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Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Too bad. If you ever decide to give it another go I recomend the release order rather than the chronological order as it will space out the story throughout the entire show and thus space out the best bits. Release order: 0,1,2,7,3,9,8,10,13,4,12,11,5,6
I friggen' hate when they do that. That just turns me off more.

Originally Posted by Clazor
Have you seen 'Firefly'? If so, did you like it? If so, I think you'll like this.
They may both be genre-mashups, but I seriously doubt an anime can tickle the itch Firefly tries to scratch.

Originally Posted by Clazor
Hellsing Ultimate
More or less the manga put to screen, so I liked it. See previous statement regarding Seras.
It's to the show's benefit that it didn't adopt directly from the manga. I was IMMEDIATELY turned off by the "are you a virgin?" bit. That's fanservice right out of the gate, and that it's accompanied by such ridiculous terminology as "Draculina" doesn't help it's case in the slightest. The comedy just feels completely out of place here.

Originally Posted by Clazor
Nausicań of the valley of the wind
Will read.
Not saying don't read, but definitely watch.
__________________
"Well, at least your intentions behind the UTTERLY DEVASTATING FAULTS IN YOUR LOGIC are good." - Captain Steel
Movies / Anime / Ultimate Showdown / Veg*nism / Action 2015



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



What are you watching from this season Omni?
I'm afraid you've mistaken me for someone who keeps up with trends.

You see, while everyone else is suckin' on the teets of the latest and greatest, I'm diggin' up old gold like THIS:





What do you think of classic shonens like Dragonball, One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Yuyu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter? (just to name a few)
__________________
I do not speak english perfectly so expect some mistakes here and there in my messages



What do you think of classic shonens like Dragonball
Read it way back in the day. Never really watched it. The machismo eventually got way too ridiculous, though my memory of it is unclear.

Originally Posted by Pussy Galore
One Piece
Never been interested. Never found it funny and it's serious narrative is undermined by how ridiculous it tries to be. It can be creative, but I'm not sold on the story or any of the characters.

Originally Posted by Pussy Galore
Naruto
Absolute must-read. Getting Bones to animate it is probably one of the best things ever, but the anime in general drags ON and ON and ON is packed with garbage filler. A collection of the fight scenes only would be amazing.

Originally Posted by Pussy Galore
Bleach
The premise and tone really interested me right out of the gate, I've seen the first episode several times, but I've never pursued too terribly far, particularly because it's been accused of falling off the wagon like Naruto and One Piece to make the "mainstream anime trinity".

Originally Posted by Pussy Galore
Yuyu Hakusho
Full series review here.

Originally Posted by Pussy Galore
and Hunter x Hunter?
Haven't seen, mainly because I'm not fond of the art style. If it's anything like early Yu Yu Hakusho it should be solid.



I don't know why people said Bleach's manga lost interest in the Big War, it seems really cool I don't read manga so I hope they animate it next year or something The only thing I know is that it kind of started having a lot of deaths and that always breaks the maintream of "every protagonist is alive"

I don't like many of the new animes but I always have one episode a day to keep me entertained Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu is a gem. Then now it's also the continuation of D. Gray-man that I was waiting for so long And then my favorite category, drama, with Dangaronpa! which isn't that awesome but it's cool to keep you busy. And of course the new anime of ONE, the creator of One Punch Man. But what can I say, I like the new animations and Handa-kun made me watch Barakamon, that is a really emotional anime/comedy





Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Fantasy Action Drama / 2016

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
For the Action Movie Countdown.

SPEAKING of Final Fantasy, Kingsglaive just came out and it hasn't been mentioned ANYWHERE on these forums. Considering Advent Children is one of my all-time favorites despite being adapted from a game I hate and this movie carries that aura of skepticism that comes with trying to market a movie adaption before it's game has even come out yet, I'm not sure. These are all new characters and for all I know the whole movie could be a crap drama with writing as bad as Final Fantasy XIII.

This movie has a LOT to prove if it wants to wash out that bad taste I have from TWO video games in a row while also trying to hype me for a game I've intentionally avoided having spoiled for me. How does Kingsglaive fair?

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
*deep inhale* THAT WAS SOME WICKED SICK **** YO.

I'm dead serious, it's an absolute ****ing shame that this movie is almost certainly miss the Action Movie Countdown because it deserves a spot WELL ABOVE the vast majority of movies I've seen nominated so far.

I'm talkin' about a movie that opens with monsters and robots in an all-out siege against mages that can teleport, turn invisible, and group summon FIRE TORNADOS and ends with a city-destroying clash of titans that can leap into the sky and PUNCH OUT AIRSHIPS.

What in the ****, this movie was friggen' EPIC! People must be eating it up.



Pardon me while I spend the remainder of this review VERBALLY DESTROYING SOME FOOLS.


