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Your Name – Review April 11, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku.
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Kimi no Na wa.

(Your Name.)

Remember, this review assume that you have watched the movie, which means SPOILERS will be imminent. You have been warned.

Talking about spoilers, I’m glad I stayed away from them for this movie. I already knew about the body swapping aspect, but the fate of Itomori was something I never saw or heard of prior to watching, nor expected.

So before I review the movie, I want to mention some things beforehand. First of all I watched this movie in a theater English subbed. (Just got back and immediately got to work on writing this up while listening to music from the movie, was thinking all about it during my 15 minute drive back home.)  This was my first time watching an anime movie in theaters, though the atmosphere is somewhat similar to when I’m watching anime at cons in viewing rooms. I decided to watch it at the theaters as I’ve been hearing rave reviews about it, and it was only going to be in theaters for a couple more days. I arrived fairly early for the movie, as much as half hour early for the film. There was only one other person in the room at the time, so seating was no problem. I already ate before I got to the theater so that I didn’t need to buy expensive food from there. I did bring at least some candy and a small water bottle; good thing they don’t search bags at the one I go to. When it was time for the movie to start, there was only about seven people in the room, which was a bit sad but at the same time I’ve got to remember that these films rarely go all the way to US theaters. Also maybe because I was at a 1:50pm screening as well? Probably there would be more people at the later ones.


Here’s a playlist of the music from the film.

Here is a synopsis from MAL.net:

Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school girl, yearns to live the life of a boy in the bustling city of Tokyo—a dream that stands in stark contrast to her present life in the countryside. Meanwhile in the city, Taki Tachibana lives a busy life as a high school student while juggling his part-time job and hopes for a future in architecture.

One day, Mitsuha awakens in a room that is not her own and suddenly finds herself living the dream life in Tokyo—but in Taki’s body! Elsewhere, Taki finds himself living Mitsuha’s life in the humble countryside. In pursuit of an answer to this strange phenomenon, they begin to search for one another.

Kimi no Na wa. revolves around Mitsuha and Taki’s actions, which begin to have a dramatic impact on each other’s lives, weaving them into a fabric held together by fate and circumstance.

This synopsis does a decent job describing the movie in a very general manner, as it should. Good thing it doesn’t really spoil much, something I hate very much. Watching a movie beyond the synopsis always feels like jumping through a painting; it’s much more deeper than what you see on the outside.

I thought this movie was fantastic; the art was breathtaking, the music was simple yet effective for the scenes they played for, and the story made my eyes widen when things started turning for the worst. The scene that got to me the most was when Taki and Mitsuha were on the mountaintop together, but at first could not see one another, they could only hear each other. It was only when passing right by one another in that space that could sense each other through their red string of fate. Twilight came and for that short moment, bridged the gap between time and space. They could see one another, talk face to face, and hold each others hands. It was that moment where they were writing their names on each other’s hands that almost made me tear up. The abruptness of Mitsuha’s disappearance with the drop of the pen, and Taki’s fading memories made me feel for them.

After the movie I began to think about the paradox theory and how it applies in the situation in the movie. It’s not so clear cut like how movies like Back to the Future shows or deals with paradoxes. For the first half with Taki and Mitsuha randomly switching bodies, there didn’t seem to be no rhyme or reason for it. Or course at the time, we assume that distance is the only thing separating them. It’s not until later that we learn that the events that destroyed Itomori happened three years ago. Because Taki now knows of the comet strike, his hope to change the past will depend on connecting back to Mitsuha. Recalling that she had a family shrine outside of Itomori on a mountaintop crater, he heads to there in hopes that going to it will help him reconnect with her one more time. By drinking the kuchikamizake that she made (and falling over and hitting his head), he wakes up in her body once more on the day of the comet pass by. Taki knows he has a chance to change things, to save these people of a beautiful town. His actions only initiate a evacuation, but due to time and fate resisting, things seem to be destined for what is known in the future. It’s only after the meeting between Taki and Mitsuha at twilight that gives them a fighting chance to truly save the people of Itomori. Once we learn that there are no casualties and that history has changed, we witness their memories of each other fade. Maybe this is how the paradox is handled, similar to how people can disappear if certain events happen in the past. While time may have degraded their memories of each other during those events, it did not destroy the connection they still share, as seen in the ending of the movie.

