They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of 009 Re:Cyborg, BanG Dream! Movie: Episode of Roselia – I: Yakusoku, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 1 – DC, and more!
9: 009 Re:Cyborg
Japanese: 009 RE:CYBORG
MAL Score: 6.50
Nine regular humans from different parts of the world are abducted and transformed into cyborgs with astounding powers for the purpose of being used as weapons. The nine cyborgs rebel and start to fight against their creators in the name of justice and world peace. Decades later, the nine cyborgs seem to be untouched by time, but they live in a world where “justice” has as many nuances as the number of people living on the planet. What is their place in the world now?
“In the beginning was the Voice, and the word was Him; and all obeyed His word in great awe. But those who dwelt upon the land, through vanity, cunning and greed, attempted to build a multitude of towers whose tops reached unto heaven, and accumulated great wealth on earth. Scattering across the land and laying it to waste, man turned a deaf ear to His Voice. So He gave unto man an opportunity to atone for his misdeeds; and flame and smoke and the roar of a lion descended upon earth; and shattered the many towers to dust….”
(Source: Production I.G Official Website)
The plot is confusing whether you are familiar with the show or not. It might help to be acquainted with the characters and their backstories beforehand, but the movie doesn’t even try to explain its own universe. What little there is of the story is given through large, boring exposition with nothing visually interesting happening on the screen. Questions constantly asked throughout the film are only ever answered with a character shrugging their shoulders, then are never addressed again. All of this is topped with a near comically vague ending.
The art is a strange hybrid of CGI and 2D, which makes for a lot of blank staring and jerky movement. The animation is at its best when there’s a lot of action going on screen – but considering RE’s love for characters talking to one another about the scarce plot, satisfying fights are few and far between.
As far as sound goes, this is one of the only things I don’t have any real qualms with. It wasn’t memorable or anything, but it wasn’t terrible and at least upped the hype a little at certain points in the film.
As far as the characters go in this movie, they themselves are not bad. What is bad, however, is their treatment. Jet has been turned into an extreme asshole with far worse of an attitude than we’ve ever seen before, and has lost his defining physical features. Francoise meanwhile has been shoehorned into a sex symbol being the series only main female character, complete with a pointless, uncomfortably long scene of her in lingerie making out with Joe. There’s not much to say about the other characters, as they didn’t get much screen time.
All in all, I’m giving this movie a 1 for all around poor story, poor animation, and poor characters. Perhaps watch it if you’re looking for something hilariously bad and confusing, but otherwise I recommend you skip it entirely.
The story in this movie has a lot of changes than the anime. Actually this movie is loosely based on Ishinomori’s epic. This happened because this movie had a big problem. How could it to introduce to teenagers nowadays who grew up with fast paced anime, with lots of gore and fights like Tokyo ghoul, Naruto, Bleach and many more, a story that was written in the middle of the 70’s. In order to manage this the movie ditches the somehow naive story of the anime and takes the story’s setting to today’s world. I liked it that. Sure it didn’t remind me at all the classic anime but as I said this is mostly a try to introduce the story to teenagers today. And I believe it did it very well. I had a little problem with the plot though. I would like it if it wasn’t so much Americanized. But I will explain this later. Also it isn’t necessary to see the anime but I would recommend it if you want to know some things about the characters.
About the animation itself I can’t find words to describe it. Production IG did a stunning job. The animation is amazing and the movie doesn’t loose any opportunity to show it off in almost every scene. I was captivated by it right from the first moment. I couldn’t find any flow in it no matter how hard I tried. If I could rate it with mark above 10 i would gladly do it. Another thing that I liked in this movie was the sound. A first class budged movie demands a first class voice actors. Mamoru Miyano, Daisuke Ono, Toru Okawa Noriaki Sugiyama and all the other seiyuus did an excellent job capturing their characters personalities almost as good as voice actors of the 2001 anime’s. Also this movie had excellent OST’s and really good sound effects. For the latter you just have to listen to Ivan’s voice every time he speaks.
The characters was the weakest link of this movie. Because the characters wouldn’t appeal to the teenagers with their obsolete 70’s animation changes were made not only in their design (which was fair I have to say) but mostly in their personalities. The movie introduced the characters like they were an X-Men rip off. Because of the already mentioned Americanization the characters were made to look like American superheroes and this way a little bit of their personalities was lost. In either way if you haven’t seen any of the previews anime adaptation I don’t thing you will have a big problem with this.