Originally Posted by Christian Holub
Instead of trying to adapt the video game experience into a film format, Kingsglaive transforms the movie-going experience into something familiar to video game fans. It's essentially a really long cutscene.
You know what cutscenes are, right? They're non-interactive audiovisuals where narrative and action can develop independent of the player. It's a MOVIE and you're criticizing it for being A MOVIE.

Originally Posted by Noel Murray
The film's convoluted plot and dense mythology ... may leave even "Final Fantasy" devotees scratching their heads.
I'm sorry, CONVOLUTED? Okay, hand it over. Do it. Give me the word, you're clearly incapable of using it.

"Convoluted" is a word we save for David Lynch movies, Kingdom Hearts, and BlazBlue, it has absolutely no place here. And to all you ****S who think the story is more important that the game, then you TOO have proven yourself too immature to handle the word, "GAME", where the **** do you think Tetris and Pac-Man got without a story, you thick ****s?

Dude gave a 4/5 to The Raid 2. His criticism of the narrative in an action movie can officially **** right off.

Originally Posted by Soren Anderson
The narrative content of "Kingsglaive" is a barely coherent muddle.
Okay, seriously, WAS IT THAT HARD TO FOLLOW???

This isn't Inception-level ****, I went into this movie completely blind and anyone who reads this reviews would know I am absolutely TERRIBLE with remembering names and I can summarize the plot right here and now:

WARNING: "Kingsglaive" spoilers below
Kingsglaive is named after the elite military force under command of the King Regus, father of Noctis, the unseen protagonist of the upcoming video game and a royal bloodline with the unique ability to bestow magic, in particular the unique ability to Blink to wherever a given weapon is thrown. Regus rules over the kingdom of Lucin and the central city of Insomnia which is at war with the empire of Niflheim. Libertus and Nyx are members of Kingsglaive and unaware that the majority of their order are treacherously in aid of the invading Niflheim empire as a result of the King's desperate treaty which concedes their home territory.

The treaty Niflheim offers is secretly meant to lure away the Kingsglaive by stealing back the lost princess which they feigned to gift in marriage to Regus's son, Noctis, as a token of goodwill only to steal the crystal powering Lucin which disables the magic "New Wall" a defense shield which has throttled their invasion up to now.

The King controls an invaluable ancient ring which grants communion with the past kings who grant untold power to those deserving and will smite any who take it out of greed. After Nyx discovers the plot and rescues the princess he takes the ring and restores the "Old Wall" which consists of the various giant statues around the city of Insomnia coming to life and wrecking the giant monster that Niflheim controls (which I believe someone called Diamond Weapon or something, it's never named).


Granted the story isn't perfect; it's somewhat predictable (rather the OPPOSITE of incoherent) there's numerous mentions of the character of Noctis who never appears, Nyx's sister dying seems like a completely unnecessary backstory to monologue about in the third act, the dialog in general is a bit heavy on the melodramatic "power comes to those who deserve it" ********, and there are even a spare couple instances where characters arrive at slightly contrived conclusions.

Other then that though, NO, this was by no means a difficult to follow, convoluted, let alone incoherent story, that's utter ****, you're just BAD at movies. You have no idea how messy a narrative can get.

"Save the world" how?
What's threatening the entire world?
Why doesn't anyone use invisibility again?

THESE are good questions, be critical of THOSE, the plot at large doesn't need your help, thank you very much.

Originally Posted by Frank Swietek
If the look of the movie should please fans, the plot is an absolute muddle-an unholy brew of flotsam and jetsam that ranges from Wagnerian motifs and garbled Latin names...to bits of 'Star Wars' and 'The Lord of the Rings.'
On the Lord of the Rings side it DOES ape it hardcore with Sean Bean actually voicing King Regus, WHO DIES. IN THE CHEST. And they even throw in the line, "so many dead over so simple a thing" while one of the characters is looking down at the ring in their hand and tempted to wear it.



PFF!! PLEASE, movie, what are you like a fan of Lord of the Rings or something?

Oh, wait a second, it seems that

Final Fantasy was inspired by Ultima,

which was inspired by Dungeons & Dragons,

which was inspired by Lord of the Rings.

PLAGIARISM!!!

Nah, seriously, this was a kickass movie and I will most certainly be seeing it again. And yes, it does excite me for the game, that blink mechanic was friggen' awesome just to watch.


Final Verdict:
[Pretty Good]
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Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
Thoughts on Gurren Lagann or Gungrave? Seems interesting and have heard good things. Anything you have seen?


__________________
Why not just kill them? I'll do it! I'll run up to Paris - bam, bam, bam, bam. I'm back before week's end. We spend the treasure. How is this a bad plan?



Thoughts on Gurren Lagann or Gungrave? Seems interesting and have heard good things. Anything you have seen?
Gungrave is originally a video game which I've played. It's very repetitive and doesn't really entice me to watch the anime.

