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Haibane Renmei is one of the few animes that I actually like the music for. I can think of very few animes that I actually enjoy the music, but more than that the music was actually captivating. For most episodes I actually let the entire intro and outro credits play through while I was just mesmerised. I kind of felt a little bit of bordom here and there, but the ending was superb, and overall I enjoyed it a lot.

I saw it on the shelves of video stores for quite some time before the way you talked about it made me finally check it out, Guap. It kind of made me think about how mysterious real life is, and yet how we go through it taking so much for granted.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."




Blood Tea and Red String (2006)

Written, directed, and produced by Christiane Cegaveske, this film took her 13 years to make. There were no credits because she made it all herself, though Mark Growden did the music. And the music was quite enchanting. Blood Tea and Red String is all stop motion. It's an "adult" fairy tale about four creatures that dwell under an oak. Three mice commission them to build a doll for them, but they fall in love with their creation and refuse to sell it. The mice steal the doll in the night, and the oak dwellers go on a journey to try and recover it. It's quite the fantasy adventure, very charming and delightful. There is no dialogue, just the odd squack and squeek. It ran just over an hour in length, but the pace was not too fast. A lot of attention was paid to detail. The sets and characters were really beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it. A great film!







Blood Tea and Red String (2006)

Written, directed, and produced by Christiane Cegaveske, this film took her 13 years to make. There were no credits because she made it all herself, though Mark Growden did the music. And the music was quite enchanting. Blood Tea and Red String is all stop motion. It's an "adult" fairy tale about four creatures that dwell under an oak. Three mice commission them to build a doll for them, but they fall in love with their creation and refuse to sell it. The mice steal the doll in the night, and the oak dwellers go on a journey to try and recover it. It's quite the fantasy adventure, very charming and delightful. There is no dialogue, just the odd squack and squeek. It ran just over an hour in length, but the pace was not too fast. A lot of attention was paid to detail. The sets and characters were really beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it. A great film!



I love this film!



Haibane Renmei is one of the few animes that I actually like the music for.
I actually like j-pop, I don't love it like heavy metal music, but its better than American pop, for instance. Though the best soundtracks in animation are certainly orchestral, like Haibane Renmei and Hisaishi's work. I like these soundtracks way more than almost all Hollywood soundtracks, with the exception of Star Wars, Kubrick's films and Back to the Future. Overall though most film soundtracks are bad.

I saw it on the shelves of video stores for quite some time before the way you talked about it made me finally check it out, Guap. It kind of made me think about how mysterious real life is, and yet how we go through it taking so much for granted.
Its really great. Very spiritual stuff.




Armitage III: Dual-Matrix (2002)
Directed by Hiroyuki Ochi

I bought this movie in a recent re-release package titled Armitage III: The Complete Saga. It also included the original four OVA's and the remastered movie Armitage III: Poly-Matrix (the original OVA's compiled into a movie with some additions). I didn't watch all of Poly-Matrix because the "new additions" at the beginning did not appeal to me. To be fair I'd have to watch it all to make an honest evaluation, but I just wasn't getting a good vibe. My inclination was that the original OVA's were better on their own. Anyway, that's kind of beside the point. I'll move on and talk about Dual-Matrix.

The plot revolved around Armitage, a sentient artificially intelligent cyborg. It took place some years after the events of the original OVA's. Armitage married a human and gave birth to a human daughter (not a cyborg, or half-human/half-cyborg). Little explanation was given as to how this was possible, but even to the characters in the story it was a mystery. Over the course of the film Armitage embarked on a mission of her own initiative to uncover a sinister plot that threatened robot-kind and her family's safety.


Dual-Matrix was not quite as well drawn as the original OVA's, and lacked their gritty texture and atmosphere. The plot and character development were weak. The antagonists were cliche. The plausibility department was at 16-year-old fan-fiction level. Let me give an example: Armitage's daughter (I'm guessing she was around 6 years old) was revealed to be super intelligent later in the film to the shock and awe of her parents who apparently had not even realised their daughter had photographic memory let alone a higher IQ than any other human being on the planet in the entire history of the human race. There was mention that she was a purely normal human, but hints that she was exceptional. It was unfortunately not very reasonable that her parents would not have even noticed until that point. This is one of those films where things happen purely for the sake of tension or dramatic effect, and the characters' actual skills fluctuate inconsistently based solely on desired outcomes. The way a character started loosing a fight and then kicked it up a notch and started winning kind of reminded me of WWE wrestling in terms of how fake the back and forth was. The addition of 3D animation for some scenes may have looked half-decent back in 2002, but they have aged very poorly. They glare out of place next to the drawings.