Summarizing, I have to say that I was really pleased with this movie. It didn’t looked like the anime series at all but I don’t think this was a problem. It did a fairly good job at introducing Joe and the others in the new generation. I’m really curious to see if there’s gonna be another adaptation. Who knows maybe in a decade or so we will see a crossover between between the 00 cyborgs and X-men. I would like to see that.
When I watched the movie I was initially excited at the way they had changed the character designs and added a touch of freshness.
For those of you who have already watched any of the previous series, NOSTALGIA IS ILL ADVISED. Yes, the characters are a bit nostalgic, yes the action is a bit nostalgic and yes, the overhaul with CG looks amazing initially BUT here are somethings you may not swallow very well. (Forgive me if they seem irate.)
One, I may not remember the 2001 series that well but I most certainly definitely absolutely remember it was lucid and simple plot that my childish brain could follow with ease. Okay, so that generation is all grown up and needs adult material, alright… BUT that does not mean you should make it into some freakin’ goddamn Evangelion plot with HIS voice governing all. Yeah, yeah I know you don’t give a damn about God but why use it just to give your plot some pseudo-intellectual pseudo-religious air. I mean was 009 ever this psychological?! Hell no. WTF is Freud doing in a sci-fi, battle anime which was much better without that complex mind-curdling crap.
If i want to watch psychological complexity and Freud’s theories I’d much rather watch Evangelion and Ergo Proxy. They just ruined a totally fine storyline because they couldn’t come with an antithesis? Man, I’m beyond words at this.
Two, the characters. Well given the short timespan, they did a fine job at introducing the characters. But they cannot be fleshed out as well as they were in the series. The sense of familiarity is reduced because the characters hardly get much time except 009 of course. The rest have to spew the stupid psychological shit in the extremely limited time they get. I’m wondering if they forgot about half of the team less than halfway through the movie. But well I liked Joe and Francoise, and their little eyecandy, so ok…
Third, the art and animation. In my view it is clearly rushed and subpar. If they think that CG can make it astounding they are so wrong. The character designs are more elaborate but not well rounded. The animation is clearly so stiff that I am thoroughly disappointed. This possibly due to overuse of CG in every aspect. Guess they didn’t want much fine-tuned work on it eh? But the backgrounds and special effects are done quite well.
If you can get past all of those this movie is enjoyable enough. The action scenes are fine and the sound tracks are good. For someone like me who was a big fan of the original series, it is enjoyable even if a turnoff.
Bottomline, Rushed anime, Altered plot, Unneeded improvisation but worth a watch.
LOL I seem really sarcastic here. But believe, it is worth watching even if just for the eye candy.
8: BanG Dream! Movie: Episode of Roselia – I: Yakusoku
Japanese: 劇場版 BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I:約束
MAL Score: 7.35
To reach the stage of “FES.”, Yukina Minato decides to form a band. Each holding their own convictions, the members of the band come together. The five girls now begin their journey to the top as Roselia… This is the story of their “promise” made to each other, from the start of the band to their challenge towards FUTURE WORLD FES!
(Source: Official Site)
It delivered on some aspects, while falling short of certain fundamental expectations. It could have been so much better, but ultimately, it was barely satisfactory.
This movie is largely targeted towards the people who had played the game, and had already read Roselia’s band stories, plus certain event stories for the Roselia members (especially for Yukina and Sayo). It assumes that you already know what happened, and it therefore better serves as a recap for the audience. Viewers who have no prior knowledge of the franchise will almost definitely emerge disorientated from its wildly accelerated pacing. To put things into perspective, Season 1 of BanG Dream had 13 episodes and was equivalent to 27 in-game chapters. This movie attempted to cram 35 chapters (not including important event chapters) in 77 minutes. Just imagine how much material had to be cut in order to achieve that, which included core interactions that would have been integral to further the cast’s characterization and Roselia as a whole. I was thoroughly disappointed at how Sayo was portrayed especially. First-timers would be bewildered at her sudden transformation in personality, with a mere few still shots to “explain” her growth and what she went through. More attention should have been directed her way to flesh her out and smoothen her transition, much like how Yukina and Lisa was handled throughout the movie. It was nice to see cameos of some of the girls from the other bands though, and some added lines were included in the movie that weren’t in the game, albeit for the purpose of fluff.