Gurren Lagann is really well animated, but it failed to impress me on two major fronts.

1.) The prevailing theme of "manhood" holds significantly LESS than no interest to me and Kamina, the caricature that he is, was unable to sell me on it even ironically.

2.) The first episode, which I've already emphasized to be a keystone in determining whether an anime will be worth my time or not didn't interest me, especially in comparison to Trigger's second anime, Kill la Kill, which caught my attention in mere SECONDS.

While Kill la Kill is a transparent parody from square one, Gurren Lagann is trying to set up an original world which has to be interesting on it's own, and it isn't. Yet.

To convey us through it is to depend on it's characters and the main trio did not interest me whatsoever. Kamina is by far the most charismatic of the three, but his overbearing insistence on "being a man" is at once and perpetually annoying. His target is the main protagonist, Simon, who REEKS of viewer surrogate.

I don't mind viewer surrogates, I think they're important, but that shouldn't define their character, and I'll defer my surface criticism (based on my impression given episode 1) to Digibro who made the video below which details the issues with generic male anime protagonists.

The third character is Yoko, who I simply don't like. She's shallow walking ass-candy narratively contrived to collide with Kamina's dick. I don't like her and as a female protagonist she's a far cry from both Ryuko and Mako in Kill la Kill.

Arguments could probably be made that the story and characters are deeper than they appear, but the first episode did not convince me to even see the second, so I'll pass, as cool as Trigger-animated mecha battles sound.



You're free to take that as an open recommendation for Kill la Kill if you'd like. It's a fair bit longer than it needs to be and there's the rare dreg of tastelessness, but overall it's a favorite of mine, for it's animation, for it's music, for it's action, for it's comedy, for it's themes, and especially for it's characters.





Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
Guaporense
Gurren Lagann is the best stuff. I haven't watched Gungrave.
Nice, strengthens my first impressions on Gurren Lagann, at least.

Omnizoa
Gurren Lagann is really well animated, but it failed to impress me on two major fronts.

1.) The prevailing theme of "manhood" holds significantly LESS than no interest to me and Kamina, the caricature that he is, was unable to sell me on it even ironically.

2.) The first episode, which I've already emphasized to be a keystone in determining whether an anime will be worth my time or not didn't interest me, especially in comparison to Trigger's second anime, Kill la Kill, which caught my attention in mere SECONDS.
But this is also somthing to consider. Looks like I'll have to do some more digging before I decide either way.

Omnizoa
You're free to take that as an open recommendation for Kill la Kill if you'd like. It's a fair bit longer than it needs to be and there's the rare dreg of tastelessness, but overall it's a favorite of mine, for it's animation, for it's music, for it's action, for it's comedy, for it's themes, and especially for it's characters.
Have had my eye on Kill la kill already, this might tip me into taking a closer look. Didn't know it had the same creators, though.

Thank you both for the input, very helpful.





Neo Tokyo
Sci-Fi Fantasy / 1987

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
For the Action Movie Countdown.

Supposedly a cyberpunk classic.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
I don't like anthology movies. The biggest problem with them is they're inherently inconsistent.

We got three shorts by three different directors here, I'll just give a brief synopsis of each.

1.) Labyrinth Labyrinthos
Directed by Rintaro, who brought us 2001's Metropolis, Doomed Megalopolis, and Astro Boy, it would seem we have a prime candidate to bring us a cyberpunk story, but what we get isn't cyberpunk at all.

It's just some trippy fever dream about a girl and a cat who visit Cirque Du Soleil: World's Away. I have to admit I found the creative surreal visuals very appealing, by far the most appealing of the three, apparently an Atsuko Fukushima is to blame. Will have to seek out more of her work.

2.) Running Man
Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, creator of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Ninja Scroll, and Wicked City, which I've been meaning to see, it definitely shows. Problem is, despite being the only real cyberpunk short of the three, it's easily the least interesting.

It's just some anecdote about a telekinetic racer who's built stress, resulting from life-or-death racing, results in repeating the exactly same animation of his eyes going white and his mouth getting stupid wide as all the racers cars blow to pieces. He crosses the finish line dead or something. It's a very "this happened once" kinda story. Okay. That happened.

3. Construction Cancellation Order
Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of Akira (need I say more?), honestly this easily the best of the three simply because it's the most coherently told story.

Dude gets dropped off at the robot-run manufacturing plant and he becomes trapped by the irritable productivity-obsessed robots that run the place, which, in an effort to meet their quotas by a certain time, are falling apart at a frightening rate.

Overall I got nothing out of this anthology save a name that might lead me to better experiences down the road. Notable for it's talent and animation quality, but hardly anything else.


Final Verdict:
[Meh...]






