with blessings from Elliot Kane & Shantara, i am opening a thread on reviews & news regarding anime.
anyone can post their reviews in the thread provided they write it objectively & not just the simplistic 'this rocks', 'that sucks', 'what not' etc. & of course, no reviewer is without bias but it doesn't mean one shouldn't try to be objective at the same time while stating personal likes/dislikes.
any news clips on upcoming anime films or series can also be posted here. please put rating (no need to refer to any association for rating if there isn't one so u can rate on your own) so members who are parents can know what title is safe for their kids to watch.
as for guidelines, i have none at the moment other than what i write which are loosely based on other review sites.
"... from the director of Millenium Actress & Perfect Blue!! ..."
Rightly so, Satoshi Kon, the said director is one of the prominent figures in anime world. In the case of Tokyo Godfathers, he is both the writer & director.
This film is about 3 homeless people; a drunkard, an ex-drag queen, & a runaway who found an abandoned baby among garbage & their journey to return the baby to her mother.
Storyline: it is simply moving, funny, clever & wonderfully heart warming. set on christmas eve, the journey of the three homeless people to return the baby is at the same time a journey to face their past & redemption. the three characters complement one another very well; the realist drunkard, the melodramatic ex-drag queen & the cynical teenager. voices are very well acted & believable. there are scenes which defy reality but strengthen the message & emotion, which is done uniquely & creatively. the premise of the story may sound dark but there is always light at the most unexpected moments.
Visuals: "... from the people who bring you X, Vampire Hunter D, & ..." another well-used caption for the trailer. the animation studio, Mad House is amazing in bringing the film to life visually; from the top-down sweep of skyscraper to the hovels of the homeless, from animating real locations in parts of Tokyo to enhancing it with uniqueness, from the dark parts of the city to the brightest. just as the storyline, this film is with colours that dazzle & beautiful animations.
Sound: done quite nicely, it matches the hustle & bustle of the animated city, as well as ambience of a wedding reception, & the dark alley ways. the music, which the main theme is a variation of beethoven's. please forgive me for not recalling the actual title of beethoven's work, but almost all of the music is done on synth & in a playful manner. there is also a band that play part of the music, which is actually the composer's band. again, it fits with the film nicely.
overall this film is a Must-Watch-Therefore-Must-Own. i cannot praise enough how this film has made me smile & chuckle as it is delightful & therefore beautiful. what Miyazaki did for the younger generation, Satoshi Kon with mature audience.
hope u enjoy! p/s: it's rated PG for (a bit of) violence & mild language.
Perfect Blue must have been a great film as it made the writer/director Satoshi Kon
prominent & greatly respected. If that was to be his only success, the term 'one trick pony' would be included in descriptions of the man. Fortunately that is not the case.
With superb following; Millennium Actress & Tokyo Godfathers, Satoshi Kon richly deserves praise for his refreshing story telling & beautiful characters.
Millennium Actress is about recollections of an actress who is interviewed by 2 men; one of them linked to her past.
Storyline: stories told within stories, adventures told within adventures; the life & love of the actress is told in her films & it is done beautifully. there are recurring themes but those do not undermine the whole film in any way, rather they reinforce underlying emotions.
there are many scenes that are surreal but very much essential in the story for the audience to understand what happened & more importantly, what the actress had gone through for her love.
Visuals: life told in movies & films. parts of life told in various scenes from various films, the colours are lush & beautiful as well as the characters are amazingly so human & real, this film is just beautiful.
Sound: very decent though one might expect the soundtrack to be more symphonic. but then it may be Satoshi Kon's preference to have synth instead of orchestra. voice is clear & it's easy to tell how the characters feel at the moment though the tracks are all in japanese.
Overall the film is highly recommended, even for those who are not into anime films. it's about romance, adventure, revelation & coming to terms with life. ending of the film though tinged with sadness is at the same time filled with optimism. Satoshi Kon is simply amazing.
p/s: rating-wise, this film is safe to be watched by kids though i suspect that they won't be able to understand it due to the twists & turns this film has.
Go ahead & accuse me of being such an avid fanboy, or anime freak, or just plain emotional. Cowboy Bebop is one of the few series that has a look of casualness which is deeply set with emotions, especially melancholic ones.
Characters: Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed & Ein. These 5 are the bounty hunters aboard a refurbished trawler named Bebop.
Premise: Mars, Earth, as well as immediate vicinities. Hey, it's the future!
Story: Adventures of the five; funny, introspective, happy, thought provoking, melancholic, explosive, noir, fun, love, betrayal, cute, endearing etc. Storytelling is one of the most powerful element of the series as it develops & deepens the characters` personalities as the series progresses.
Visual: for a 1998 production, it is still impressive with hand-drawn graphics though there are some scenes (hyperspace gates) which are obviously CG. For series which obviously made for TV, it doesn't come with cinematic quality.
