Following Miyazaki’s retirement, the pressure was heavy on Director Yonebayashi as the next successor of Ghibli Studio. This movie is unique in a sense that the story revolves around two female protagonists “Anna” and “Marnie”; although it does remind us a hint of the nostalgic movie “My Neighbour Totoro” which starred “Satsuki” and “May”, their relationship is far more complex. As the story progresses, their relationship becomes more clear and vivid to the audience, and the confusion of the intertwining reality and the dreamlike world starts to unfold. The two girls go on a journey as they discover each others past and dwells upon their current problems, and gradually develops an unbreakable bond that unites them stronger.
he movie When Marnie Was There, appears from the outset to be a coming of age story, with the focus being a young girl discovering her past in a far off place, through the mysterious Marnie. However to contrast the tropes of the coming of age narrative, there is an unshakable sense of passing in this story, from the ghostly appearance of Marnie, to the mysterious boatman and the frail condition of our heroine Anna, we have a tale which is as much a story of childhood as it is of eventual adulthood and death.
Much has been made of this movie for being the first Studio Ghibli movie post Miyazaki’s and Takahata’s retirement, both of whom were the founders of Studio Ghibli as we know it. Many have speculated as to whether this movie offers a glimpse of the future of Ghibli in younger hands, and from reading a few of the English language reviews already availible, many seem to contemplate whether this is a swan song for Ghibli or possibly a new dawn. Having just seen this movie, my overriding opinion is that Ghibli is alive and well and in the director Yonebayashi, they have a director who is a fitting heir to the masters Miyazaki and Takahata.
The movie When Marnie Was There carries all of the hall marks of great Ghibli, as you would expect from Ghibli there is; attention to detail, a strong narrative, well fleshed out characters, a great score, gorgeous visuals. This list reads as a standard for Ghibli animation, but what we should appreciate is that most movies failed to attain any of the points listed above, Ghibli achieves this with each and every one of their movies, and this is not attained effortlessly, but what we see when we watch a Ghibli movie are master crafts man at the peak of their creative powers striving for perfection in hand drawn animation. There is a creative vigor on the screen, one which screams both joyously and artfully. When Marnie Was There fits nicely into this bracket, and proves that Ghibli will endure long after Miyazaki and Takahata has left the building.
For those who have seen his experimental short films, this film seems to be much from that same vein. Here is where context comes in, because as a stand alone film, 2772 may seem weird and hard to appreciate. Taken as a whole–with Tezuka’s other work under your belt–well, then you have something truly special. Space Firebird was a movie by Osamu Tezuka, inspired by his “Hi no Tori” series of comics, which features a young man named Gadoh who, after having a run-in with the law, escapes the earth in order to capture the Phoenix, and ends up going through a trial of self-discovery.
You kind of have to understand the author and have a really open mind (and a tolerance for less-than-stellar delivery–more on that later). Osamu Tezuka was not your average manga author: He wasn’t content to just tell stories of heroes and villains, but of deep characters with human personalities. His stories usually had some form of moral to them, but he didn’t hamfist it or deliver it in a package, like in a Disney cartoon, but rather told sweeping, epic stories wrapped around the point he was trying to convey, but delivered in such a way where it was never shoved down your throat. Moreover, he felt stories shouldn’t be limited to feel-good adventures or comedy, and thus most of his stuff had a very emotional quality to it. I personally feel Space Firebird delivered on that.
Yes, the film won’t immediately make sense if you go in, expecting a Disney-esquire song and dance number with a lot of feel-good moments and a “good guys always win” message. What instead needs to happen is that one needs to forget how things “should” work and instead prepare for anything. With an open mind and a little bit of thought, the story of this film makes perfect sense.
For outsiders however; those who don’t know Tezuka’s works and may not have interest in pre-90’s anime, 2772 could be a difficult work that at times seems pointless, and with an end that makes little sense. I think the original language with subtitles should help tremendously, but the film is still quite surreal and takes some chances. It’s a long movie, a solid two hours, and begins to drag a bit right around the part where Godo and Co. must battle the Phoenix. However things get interesting again and Tezuka takes an extra 20 min or so to wrap up the film with his usual “harm not the earth” message. All in all, the voice acting is forgivable due to the trippy animation, weird storyline, and back-handed Star Wars references.