Dimension Bomb
Art Short / 1987

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
I looked up Atsuko Fukushima and as far as I can tell she's only been the animation director of 1 other project and it's ALSO a short and it's ALSO part of an anthology movie called Genius Party: Beyond.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
This is another really trippy-as-**** movie. There's APPARENTLY an actual plot summary online, not that any of it is even REMOTELY telegraphed in the movie.

A lot of very pretty surreal imagery combined with non-sequitur voiceovers and the only perceptive chain of events being incoherent.

I like it's use of music, and again, the animation and style is really neat, but I can only imagine at the possibilities if Atsuko directed with an actual script on hand.


Final Verdict:
[Meh...]






Patlabor: The Movie
Sci-Fi Mystery / 1989

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
For the Action Movie Countdown.

Supposedly a classic, let's see if it deserves that status.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
It does not.

Fishing, Pizza, Dogs, this was a remarkably boring movie.

It's all about this police investigation into the cause of random Labors', this world's buzzword for mechs, going berserk.

It's mostly a mystery story and it's preeetty dull. The characters are dull, the story is dull, the colors are dull, the animation is dull, it picks up a bit at the end, but that hardly excuses the rest.

Frankly, the story is terrible given that the third act completely shoots itself in the kneecaps with the sudden and inexplicable rapid-fire plotholes that come wheeling right out of ****in' nowhere.

So apparently they figure out, oh-excuse me BASELESSLY SPECULATE CORRECTLY, that the Labors are being set off by a certain sound frequency.

First off, considering that this is supposed to be caused by a secret computer virus by some random dude with a hard-on for the Bible (I like how they talk about Jehovah as "one of the gods of the Bible") clearly intent to cause destruction, WHY make it so inefficient and unreliable that it explicitly depends on the wind currents running through big buildings?

Really? That's our master plan to destroy the city? Occasional gusts of WIND?

How about, I dunno... a TIMER? Nobody can read this code without spreading a virus, which should be MORE THAT ENOUGH PROBABLE CAUSE to recall all of the operating Labors, so what's the fear? Seriously;

If currentDate >= doomDate then ESPLODE.


It can't possibly be that hard, BUT WAIT! It gets better.

So apparently there's no way to move all of the Labors in time to avoid a typhoon that is predicted to trigger Labors citywide, okay, so turn them off, right? Why move them at all?

Oh, but you can't turn them off, because the frequency will turn them back on. BECAUSE REASONS.

WHAT?? Why in the **** can't you power down the Labor and stop them from going rampant? What, do the super audio sensors STAY ON when the powers off like an Xbox One, so you can say, "Labor On"? Is it like The Clapper?

Turn that ****in' feature OFF! Or even just turn off the sound sensors! You can't MUTE your microphone? Ya ****in' kidding me?

Oh, no you can't do dat, da microdaphone is unturnoffable. Okay, fine, then... REMOVE THE LABOR'S BATTERY THEN!

Oh, no, you can't do that either cause... ppppphhhbhbhbhphppbtttt I DUNNO, they lost the special screwdriver you need to pop it open!?

What in the ****!? Are these designed like Mac computers, you gotta replace the whole damn thing if any one part breaks? Isn't this NEW TECHNOLOGY? You didn't make it in such a way that you could pay a engineer to run around the city for a day and snip a few wires?

NO, no, see, the one true problem here is clearly the big new building they made called "The Ark". See, the Ark is all fulla holes and they're just perfect for creating that frequency we totally just assumed to be the cause of all these Labor malfunctions.

FORTUNATELY, it is destructible. We can destroy it and save the city.

As opposed to the LABORS. Nah, that'd be too hard. No, see, the Ark is perfect to destroy because the storm would do a really poor job of concealing the fact that we're destroying our own property in order to prevent our own ****up from becoming public even though our ****up is VERY MUCH PUBLIC.

Yeah, so we'll just destroy The Ark, that'll do it. And the easiest way to do that is to take advantage of it's emergency fire prevention measures which drop entire sections of the building into the water.



I-I-I'm sorry, whuwuwuwhy the **** do you think you can prevent the damage of spreading flame by destroying ENTIRE FLOORS OF THE BUILDING IN QUESTION???

O-o-o-o-o-once again, we're met with an outrageously extreme solution to what should be a simple problem.

Audio bug? BLOW UP A SKYSCRAPER.

Fire? OCEAN. DONE, BITCH!

Right, they even say that as they drop blocks that it should reduce the opportunity for wind tunnels to form.

Yeah, okay, that works, sure, but you know what else works? FIRE DOORS.

So they start dropping floors and suddenly they go "OH NO! Moving large parts of the building have increased wind circulation and triggered the resident Labors!"

*FACEPALM*

So at this point the police need to use their own Labors to fight and-wait-why are their Labors immune?

Oh, hang on, they said something about having a different OS which was very poorly conveyed? But then one of them goes berserk anyway. WHY?