I stayed throughout the entire movie, even the end credits listening to the music play. Most people left during this time, except for me and one other hoping to see if there was any post credit scene. There wasn’t any but it was best that I knew that I saw all there was to see before I left the theater.


During the movie, there were a couple of times where I heard crying from a nearby movie watcher. I tend to be the kind of person who can never be sure whether or not the emotion coming from someone else is real or not. I’m not saying that this movie is not sad, nor do I think that the times she cried was fake in any kind of manner. I’m just being overly cautious of others’ reactions because I get influenced by others opinions, especially about shows I watch.

While I thought this movie was great in its own right, I don’t think of it as a masterpiece unfortunately. I would rate it a 8.5 out of 10. For me, what would add to the film is if it had more time to flesh some things out. I would have liked to learn more about the phenomenon that gave Taki and Mitsuha the opportunity they had to be together. It sort of reminds me of the movie Interstellar, where love helped the main character transcend time and space to send a message that ultimately saved the human race. I know that the topic was touched on by Mitsuha’s grandmother that it was a family thing, but was that only it? I guess the strings that invisibly trail us is our answer to all in the film. As for the ending, I think it ended well with them finally finding one another again then cutting there. As part of the audience, we can presume a regular life awaits them which doesn’t need to be shown. Leave it to the imagination.

Fall Anime Season 2016 – Review January 16, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku, Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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For this season, I didn’t have a lot of time to watch as I used to, mainly due to work and other personal priorities. This actually caused me to stop watching some of the listed animes half way throughout the Fall season. By the time was free to watch, my reduced interest for a couple of them made me drop them. I probably won’t have as much to say about these animes of the season, but I’ll put my two cents in anyways. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Getsuyoubi no Tawawa

Hibike! Euphonium 2

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

Okusama ga Seitokaichou!+!

Shuumatsu no Izetta

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Dropped at Ep. 6)

WWW.Working!! (Dropped at Ep. 5)

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Getsuyoubi no Tawawa

getsuyoubi-no-tawawa

This anime short series is such a tease. Tawawa on Monday is a series of short stories about various well endowed women during their usual weekday lives. Mostly seen from the perspective of a male companion, it combines cute and innocent with innuendo like speech and actions, whether or not the women are aware of it or not themselves. The fan service comes not in the visual form, but rather in the imaginative one. It’s one that I’ll admit I liked watching, as many would say, maybe because these kinds of situations are somewhat feasible in real life, not that I’m hoping for anyways…

——

Hibike! Euphonium 2

sound-euphonium-2

This anime was one that I stopped watching around midway, mainly due to not having time to watch, but got back to it and finished before writing this post. I had stopped watching right up to when they won their place in the Nationals, so continuing from there was not confusing for me, as there wasn’t any mid story I had to remember.

All the way through, this anime is solid in its art and animation, character development, music, and story. It all culminates to a very good drama anime that very much feels real. As I mentioned in my review of the first season, when I was in high school, I was part of choir. Maybe not exactly the same as a band or orchestra, but I could still relate to the ups and downs that the characters faced when dealing with a competition, because just like them we also competed in choir competition festivals in trips that took us hundreds of miles away from home against other schools of the country. Feeling nervous or doubt as the stage grew nearer, is something I remember feeling, though in the end we did what we practiced over and over again, during actual class or lunch break. And when it came to the hearing the results, the fruits of our labor bore fruit in the form of 1st Gold place. An absolute dream come true, as I felt at the time. Let it be known that I had no intention of pursuing music in college, or for anything professional in my future. I just enjoyed singing in school choir.