Overall I didn't really get a lot of enjoyment out of the movie. I got some, but I honestly had to force myself to finish it for the sake of this review. I wanted to turn it off half way through. There were good elements, but overall I found it a bit boring, and my eyes rolled in the back of my head several times.

Rating:



The original Armitage III (Poly Matrix) I saw a LONG time ago. Once on the Sci Fi Channel censored and again on VHS via Blockbuster Video. The animation and character design was good (or so I thought at the time). But even then I thought the dialogue was off (I was watching the dub). Which makes sense since this stars the voice talents of Elizabeth "Showgirls" Berkeley. Whose acting is more "so bad it is good" then good in that film. In Armitage III, it came off more as just bad.

Never saw Duel Matrix.



They don't make anime like this anymore.
Maybe not the exact same, and not as continuous as you get with that one, but for instance the Rio-centric episodes of Sora no Woto (3 and 10) are very purely Haibane Renmei-ish for me, and the series holds various other similarities in tone and themes, specially when it leaves the light-hearted comedic mode and explores the character drama more seriously. The instrumental soundtrack helps a lot to establish this comparison, as well.



The original Armitage III (Poly Matrix) I saw a LONG time ago. Once on the Sci Fi Channel censored and again on VHS via Blockbuster Video. The animation and character design was good (or so I thought at the time). But even then I thought the dialogue was off (I was watching the dub). Which makes sense since this stars the voice talents of Elizabeth "Showgirls" Berkeley. Whose acting is more "so bad it is good" then good in that film. In Armitage III, it came off more as just bad.

Never saw Duel Matrix.
The Japanese dub is way better. I love the original OVA's of Armitage. Btw, Poly Matrix is not the original. Poly Matrix doesn't even have the option to switch to the Japanese dialogue. I think that's probably the main reason I didn't watch it now that I think about it. The voice acting was horrible.



Maybe not the exact same, and not as continuous as you get with that one, but for instance the Rio-centric episodes of Sora no Woto (3 and 10) are very purely Haibane Renmei-ish for me, and the series holds various other similarities in tone and themes, specially when it leaves the light-hearted comedic mode and explores the character drama more seriously. The instrumental soundtrack helps a lot to establish this comparison, as well.
It's true I liked that one. But there is the fact that stuff from 1995 up to 2005 was more atmospheric and sophisticated than the stuff made in the last 6-7 years on average, anime was more serious during it's golden age from the mid 1990's to the mid 2000's than it is now.

Sora no Woto is a bit lighter but it's true it has a very similar setting and rather similar atmosphere. I didn't notice that before. I love that kind of atmosphere.



18) When Marnie was There (2014)



Excellent Ghibli film this one. It's more sophisticated and psychologically deep than previous non-Miyazaki-Takahata films like Arriety and The Cat Returns. Truly excelent film overall. It features a certain ambiguity regarding the facts depicted on screen, it is as if the main character is schizophrenic.

One thing about ghibli's films is the artistic appreciation of animation. The recent Ghibli films feature perhaps the best animation quality of all time combined with very high amounts of detail. The animation is not 24 frames per second still, but it doesn't need to be and in fact, it's perhaps better to have the weird effect of 12 frames of animation per second, gives it a very characteristic effect, though in this case it's done perfectly. The movements are beautiful to look at and the art of the background paintings is perfectly done as usual.



I don't understand why one would like to make CGI animation when traditional animation looks so incredible in fact. A painting always looks better to me than a digital rendering, which looks like plastic. And the cost of production of this 100 minutes long film was pretty low, at 1.15 billion yen.

8/10



19) Goku Sayonara Setsubou Sensei (2008)



One of those direct to video animations that represent the bulk of the animated movies produced in the world. In Japan most animation during the 80's and 90's was produced direct to video instead of being produced for theatrical release, Miazaki said that's perhaps because people prefer to watch different types of movies at home or at the cinemas.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qxcqoCjRPTE

This title whose huge name I will not repeat is a quite fun comedy though its extremely fast editing characteristic of Akiyuki Shimbo's style here is pushed to an extreme. Its so fast and aggressive that I cannot fully stomach it. Also, its fully contained inside Japanese otaku culture hence its not accessible in its references to people who don't know the subculture.

