jump to navigation

Your Name – Review April 11, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

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.


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.

Winter Anime Season 2017 – Review April 10, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

This anime season was one of the weaker ones I’ve probably watched. Minus Gundam Orphans, I initially started watching a few of the several shows airing, only adding Masamune-kun no Revenge and Seiren mid season to the list. I also had a lot of things going on IRL that kept me from watching consistently each episode every week as I usually do. 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:

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Gabriel DropOut

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Masamune-kun no Revenge

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

Seiren

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


Demi-chan wa Kataritai

From a first glance, this anime doesn’t seem to be anything too special besides the “Monster Girls” aspect. However, instead of the “monster” being the main focus, the anime explores the themes of understanding and inclusion of different people into a normal modern society.

The main character Takahashi-sensei is a biology high school teacher who has an interest in studying and understanding demi-humans. Luckily for him, there are three students and a teacher who are different demis. Through certain events, he finds himself helping the Demis by helping them understand their own nature though science and logic, and in turn gets to interview them for information that sometimes breaks stereotypes of their kinds. In short, he lowers the wall that may keep normal humans and demi-humans from interacting normally, possibly from assumptions made based on fear or rumors.

I like how this anime stayed on focus with this theme, as well as keeping a light atmosphere even when dealing with sometimes sensitive issues. A lot of what is discussed in this show regarding the differences in people and how they should be seen by others can be used in real life. In essence, don’t judge a person based on rumors or stereotypes, try and get to know them personally and understand who and where they’re coming from. Your opinions about them can come after, but only after you attempted to have some dialogue.

——

Gabriel DropOut

This anime was my typical “slice-of-life school comedy” of the season. The show is basically about the life of an angel named Gabriel who has transferred to an Earth High School as part of her angel training. Originally a textbook example of a perfect angel, during her early days on Earth she discovered video games which quickly took over her life. She became a “fallen angel” of sorts, now being a stereotypical hikikomori. With her at the Earth school is Vignette, a very responsible and nice person, contrary to her actual role as a demon; Raphiel, a fellow angel who tends to enjoy teasing her friends, especially Satania, self-proclaimed future ruler of the underworld who tends to run into back luck with her schemes as a demon.

It was an alright series, entertaining in it’s own right about how modern day angels and demons would interact with each other and the world between them. One thing I’d like to mention, I noticed a reoccurring theme going on with some its dialogue scenes, using just a character head in a bubble while they’re talking off screen. While that’s nothing new in anime shows, the abundance of its use here made it stand out to me. Whether or not it was to save on the animation budget, or if it was actually following how the original material looked (I’ve only seen the anime), I don’t know. It may sound like I’m saying this was a negative aspect, but I don’t think that way. The humor was enjoyable, and the characters were unique in their own ways. Not a standout anime, but at least one that I don’t fall asleep to.

——

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Another KyoAni classic, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid may sound like a comedy fan-service anime, but it’s actually much more than that. I’ll leave a synopsis from MAL that will do better justice than I can write up at this point:

As Kobayashi sets off for another day at work, she opens her apartment door only to be met by an unusually frightening sight—the head of a dragon, staring at her from across the balcony. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty, and energetic young girl dressed in a maid outfit, introducing herself as Tooru.

It turns out that the stoic programmer had come across the dragon the previous night on a drunken excursion to the mountains, and since the mythical beast had nowhere else to go, she had offered the creature a place to stay in her home. Thus, Tooru had arrived to cash in on the offer, ready to repay her savior’s kindness by working as her personal maidservant. Though deeply regretful of her words and hesitant to follow through on her promise, a mix of guilt and Tooru’s incredible dragon abilities convinces Kobayashi to take the girl in.

Despite being extremely efficient at her job, the maid’s unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up horrifying Kobayashi and at times bring more trouble than help. Furthermore, the circumstances behind the dragon’s arrival on Earth seem to be much more complicated than at first glance, as Tooru bears some heavy emotions and painful memories. To top it all off, Tooru’s presence ends up attracting several other mythical beings to her new home, bringing in a host of eccentric personalities. Although Kobayashi makes her best effort to handle the crazy situation that she has found herself in, nothing has prepared her for this new life with a dragon maid.