I enjoyed this anime because of how relatable it was for me and my past. As for someone who did not experience something similar, I don’t know how well they would connect with the characters and story, but I think that they would still be able to grasp the feeling enough to understand and enjoy some good storytelling.

This anime series ended on a very nice note, as it cleared most if not all the drama that the band faced throughout the year. I like how in the anime, the teachers of the band mentioned that with the coming of a new year, they can start from scratch. With all the drama that happens within their school band, it comes off as a positive thing. Instead of dragging the negatives and positives around of the past, they can continue to learn from them and move forward into the future. I think that’s also good advise in general for how we should live, and how we should thrive towards our own goals in life.

——

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

gundam-barbartos-s2

An ongoing series into the winter season, it continues from where we left off in the first season. I’ll just mention some of the differences I noticed between this season so far and the last. First off, Mikazuki is now more monotone and fiercer in battle than ever before. Of course its because he’s getting more experience with Barbatos, but it also seems to be taking a part of him every time there’s a huge battle where Mika calls upon it. At the end of the first season, he lost his sight in his right eye and use of his right arm. When connected to Barbatos however, he regains full control of his body again. More recently though, in the battle with the Mobile Armor, he ended up losing the ability to use his legs. He’s slowly becoming dependent on Barbatos, as with it allows him to use his full body at will, at the cost of not being able to disconnected from it. Besides that, Mika also seems to be losing his emotions, not that he ever was that emotional to begin with. An example of this was when back in the first season, in the scene right as Orga and Biscuit were attacked by Carta Issue, Mika calls out Orga’s name in a way that almost seems unlike his usual self. He also at least showed more facial expressions in the first season than the second. Maybe in part it has to do with what happened to him in the final battle in Edmonton, I’m not sure.

I’m looking forward to see how this all plays out: The merging of man and machine, and the stabilization of politics of the solar system. Whether or not Tekkadan will be triumphant or crash and burn, we’ll just have to wait and watch.

——

Okusama ga Seitokaichou!+!

okusama-ga-seitokaichou-s2

In this anime short series second season, we find our hero creating a larger harem by interacting with more of his classmates. Fan service ensues. Yeah not much more I can say about this one.

——

Shuumatsu no Izetta

shuumatsu-no-izetta

Advertised as an anime by some people who worked on other animes such as Code Geass, Izetta the Last Witch takes place in a world war where a small country called Elystadt finds itself under attack by the large nation of Germania. Elystadt discovers and rescues the last witch Izetta from Germania, and with her power turns the tide of battle into their favor. With magic used as a deterrent in the war, how will it affect the world? What consequences will it have for victory between all the warring nations? That’s what this anime more or less illustrates and answers in its own way.

I originally was not interested in watching this series, but decided to give it a shot after seeing a bit of it through social media. It was sort of cool watching actual military based weaponry being taken down quite easily by Izetta’s magic, even if it was simple in the extreme. It’s basically the opposite of the anime GATE where modern military might dominated almost medieval level weapons. Towards the second half of the series however, with the introduction of the cloned witch Sophie, it became clear that the end would be a battle between the two; It became predictable. While the ending was positive, it didn’t feel all the satisfying as the buildup throughout the series dropped off when it became clear that this series was just going to be a classic good versus evil thing, with nothing making it interesting in the middle. Overall it was an OK anime, but the battles and story became stale in my opinion.

——

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda

kiss-him-not-me

I dropped this series midway as it didn’t interest me much anymore, mainly with it’s characters. I know that this anime is catered more to females, but I was originally attracted to it by scenes I saw on social media. What annoyed me was how you could tell that some of the guys were seemingly attracted to her mainly because of her looks and not for her personality.

——

WWW.Working!!

www-working

In this spin off of the Working! series, we find ourselves at another branch of Wagnaria with a new cast of characters. These characters though I felt were random and didn’t mix very well. Because of this, I tended to fall asleep while watching this anime because everyone felt mad or gloomy or superficial. I did not feel like a workplace I’d want to work in.