Sound: Maybe it's because i bought VCD version & not DVD as how i would prefer it (the price will warrant IMF help package) as the sound is a bit diminished. This is very very sad as the music of the series is one of the best soundtracks ever.
Music: Usually i would lump this with sound but the fact that the music is simply sublime, thanks mainly to composer/musician Yoko Kanno (Escaflowne, Ghost In The Shell series, Wolf's Rain, Please Save My Earth, Memories etc), who i feel single-handedly lifted the series from 'very nice' to beautiful with her incredible music. There's jazz(acid, lounge), bebop, mid-east, ballads, classical pieces - all wrapped up into something uniquely & eclectically wonderful. In fact, if the series is not your cup of tea (or coffee), the music somehow will captivate.
Overall, the series is a wonderful experience. I laughed, cried, cheered & feared for the crews of Bebop & i wished their adventures would continue forever. Alas 26 episodes are all that is Cowboy Bebop, with the movie which supposedly takes place between episodes 22 & 23.
The visual's great. The story's wonderful. The characters are believable & lovable. The music sublime. I love them all!
note: there is a new DVD version of Cowboy Bebop series which has 5.1 audio channel.
rating: due to violence & adult situations as well as deep moral issues, this one is for adults only.
First off, I don't normally like sci-fi or robot animes, but there are a few rare ones that just blow me out of the water. (Irresponsible Captain Tylor, anyone?)
This is one of those, and probably because it has a lot of humor. (Just like Tylor.)
The premise as written by the company: "For generations, the men of the planet Tarak have waged a valiant war of survival against their fierce enemies of the planet Mejale women! Hibiki finds himself completely out of his depth, first as a stowaway on a space battleship and then as the prisoner of the women who hijack it! A strange missile sends the hijackers into a remote corner of the galaxy where the women and their prisoners encounter a mysterious new enemy that may force them to join forces! Can men and women actually work together without killing each other?!"
My thoughts on the premise: What gets me past all the space battles and huge robots is the comedy of the situation and the depth of the characters.
It's hilarious, yet sad to think that humans sent out to colonize other planets would choose to live seperately and then after several generations, become bitter enemies - the ultimate battle of men versus woman.
It was very alien at first to try to understand the world. While I know it seems at points that women and men are different species, it's natural to be together, to live together.
But then it was very funny and heartening to see how three guys try to fit in on a ship full of women, and how they all change as they get to know each other. Even some romance buds, though they don't know how to handle it. The words boyfriend/girlfriend are not in their vocabulary.
Visuals: Like I said, I'm not normally for large space battles or transforming robots, but I really liked what was in this anime. Every battle was different, unlike some other animes. As the protagonists figured out how to defeat the enemies, the enemies learned/adapted to the protagonists's techniques. So the next battle, the protagonists had to figure out a new way to defeat the enemies. And it wasn't easy - they always had to push themselves beyond their limits. They often got hurt and some died (just a warning to those who can't handle deaths, like me).
Another thing that I liked, and this underscores one of the messages of the series, was that to be the most effective against the enemies, the women had to combine their fighter ships with the guy's. The women's ships were called Vans and the guy's was called Dreads. hence the name of the series, Vandread - the name of the ultimate fighter ship.
I can't say enough about the characters, especially without giving it all away. But you really get to know these characters and start to care about them. My eyes misted up more than once when something happy or sad happened.
Sound: Great. I'm not a huge critic of sound, but everything was clear and the bacground music was perfect. It fit and was never too loud.
Overall: If you want a good action, sci-fi, comedy with a lot of depth (it actually makes you think about life), then this is definitely the series for you.
Messages of the series: The two main messages are about men and women working together and the proof of a person's existence (why are we alive). I think this series does an excellent job of handling those two concepts.
yeah im not itno huge long posts reviewing films either, but ill do a short one for Perfect Blue
Its about a girl whos part of a 3 woman pop band in Japan thats moderately successful. She decides to leave and work as an actress and getsa job ona kind of cop drama. As the story goes on she compromises her sweet innocent outlook on life more and more. WHilst this is happening, her 2 former bansbates have gone on to mega stardom, she is being stalked by a strange scary lookin guy and people around ehr are mysteriously dying. she is also going slightly nuts, thinking that a ghost of her former pop star self is trying to kill her (And commiting the afore mentioned murders).
Its a very mind warpinf tale, and is almost as messed up as watching Evnagelion, though a lot shorter. Its a great watch and i didnt predict the ending at all, which was pleasant for me.
And if you're into a good series, watch Paranoia Agent. I havent seen the last 2 discs yet (Its released as a 4 disc series here) but what I have seen has me thoroughly hooked. I CANNOT WAIT to see the end of this and recommend it highly tto everyone. Steve and Elliot especially I think would like it. Its set in modern day tokyo where someone is going around and bashing people with a bat, believed to be a 12-13 year old on roller blades made of gold. u know what, describing it is next to impossible without giving things away and doing it just ice. Its a supernatural/crime thriller.
A Very Polcheck Christmas...From Outer Space! now up!