If you’d watched Seasons 2/3 of BanG Dream! or the Film Live, then you’ll know what to expect. The art for this movie is similar in that it’s fully CG. Lighting and camera angles were mostly on point especially during Roselia’s performances, which did well at striving to reproduce the atmosphere of an actual live. A minor gripe would be that the movement of the characters can be stiff, almost to the point of being robotic at times, and that’s when you’d notice the CG doing its thing. Nothing much else to comment on this; I got used to the CG fairly quickly and it did not ruin the viewing experience. Not the best, but not immersion-breaking either.
Sound would be the department that deserved the most praise. One thing that was lacking in Seasons 2/3 that was present in Season 1 was how the singing and performances in Season 1 were raw and unadulterated, while the later seasons were just filled with studio tracks, which lacked the authenticity and emotion that was required to reach the audience. This movie falls somewhere in between the two extremes, but it was moving to listen to the raw power from Minato Yukina’s singing, pulsating through the speakers in the theatre. Awesome stuff. Also, two new songs in the movie which were bangers, always something to celebrate about.
I truly wanted to enjoy this movie to the fullest. I really did. But the manner in which the story and characters were handled prevented that reality from materializing. If anything, I’d expect the sequel movie to run in a similar fashion as this: one that sacrifices content to jam in as much of the overarching plot within a short period of time, limiting its true potential as being an anime of the music genre accompanied with a fantastic narrative… but I can only pray that there will be improvements made, and I’ll look forward to watching the sequel regardless, as a fan of the series.
Which brings us to this movie. The plot of EoR1 essentially stretches over a large number of segments and events in the game, which appear as visual novel-esque skits. Similarly to other VN-turned anime, that is where the gist of the problem lies.
Having only less than an hour and a half of air time essentially impacts how much plot and character development can be squeezed into the movie. Without going into too much plot, this is very obvious in the fact that the first 30 mins of the movie focuses on a portion very early in Roselia’s formation plot, but has a sudden jump cut to a time much later in the future in which character development has already taken place for some characters, but it is not obvious how it happened for people that weren’t already fans of the game.
The art of the series is fantastic, one of the best implementation of CGI I have ever seen in anime, and Bandori is renown for its fantastic music. Both the OP and ED are bone chilling, and I can very easily play both songs on repeat. However, neither art nor music can save the mediocrity of the movie.
Now, Bushiroad, the brains behind the Bandori franchise, are known for doing many things for the purpose of cash grabbing. They are a trading card making company that makes a large number of gacha games, so it is understandable that this is their business model. Sadly, as much as I hate to admit it, this movie was one of them. Their marketing for both movies have been tremendous… to a point that they forgot to actually put quality into the movie.
As of this review, I have yet to watch its “sequel” EoR2, but judging from what I have seen from this movie, I don’t have much faith that it will be any better.
Had they actually put in effort to make an actually good movie, maybe giving this another hour of airtime to properly animate the cut out segments that would have helped character development, and not try to put back to back movies just for the sake of sales, we may actually have had a good movie, because the plot in the game behind some of the characters (Sayo in particular) is fantastic. But in its absence, we will have to live with the “what could have been”.
7: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 1 – DC
Japanese: 劇場版 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ -アルス ノヴァ- DC
MAL Score: 7.43
Recap of the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova TV series, with approximately 40 minutes of new material.
By 2039, global warming had caused sea levels to rise and large amount of territory to be lost. As though in response, a mysterious group of warships clad in mist, “the Fleet of Mist,” appeared in every corner of the ocean, and began attacking human ships. In spite of humanity mustering all their strength, they were utterly defeated by the Mist’s overwhelming force. All of humanity’s trade routes were blockaded by the Fleet of Mist, their political economy was destroyed, and the human race was steadily beaten down. Seven years later, the Fleet of Mist’s submarine I-401 appears before cadet Gunzo Chihaya. The humanoid life form that pilots the sub, who should be their enemy, is instead offering her services to mankind.
