Appleseed Alpha is the prequel to Appleseed, the long running, post apocalyptic series that focuses on the characters Briareos and Deunan. Formerly SWAT members, and who would eventually become ESWAT members in the eutopian city of Olympus, this tale focuses on their adventures previous to their lives in Olympus. Taking place in the ruins of New York, the two work as mercenaries, primarily paying off a debt to crime lord Two Horns by doing various jobs for him. However, they find their true calling when they encounter Iris and Olson, two others on a secret mission. While the previous two movies were cell shaded cgi animated movies this is the first full CGI animated movie with great detail throughout the movie. The story is great and the english cast did a superb job and it’s appreciated that the two main characters voice actors renewed their roles and of course a great job on the japanese voice acting cast. The video quality is great very sharp and clear and the audio is also clear and sharp no distortions at all. It’s not necessary to have the previous movies but I do suggest getting them for the overall entertainment value they have. As for those who already have the previous movies then getting this one is a no brainer.
The CGI animation here is incredible and Deunan and Briareos have never looked better. Likewise, the action here is fantastic, wonderfully choreographed and entertaining. The two characters themselves are well developed and the fact that Shinji Aramaki himself returns once again to direct is very much welcome. The other characters here are decent, the standouts being Iris and Olson who prove to be a great matching pair for Deunan and Briareos. My main complaint lies with the villains, primarily the main villain who seems to be about as cliche as they come. His motivations are typical and he is typically evil, flanked by evil henchmen obeying his every order. The movie also spends a lot of time getting to it’s point, where we tag along with our main duo at least a third of the film before we get to the meat of the story. Two Horns ends up over staying his welcome and becoming a needless part of the story with a twist that seems somewhat unwarranted.
Ultimately, your enjoyment of “Appleseed: Alpha” will depend on how little you care about plot-to-visuals ratio. If you’re the type of person who plops down money to go see a Michael Bay movie for the technical wizardry, or buys new games based on their graphical fidelity, you might enjoy this. There’s nothing wrong this. While the story isn’t quite as polished as it could be, leaving some to be desired, the action most certainly is. Unlike Ex Machina, the sequel to the 2004 film and the previous film to come out, Alpha doesn’t try to make the action a centerpiece to the film. Ex Machina even brought in John Woo as a producer, which was evident in the way the action seemed to be an aside from the story. Here, it’s fairly natural and fits right in with the story and characters. While the characters and story do certainly take center stage, the action is incredibly entertaining in the kind of way only a well done CGI film could be. None of it feels too flashy or there simply for the sake of being there, which is the mark of a great action film.
Overall, while not completely polished the way it could have been, Aramaki once again proves how to handle this series well. Strong leads, entertaining action, and a story worthy of the Appleseed name make this a wonderful fit and great primer for anyone who might be interested in this series.
I’ve been a Pokemon fan ever since. After the very first generation (maybe second if i’m being nice), it has lost its originality. Nowadays people have come up with strange looking Pokémon’s of weird type combinations. Basically, there is a legendary Pokémon called Kaldeo, which is one of the swords of justice (along with Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion). Although Kaldeo is not yet a sword of justice, it goes out to challenge Kyurem (which is said to be the strongest dragon Pokémon, due to it being able to be Black/White Kyurem). There is no plot whatsoever. Moral of the story is there, but quite tasteless.
I honestly also felt that for once, Ash, Cilan and Iris being there actually hurt the movie. Ash pushing for Keldeo to fight Kyurem again to save the Swords of Justice, in my opinion, went completely against the whole film. Keldeo got into this mess because he recklessly rushed in, so Ash is telling him it’s okay to do that as long as you have a pretty reason? Honestly, the human characters also did nothing – it would have been a much better movie if it was focused entirely on Keldeo, Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion – at least then there might have been some more interactions between them that made Keldeo’s later revelations actually make sense (I felt Keldeo’s development really came out of nowhere). This movie had a lot of potential, but I feel that it was wasted. I felt it was too short and could have easily have done with another 20 minutes to help build up the Swords of Justice more.
What really separates this movie from the others is how well the characters are written and how they add to the simple but incredibly exciting story. Each of the Swords of Justice, including Keldeo, have distinct personalities and are generally likable while teaching very good morals, although their voices may be a tad off-putting at first. Kyurem itself, even though its an antagonist, isn’t what one would consider “evil” and proves to be an incredibly rich, likable character because of it. The film’s messages, the “words of wisdom” the characters give, are also well enforced and ring true by the flick’s end.