Oh, it's a... special "Zero Type" or some ****, okay, why did you take that ******** into this situation if it was vulnerable to the virus?

Nah, see the pilot literally ripped out the OS and the virus just infected the ram.


...


THAT'S NOT HOW ANYTHING WORKS.


Final Verdict:
[Just... Bad]

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Mardock Scramble:
The First Compression

Sci-Fi Action Drama / 2010

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
For the Action Movie Countdown.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
Mardock Scramble is pretty easy on the eyes and it's a refreshing shift from the Patlabor school of sci-fi, but unfortunately it's attempts at a deep and provoking narrative fall a bit flat.

It sets up Main Girl who after a history of being sexually molested by her father which triggers her brother to kill her father, all of which she blames herself for, she accepts help from a serial killer who decides to use her to his satisfaction before suffocating her in a car, BLOWING HER UP, and using her ashes to make a ring for himself.

This is the set-up for her resurrection and it's a pretty heady mess. It's way too extreme right off the bat for me relate with this character who has no depth to her and her resurrection into an artificial body with durable skin, super reflexes, and an inability to speak normally do... pitifully little to help me relate to her, and when her best friend turns out to be artificial transforming gold mouse named "îufcoque"... yeah, it's kinda hard to penetrate this relationship.

The backbone here is that the two characters are so alien in the world that it's difficult to find their place in and they bond over their shared isolation, I was reading a book not long ago not unlike this called The Golem and the Djinni, thing is, The Golem and the Djinni sets both characters up with valuable inner monologues and distinct personalities. While îufcoque (or "Offcock" as seems to be pronounced) feels as stock as can be, Main Girl seems to be in a struggle to develop a personality at all. Now, I can understand that from a narrative standpoint, she is a relative new "person", and frankly I found her most likable (or perhaps only likable) when goes totally sadistic on her... rapists... (did he ever actually rape her?) associates...? Whatever, they're all out to exploit her for their own pleasure, so she gets a kick out of ripping them apart, I can dig that.



These villains though, good GOD they came out of the woodwork.

The movie just seems to be a relatively flat drama and then OUT OF NOWHERE we got this line-up of bad guys who are buddies with the prosecution (by the way, what in the hell is with this whole court subplot anyway? The impetus for it occurs entirely offscreen, I don't get it.).

First we got "Medium the Fingernail" who collects fingers,

"Rare the Hair" who collects scalps,

"Mincemeat the Wink" who's seeded their body with eyeballs,

"Flesh the Pike" who's grafted breasts all over his chest,

and finally, "Welldone the Pussyhand" and it's EXACTLY what you think it is.


Final Verdict:
[Meh...]

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Ghost in the Shell:
The New Movie

Sci-Fi Action Mystery / 2015

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
For the Action Movie Countdown.

The sequel/spin-off movie to the prequel/reboot Ghost in the Shell: Arise anime series.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
"You are a super-wizard-class hacker!"

I really wanted to be able to say that The New Movie, clearly better marketed as a loose prequel to the original Ghost in the Shell, solves that movies biggest problems, i.e. the rambly-as-**** exposition.

At first it seems like the movie's a bit easier to follow than most GitS spins, it's a typical corporate espionage mystery that all comes down to some metaphysical ideations, this time it's about the technological deadend of prosthetics and robot heaven, or as they call it "The Third World" where everything is data.

It's a rather interesting thought; it makes sense that this idea would arise (pun acknowledged) from a society heavily composed of increasingly artificial people and it rather prompts the question if this "world of data" is not simply the world as-is? Practically everything we know of is in some way reduceable to 0s and 1s. Woulda liked to have had that ponderance confirmed by the movie.

Unfortunately, despite a refreshingly trippy opening montage of young cyborgs and foreshadowing it doesn't take long for this GitS to feel very worn in.

A couple twists in the narrative are all to obviously given away with foreshadowing and even a plot involving a Kusanagi doppelganger does little to shake the tremendously stale scenes of characters without any background music just expositioning at each other.

There's maybe around 7 plot-relevant characters besides the main team which appears in full and hardly any of them, least of which their organizations of research development projects, are memorable. There was a "MOC" and a "MOD" and I'm not still not entirely sure what either of them were.



The one seriously redeeming aspect of this movie is the action and tech sequences, which despite never quite reaching the peak level of animation quality on offer by the original GitS (astoundingly), they're still quite solid. The action is interesting, not just because of the tactics on employ, but also because of it's visualization of tech and some noticeably raw sound effects.

We get a pleasingly expanded look at how tech works in this world from occasional first-person views, of both goodies and baddies, as well as some interesting visualizations of hacking.

Something I was particularly fond of, even if it messes heavily with continuity, is the proto-Tachikomas called Logikomas. They're more blocky so they haven't yet entered the iPod-phase of development, but as part of this they're actually armed with shields which they have connect to erect emergency barricades which... just makes an incredible amount of sense, it's too bad they got rid of that feature 30 years ago.

