One the one hand, I personally enjoy realistically rendered anime. It is far too easy to fall into tropes and traps when you deal with a ‘traditional’ anime style, so when it is more like-life (let me direct you towards “Basilisk”, one fantastic-looking anime), I glom onto it. However, I do not dismiss the experimental; especially when there is a compelling story behind it (let me direct you towards “Dead Leaves”, one imaginative and strikingly insane anime.) (more…)
I feel that I will never understand the magnitude on the Japanese psyche regarding WWII and the dropping of the bombs. It permeates every fiber of their being and colors almost everything they do, consciously and unconsciously, even so many years after the events. We have another film that looks at the war experience, but it is done in a different manner. The inevitable comparisons between “Grave of the Fireflies” and this one, “In This Corner of the World” (“Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni”) will happen, as both are depressing, but the latter approaches it in a more hopeful, but less natural-looking, manner. (more…)
As with any movie that comes from a successful series, I am leery that it might be just might be a recap of the series, put in movie form, for those folks who are too lazy to plunk themselves down and watch the whole thing, from a company that wants to make some quick money for fans who are too gullible to take a second look at things. And I will be saying this plaint again and again until I am proven demonstrably wrong. I have gotten close, but not with any consistency. Yet, “Kantai Collection: The Movie” (and couldn’t you come up with a slightly better title than that?) does try to move events along, basing it off of that which we have already seen in the series and that which we already know, to tell a different tale. Of sorts. (more…)
“Sword Art Online” has been one of the more interesting series (and now franchises) of the past half-dozen years. As with any movie that comes from a successful series, I am leery that it might be just might be a recap of the series, put in movie form, for those folks who are too lazy to plunk themselves down and watch the whole thing, from a company that wants to make some quick money. Yes, they did do that in 2013, calling it the “Extra Edition”, so I was a little more assured that this one would be a real movie and not just a Season Two Recap. This brings us to “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale”. Now, it would help to understand what an ‘ordinal scale’ is. (more…)
I must be the dumbest sack of doorknobs out there. Why do I torture myself? I have potentially been chasing this franchise down longer than “Code Geass: Akito”, yet I am not half as whiny about it as I should be. This popped up at AX 17, so I grabbed a showing of “Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo”. What a pile of noise! (more…)
It’s an anime movie. I am at least finding them a bit more often than in the past, but they still come out in a dribble, compared to other offerings. This is an odd one, more so for the apparent CG than the plot, which smells rather “Matrix”-y. This is “Blame!” (“Buramu!”). (more…)
I once mentioned (and frequently do so) that you can find an anime on almost any topic. This one is really strange, “The Dragon Dentist“ (“Ryū no Haisha”). It takes place in an alternate universe, a time when dragons existed and did take to the skies. (more…)
I always have a problem with anime movies, in that I am aware of the merest tip of the iceberg that comes to a regular cinema on its own (although I am having troubles with “The Red Turtle” and that’s a Studio Ghibli offering). A tremendous amount of them just go drifting past, so it is a bit or a workout to be able to find them without having to go to some special showing in a theater no one can find at exorbitant costs to view it and you have but one weekend to grab any of the four total showings. And the next nearest theater for it is 600 miles away. That is why when I run into an anime movie, I grab it and take my chances.
Such is the case with “Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda” (“The Anthem of the Heart”, subtitled “Beautiful Word Beautiful World”). At its heart, it is a love story, but how we get there is a tad unusual. (more…)
I am seeing a lot of music animes popping up, and it’s not just folks wanting to be the latest idol band or boy group, but real musical dedication. After having seen “Your Lie in April” and bumbled through two season of “Hibike! Euphonium”, I decided that I would try out “Piano no Mori”, (“Piano’s Forest”) although it is a strange confabulation of events. Also, it’s an anime movie and you know my stance on them. I will watch it and decide later if it was worth it, as they get such a limited to no release at all in the US (more…)
One of the functions of anime is to push boundaries. It can’t always be giant fighting robots, or a high school rom-com with witches or espers or someone who thinks they are God or a look at an alternative history with hip-hop samurais. Yes, there is a danger in this approach, as you can frighten off the more timid souls who are afraid to leave their comfort zone and you end up being cult.
The only reason I found this older offering (2004; a lifetime in anime) is that I ran across an article about “15 Must-Watch Forgotten Anime” movies (well, I own four of them, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me). It’s just this one, which was rated at Number 2, takes anime and animation and science fiction and violence and sex and bounces it on its noggin for 50 head-twisting minutes (well, actually 43; you have about seven minutes of credits). The short-hand to this film would be if FLCL took the brown acid, THIS is what you would get: “Dead Leaves” (“Deddo Rībusu”). (more…)