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova DC is a summary of the ARS Nova animated television series. The reason I recommend watching the series first is because, as a stand-alone movie, the story is under-developed. Many of the interactions, why they take place, and their significance are severely reduced without the extended viewing time that the series offers; however, this movie does a fantastic job of tying up loose ends, and giving the viewer a more “complete” feeling when seeing the conclusion of the film– which is one of the shortcomings of the ARS Nova series. Story: 7 (good)
The art and animation of this movie is awesome. Aside a few isolated scenes where the animation’s frame-rate is reduced, the movie does a fantastic job, and it is very aesthetically pleasing– especially for anyone who has read the manga. 9/10 (great)
The sound is great. No major qualms, except maybe a lack of variety. The tracks that are intended to elicit an emotional reaction do a good job of accomplishing their goal. 8/10 (very good)
The characters in the movie are an accurate rendition of the ones found within the series and manga, but many of the scenes which instill endearment and camaraderie are lacking. One could go as far as to say that the characters are severely under-developed, but given that the original series does not give tremendous amounts of back-story for any of the lead characters, this would be a bit harsh. The characters are as the Author intended, but in the abridged version that is this movie, they lack depth, and as such, some of their interactions are stilted. 6/10 (fair)
Overall enjoyment of this movie as a standalone film would be somewhere between a 5.5 and a 6/10. As a supplement to the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio series, it is closer to a 7.5/10. Worth the watch if you are a fan of the series. If you are new to the series, the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio TV Series is definitely highly recommended prior to watching.
Hope this review was helpful.
so i decided to watch this recap.
This movie isn`t for anyone who hasn`t seen the serie, it won`t make any sense.
Watch it as an recap, if you decide to watch the new film , “Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Cadenza”
The good thing about this movie is that is has an extra 45 min at the end.
This movie is for those who have watched the series, and need to refresh their memories.
You also get to see new ships, which i realy liked, if you liked kongou you will like the new girls
Warning! Spoiler alert!
The first half of the movie is basically a retelling of the first season and it’s not until the second half that the movie tells a whole new story. I have to say, watching a smaller version of the story seen in the TV show felt like a chore more than anything. There’s no dramatic tension because I already know what’s gonna happen; in fact, you could skip the first half of the movie and not really miss anything of importance. The story of the first season worked so well in an episodic format because that format gave the story more time to breathe and develop.
It’s not until the second half that the movie picks up some steam. We’re introduced to some new plotlines and characters and those are the things that kept interested till the end of the movie. (6/10)
While the character writing was one of the show’s best aspects, the same can’t be said for the movie adaptation. Because of its reduced runtime, the viewers don’t exactly have the time nor the motivation to get emotionally invested in the characters. In fact, the only reason the characters held my interest is because I had already watched the TV show. It’s not until the second half of the movie that my emotional investment in the characters amounts to something. (6/10)
This is one aspect of this movie that can’t receive enough praise. Everything, from the ship designs, the lighting and the explosions, looks absolutely goregous. (8/10)
Once again, the soundtrack of Arpeggio of Blue Steel proves its cinematic quality. The music used in battles is appropriately epic. I also enjoyed the vocal performances of the cast, especially those of Mai Fuchigami (Iona) and Manami Numakura (Takao), even though they weren’t really given anything new to work with. (8/10)
This movie cannot be watched as a standalone experience. If you want to watch this movie, I recommend you watch the TV show first. It wasn’t a bad movie, it definitely improved in its second half, but the TV show was way better. (7/10)
6: BanG Dream! Movie: Episode of Roselia – II: Song I Am.
Japanese: 劇場版 BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia II:Song I am.
MAL Score: 7.57
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
The biggest improvement has to be the pacing of the movie. So, so much better than the first. It provided a sufficient depth of development to the main characters, and more importantly, did not rush through the plot as a whole. It definitely helps that there was less content that had to be covered this time, which permitted time for Roselia to interact amongst themselves and with other members of the cast to build up their characterization.
There isn’t much to comment on the remaining focal points like art and sound. It’s still fully CG, similar to the first movie and seasons 2/3 of BanG Dream!. The models were drawn well and moved fluidly enough, but there are moments where the occasional janky gesticulation will be noticed (as you do with CG). It doesn’t ruin the viewing experience though, and it’s easy to get used to. The performances were fantastic, more so compared to what the first movie had to offer. The camera angles and choreography were on point and the characters were expressive and evocative. The opening and ending were new songs and were absolute bangers.
All in all, a solid movie, one that I can confidently recommend to existing fans of the franchise who wish to relive Roselia’s Future World Fes arc in animation. Looking forward to the 2nd Film Live and Poppin’Party’s own movie!
5: BanG Dream! Film Live
Japanese: BanG Dream! FILM LIVE
MAL Score: 7.69
No synopsis information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding a synopsis here.
My dream is to see a live concert by the BanG Dream bands (or Love Live Idols) one day. This film made it clear to me how beautiful a live concert can be.