I was attracted to the original Working! series before I started working at the retail store five years ago, because I wanted to see and feel what it was sort of like to work and interact with co-workers. Mind you of course this is an anime which cannot be applied to real life, but that’s how I wanted to see this anime series back then.

Winter Anime Season 2016 – Review April 4, 2016

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku, Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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After a relatively dull year of anime back in 2015, the first anime season of 2016 is strong and enjoyable. We had some pretty amazing anime from the get go this Winter Anime Season, like Aokana and ERASED, and I’m definitely looking forward to the other seasons of the year. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

Boku dake ga Inai Machi

Dagashi Kashi

Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri 2nd Season

Heavy Object

Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Musaigen no Phantom World

Ooyasan wa Shishunki!

Oshiete! Galko-chan

As usual, SPOILERS will be avoided as much as possible, but sometimes may pop up through my writing if I think it’s not too much of a SPOILER.


Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

Aokana

Aokana was a joy to watch, I’ll start off with that. In this anime, advances in technology has allowed for the creation of Grav-Shoes, shoes that allow flight with balancers built in to prevent loss of control and falling out of the sky. Because of this, a sport called Flying Circus was created; To score points, they either touch buoys floating above the ocean, or their opponent’s backs.

I’ve been fascinated with flying for a bit of a while, and if I had to choose just one superpower, it would be to be able to soar freely through the skies. If Grav-Shoes were real, I’d probably would have played FC as well. As to whether I’d do well or not is purely up to imagination. While the game rules are simple, the techniques in order to score points and outwit opponents are surprisingly deep. I also like how each character seems to have their own styles of playing FC. I remember someone commenting online about wishing that the word of Aokana was real, and I would probably wish that as well.

Another reason that drew me into this anime is the music, specifically the opening that is sung by none other than Mami Kawada. First time I heard the song I recognized her voice, and was glad to hear her again doing an anisong after such a long time. The happy news was short lived though, because I would later learn that she had announced her retirement from singing at the start of this year, with her performing her last concert in May 2016.

The style of the opening music and the cute character designs reminded me of trailers and openings of visual novels, and sure enough I found out that the Aokana anime is adapted from its eroge counterpart, minus the adult content. In the final episode, an insert song plays during the climax which is actually the opening song from the visual novel, “Wings of Courage (Sora o Koete)” by Mami Kawada. The combination of the action and feelings of the characters in the final battle with Kawada’s song from the Aokana visual novel gave me chills, happy chills that made my heart fly with the characters.

This anime may not look like much, but it struck a chord with me on multiple levels. I enjoyed the characters and their personalities, and it was also refreshing to not have any form of harem or relationships form throughout the story in the anime. It was straight up all about the main characters striving to win the Flying Circus Tournament, learning through trial and error alongside friends who support each other all the way. It’s a simple, beautiful thing that made Aokana an enjoyable experience to watch.

——

Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)

Boku-dake-ga-Inai-Machi

The best anime of this year so far, ERASED has brought back the excitement of waiting for the next episode with their cliffhangers. Time travel and mystery, mixed with some good characters and music made this a fantastic anime to keep me on my edge of my seat.

In the opening and throughout the series, the characters around Satoru were all subject to being the murderer, besides the ones who were killed. Hinted by censors on the eyes in the intro and red eyes usually when someone seems to act suspicious, the anime tried to throw us off to who was really behind it all. I’ll only say this much: The answer is simpler than you think. If you’ve watched the first half of the anime, you may have tried to guess who the killer is. At first I thought it wasn’t going to be as simple as that, but that’s the beauty of it. I ended up thinking in a loop of who was the killer, analyzing each character, but the most obvious one ended up being it. I felt that we were psyched out at times to make things more interesting, and it most certainty was, but a little boring considering that you could theorize that the killer was the one the moment you saw him.

