Now, there are a ton of shows out there about getting hooked into a video game or being transported to a distant land and place, where you have to make the best of a bad situation. And if anyone can tell me why there is always a medievel flavor to it, I’d appreciate it. My suspicion is that it is the use of magic, which seem connected at the hip with the era. Anyway, this is where we find ourselves in the montropaciously titled “Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu” (“Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World”), and, brother, not only is he starting, he’s starting over. (more…)
“Orange” is the Happiest Color
I remember, when I was young, and my heart was an open book, maybe sixth grade (it was a long time ago, about when we had to stop hunting mastodons for food), we had to do an assignment, which was write a letter to our future self that would be read ten years from then. Well, I wrote some caliber of nonsense and eventually lost the letter. It was probably a good thing, too. In any case, this is part of the plot for the anime “Orange” (“Orenji”).
It is the past. Naho Takamiya, (in the center), a second year high school student, receives letters sent from herself 10 years into the future. Her future self asks her to prevent her “biggest regret”, which has something to do with the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse (black hair to her left). At first skeptical, Naho begins to believe the letters, as they accurately predict events. When the letter asks her not to invite Kakeru to go out for the first day, Naho and her friends (left to right, Takako Chino, Hiroto Suwa, Azusa Murasaka and Saku Hagita) decide to invite him anyway. Kakeru ends up not attending school for the next two weeks.
When she learns of the terrible fate that will befall Naruse if she does nothing, she strives to prevent the past events from happening, thus altering the future. The series details not only those efforts but how our little troupe fare in the future.
Time shift shows like this are difficult, as you have to balance the two realities, so things are credible. We, of course, are not going to ask the question as to how the future letters got into the past, as that would cause the series to totally collapse (think of the movie “The Lake House”), so you just move along with the events and see the ever-increasing stakes in the actions that they all perform in order to save a friend.
We also see how they have to learn not to be afraid, as a small slip here can create a larger slip down the line, and at a time when you may not be able to correct it, and that you have to believe in yourself, whether it is the now version or the future version.
Late in the show, there is a very good discussion regarding multiple dimensions, which also explains away the problems we encounter with the original future time story line. At its core, it is still a story about the bonds and strength of friendship, but it is done in a very concerted and focused manner. Perhaps not as intense as “Erased”, there is a still a good story to be told and the potential downfalls of not believing what the future you is imparting to the past you.
There is a movie coming out, but I am hoping it is a real movie and not a compilation film of the series. It’s already out in Japan; we get to wait another year or so. Or longer. Did I not get the memo?
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Typical but useful)
Plot 8 (Done quite well)
Pacing 7 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness 8 (Good use of the time shift)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (Good use of the time paradox idea)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You got one, too?
See You On the “Flip” Side
This ended up being a hot-and-cold show, as there was more going on than first revealed and, when the core aspect came through, there was a sense of betrayal. “Flip Flappers” (“Furippu Furappāzu”) is certainly a colorful and boisterous offering, but it seems to be more concerned with action rather than results, but I will explain that. (more…)
A Case of “Mono”
I have to assume that anything related to dealing with the spirit or yokai realm is a huge amount of hassle. I guess they are rather unpredictable and since many of them are scary/ugly/hideous (to our scale of thinking) most folks shy away from it or have zero idea as to what is really happening (like being in Washington D.C.). The story we have here, “The Morose Mononokean” (“Fukigen na Mononokean”) elaborates on this theory. (more…)
I have remarked that when you see an uptick in OVAs or short runs of a series that completed its first season, it is a prelude to the release of the next season, but they want to let you know it’s coming with a bit more than a notice on the internet going “The second season is coming! Sale starts on Friday!” It’s just there was a two-run OVA about a year or so ago and now “Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi” (“The Seven Deadly Sins: Signs of the Holy War”) came out with what they refer to as a TV Special that acts as a prelude to the new season. (more…)
It’s Strictly “Taboo”
There are two kinds of super heroes: those who are born to it and those who are made. Superman and Wonder Woman are examples of those who were born to it; The Flash and Spider Man are those who were made, by some bizarre accident or event. This show, “Taboo Tattoo”, is about ‘ordinary’ people who possess super powers, granted by a special mark that they receive. (more…)
Cracking the “Code”
It’s time to notice new trends! What is the new trend that I am seeing? “Episode #0”!
You may call them ‘one-shot’ or ‘test balloons’ or ‘toss-offs’. They are NOT OVAs, as there has to be a series tied to it before it can be an OVA. Yeah, yeah, sure, sure. We can argue that an OVA has honestly nothing to do with any given series, so, in an open sense, it is an OVA. But I have seen them tied to a series, so I consider them part and parcel of the whole series effort and not just some one or two episode escapade to see what can be done with a story. (more…)
Looking Like a Tramp, Like a Video “Vamp”
‘Vamp’ is such an odd word, owing to the differing meanings. It can mean, to wit:
- the part of a shoe or boot upper covering especially the forepart of the foot, or
- a short introductory musical passage often repeated several times before a solo, or
- to piece something old with something new, or
- a flirtatious woman
The word is derived from Anglo-French, alteration of avanpié, from avant- fore- + pié foot, but it can also be shorthand for vampire. In fact, the first vamp, silent movie star Theda Bara, was a caliber of vampire, as she sucked out men’s souls. (more…)
Holy guacamole! I knew that the Japanese people were strange, but the concept for this one would be a tough sell in anyone’s book. How it flew under the radar (for me) for so long can only be attributed to sheer luck. This is “Akikan” (“Empty Can!), where your fantasies are a mere sip away. (more…)
Smells Like Teen “Spirit”
Another long-time staple of story-telling involves a journey. Not merely a journey of distance, but one of emotional growth or of physical prowess or even of understanding your place in the cosmos. And I’m not talking about a trip to the local Starbucks for a $3 Pumpkin Spice latte or even all that walking to hatch an egg for ‘Pokemon Go.’ I am talking time and space and voyages and struggles and trials and tribulations and all that other stuff that makes life more interesting than a $3 PSL at Starbucks. Now, after this rather loquacious introduction, let’s get down to brass tacks. (more…)