What I liked about the series, besides the obvious adorableness of Kanna, and the awkward naiveté that is Elma, was the interactions between Tooru and Kobayashi. Focusing on the main internal conflict Tooru has with herself about humans and the world she comes from, you can see that she has had a hard life. Whether it coming from her upbringing from her parents, to the constant human raids attacking her when resting, or the wars between the dragon factions, she has been fighting for a long time during which materialized and cemented her hatred for humans. Only on the verge of death did she find one human who would not only listen to her, but save her life as well. You could say that Kobayashi was totally drunk, which seemed to be the case, but even after meeting Tooru and listening to her stories about her past, she still listens, understands, and accepts her for who she is despite her differences. They are both able to live together, even if the laws of the universe are against it. Tooru learns to treasure those special fleeting moments, rather than having doubts about the future, because they may be more valuable than a lifetime of memories.

——

Masamune-kun no Revenge

I started watching this anime a bit late in the season, as it did not have my initial interest at the beginning. I eventually decided to watch it because of video clips I saw on social media. This anime is about a guy who was rejected by a girl when he was younger. During his young days, he was fat and a bit snobby, gaining the nickname “Pig’s Foot”. Due to this, he decided to change himself by working out into a handsome young man, to shed his former image. Upon entering high school, he finds himself in the presence of the girl that rejected him all those years ago. This time though, he plans to get revenge on her; by dumping her as bad as she did to him. However for this plan to work, he has to make her fall for him. This is where the story starts and gets interesting, sort of.

The anime for the most part was alright, getting a laugh or two every time a part of Makabe’s plans fall though. But that was more of less the bulk of the anime, the tug of war between progress with his plan, and her tsundereness kicking him away when he makes a critical mistake. What I didn’t like was the wrench in all of this, Gasou Kanetsugu, the proclaimed Masamune of Adagaki Aki’s past. I knew that he was going to play some sort of role towards the second half, due to him appearing in the opening sequence looking against Makabe, though at the time not sure how. I at first thought that he was a younger middle school version of Makabe, staring back at him as a reflection of some sort. First off, Kanetsugu doesn’t seem to be a mean person at all. He’s nice to everyone, including Makabe, and even volunteers himself to help Makabe’s class when he did the same for his. He seems to be playing the Masamune role under someone else’s instructions, possibly for financial reasons as he would be marrying into Adagaki’s rich family. He’s not unlikable, but because he’s tricking Adagaki he’s framed in that negative way to the audience.

Overall, the ending of this season ended with a number of questions, as well as a hint of a future season. I do hope that more of the story of the past can connect with the present, because we are still more or less running with the basic facts of girl dumped boy, boy seeks revenge by doing the same to her, an eye for an eye. There must be more than meets the eye, more facts to the story that can explain everyone’s actions both then and now. I will look forward to a new season if it can clarify and progress its plot line.

——

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

Gundam Orphans is finally over, a what a roller coaster it has been. Spanning two seasons with 25 episodes each, I felt that we went a full circle in terms of the story. Struggling at the beginning to create a name for themselves, to the edge of glory at the end of the first season/start of second season, to the fall and destruction of Tekkadan, I feel more or less satisfied with the ending, even if it was bittersweet. At least it wasn’t predictable or cliche like them getting all the way to the top, as they were always the underdogs who just got by. Their luck wasn’t always going to hold, especially with their small group size and resources against Gjallarhorn, a full military might that spans multiple regions of the solar system.

