movie review stranger in paradise blog 143

The big problem that I have with anime movies is that I never get a real chance to see them in the theaters. With the exception of a lot (but not all) of Studio Ghibli, I would assume the bulk of these offerings never leave the Land of the Rising Sun. On those rare occasions that they do, it is a really limited release over the course of one weekend, in a movie theater that the bus lines don’t get to, at an outrageous ticket price (I had a chance to see “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” like this, but the tickets were $20 each!) and with a grand total of five showings.

Thus, when I do encounter a movie, I give it a look-see, and I will potentially not get another shot at a look-see. This means it is pot luck at best. Like the Mystery Bag, whatever is whatever. I had a chance to see “Rakuen Tsuihou” (“Expelled from Paradise”), a film I heard nothing about at all, even though it has been out in the US for theoretically five months.

It is the future. Most anime is about the future. Angela Balzac is an agent at the space station DEVA, whose inhabitants have no physical bodies, their minds digitized and processed into a virtual reality environment. She has a day off and is ‘lounging’ at the ‘beach’ on a ‘wonderful day’. Seriously, if this is all VR, it’s not much different than the Matrix, right? Anyway, after some Village People clone tries to hit on her, the beach scene deteriorates, as they have been hacked by some initially unknown entity.Continue reading

movie review who's there blog 143
I wonder what it takes for an anime film to get decent distribution in the US. I did see “Ponyo” and “The Wind Rises” in the theaters, but how many others have slid below the radar? I’m not even seeing ads taken out in the papers or things getting mentioned, so I have to wait for alternate distribution to find out about them at all and then get a chance to see the latest film releases. “When Marnie was There” (or “Marnie of the Memories”) came out last July and could, potentially, be the last film from Studio Ghibli, as they are ‘on hiatus’, but with the retirement of Miyazaki, their future is vague.

On to the film. I am uncertain when the film takes place, but it could be the late 60s or early 70s. Anna Sasaki (left) is a 12-year-old girl who lives in Sapporo with foster parents, Yoriko and her husband. Anna’s mom and dad died in a car accident and Grandma passed away a couple of years earlier, so there is no one for her. One day at school, she collapses from an asthma attack, so her parents send her to spend the summer with Setsu and Kiyomasa Oiwa, relatives of Yoriko, in Kushino, a rural seaside town, where the air is clear. (OK, we will ignore the fact that asthma isn’t tuberculosis).Continue reading

Movie Review - “Bamboo” is Not a Weed blog 141

Another Studio Ghibli release, “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari) is 95% of a marvelous film. A rather cheap-out ending mars an otherwise magnificent effort, both in story-telling and animation approach.

A bamboo cutter named Sanuki no Miyatsuko lives high in the mountains, plying his trade. One day, while doing his rounds, he discovers a glowing bamboo shoot. Inside is a tiny, tiny girl. Believing her to be a divine presence, Miyatsuko and his wife decide to raise her as their own, calling her “Princess“. The girl grows rapidly and conspicuously, marveling her parents and earning her the nickname “Takenoko” (Little Bamboo) from the other children in the village. Sutemaru, the oldest among Kaguya’s friends, develops a particularly close relationship with her.Continue reading

Mardock Scramble Review

When is a movie not a movie? When is a series not a series? Why can’t you ever get a good answer to questions? Did you remember to turn off the iron?

I bring this up, as I am uncertain how to approach “Mardock Scramble”. If it is a movie, why isn’t it presented as such? At three hours, it is a bit long for a movie (especially an anime one), but it could have easily been broken up to be a first season of a show (a 12-episode run). I am going to call this a ‘special’, as it works best in that configuration. So, let’s get to the story, eh?

It could be the future, but it is certainly an alternate universe of Tokyo….I mean, Kamina City, Rune Balot is a 15-year old prostitute, who goes on a ‘date’ with the notorious Shell Septinous. Shell has a bit of a problem, in that he is a psychotic killer. He has sex with these underage ladies, and then murders them. Rune is no exception, as she is left to die in a burning car which explodes. However, she is rescued and transformed into a cyborg by the rather mysterious Dr. Easter. An Artificial Intelligence life formContinue reading

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I was at Anime Expo 2013 and you get marvelous opportunities to see films…provided you could get in. This one presented itself and the line for it was short, so I grabbed it.

Now, the official title of this is “Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below” (although in some places, it is also known as “Journey to Agartha”. The ORIGINAL title is “Children Who Chase Stars”. For me, this is a sign of trouble. Can you pick a title?) This is brought to you by the same folks who did “5 Centimeters per Second”. This has been out for a while, but is just getting to us here.

Asuna Watase is a girl who is mostly by herself. Dad is dead and mom works long hours as a nurse, so she is left to her own devices. This includes spending a lot of time at her secret cave, listening to whatever radio signals she can get on her cat’s-whisker radio and hears a song she has never encountered before. At school, she hears tales of a bear being seen in the hills where her cave is. Defying the people, as she knows the mountains well, she goes up the hill and sees the ‘bear’, but it is some kind of horrible monster, bent on killing her.Continue reading

wolf-children-review

Usually I get kind of coy in giving reviews, making you read through my whole marvelous article before I finally let you know whether you should watch something or not. I also do not do movie reviews either, so this is a double departure for me. I’ll get straight to the point…..

