What would you give to be able to relive a crucial part of your life and correct mistakes that you had made at that time? Would this give you a better chance for the rest of your life? Are you up to the task? Can you keep a secret? Do you like having a minimum wage job and no girlfriend? Have you registered to vote? (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?
OK, it takes a little while to wrap your head around this series, but once you do, wow, this is a fascinating series. Welcome to “Drifters” (“Dorifutazu”). (more…)
Somewhere in “Time”
Sniff, sniff. That smell. Can’t you smell that smell? The smell is all around you. Yes, it smells like….and E/I show! Quick, lock the doors, as no one gets out of here.
One of the reasons I am not a big fan of Educational/Informational shows is that they tend to suck the life out of their efforts, so not only isn’t it all that educational and informational, it’s not even all that entertaining. “Time Travel Girl” or, if we go by the full and complete title, “Time Travel Girl: Mari, Waka, and the Eight Scientists” (“Taimu Toraberu Shōjo: Mari Waka to Hachi-nin no Kagakusha-tachi”) wants to be something more, but ends up falling short, by buying into tropes and traps of its own doing. But, on to the plot: (more…)
My “Heart” Will Go On
One of the problems I have with an ecchi-heavy anime is that the perversion is so naked (both figuratively and actually) that you feel beat about the head and shoulders with it. But for this one, “Masou Gakuen H x H” (“Hybrid × Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia”), it is done with such a wide-eyed innocence, that you can’t help but laugh yourself wet, as if these people have zero concept on things of this nature. OK, let us to the plot: (more…)
On the “Vierge” of Something
This is another in the long-running genre of ‘Girls Who Save the World’, but in this instance, they are saving many worlds. Let’s put on some patriotic music as we send forth the plot of “Ange Vierge” (“Anju Vieruju”): (more…)
A “Second” Chance
I am always concerned about the second season of any show. Sometimes, there is a tendency to stay the course. Maybe good, maybe not. Other times, you want to strike out in another direction and try to accomplish more than you did in the first season. Always daring, but not without its pitfalls. Sometimes you abandon that which you had and made it appear like it was two different shows. That is what happened with “Active Raid 2nd” (“Akutivu Reido Sekando”). Whatever happened in the first show, it got turned into a political drama (of sorts) in the second show, which is a shame, as I felt a lot of good characters were misused or underused. (more…)
The anime company “Trigger” (or “Trigger Studio” depending on whom you are speaking to) comes up with a lot of wild and woolly shows like “Inferno Cop”, “Kill la Kill” and “When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace”. I bring this up, as their latest offering is in the same visual vein, but tackling a deeper subject, so it can’t be readily dismissed out of hand. I am speaking of “Kiznaiver”. (more…)
“Dead” To the World
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…)
Count to One “Hundred”
I guess this is the year of ‘save the world’. I have seen a ton of shows like this and “Hundred” (“Handoreddo”) is no different in almost any aspect of it.
An alien life form has come down to the Earth to wreak destruction. They are called ‘Savages’ (and about time we gave them a name befitting their foul and fetid nature. Don’t call them junk like ‘Battle Bugs’ or ‘Those Guys’). But only a certain caliber of person can hope to defeat them and these are our ‘Slayers’. They use a special crystal that unlocks their powers. Well, you can’t stick your hand in a box of Cracker Jacks and hope to get one. Nope, you have to go to a training academy. (more…)