As it was already obviously from the title “BanG Dream! Film Live” and the advance announcements, this is not a “real” film as we know, more a live concert that has been animated.
Under the melody of “Tokimeki Experience!” (Poppin’Party) all 25 members (5 members per band) are presented first. Later you will see the members of RAISE A SUILEN and Marina , but they are not really active during the film. The film begins with Poppin’Party performing on a concert stage, how we are also used to. This makes it immediately understandable to the viewer that it is an animated live concert. The bands appear little by little.
The animation is just like the second season of BanG Dream. Very nice to look at and the girls give their full power on stage.
Surely the most important thing, especially during a concert. Anyone who generally is a BanG Dream fan or plays the mobile game knows all the songs that can be heard here. It’s just fun to see an animated version of the songs. The complete song list has also been uploaded online for a long time.
ENJOYMENT & OVERALL:
For people who are big fans of the BanG Dream series (not just the anime itself with the two seasons already broadcast), it is definitely a MUST. It’s really nice to listen to their songs again. You don’t have to click on the touchscreen yourself this time, you can relax and simply enjoy their music.
But if you really have nothing to do with BanG Dream and their music, you are out of place here. You expect a film, but you only see a few bands on the stage that give a performance.
In my opinion this “film” was very successful. It is an absolute MUST for people who love the bands and their music (like myself). No spoilers are made regarding the anime.
Let’s hope that season three will bring us a lot of fun and joy again!
smooth so it can be alittle jarring but the music is great.
As a person who enjoys Bandori, I must say this is very enjoyable. I’ve been playing the game for almost a year and watch all of the anime and this is the best one yet. Even tho the show doesn’t have a storyline like the tv-series but I still enjoy it very much. The whole show is dedicated to each band performing their own songs *not going to spoil the songs* which is great because there’s a bunch of songs that I really enjoy. And by having the POV of being an audience there do really boost up the experience
Like I said that this show doesn’t have a storyline, so don’t get disappointed by thinking that this is a movie, it’s all about the bands performing songs to a large audience, there is no story just music
The art is the same as season 2 and 3 which has a 3D CGI and I can get it why people dislike it, but if you don’t mind the CGI or you do like it well I can say this would be an enjoyable experience for you
For the sounds, I’m going to judge by the songs, which is what this show is all about, there’s never a song that I dislike in bang dream so I enjoy all of the songs. When I’m watching it I like to predict each song just for fun 😀
For the characters, we must watch the animes or read the stories from the game because it has a small introduction in the show. the reason I gave it a 10 is because I’m hyped to see all of the band members collaborate and the small talks during the break after a song
I do really enjoy the performance it really gives you the feeling that you are there listening and cheering to their performance, Even tho I watch the live performance on YouTube, I still think that this show is very enjoying from the performance and the songs
Overall I do really enjoy this show and if you’re a Bandori fan like me I will guarantee that you will enjoy this show
4: 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.
3: New Initial D Movie: Legend 2 – Tousou
English: Initial D Legend 2 Racer
Japanese: 新劇場版 頭文字［イニシャル］D Legend2 -闘走-
MAL Score: 7.78
The second movie in a trilogy.
2: New Initial D Movie: Legend 3 – Mugen
Japanese: 新劇場版 頭文字［イニシャル］D Legend3 -夢現-
MAL Score: 7.82
The third and final movie in a trilogy.
The story follows Takumi Fujiwara on his ascension to street racing greatness. Instead of glossing over his complex personality, or the nuanced relationships he has with others around him, Mugen dives head first into the intricacies of a young man’s life and how he deals with the ever-changing landscape of his world. Fujiwara finds himself embracing who he’s becoming as a street racer and forces him to confront the reality of the future beyond driving without a care in the world on his home course. Through this, he bonds with his father; a relationship that has shown little depth in both the original manga and anime adaptation. We, as viewers, get a front-row seat and better understanding of the romance he has with his then-love interest. While his friendship with his Akina Speed Star brethren remains as consistent as it always was, Fujiwara’s budding friendship and appreciation for his street racing constituency is explored in a way it has never been before. As Fujiwara grows, we get a true glimpse of how observant he is of his surroundings and his knowledge of self.