You should watch “Wolf Children”.

Now, it will be coming out in the theaters, but it is going to be a limited release, which means you will have to do some hunting for it, but it will be in English Dub (although the subtitles were not a problem at all). The only thing wrong with the film is the title, which gives away everything far too soon. It would have been nice to be able to be surprised as to what events were unfolding. I even chose this image over the wallpaper release, as that really spills the beans regarding key plot points. Even something like “Different Children” would have been better as a title.Continue reading

Pretty 🙂

Air: An Overview

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Air, it’s the story of a homeless man, Yukito, and his journey as he stops in a quaint little town by the beach. He is searching for the Winged Maiden (sounds so pretty, doesn’t it?), a woman his mother would tell him about as a child who was cursed and bound to the sky. He meets a young girl named Misuzu when stopping in this town, and suddenly everything changes for him. So that’s the basic plot line. Now you don’t have to quickly google it before reading this article.

The Air Anime

Story: The anime first appealed to me because it was short at only 13 episodes and because the artwork is stunning. Where the story is concerned, it’s sloppy and all over the place. The Winged Goddess story line is choppy and poorly explained…well maybe it isn’t but I was just bored by the time they got down to specifics. A huge reason for this is the large and pointless cast of secondary characters who are tolerable at their best and horribly annoying at their worst.

Characters: Misuzu, Haruko (Misuzu’s foster mother), and Yukito are all fairly well-developed characters. The problem is the obnoxious bunch of secondary characters who are supposed to make this a more dramatic show but make it slow and all over the place. Misuzu goes beyond your typical cute girl. Continue reading

While Naruto has been the bane of my existence recently (the annoying recap/flashback spanning multiple episodes), if the producers were simply working on this movie then it was definitely all worth it. Naruto movies have always been noted for bring pretty good (can’t say the same about the OVA’s) and this one was no different. This movie revolves around…. Hey! Instead of a boring synopsis, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so heres a video/trailer for ya! (Watch in HQ)

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As you can tell from the Trailer (assuming you watched it) Naruto gets accused of killing multiple people as well as for an assault on the Raikage resulting in him being sent to a shinobi prison. Now if you are an avid naruto fan throughout the the rest of this trailer your thoughts went something like this:

Of course poor goody goody Naruto couldn’t kill anyone so its clear he was framed but why? *pause* :O There seems so be something huge going on here *pause* :O Gamabunta (The Chief toad) was summonned which means there must be a really powerful enemy! *pause* :O Is that Killer Bee! *pause* OMG Sage Mode! *pause* ROARRRRR!!!! THIS IS GONNA BE EPIC! DOWNLOADD!! (or if you’re like me) WHERE CAN I STREAM THIS!!

Continue reading

:O Is that PIKACHU!!

Here’s another question I often get from other bloggers as well as a few acquaintances, “What made you like anime?”. And while I could go on about how anime has a greater ability to captivate and excite the viewer than ordinary shows/cartoons my answer is quite simple, Hayao Miyazaki. For those who have never heard of him before, he is the guy behind Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howls Moving Castle among other works, all being brilliant anime masterpieces. When it comes to anime, this is the guy with the Midas Touch (everything he touches turns to gold). Now let’s get back to the question at hand, the first anime I had ever seen was Princess Mononoke, while flicking through channels (a very long time ago) I came across it and being used to the average run of the mill cartoons at the time I was hooked. The rush of emotion ranging from joy, sadness and anticipation had me enthralled from start to finish and from that moment I knew I had to find more movies like that, and so began my search that lead me to be the anime enthusiast I am today (Quite a long into huh?).

While I intend to review all Miyazaki’s movies, for today our target is Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic era where Industrial civilization has been destroyed by nature. And by nature I mean huge indestructible bugs pissed at humans after years of waging war and destroying the planet. And after those bugs are done wreaking havoc they simply lay there, die of exhaustion and from their body grows forth a forest, toxic to humans and practically every other animal that isn’t a “toxic-forest” insect. The remaining humans, slowly being wiped out by said forest gather in small communities, surviving by farming and possessing a mixture of ancient and modern technology.Continue reading

top-10-anime-movies
Okay, so to start off here is my disclaimer. I’m not exactly the best out there at neither rating shows nor have I seen every anime movie out there (reason why I called it Façades to 10 anime list and not just ’The Top 10….”). What I have here is my personal list, if you disagree, leave a comment also if there’s a great movie that isn’t there please give your recommendation, I possibly just haven’t seen it and hey I’m always interested in looking at new shows J. Another note, this list consists of Anime Movies and not OVA’s so more than likely, if there is a corresponding series for a movie, it will not be considered. Okay enough stalling, here we go!Continue reading