That said, Pokémon The Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice is a surprisingly watchable film with enough fluff and substantial depth that will keep your energetic ten year old still for an hour. Nothing much here for devoted animation fans, but long time Pokémon fans are in for a great time. The final fight was a spectacle of explosions that pulls you in and really makes you care about the outcome. The action and emotion an high and, because of it, made the climax of the movie its most memorable part, as it should be. If The Pokemon Company ever steps away from adding “safeguards” such as pop music and using anime fanfiction characters as an excuse to witness a movie’s events, they will have finally found a winning formula.
I love “Magic Madoka”, and was curious about this movie that follows up the movies, so by extension, the series (for those who don’t know, the first two movies are a slightly condensed version of the 12 episode series) If you don’t know anything about Madoka, you should stop reading here, unless spoilers don’t bother you. The movie is slightly confusing at first, and I can’t describe the plot too well without giving away spoilers. I can say this much: Homura wakes up in a world where all her friends are back and they’re all happily fighting monsters together. Homura grows suspicious. About as much as I can say.
Honestly, of all the ways to continue this franchise, this seems like one of the best options. It really takes Homura’s character in a fascinating direction. It doesn’t feel like a cash in, cause a cash in would’ve just had a mindless action movie with an excuse plot, and not the furthering development of Homura. There are scenes here more shocking than anything even in the series. It’s not the stereotypical direction. Of course some people aren’t going to like this. Some for legitimate reasons, cause the ending of the series was perfect. Though that doesn’t make this movie bad by any stretch. It’s a great character piece for Homura, and given the ending, I would certainly look forward to another follow up.
This movie ruins the series and should have never been made, the ending is a cop-out and was a big mistake. The series was fine without it. The purpose of this dreaded film is to screw over the fans who liked the way the series ended. as far as anyone should be concerned the movie doesn’t exist. This is one of those rare films that butchers the franchise that it was meant for. This is a bad movie and was a very bad choice. The ending is the worse aspect of the film, like said before “cop-out” The main character becomes a bad guy just to take out the other villain. You can’t have a character do that. and even worse she is still a bad guy nothing happens to her. In a film a villain can’t defeat another villain and the ending can’t be happy. It was a bad ending to an even worse film. There that is what needed to be said.
The first two PMMM movies are, at the time I was writing this review, the most powerful emotional experience I ever had while looking at a screen. The third one is much weaker than the masterpiece that the original duology is (which is made up of the TV series edited with a few cosmetic improvements and a few scenes cut there and here). This sequel was only made as a cash grab to capture the money of the fans of the original duology/TV series, nothing less and nothing more. Still, given it’s a cash grab sequel it is actually excellent if compared to other ones, Urobuchi is a very talented writer, able to come up with very creative and unexpected plot developments that one would never get in a conventional Hollywood movie.
A Farewell to Arms. I thought this film, which was the last one in the series, was the most enjoyable, having the most completely fleshed-out storyline and the most engaging characters. The artwork and soundtrack were outstanding, and it contains a strong message about war and how humans really can’t control their own violent creations, no matter how hard we may try to do so. Don’t want to say much more than that – it’s a minor miracle of a masterpiece from the great master Otomo.
Possessions. Shuhei Morita’s Possessions was nominated for the Oscar for Animated Short this year, and should have won over the unimpressive Mr. Hublot. I also saw this when I caught the Oscar nominated short films for animation, and this one is a real gem. Colorful, humorous, with a wonderful message about usefulness and creativity. This one gets the prize for the most adorable animated frog of all time, short of Kermit (which was a puppet anyway.
Combustable. The artwork on this short was outstanding, done in a very traditional style, as if you were watching an animated film through the lens of an traditional Japanese scroll or painting. Otomo and his artists copied the intricate patterns of Owaka’s kimono from period fabrics, and the stylized flames are modeled on the prints of Yoshitoshi and other great ukiyo-e artists. The story was enjoyable, and was actually enlightening to see how traditional Japanese fire-fighting was conducted. Amazing story with a tragic ending, Possessions just barely edges this one out.