Despite ending on a prelude to the original GitS movie, The New Movie feels like a sendup in the best and worst ways. It's loyal addition to the series, but it's loyalty suffers for it's pre-Innocence-level exposition, which does little to divert attention away from significant narrative failures such as when they swap in the real Motoko, when as far as we know she died so what we're looking at must be the imposter, without any warning, and of course the ending which signs off on the death of the villain who we last see... safe? At the bottom of a giant cylindrical room filled with water for some alien reason?

MUST BE DEAD. I DUNNO.


Interesting Trivia: Mary McGlynn, the English voice actress who normally plays Motoko, the protagonist actually plays the antagonist in this movie. Which is fitting, even though she dies immediately...


Final Verdict:
[Meh...]

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Angel's Egg
Sci-Fi Fantasy Art / 1985

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
Saw a passing Twitter comment mentioning how good it was and I was intrigued by screenshots.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
Born of the philosophical meanderings of Ghost in the Shell's Mamoru Oshii and the heavily stylized logo art and original character designs of Final Fantasy Yo****aka Amano, as well as the talented animators at 1980s Studio DEEN, we already having the makings of a serious AAA-production quality anime.

How is it? It's... suitably odd.

First off, the least controversial thing I can say about the movie is that it looks absolutely fantastic. Still shots of the movie don't do justice to the fantastic animation which reaches and even surpasses Studio Ghibli-level work and the distinctly 80s stock anime sound effects (as you would hear in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) really help cement the often silent soundtrack that periodically breaks into a melancholic choir. This combined with the peculiar visuals of the landscape make for a truly moody piece and very easy to get sucked in immediately.

This, however, will not last long for less patient viewers and over-skeptics like myself will eventually find the extraordinarily slow start to the movie reason enough to check your watch.

It takes a whole 24 minutes until the words are actually spoken in the movie and it's shortly after that the only fleeting indication of a plot conflict appears.

The deal is we have a weird future dystopic landscape wrought with metal carnage, giant skeletons, and a massive eyeball covered in statues descends from the sky. Nameless Man looks on as we cut to a large transparent egg in a tree as it's deformed bird-like inhabitant is about to wake.

Transitioning from our cold open we see Nameless Girl awaken and attend to a large egg which she babysits throughout the movie. She wanders the streets a while and eventually encounters the Nameless Man who follows her. When she leaves her egg to approach him, he offers her egg to her, having stolen it, and warns her to keep it safe. After refusing to disclose to him what's in the egg he persists in following her and appears to be generally protective of her, especially when strange undead-like fisherman begin running up and down the empty streets to chase down shadows of fish.

That's effectively the halfway point of the movie. I'm serious. So little is said and so little happens, it wouldn't even be fair to say I'm skipping anything, that's genuinely the entire plot of the movie so far. It's clearly evident that the emphasis was on the art style and mood and the movie really is animation porn much of the time, but sometimes the movie just pauses on a frame of animation to depict stillness and they hold it for nearly as egregiously as Kara No Kyoukai does. That budget definitely seems to come and go in waves. At one point the movie seriously appears to sit on a fire for around a minute as nothing else happens. To be fair it could be seen as build up to the climax of the movie, but it hardly even seems that way at first.

Eventually Nameless Man explains how he doesn't remember things and tells a variation of the story of Noah's Ark, emphasizing the bird that was sent out to find land, but never returned and the Ark's inhabitants forgot they had even sent it. Nameless Girl reassures him that the bird does exist and shows him a creepy as **** skeleton of an angel, saying what hatches from the egg is to be given to her, to which he just says "that's what I thought".

...Oh really?

I'm gladly you're caught up with your own story, movie, but it'd sure be nice if you could clue the audience into the plot, eh?



Eventually eventually, Nameless Girl falls asleep, rolls away from her egg, and as promised (or rather never promised) Nameless Man takes the egg and smashes it with the metallic crucifix he carries around like a samurai.

Well thanks, dick.

Girl wakes up, finds the pieces, starts cries out in anguish.

Really startin' to feel uncomfortable.

She runs out after the man and just as she catches up to him she inexplicably falls into a ravine, drowns, her air bubbles become eggs, and the giant eye space ship rises out of the ocean with her as a new statue on it. Slowly zoom out to reveal land is vaguely potato shaped, which is definitely meaningful.

CREDITS.

...WELL THAT'S JUST SWELL AIN'T IT?

See, I was worried this would happen from the beginning of the movie. Not specifically THIS, of course, just that, after you take 24 minutes ingratiating a viewer into a world with pure sound and visuals, I kinda DON'T WANT PLOT to screw it up, ya know?

