime is reserved for a b-story involving an evil government (basically space-China) that’s out to stop the race and dig up some ancient weapons or something. Ultimately they’re only there to cause tons of explosions and other kinds of destruction. This in a film that’s already filled to the brim with explosions and spectacular set pieces.
This is Redline’s second excess. There is simply too much going on in the third act. A big race alone would have made for a wonderfully thrilling climax but Redline throws in an obligatory mafia subplot as well as the aforementioned evil government. What it all leads to? Stuff getting blown up and more stuff getting blown up.
This wouldn’t have been so bad if there was a reason to care or even some sense of urgency but there isn’t. All the cars race at impossible speeds and run just fine even after taking enough damage to wreck 10 spaceships. The result is that tension is basically nonexistent in this film. Nobody of note dies and damage to the vehicle is shrugged off so easily that one gets the feeling the only thing at stake is the film’s running time.
It’s a real pity seeing as the film is brilliantly animated and incredibly stylish. The film had a production history of 7 long years and you can tell when watching it that all that time was well spent in honing the stunning visuals to perfection. It’s no exaggeration that this is a new benchmark in terms of pure animation. The film’s many characters have detailed, instantly distinguishable models and are fluidly animated, machines roar and rush over surfaces with incredible speed and there’s even the occasional use of deformed animation for stylish effect that’s very effective. The visuals in Redline are a labor of love and the best part is that it overwhelms the senses in a way that seems difficult (perhaps impossible) to replicate in another medium.
In the end, that makes it all the more tragic that these gorgeous visuals aren’t telling a story worth caring about. Worse yet, its main hook (the visuals) simply can’t be used to carry a 100-minute feature film. Some serious editing could have reduced it to have its length and it would’ve made for a better-flowing and much more enjoyable viewing experience.
As it is, Redline is a stunningly animated but overlong film with such incompetent storytelling that it cannot reach its full potential. One can only hope that first-time director Takashi Koike’s next project will be a lot more polished. As it is, the talent is there. It simply needs to be honed and guided properly.
Now in when it comes of the plot of Redline it is short, sweet and straight to the point. The film follows our main character JP, a driver who wants to race in a tournament called Redline which is held every five years. However he fails to qualify for it and just when he believes his dream is over, by chance two people drop out of the tournament which gives him a qualifying place.
It has been mentioned by critics and viewers, that Redline lacks a plot or that the story comes across as lackluster and while I can understand that point of the argument I can also argue against it. The film has enough of a plot to work in cohesiveness with the rest of the film and while it’s not overly complex or thought-provoking it doesn’t have to be. I would like to think of it this way: Would your rather watch film with an overly drawn out plot and character development which could be potentially tedious and slow down the fast-paced nature of the film? Or would you want to watch a film with a condensed plot that has enough story and personality to make you care about what you are watching? Personally I prefer the latter.
When it comes to the visual presentation of Redline, words fail me. I mean seriously, no words can truly say how beautiful this film really is. Japanese animation studio Madhouse have crafted one of the most visually stunning animated films in existence, you really have to see it in action to comprehend its awesomeness. Firstly there’s the character design, from the human-based characters to all of the other alien races and cybernetic beings that reside within Redline’s world, the designs are diverse, unique and interesting. Secondly you have the vehicles which are also fabulous, coming in many different shapes and sizes, from simple to completely crazy designs, with individual quirks and weapon arsenals to be admired. And lastly there’s the locations of the film that vary from the rocky crayons where races are done to spaceships floating above planets, all of which have an incredible amount of detail that draws your eyes in especially on a large cinema screen.
But I feel that the main aspect that makes Redline so great is the fluidity of the animation. The quality of the animation in this film is actually insane, with several sequences of high-octane action crafted with some beautiful choreography, nicely placed camera angles and great use of speed. Everything moves in such a smooth manner, with no moments of slowdown or inconsistencies whatsoever. The film delivers an experience like no other in the animation department and really conveys on the concept of speed, pushing you to edge of your seat and beyond.
But what is a film without a good soundtrack? Luckily Redline happens to have a brilliant soundtrack crafted by James Shimoji, which compliments the visuals wonderfully. The soundtrack is mainly composed of techno-based music, but it works well with the action on-screen, its explosive, fast-paced and it sounds so good! Also personally I felt that Redline’s soundtrack really reminded me of the video-games F-Zero GX and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, both of which have great soundtracks with explosive music that sounds great on the highest volume level. I also have to note that the sound editing in this film is tackled perfectly as well.
In terms of the enjoyment of Redline, I say be prepared to fall in love with this film. After watching the trailers for this film you get a rough idea as to what you will be watching, however those trailers cannot prepare you for the whole film. As a lot of people know this genre of film has been done before, after all Redline is a film about guys, girls and cars. But what Redline as film does well is give us a familiar format to work with, but it’s covered in such an innovative, stylised and charismatic fashion that you will be left in awe after you see it. Also throughout all of the chaos and mind-blowing visuals, Redline never feels like it’s heading into unnatural territory, in fact a lot of aspects about Redline feel realistic and believable.
Overall Redline is an experience that I feel everyone should enjoy. It’s a like a rush of energy that’s exhilarating, fast-paced and unforgettable. Takeshi Koike, Redline’s director should feel very happy about the film that he has crafted and considering his previous work before coming onto this project I’m not surprised that this film turned out to be a success. Again I feel the need to mention Madhouse’s insane skills as an animation studio as they have created a film full of action, charisma and style unlike any other film. There are so many individual things about the film that’s weird and wonderful and completely unexpected, but overall I say watch this film and experience the epicness that is Redline!
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
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