Gambo. This one was my least favorite for some reason. While the artwork was wonderful, I kept feeling like I was missing something from the story. I realize that these are short films and you can’t give much back story – or maybe none at all – but I had the feeling I didn’t really understand some of what was going on between the characters. Perhaps if I were more familiar with traditional Japanese mythology I would have understood it more, so the shortcoming was probably entirely mine.
Kuiba, the $7 million Chinese animated debut feature film from veteran Beijing-based television studio Vassoon Animation is China’s latest attempt to showcase its homegrown cartooning talent. The movie is called Kuiba I because it is only the first of a series of five movies that are projected to release every year or so from Vasoon. Due to the fact that this movie only represents 1/5 of the story it spends most of its 80 minutes plodding through exposition and establishing concepts like the fighting style of choice for the characters called “pulsecraft” where the fighters open various channels (represented by floating blue circles) around their bodies to harness the “pulse” around them and form it into attacks. This concept hearkens greatly to the concepts of chi and chakra as adapted in countless other animes, but serves its purpose well enough in practice.
The simple animation is accompanied by occasional mid-quality CG and it gives off more of the feel of a lower-budget anime TV series than what is expected from large scale film productions these days. Had this movie come out 10-15 years ago it’s animation would have been considered quite decent for a movie, but by today’s standards it still falls quite short. With the slower pace, aged animation, and five-part nature I can’t help but feel that Kuiba would have been better formatted as a TV series or OVA miniseries instead of a full-blown five theatrical movie extravaganza. With it’s pacing, animation, and format issues considered, though, I didn’t end up hating Kuiba I.
The characters of Manji and Master Man, while still a little flat at this juncture, show enough likable characteristics that you do genuinely end up caring about what happens to them by the truncated end of Kuiba I. As previously mentioned, a lot of Kuiba I‘s aspects are blatantly picked and assimilated from various older anime series, but there are enough original ideas in the mix to keep it on this side of crossing the line into being a farce. When all was said and done I ended up wanting more Kuiba and am eagerly awaiting the release of Kuiba II to see where the story goes.
Kuiba I, as it stands, represents potential that has yet to be fully realized. If Vasoon Animation can learn from some of their missteps with the first entry (and there’s no reason to assume that they won’t) and apply those lessons to the upcoming entries in the Kuiba movie series it could very well end up being one of the better movie series out there. Overall, I’m holding off on final judgement on inclusion in our Movie Guide until I’m able to see more of Kuiba, so stay tuned for more reviews of this promising donghua movie series.
As an avid anime watcher and collector I can’t give no higher merit then to NIS America whose latest film Fusé: Memoirs of a Huntress (Fuse Teppō Musume no Torimonochō) came with a foil embossed Premium Edition. Along with a collectible slipcase, the English-subtitled Blu-ray Disc of the film will include a 32-page, fully illustrated hardcover art book. Luckily the packing is as great as the story. Fuse are hybrids between humans and dogs, who live in Japan in the Edo period. It was said that they kill people to feed themselves with their souls. Due to this rumors, the Shogun put a price on their heads. Hamaji is a young huntress, who lives in a rural area of Mutsu. When her grandfather dies, she receives a letter from her brother, who lives in Edo; he says to her to go to live with him and help him in the hunt of the Fuse. But, when Hamaji comes to Edo, she meets a mysterious young guy with white hair, who is being pursued by some men… His name is Shino…
The thing that stands out the most in this movie is most definitely its art, animation, and sound. The movie has a highly detailed, colorful, and polished world. Backgrounds are bursting with life and vibrant color. Beautiful Edo will amaze you with its sights and sounds, from the chaotic red light district, to the elaborate feudal castles, to the beautiful foliage. The character designs themselves are also quite interesting, vaguely resembling the characters from a Ghibli film or perhaps an older anime from the 90s. The soundtrack is also given equal treatment, with a traditional flair pulsing from its chords. The movie’s story is an interesting yet rather simplistic tale. It’s an engrossing, character driven story from beginning to end, though it is not without its flaws. Character development is rather minimal, aside from what’s given to the two main characters, and the ending to the movie felt rather abrupt. Which was a shame, because it had such an epic buildup. The pacing for most of this movie was just right, with no scene feeling like filler, nor were any of the scenes dripping with an overabundance of cheesy melodrama. And thankfully that is the case, considering the movie’s focus on romance. Now the romance of the movie could have been handled better as well. Like the ending, it is given a rather unsatisfying conclusion. Throughout the movie, it’s built up in a rather subtle way, not feeling as if it were awkwardly shoehorned in.