My rating is 6/10.




Venus Wars (1989)
Directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

I love this movie. It's very well drawn and animated. This is one of the few animes that I actually prefer the English dubbing over the original Japanese. I think perhaps overall the voice acting in the Japanese is a bit more consistent, but there is a lot more emotion in the voices of the English voice actors. Also I don't know what the actual Japanese dialogue is, but the English subtitles suck. The most powerful, emotional scenes in the film are completely ruined by the dialogue in the subtitles and the lack of emotion in the Japanese. Those scenes, with the English dubbing, actually give me goosebumps. The plot revolves around Hiro, a member of a team of bikers who play a very aggressive racing sport. When their city is taken over by the enemy their lives are turned upside down. A reporter from Earth also gets involved with them as they try to make a stand against the enemy. The characters are charming, and the battle scenes are really cool.

Rating:





20) Pupi Puni Poemi (2001)



This two part OVA is a extremely frenetic piece of satire of the magical girl genre. It's adult indeed though also characterized by juvenile sensibilities as typical of otaku anime, which provide a very characteristic mix of emotions, something that is indeed unique to anime among all the stuff I watched so far.



To call it crazy is to be conservative when reviewing it.



Though the narrative makes complete sense I had to stop and rewind several parts because I couldn't read the subtitles at such fast speed.



8/10, excellent overall. It's famous for a reason indeed.



21) Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (1995)



Among the most mediocre OVAs I ever watched. I liked the visuals a little bit, the rest is awful.



I didn't pay attention to much of it as well, though some parts were funnier than others. Overall it's a pretty weak shounen comedy.

4/10



22) Agent Aika (1997)



Agent Aika is sort of a cult classic. It's essentially a comedy action OVA that features extremely excessive amounts of fan service. Indeed, it's the main distinctive characteristic and why it's famous.

Aika is sort of a freelance detective/spy like James Bond but unlike James Bond, half of the time she is beating up other girls and carrying then around by their asses.



Plot is typical of a James Bond movie in fact, the villain hopes to kill all life on earth except his and his 200 sex slaves. Like most old adult anime, it's very cheesy and aggressive.


The animation is also excellent and the art is very good as well featuring a lot of detail. A genuine classic of animation.

8/10



23) Starship Troppers (1988)



And yet another OVA classic, this time an adaptation of the classic science fiction novel by Heinlein. However, differently from the Hollywood movie, this OVA is a faithful adaptation of the novel, even containing all the technological elements which were first shown in the novel such as powered armor (I believe the first time the concept was used in science fiction, now a standard concept widely used everywhere in sci fi).

Johnny Rico:


Though despite it's attempt to be a faithful adaptation of the novel, the low animation quality, art detail and lack of good direction and writing dommed this OVA to obscurity and mediocrity. Indeed, among the weakest OVAs I ever watched.



5/10



Registered User
22) Agent Aika (1997)



Agent Aika is sort of a cult classic. It's essentially a comedy action OVA that features extremely excessive amounts of fan service. Indeed, it's the main distinctive characteristic and why it's famous.



Aika is sort of a freelance detective/spy like James Bond but unlike James Bond, half of the time she is beating up other girls and carrying then around by their asses.



Plot is typical of a James Bond movie in fact, the villain hopes to kill all life on earth except his and his 200 sex slaves. Like most old adult anime, it's very cheesy and aggressive.



The animation is also excellent and the art is very good as well featuring a lot of detail. A genuine classic of animation.

8/10
People only watch that to appreciate it to appreciate the cute facial expressions :P

Also that's basically softcore porn - surprised those images are allowed here. If someone was posting actual up-skirt shots, or women wearing just lingerie I doubt it'd be allowed on this site. That makes "Charlie's Angels" look like the 700 Club.

(And yeah, I did make a thread asking about good erotic websites, but I didn't post any photos or links).



Registered User
Well at least Guap's Starship Troopers anime looks pretty cool - more anime about robots, less about skimpy school girls.

The characters in the "Venus Wars" movie that Zotis posted also look a lot more slick and less exploitative, more like what you'd expect in a Western action movie.



A system of cells interlinked
Haibane Renmei and Lain are both fantastic. The first episode of Lain is one of my favorite pieces of animation of all time. By the way, I did dig up a copy of Angel's Egg, but haven't had a chance to watch yet.
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