Artistically, Initial D has always grown with the times. As technology improves, as does the artwork of Initial D-related media. Gone are the days of poorly constructed 3D models of classic Japanese automobiles. Vehicles look real in the Legend Trilogy because they are. Advanced cell-shading techniques have given way to an immersive experience that truly shows off the direction of anime for the future. The characters’ facial expressions are individual to their personalities and add a layer of depth and understanding to who they are as individuals. Picking up where Final Stage left off, the roads and the surrounding landscapes look absolutely stunning, even during the street races in the twilight hours. The original storyline was done justice with this modernization.
The voice acting is solid, but foreign. Viewers have grown accustomed to 16 years of consistent, recognizable talent. Having new actors, though talented, makes a few of the characters feel foreign. With the lack of Eurobeat, the Legend Trilogy feels like a separate story entirely, at times. I have no personal qualms with replacing Eurobeat for Japanese alternative rock, however, the score feels flat and uninspired. In fact, many Initial D inspired audio that can be found in far corners of Soundcloud tend to favor instrumental, jazzy hiphop, often inspired by the vibes of the late, great Nujabes. However, the quality isn’t bad, but the choice in music simply feels out of place. Thankfully, the car sounds are as genuine as it can possibly get. You can easily distinguish the sounds from 13BT, 4AGE, and RB26DETT engines. The tire sounds are also accurate with how the characters are driving. In its production, there was an exceptional amount of attention to detail that went into the racing experience.
As mentioned before, the Legend Trilogy has taken character development in Initial D to an entirely new level. Instead of sullen melancholia, near-comical seriousness, and uncomfortable comic relief; we get a range of human emotion that allows us to fall in love with personalities, as opposed to simply the common underdog story. We see Fujiwara falling in love. We see him praise the opponents he’s beaten on Akina. We see him struggle with his own identity in finding his place in this world he was suddenly thrust upon. Even better, we get much-needed backstory on the RedSuns and Takahashi Ryosuke. Previously, these things were mentioned in passing and it was left up to readers of the manga to interpret these nuances in context. For anime watchers, such details may have been missed. Additionally, Takumi’s father, Bunta, shows a considerable amount of compassion and respect for his son during this period of growth. They even share a moment or two of shared stubbornness that only happens between father and son.
The enjoyment factor of Initial D has changed. The story itself has long ended so longtime fans may lack the excitement of finding out what happens next. One could argue that the enjoyment factor has now become the satisfaction of knowing. For individual viewers, some may feel relief in knowing details that went unmentioned previously. Others may develop a new respect for certain characters. Or, like me, you could fall in love with the underdog story all over again as the Legend Trilogy offers new perspectives. What’s most pleasing is that it can be equally enjoyable for both longtime fans and new viewers alike. Overall, Initial D is Initial D. It’s a cultural staple. A legend in itself. It’s responsible for many pilgrimages to Gunma Prefecture, Japan. It’s the reason why an cheap, fuel-efficient, economy car from the 1980s gained unthinkable popularity since production ceased nearly 30 years ago. It’s the ridiculously esoteric, and still personally relatable story of a teenage boy from a single-parent household finding himself and growing into a man with goals and ambition. It’s the dream we see become a reality.
For starters, I’m applying my usual format for Compilation movies here, so all movies are being reviewed at once. They’re technically not this but rather a re-adaptation of the Manga, but the point still stands.
As I stated in my Review of both shows, neither Initial D’s First Stage or Berserk 1997 have aged that well visually. That’s part of the reason the Berserk movies failed, as when you get right down to it, they were little better than the OG anime, with its Animation still being inconsistent, just in a different way. The Initial D movies on the other hand look… good! Actually, scratch that, they look great! Like, seriously, this is some great stuff! Not only are the character animations improved, but the CGI looks better than ever, and overall, this is a beautiful looking set of movies! I’m… actually surprised!
Though to counteract that, the sound is a downgrade. Contrast to the rest of the series, which uses Eurobeat Songs, the movies use standard rock. It’s pretty good rock, sure, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the original OST. The same goes for the performance. Don’t get me wrong, these are all fine performances, but compared to the original VAs, something feels… missing. Like, to give an example, take for instance Miyano Mamoru; who takes over the role of Takumi from his Gundam 00 Co-Star Miki Shinichiro. He sounds a lot like Miki, but it feels as if he’s not taking the stoicness far enough. Perhaps more notable is Shiraishi Minoru as Itsuki, who sounds borderline identical to Iwata Mitsuo, but he isn’t taking the character’s goofiness far enough for my taste. Again, these are all solid performances; they’re just not as good as the original Seiyuus. Either way, it’s not as if they half-assed it with the cast, what with it having Uchida Maya, Suwabe Junichi, Nakamura Yuuichi, Hirata Hiroaki, Tsuchida Hiroshi and of course, the Casting Gag to end all Casting Gags, Ono Daisuke as Ryousuke! Nice!