The other characters include a cast of lively and fun individuals. There is Hamaji’s older brother Dousetsu, a somewhat childish bachelor that appears to be far less responsible and much less humble than his little sister. There are also Dousetsu’s neighbors, a young man and his son, and a round heavyset man with a not so subtle crush on Hamaji. There is Dousetsu’s love interest Funamushi. There’s also Meido, a talented artist and writer. She is the grandchild of a famous author who attempted to paint the fuse as something more than the monsters they were made out to be through his revered novels. In a way, perhaps the movie was trying to convey a message of acceptance and understanding. The humans would mercilessly hunt down fuse without a second thought, all for the sake of protecting their own people. Although it’s also clear that some were only hunting fuse simply for the money and fame. Likewise, the fuse hid amongst the humans and ate soul after soul, like animals making no effort to restrain themselves. Neither side made much of an effort to call a truce. Neither side tried to come to understand each other. Instead, a vicious cycle of killing turned without any hope of stopping. It presents an interesting “chicken or egg” argument. Did the Fuse start eating human souls because the humans were killing them? Or did the humans start killing Fuse because they started eating human souls?
Of course, that conclusion was drawn up with a generous amount of personal interpretation. There was far more room for them to convey their message a lot more cleanly. Fuse is an interesting little feudal fantasy tale that comes together as a wonderful experience bursting with life. It has its obvious flaws, but it’s a great little lighthearted watch. It has a very feel good vibe to it and is definitely worth your time. It is now a tradition that when I receive a new NIS release, I giggle like a schoolgirl because I know I am about to get lost in a new world and the artwork and packaging is second to none. Highly recommended!
Bold and beautiful, this is a wonderful example of the anime aesthetic, but not its storytelling prowess. Patema Inverted (2013) takes place in a world divided by gravitational fields. Our heroine is the eponymous Patema (Fujii Yukiyo), a princess from the underground world built by the sufferers of reverse gravity. Whilst exploring, she falls through a vent and finds herself in the real world, where she’s in constant danger of falling into the wide open sky below. I don’t want to spoil anything but when I saw the concept of this movie I did not think much of it. I figured I’d go watch it on the strength of the fact that it won some award in Ireland. I just saw the North American Premiere and I was totally shocked by it.
A mishap means Patema finds her way to the topworld where she meets Age (a – je). The initial meeting is hilarious as Patema needs help not flying off into the sky which for her is an eternal drop. What follows is a story about communities divided, a totalitarian regime, and some of the most deliciously mind twisting plays on spacial reality I’ve ever seen. The steampunk designs will please fans although the facial animation does leave a bit to be desired. The comedy is laugh-out-loud funny and the drama genuinely thrilling. I feel something is missing from the film I can’t put my finger on but it’s a terrific animated film that should please anyone.
It is not at all what I thought it would be and the concept of “inverted” is key here. They keep on changing what’s real and what’s not, and your idea of what reality is switches back and forth several times. They have a few really big reveals in the film that kind of blow you away. I don’t even want to say what other movies this is like because it would give it away. But similarities aside, it still manages to be original and refreshing. Just be prepared to have your mind blown several times in the course of the movie all the way to the ending.
This was awesome, for me this was a joy ride, that fill me with emotions and blown my mind. Since I am an artist in my own way I was speechless how detailed and beautiful was the drawings(architecture, character design and world design). Music was Great, Music definitely enhanced the film (Hopefully the soundtrack will come out soon, so I could add to my collection with other anime soundtracks). And Story was mind blowing, it dug deep in my mind even after leaving the cinema.
The story was set in the year 2977, where 500 billion humans are sailing back to home planet who are waiting on the edge of the galaxy to enter the Earth’s atmosphere. When the permission is denied by the inhabitant leaders someone must risk everything and fight for the rights. So our captain Harlock comes into the frame on the pirate flagged spaceship and would he break all the hurdles to make way for immigrants is what the movie describes.bA bit slow presentation, had great stunts, but was infrequent. Should have been little better in character development. Unfortunately, characters and story kind of merely merged. Flashbacks and twists were not striking as it desperately wanted in those parts of the storytelling. Other than those it had everything a space travel theme should have with it. Enjoyable movie, but not completely though opinion differs from a person to another.