This is my thing with Eraserhead too, if you want just a surreal experience sorta movie, that's fine, I can appreciate that, but when you got symbolism dripping off the screen and are clearly making biblical allegories with a whole lotta "I don't remember, maybe I don't even exist" type-a-******** dialog, then I want that movie to end with some ****in' ANSWERS, NOT MORE QUESTIONS.

Apparently, Oshii had "lost his faith" in Christianity shortly before making the movie. The best I think I can safely make of that is draw a comparison between losing faith and the Nameless Man betraying Nameless Girl's trust. Perhaps his advice to "keep precious things inside you or else you'll lose them" has a parallel to Oshii exposing his beliefs to the daylight of scrutiny, and in turn, their emptiness is laid bare like how the egg is never shown to contain anything.

See, if I could sincerely believe that, I could really appreciate that scene for the metaphor it's trying to portray, right? But I'm just spitballing. It's conjecture, speculation, I don't know, and if the guy sat down and explained each individual scene to me in a manner that made sense I'm sure I'd really like the movie, but that's not happening, and the movie's not written in such a way where, like Paranoia Agent, the biggest mysteries are relatively explained and the rest I'm compelled to puzzle over.

Because of that it's just not intellectually stimulating. There's a middle ground between handing me a list of spoilers and asking me to interpret an abstract painting without ever telling me what it was intended to convey.

All told, it's worth a watch for the animation alone.


Final Verdict:
[Meh...]

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A Silent Voice
Romantic Drama / Japan / 2016

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
I've seen non-specific praise given to this movie and knowing that it features a relationship with a cute deaf main character brings to mind the best parts of Katawa Shoujo and the narrative potential there.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
"I can't hear."

GAAAAAAAAHHHH

This is the noise I make then great opportunity goes wasted.

A Silent Voice cements it's gimmick pretty quickly, there's a new girl in elementary school and she's deaf. At first she's presented as a quirky peculiarity among the regular students, but eventually I guess people just get intolerant of having to interact with her through her notebook or side lessons involving sign language to the point that characters who were previously proactively helpful towards her just straight up resort to bullying.

I really don't know if this was the intended mood the movie meant to convey, I thought I was following a Relateable Male Protagonist, but surprise, he's actually a Awful Douchebag. I was confused as to how this movie was supposed to go because I see a couple possible avenues:

In Kotoura-san, Kotoura is mercilessly ostracized by her parents and classmates and becomes an extreme social outcast until the doofy male lead comes into her life and slowly lights it up.

In Kimi ni Todoke, Sawako is already a social outcast but becomes increasingly attached to the male lead over time as their relationship slowly develops.

Here, given the atmosphere I had assumed that the male lead was our usual doof, but would find his sensitive side interacting with Deaf Girl, but instead he just sort of observes her from afar and becomes absolutely vicious towards her any time she tries to interact. Even after this same guy makes a habit of ripping her hearing aids out and throwing her books in the fountain, Deaf Girl is still ceaseless nice, unphased, and apologetic to him, to the point that she seems totally unrealistic as a character.

After a certain point our "hero" is called out for bullying Deaf Girl and losing/damaging over 8 of her ******* hearing aids that he ends up getting bullied too (which is not altogether clear at first because it's edited like ****).

Fast forward into high school or college and Main Guy has nothing going for him, to the point that he wants to kill himself. One day he walks into Deaf Girl again and the movie starts for real, with him wanting to make amends with her and struggling against his old social circle and Deaf Girl's family to get along.



There's a whole subplot about him coming out of his shell and interacting his ordinary people which infuriatingly dominates the movie by the end of it.

We see Deaf Girl's mom straight up hate his guts on sight, we see Bully Girl come back and be just the absolute worst sort of human being to Deaf Girl and, and we see Deaf Girl struggle to eek out a confession to Main Guy, but get rebuffed because she struggles to articulate herself, all leading up to a dramatic scene where she abandons him at a festival, goes home, and attempts to jump from the balcony.

We can infer why she feels so bad about herself, but the movie's attempts to articulate her motivations are poor and confusing, of course, Main Guy arrives just in time to see her try to kill herself and manages to save her life while falling over the rails himself. One would think he died and that this is one of those damnable bittersweet endings, but no, in fact he survived, and the movie's not gonna end for a while.

The movie's already hit it's climax, it's made us sympathize with the two main leads, got us to want them to get together, already teased a love confession, but none of that ultimately comes to pass. Bully Girl NEVER gets her comeuppance despite being an awful person in both incarnations in which she appears, the movie begins stressing out about how Main Guy has friends now, even though he's really only got one friend apart from Deaf Girl and her family, and the other three characters are just there for some reason.

And it all ends with him attending yet another festival and bursting into tears after opening himself up to people around him, which the movie makes allusions to being like he's begun to listen for the first time.

