Anime That Became Action

April 27th, 2014 in Anime by


Anime are popular today – very much so, so it of no real surprise that quite so many of them have been acquiring live action movie adaptations over the years. Japanese manga are not only adapted into the form of Japanese drama and movies, but Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese too. Some are, as you would expect, better than others, but there are many that are famous for their poor quality.

While there are some that I would personally love to see we do have to admit that some pretty outrageous things happen in anime that would be difficult to replicate into a drama or movie without having a particularly extensive budget, so the ones that work best tend to be the ones that do not include anything too high-tech; hence shoujo tends to be one of the more frequent options. There are also a lot of drama and movies based on manga that never became an anime, such as Hana Kimi, which never became an anime but has at least three drama adaptations that I have seen. (more…)

Won’t You Let Me Take You on a “Sea” Cruise

April 23rd, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Nagi no Asukara by


Talk about a fish out of water! This is a standard high school romance anime, with a bit of a twist. “Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea”, known in Japan as “Nagi no Asukara” (“From Calm Tomorrow”), takes a new tack on an old story. But first, let me bring down, from the Forbidden Shelf, a book. A book filled with lore and tales so fantastic, no one could believe them……except Steven Speilberg, who could turn it into a blockbuster movie.

Long ago, before cable TV, before transistor radios, before taxes, human civilization had lived on the ocean floor. However, there were many humans who wanted to live above the surface and they moved to land, creating a fundamental separation between the two. (Think of it like Red States and Blue States). Oshiooshi is the seaside village we are in, where, just below the surface is the sea people village of Shioshishio. After their school closes down, four middle school students from the sea have to go to school on the surface. This is about their lives as they adjust to a new environment and the relationships with each other.

Sounds simple? Not on your harpoon! We examine not only the lives of the five people up there, but the dynamic interaction between upper and lower residents, as each views the other with misgivings and distrust and distain. (more…)

“Cop” a Plea

April 20th, 2014 in Anime, Coppelion, General Reviews by


This could broadly be described as another of those “Girls Who Save the World” shows, but it is handled in a slightly different fashion, in that there are no transformation sequences, but their goal is not much different than “Sailor Moon” or Symphonia”.

Coppelion” tells the story of (left to right) Taeko Nomura, Ibara Naruse and Aoi Fukasaku, who are not what they appear to be. Are they high school girls, on a class trip to Kyoto so they can look at the temples and take advantage of the cuisine there? Not hardly likely.

In 2016, a ‘incident’ at the Odaiba energy plant contaminates all of Tokyo and everyone has to leave (and they never say that it was a nuclear meltdown, although all the Hazmat suits, Geiger counters and radiation symbols plastered everywhere are enough to make it so). But not everyone leaves, for whatever reason. Twenty years later, a distress call is heard from Old Capitol and these girls are dispatched to answer the call.

So these aren’t even real girls. They are clones who have been biologically engineered to be able to withstand massive levels of radiation that would turn the rest of us into instant goo. They are to render immediate first aid and then get those people out of there. The story details their efforts, but it is more than a “Who can we save this week” approach, as that would get boring really fast. (more…)

Nerves of “Steel”

April 6th, 2014 in Anime, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio, General Reviews by

Arpeggio of Blue Steel review

How many of you folks know what an ‘arpeggio’ is? Sure, most of you could identify it immediately as something related to music, but the real definition is a musical technique where notes in a chord are played or sung in sequence, one after the other, rather than ringing out simultaneously. This word comes from the Italian word “arpeggiare”, which means “to play on a harp.” An alternative translation of this term is “broken chord.”

Arpeggios allow monophonic instruments to play chords and harmony and help create rhythmic interest. The title is most supportive of “Arpeggio of Blue Steel (“Aoki Hagane no Arupejio”), which looks like a mere submarine anime, but it’s more than that.

In the year 2039, it’s a mess. Humanity, via global warming, has reduced a lot of their land mass. In that year, a strange alien force came down. Known as the Fog, they manifest themselves as naval vessels and successfully blockaded the oceans, so humanity was cut off from one another. 17 years after the blockade (that’s now 2056, if you are trying to do quick math), Gunzō Chihaya, a former student of the Japanese National Marine Academy, is captaining a Fog submarine that defected and joined humanity’s plight. Technically referred to as I-401, Iona is the Mental Model for the Blue Steel submarine. Chihaya and crew are pirates or renegades, or, more to the point, blockade runners. They can deal some major hurt to the Fog fleet. (more…)