The music in this anime is another reason for its success. One of the things I didn’t realize until later was that the anime’s music was composed by the famous Kajiura Yuki. I knew it was good but for some reason didn’t recognize it as her work until watching a piano cover on YouTube. I also love the opening theme “Re:Re:” by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION. Didn’t realize that this song is quite old, first being released back in 2004 as part of their Sol-fa album. Listening to the live versions by AKFG and covers by others on YouTube makes this song sound even better.

I’d recommend this anime to pretty much anyone, whether you’re an anime fan or not. It’s more of a drama that uses time-travel to add to the mystery to the story. A nice touch to these aspects is that in episode 11’s opening, Satoru is completely missing, explaining the reason for the title of the series, and the consequences to his actions. The ending of this anime wraps up everything nicely, without leaving questions behind. Please try this show for yourself if you haven’t yet, I’m sure you’d enjoy it.

——

Dagashi Kashi

dagashi-kashi

Dagashi Kashi is an anime primarily about dagashi, Japanese cheap snacks that are targeted mostly to children. I had heard of this anime from hype that was on the internet and decided to watch it based on that. Each episode is split into individual sections, and in each section a particular real dagashi is the subject of the main characters attention. Using history and humor, Dagashi Kashi basically is trying to sell the snacks to the viewers.

While I bought into the hype that was Hotaru, it pretty much ended there. I did enjoy the humor that was tried, but that was really the only thing that kept my interest. There was times that I’d fall asleep while watching the episode, and didn’t really care much about missing some info about a dagashi that I never heard of. This is the most marketing I’ve seen an anime do directly to its viewers, and I don’t think it was a bad thing, it just wasn’t my thing.

——

Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri 2nd Season

GATE II

The second cour of GATE has wrapped up, and it was quite an adventure. I like the progression with all the characters, and how the SDF was ramping up it efforts to create peace between Japan and the empire. Unfortunately the creation of peace hit roadblocks, as it was indirectly caused because of one’s wishes to destroy the empire for revenge. This reason is not known to anyone, which is why this problem won’t go away until it is revealed.

While the focus is still on Itami and his fantasy squad members, the anime has also put a lot of the side characters into the limelight to show what was going on in different parts of the world at the same times. In doing so also shows their importance towards the overarching goal of peace, or the opposite.

I’m hoping the anime advances into a third season, but I’m prepared to wait a bit until then. I’d like to see if the root of the problem with the empire will be exposed, and how the SDF handles it. We already see that deeper relationships have formed between some of the SDF forces and people beyond the gate. How this translates towards a better tomorrow will only be seen in a future season, as the ending of this second season didn’t feel like a true end which I feel will end up being akin to the closing of the gate.

——

Heavy Object

Heavy Object

Heavy Object has just concluded, and it was an alright series. There wasn’t much to the plot, as each segment was about a standalone battle or mission, and while they each were linked in chronological order, it wasn’t that important than the present. The main thing that made this series interesting was mainly Qwenthur, whose unorthodox plans to disable or destroy Objects by themselves, made you wonder how he was going to pull it off.

——

Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows

She and Her Cat

This was a nice little 4 episode anime that I picked up casually. As the Japanese title says, its about she and her cat, a story about a college student girl and her cat who has been with her for most of life. The story is mostly told through the cat’s point of view, where he speaks about his life with her and the feelings he can sense from their bond. As it’s a short anime series, there’s not much plot to it, but I enjoyed it because of how the anime was able to relay the emotions the characters felt to us viewers, by showing us their highs and lows we all feel in real life.

——

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Gundam Orphans

Gundam Orphans was a fantastic way to get into the franchise, as it’s a standalone series from other Gundam series which I think have continuing timelines. It’s always hard for me to try these kinds of series that have been spanning for a long time, because I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s similar to why I watched Magic Kaito 1412 featuring Kaito Kid, a spin-off series of Detective Conan, which has been going on for hundreds of episodes. Just like in my previous review of the first half of this series first season, the pacing of the story has been consistently good. I never felt that things were happening too quickly or too slow, which is probably why I don’t think any of the episodes are fillers.