Yet of course, it is in the plot that will decide whether this movie series is worth your time. And the answer is… yeah, it is. I mean, yeah, a bunch of issues with the show’s plot are still here (Read my review of that for more information) but if there’s one thing this movie does right, it’s retelling the story. The Berserk movies tried to cram way too much in in too little time. Here, they just go through the main plot beats and not much else because, well, there isn’t much left to tell without making the movies an unfocused mess.
Perhaps most surprisingly it doesn’t fall into the Second Compilation Movie curse! Yeah, they just decide to skip over a bunch of stuff in the middle part of the show so as to not drag things out, with the whole subplot with Mako and Satsuki being removed (Which does make their cameo in the final movie kinda odd). It’s actually kinda refreshing!
In general, I know this Review was short, but that’s because there isn’t much else left to tell. If the Berserk Movies were a soulless cash-grab, this is a work by a man who clearly cared about the franchise and wanted to leave his own mark of it while respecting what came before. Do I prefer it over the series? Eh, not really, as the removal of most of the SOL subplots and humor do make it a less enjoyable experience for me, but when it comes to the main plot, it arguably handles it better than the show proper. I had low expectations for these movies, I really expected them to suck… yet they didn’t. These movies are totally worth it to fans and newcomers alike, and I have no issues recommending them.
Final Score: 7/10
Well first things first, the art style and animation is in my opinion definitely improved. The characters got modern touch as well (especially the girls, they got more moe factor) which is subtle but noticeable.
They really followed the manga for the visual instead of going the realistic route that season 5 and 6 went for. The smokes are drawn instead of using CG FX, the cars have jagged lines which gives off the “this is a manga” feel.
Other thing that is miles better than the TV series are the sounds of the cars, specifically the engines and tires. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the soundtracks and BGM, it’s not bad per se but definitely not great either because somehow they decided not to use Eurobeats or even having M.O.V.E. to sing the theme at all (which at this point, has shaped Initial D as an anime).
The story is basically a recap of the first season highlighting the races taking place in Akina, following our underdog Tofu delivery boy Fujiwara Takumi. In this movie however, the characters have slight difference from their anime counterpart (probably due to the changes of voice actors). Personally I find these change to be quite interesting, although it does breaks the characters I already knew from the anime, it’s not exactly as bad as it sounds.
TL;DR: If you have the time, just watch the tv series. This movie is a nice alternative if you don’t have the time to watch the first season or if you didn’t like the dated visuals.
1: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 2 – Cadenza
Japanese: 劇場版 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ ‐アルス ノヴァ‐ Cadenza
MAL Score: 7.86
The group of privateers known as the Blue Steel continues their mission to deliver blueprints of the Vibration Warhead Torpedo—a weapon that may turn the tides of war in their favor—to the United States. However, a new threat arises from their enemy, the overwhelming Fleet of Fog in the form of “The Student Council.,” This is a group of warships composed of the remaining Mental Models—the ships’ humanoid avatars—who have yet to face the unpredictable captain of the Blue Steel, Gunzou Chihaya.
As the Blue Steel gets closer to understanding the origins of the authority controlling the enemy, Iona’s past starts to reveal why the war began and her reason for siding with humanity.
By far the best navy based anime series to have ever come out. i just loved it all the way. you can tell they put there heart and souls into making this movie. the action scenes alone are god like…i mean really the entire second half was one big naval warfare…it was truly amazing to watch it. It took me so long to finally give it a watch cause i so wanted it to never end. now i am a bit sad.
This is such an underrated series, i wish more people would know of it. the animation in this one really improved that there were times you can not even tell it was CGI. Sanzigen you did a good job.
well there is still the manga series and maybe one day when the manga series is closer to be finished, they might do another remake, this time based on the manga storyline. this series warped everything up nicely but there were still a few plot holes..mostly cause those plot holes dont have a clear explanation yet in the manga,,, such as who made the fleet of fog and what the admiralty code really is and since the manga is still ongoing they cant do tat explanation into the movie.