Without giving too many spoilers the story makes relative sense until the end when something unclear happens: on one side it seems there is a cosmic regeneration ongoing and the baton is given to Yama (that here like in the original series always looked a “young” Harlock) but in reality it doesn’t seem that Herlock’s original plan was carried on…perhaps the movie has been cut for the European release or there has been something lost in translation ( for instance certain dialogs of Z Gundan in Italian or English don’t make any sense at all,it seems the characters are discussing about Philosophy during a duel), I don’t know but however the romantic atmosphere of the movie has not been disturbed, at least for me.
Talking about CGI: this incarnation of the Arcadia is cool but from the outside I preferred the original blue version or the green one of Arcadia of my youth, the turrets and the interiors have a real mechanical feel that rarely CGI can give. The ship of the Coalition have a beautiful retro’ style that seems taken from Alien and Aliens, without feeling too intrusive. CGI as usual fails portraying realistically humans: Harlock and Yama look a little like Big Jim dolls, Key on the other side being a woman and “smooth” is more similar to a real actress covered with make as it is fashion today, of course the “best” looking character is the Alien Mime, much better than anything we have seen in Cameron’s Avatar. All the character and costume design are faithful to Matsumoto’s original design, so men and women are slender and ethereal, the hairstyles are pleasantly 70s (Kay looks like a Norwegian model of that era) as well as the costumes (I want Yama’s leather jacket! Or at least, it looks like leather), it is surprising what the Japanese can do with a budget of just 30 million dollars, the American directors and Hollywood managers should watch this movie, they can learn one thing or two.
In conclusion, I liked the movie, in comparison to the Hollywood’s crap-fest we are watching on screen in the last years it is a masterpiece, the weak points are the traditional “Matsumoto” flaws: a certain lack of consistency, no real relation with the other media, evanescent plot, but if you are familiar with him and generally speaking the world of Japanese Anime you have to deal with that.
This movie has its ups and downs like an up is how creative the characters are, a down is that sometimes it has the same emotion all the way through. This will be a good movie for a 3-7 year old. And if you like this movie once you’ve watched it then you should know that the director is Wipp Vernooij and Morgan Francis. I only recommend this movie to fans of Moshi Monsters because they will understand this movie even more than anyone else because know one knows better than a full fan. although its very fun to watch because it has so many scenes that make you wonder if they will make it and even if you know that they will always make it its still believable.
For starters – the animation’s INTENTIONALLY the way it is. Colorful, and FUN! It’s not pretending to be Pixar or anything else, it’s just a swirling, ego-boosting, uplifting, bubbling Saturday matinée champagne fun movie. The songs are great and work as an integral part of the movie – it would have been nothing without them. Someone here said the first song comes in for no apparent reason – watch that bit again, it’s perfectly timed and placed. The adventure’s wonderfully fun and silly in just the right mix and places. And I loved all the little creatures. BUT – you’ve gotta go into it the way its creators went into it – with the mind of a child. Go into it as an adult and you just won’t get it, same as all the other adults here. Go into it as a child and it’ll blow you away. Leave your adult-ness at the ticket barrier, open your mind to pure enjoyment and this movie’ll absolutely get you.
A typical movie storyline was well paced, the characters reasonably fleshed out and the film itself not too long, though it was a little tedious in places. The selfish central character goes on something of a personal journey towards realising the value of teamwork and shared achievements – a tale that has been told many times before of course. Some of the dialogue and vocabulary was surprisingly well considered. I particularly liked a scene which went something like this: Sidekick: “Ooh, can I press the button, boss?” Baddie: “Yes you *can* press the button… but you *may* not!” Mind you, that might have gone over the heads of some of the parents (those who were still paying attention), never mind the children! In any case, the kids seemed to like it and it held their attention.
There are a few catchy, bouncy musical numbers – including a Bollywood inspired highlight – and the writers clearly tried to jut in a few jokes for the accompanying parents, with Cole Porter and Mae West quotes, plus using long words like ‘pernicious’ and ‘Machiavellian’ that will have the wee ones asking ‘What does that mean?’ But aside from that, there is nothing much here for anyone but the fans of the game, regardless of age.