As for the second season’s main plot dilemma, it was McGillis Fareed versus Rustal Elion for who should rule Gjallarhorn in their own way. Because McGillis allied himself with Tekkadan and vice versa, we more or less viewed Rustal as the bad guy of the show as he was the one who always tried to plot their demise. As Rustal was the cold and calculating type, it was easily assumed that he had larger ambitions for ruling Gjallarhorn than McGillis, who proclaimed that he would destroy the corruption that had grew within it since its beginnings. However, when McGillis sought power from the original founder of Gjallarhorn, Agnika Kaieru’s Gundam Bael, things wern’t so clear as to who was right and wrong anymore. McGillis’s grab for power from a relic of the Calamity War was seen as nothing more than a coup d’etat for greedy reasons. Tekkadan’s decision to pair up with McGillis did not happen easily, nor did it seem likely that at that point that things would end well for them in the end, seeing as what happened to the Turbines who were destroyed by Rustal’s Arianrhod Fleet prior to McGillis obtaining Bael. As the end grew closer in this season, the odds were becoming more and more stacked against Tekkadan and McGillis, to a point where winning a battle against Rustal was out of the question. Surviving was all they could try to do, reminding us of Tekkadan’s beginnings of being human debris. Slowly the footprints left behind by McGillis and Tekkadan were wiped out under the rule of destroying out of control elements.

With their total destruction, things moved forward in a way that was quite unexpected; Rustal became the leader of Gjallarhorn, reforming it into a more democratic organization than one that was once ruled by the Seven Stars families. He downsized the Gjallarhorn Mars branch giving the people there the independence they always wanted, and finally worked together with the Martian Union to create the Human Debris Abolishment Treaty in order to prevent further exploitation of children as soldiers. He also meets with now Chairwoman Kudelia Aina Bernstein and promises to support her endeavors. In the end, everything is settled in the way mostly everyone wanted by one man, a man that was the antagonist for the entire series that won a decisive victory over the protagonists, as ironic as it seems.

When you think about it, there may have been a way that this all could of happened without the loss of McGillis and Tekkadan. Each side wanted more or less the same thing in the end, but what differed was their methods, both seemingly extreme. The main difference that separated Rustal and McGillis/Tekkadan was that the rebel duo were both people who were treated as disposable individuals; Long ago McGillis was a kid on the streets who learned the hard way that power was the only way he could survive, and once adopted into the Fareed family, learned of Agnika Kaieru and the power he possessed. From then on his goal has always been to become the ruler of Gjallarhorn and finally have the power he always craved. Tekkadan, being an organization consisting mostly of kids without a home, their goal was loosely to find a place for themselves without having to fight anymore, to live a life they feel they deserve. While they may have gotten lost along the way a few times, their end lead to their future, not just for them but for the future kids that would be saved from becoming human debris. While not much is known about Rustal Elion’s past, his actions seemed to be shrouded in vagueness as he always took the opposite stance against out protagonists, basically looking like a villain. Because of this it was automatically assumed that he wanted power for his own reasons. However, seeing what he does during the epilogue conflicts with the feelings I had (or probably most of us did). Whether or not there was a chance for any type of dialogue between the two without it blowing up, I’m not sure, but it was their means that created the war, not the shared end everyone wanted.

I enjoyed this series from start to end. It was my first Gundam series that I watched. I liked that this series is independent from the other Gundam series, so that I didn’t really need to know history or terminology of the series to understand and enjoy. It definitely didn’t feel like 50 episodes, and that’s a good thing as there wasn’t much fillers for the story. Interesting how the “bad” guy won, but at the same time things end on a high note with no loose ends. I’d probably like to try watching future Gundam series, but probably ones that are independent from its parent story like how Gundam Orphans was.

——

Seiren

Synopsis via MAL:

“Shoichi Kamita is an ordinary high school boy, who is faced with the university entrance exam and worried about his future. This campus romantic comedy, “Seiren”, which means honest in Japanese, depicts his pure relationship with three different heroines. Each story is the unique and mutual memory between him and the heroine.”

This series was a nice casual watch about anime romance. Out of the three heroines, I thought Kyouko Touno’s was the cutest and sweetest, though Hikari Tsuneki was the most complex, and I like how she was still somewhat involved in the other characters’ routes.

Fall Anime Season 2016 – Review January 16, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku, Seasonal Anime Reviews.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

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.