I wouldn't have an issue with this kind of shoe-on-the-other-foot scenario if it felt like they were building up to this, but it doesn't feel like that at all. They use Xs on peoples' faces to show who Main Guy has closed himself off to, but they appear and drop multiple times throughout the movie until it's clear he really only cares about his circle of friends, which... since when was that a problem?

I will admit the suicide scene was spoiled for me, although I didn't realize it was from this movie when I saw it. They do try to make it emotional, but even putting that aside, I can't help but feel like the hospital scene involving Deaf Girl's mother bowing head-to-the-ground to Main Guy's mother was WAY MORE impactful. From what little we've seen and know about these two characters' relationship, Main Guy's mother is already fearing of Deaf Girl's mother, because she had to apologize and pay for her son's bullying years before, and Deaf Girl's mother until only recently hated Main Guy's guts, and yet she's the one prostrating herself to the mother of the guy who saved her daughter's life.

I wish that relationship was explored more, that's the part of the movie that got me more that anything, not the main character saving his love interest from a suicide attempt and almost killing himself in the process.

I don't know about this movie, some combination of the editing, narrative misfocus, Bully Girl just being allowed to hang around and be a heinous bitch to everyone, and then ending not even on the realization of the central relationship of the movie, but the main character cheesily weeping into his arms because he finally decided to listen to what other people may or may not being saying behind his back?

Man, there was a lot of potential here, but I feel like I only got glimpses of it.


Final Verdict:
[Meh...]

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The Garden of Words
Romantic Drama / Japan / 2013

WHY'D I WATCH IT?
Someone here told me to watch it, so here I am many many many months later watching it.

WHAT'D I THINK? *SPOILERS*
I hate conventional romance movies, the stereotypical hollywood romance movie with all of it's cliches is arguably less tolerable than the stereotypical hollywood horror movie. At least horror movies play the same game with varying premises, but conventional romances are the peak of stupidity and boredom.

So it's refreshing to see a less than conventional romance such is the case here; where a 15-year-old boy with a hobby of designing shoes and a 27-year-old literature teacher with a drinking habit, finding themselves under the same park gazebo on rainy days. There's no talk of dating or marriage, it's just two people sharing each others' time and coming to appreciate each others' company.

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The age difference between the two main characters and their character traits demonstrate how awkwardly and disjointedly people mature, where even adults sometimes feel no more mature than teenagers, according to Shinkai.
Plenty of emphasis is put on their growing detachment on sunny days and after the halfway point we come to understand that she's been forced to quit her job after some punk students started sexual rumors about her, which makes her less enigmatic and more sympathetic.

By the time she's giving measurements in the park so that he can create a pair of heels for her, it's beginning to seem like a classy big-budget foot fetishist's romance, and I'm hoping they end up together.



Unfortunately, the movie can't simply deliver on that concept, by the time he's spending time at her place and they're both monologuing about how happy they are, he confesses he's fallen in love with her and she replies saying that she's moving. "I decided it a long time ago".

Well ISN'T THAT JUST GREAT. ****ty romance movies with stupid characters are one thing, but decent romance movies that circlejerk the audience is a whole 'nother thing. But have no fear, stupidity is never far away, as as soon as he leaves she regrets it and has her dramatic run after him only for him to turn around and pull the "I hate you" bit, suddenly he loathes her drinking habit, suddenly she's a terrible example of an adult, suddenly she's just entertaining his fantasies out of pity, and I'm like "YOU *******, STOP!"

She suddenly hugs him all teary-eyed, confessing that he helped keep her stable and we zoom out into credits.

Uh... okay. That's it?

MID-credits we get a scene establishing that she really moved away and started a teaching job elsewhere. ...are you kidding me? After all that you just throw this entire relationship out the window on a decision you haven't provided us any reason couldn't have simply been reversed?

AFTER-credits we get a scene in which Main Guy says it's his destiny to end up with her some day, or some ****.

Man, it's like you spend the entire movie setting up Chekov's Gun only to tell us you're going to fire it offscreen after everyone stops watching. In what way am I supposed to be satisfied with that ending? Apparently it satisfied a lot of people because this got all kinds of rewards and stuff, but if you take out the excellent production quality, and I admit it is excellent, what are you left with? A romance with no resolution. A climbing action to a climax with no ending.

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
In many of Shinkai's films, sad endings resulting from misunderstandings and unrequited feelings are common. According to Shinkai, his stories are intended to encourage teenagers as they learn to cope with these commonplace experiences.
You know, Shinkai, I watch movies to escape, to become immersed in a world that isn't mine, not to be dully reminded of crushing depression as a means to educate me. Perhaps this movie is wasted on me, because I'm not naive to these ideas, and yet I'm certain the vast majority of movie reviewers who rated this movie aren't naive to these ideas either, so I'm intensely skeptical of what they're rating; is it the story or the graphics?


Final Verdict:
[Weak]

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