Most of the Gundams in this series weren’t very noteworthy to me, but maybe because it wasn’t the only focus that this anime had. The characters were the ones who shined the most and made the anime what it was, hence why the name of the show is called “Orphans” and not “Barbatos”. The theme of family was strongly presented throughout the series, showing how it can transcend both the body and the reaches of space.

The conclusion of this first season of Gundam Orphans has built the foundation for what’s to come in the next season. The main story of Kudelia’s mission to Earth has been completed, but now has opened into the next conflict, which is the destruction and reformation of the corrupted Gjallarhorn, sparked by none other than McGillis who holds rank within said organization. It will be interesting to see how the small company of Tekkadan plays into this upcoming revolution, now supported by many, friends and family alike.

——

Musaigen no Phantom World

Musaigen no Phantom World

This is Kyoto Animation’s latest anime series, and in general it has performed not as well as its previous animations. For starters, the fan service was over its head in the first few episodes. It’s a bit tiring when an anime has to use fan service right at the beginning in order to attract viewers. I’ve seen many that have done so, and it’s apparent that it used it in that way when the fan service starts to die down relatively significantly midway in the season. The second reason why people probably were not entertained was that there didn’t seem to be a plot at all. Each episode had it’s own standalone story which usually didn’t matter in the next episode. The slice-of-life aspect aside, they felt too separate to be side by side episodes, rather it felt like I was watching OVAs. It was only in the last two episodes that I felt something much bigger was lurking in the shadows. Kyoani found a way with the action, story, and feels, but a little too late. If they only brought it out at least midway in the season, this anime wouldn’t be getting as much flak as it’s getting. I still enjoyed watching the colorful action and potential that Myriad Colors Phantom World had to offer, but it missed the mark for it to be another good anime of their’s. However if a new season is announced, I will watch it in hopes that it progresses in the right direction.

——

Ooyasan wa Shishunki!

Ooyasan wa Shishunki!

An anime short series about a guy named Maeda that lives in an apartment complex, who finds out that he shares the building with his middle school girl landlord Chie and neighbor Reiko. In this slice-of-life show, it shows his casual interactions with the two during his day to day life. It’s an adorable series to watch, seeing how Maeda and Reiko dote on innocent Chie even though she is just their landlord, as if they were almost her parents (which are never shown or explained). I did notice that in some of the episodes, 2 minutes each, that the events and dialog in an episode were rushed to fit that timeline. It’s slightly annoying but I remember it only affecting a few of the episodes mid way in the season. Either way I think it a nice little series to causally check out if you’re into slice-of-life and moe.

——

Oshiete! Galko-chan

oshiete galko chan

This anime is basically girls talk, combined with breaking stereotypes of character looks. It’s an anime short series that I picked up fairly late in this anime season, as I was bored waiting for new episodes of the animes I was watching and decided to try this one while browsing on Cruncyroll. I’ll admit, this anime doesn’t seem to be aimed towards people like myself as it’s all about girls talking about things that guys wouldn’t really understand, though I can try to put myself in their shoes to somewhat feel their pain. Besides those topics which were more prevalent more so in the beginning than the end of the season, I enjoyed watching the interactions between not only the main three characters, but also of the other characters that were introduced as well. Each character may use design stereotypes, but their personalities and beliefs are different and unique. This is done to illustrate that you can’t judge a book by its cover. For example, Galko who has the style of a gyaru, is a good innocent girl who is friendly with everyone; Otako is an otaku who tends to like mocking Galko and asking her about suggestive topics; Ojou is a rich, friendly airheaded girl who tries her best to understand non-rich people’s problems. All of them may look and play the part for which their appearance suggests, but they are much more than meets to eye. It’s a surprisingly enjoyable series that I think most mature audiences can relate to, both for girls and guys.


 With a strong start to this new year of anime, I’m hoping that this momentum will continue into the next anime season. I’m looking forward to it.