Having said all of this… You should give the original series a try and than watch the first movie and than this one and you would have a solid storyline with great action sequences and character development that would leave you feeling so satisfied,
The Soundtrack in this is very good, especially those used durng the fightining, it is subliminal enough to not be a distraction and yet hardcore fitting into the fight sequences perfectly and the ending credits song..wow…it will leave you feeling so sad. can’t say cause of spoilers (ssshhh)
Also despite the use of CGI animation that might leave you turned off..trust me this is one of the better ones to use it,,unlike say Ajin… The use of CGI in the Movie is even better as you dont even notice it.
I highly recommend this to those who love Science fiction, Warfare, Action Sequences and a Naval setting. Especially fans of naval genre. AS this is probablt the best navy series that has ever come out as an Anime form.
Either way a sold 9.5/10 . i just wish more people would know if it. 😀
For what anime movies with the “movie-only character” plotlines have become rather predictable time and time again, from the Ao no Exorcist Movie to Bleach: Memories of Nobody, however this movie is an exception.
For what with the huge new cast of characters in the movie LA was worried it might turn into the “movie-only character” plotline, but thankfully it did not as this movie really is a sequel to the TV series.
The new cast of characters are by in large villains to Gunzou and Iona and are in the form of “student council member” ships of Hiei voiced by M.A.O, Myoukou voiced by Ayaka Fukuhara, Nachi voiced by Satomi Sato, Haguro voiced by Hiromi Igarashi, Ashigara voiced by Suzuko Mimori and Musashi voiced by Rie Kugimiya as well as Yamato voiced by Mai Nakahara. LA would admit that almost half of the characters hardly get any development beside their abilities and personality and are more or less “heavy mooks” and the only three ships that get the focus are Musashi, Yamato and Hiei, Hiei about her conflicted relationship with Kongou and with Yamato and Musashi being the ship that drives this entire movie along. LA’s favourite villain from Cadenza would be either Musashi because Rie Kugimiya or Ashigara because of her eccentric literally bombastic personality.
As for the main cast, well besides some banter to I-401’s crew, they don’t get much development and the sole proper focus goes to Gunzou and Iona with Takao, Hyuga, Haruna, Kirishima and Makie being support characters to help the main cast when they are needed. However once again Takao for LA took the limelight and was LA’s favourite character in this movie (and might as well the TV series).
In terms of animation, done once again by SANZIGEN utilizing their “expertise” in 3D CGI, however LA can give the CGI some grace as EVERYTHING is CGI including the human and Mental Models, now you’d think LA would be irritated that, but since everything is CGI it blended together and really LA wouldn’t bitch about the animation as the grand battle set pieces (to some extent the batshit crazy naval battles) were outstanding in terms of animation thus the animation for LA gets HUGE praise.
In terms of voice acting, for what the cast has expanded to, Rie Kugimiya as the main villain of this anime was great (as Rie Kugimiya has now a habit of voicing some unstable villains), while on the other side Suzuko Mimori voicing the eccentric Ashigara was great making the battles even more “batshit”.
Now this movie does make changes to the character designs from the TV series, those being Hyuga, Makie and Kongou and LA at first didn’t know why the re-designs but LA warmed up to them especially Hyuga’s.
The plot twists within this movie does come in the form of “character coming to save the main cast” however those plot twists are more or less glorified and badass cameos for the battle set pieces, but the plot twists that concerns Iona, Gunzou and Musashi give more of a character evolution to them as well as bringing the plot full circle (from both this movie and the anime series).
The ending by all means DOES end this series but it’s bittersweet with a great battle set piece to boot. It did close if not most of the plotlines while utilizing it’s newer cast members and lore of the anime series making this ending satisfying though bittersweet at the same time.
If Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Cadenza does anything right is make the “movie-only” character plotline in anime movies make these “movie only” characters have a purpose and don’t just “disappear to be forgotten” to the overall plotline to the anime’s timeline. Seriously if you wanted closure in the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova series then Cadenza will deliver.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 2 – Cadenza
2. New Initial D Movie: Legend 3 – Mugen
3. New Initial D Movie: Legend 2 – Tousou
4. New Initial D Movie: Legend 1 – Kakusei
5. BanG Dream! Film Live
6. BanG Dream! Movie: Episode of Roselia – II: Song I Am.
7. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 1 – DC
8. BanG Dream! Movie: Episode of Roselia – I: Yakusoku
9. 009 Re:Cyborg