Stand by Me has a very simple, engaging and easy-to-follow story. There’s nothing too drastic or dramatic to expect, which could disappoint some who are looking for something stimulating. The entire story also has a hint of nostalgia. It’s easy to identify with the young Nobita, since virtually everyone goes through that ‘rite of passage’ – of growing up. The character development of Nobita though not multifaceted, has enough depth and gives a good support to the narrative.
We all know that Doreamon is one of our first anime that we ever saw as a kid. I watch all the episode and it reflects on every episode that has been air on the show. The movie gives us meaning through our lives, it taught us it is by our hands that we can change and mold our own destiny. I love the sad moments in this movie it because reflect on your daily lives. the movie actually reflect on everyone’s life, from getting bullied or failing on a test or getting a hug from the girl you like or even getting marriage. This movie is really a emotional roller coaster and it is a reminder of what it would be like to be that kid who fail in school, loved but rejected and bullied in school.
Time traveling probably still remains as one of man’s greatest dreams. Though impossible to achieve in reality, we always remember that there’s Doraemon and his gadgets that can help realize those possibilities. Doraemon, the robot cat from the future, has traveled back in time along with Sewashi, Nobita’s (aka Da Xiong) descendant. They went back to the past to help 10 year old Nobita fix the mess so his descendants need not suffer the consequences. Sewashi leaves Doraemon behind, installing a program in him that disallows him from going back to the future till Nobita attains happiness. As you might already know, Nobita is known for his cowardice and wimpy behavior. Once he realized how powerful Doraemon’s gadgets can be, he simply relies on them and attempts at making the game change. However, as you might expect, the gadgets have limitations. Ultimately, it depends on one’s will and resolve that can truly break through the circumstances. Nobita fails and try again, growing out of his wimpy self and eventually overcomes the challenges.
‘m sorry but for a long time Doraemon fan this doesn’t surprise me. Delight, yes, because it wraps up the story very nicely. But every single point in the movie you can find scattered all over the comic book, the movie was just collecting the bits from the comic book and bundle it into one and make a nice graphic for it. But it’s really NOT anything new. It’s a story all of us has already known before. I usually felt some emotion watching any of Doraemon’s adventure movie series, like Doraemon and Dinosaurs, or Doraemon in the Animal Kingdom, in Robot World, etc. Even I can feel something in the normal weekly series. But because Stand By Me is very over-the-top, I can’t believe the flow of the emotion one bit. It didn’t get to me. This speaks volume since I’m a super crybaby and even nowadays I can still cry watching mere commercials!
The film will revolve around a mystery that happens on the day of the “Justice Day” festival that celebrates Sternbild’s legendary goddess. The movie’s plot is very straightforward: we rejoin the heroes some time after the end of the TV series. Kotetsu and Barnaby are part of the Second League, but that quickly changes when a new owner buys Apollon Media. What follows is a predictable, but still entertaining story. The second Tiger & Bunny movie, “The Rising”, is definitely for the fans. Being a big Tiger & Bunny fan myself, I was very excited to see this movie. While it is not a perfect movie, it did a good job of being true to its source.
While the TV series can be seen as “Barnaby’s story”, the new movie is more focused on Kotetsu. Watching him come to terms with his new lifestyle is very heartfelt. The heroes’ struggles against the new villains doesn’t have as much emotional investment as the series, but is still action-packed. While the overarching story of The Rising is mediocre, the sub-plot involving Fire Emblem is amazing. It may be that the producers/studio realized that having a hero who is transgendered, but a successful business owner and his own sponsor was an amazing positive message. Even if that is not the case, the movie goes into a touching back-story revolving around Fire Emblem’s past insecurities, and the harassment he was forced to endure. It is a moving and very touching story, and adds more depth to his character.
The 2D animation is great, very fluid and sharp. It seems like the 3D hero suits have been given an upgrade as well. The 3D suits are not as jarring and out-of-place as the TV show (they weren’t even that bad in the show, in my opinion). The 2D and 3D are almost seamless. The new suit design for Golden Ryan is also good, incorporating lion themes to contrast Wild Tiger. A lot of themes from the show are remixed and reworked for the movie. It was great to hear familiar tunes, but it is always nice to hear new things as well. The voice acting was fine, on par with the TV show. The new hero, Ryan Goldsmith, is an interesting character. Equal parts conceited and confident, and a level-headed point-oriented hero, you don’t know if you want to hate him or love him. Ryan points out to Barnaby that he “sounds like his old partner”, and even says similar things that Barnaby said as a rookie hero. Ryan even knows that Barnaby needs Kotetsu as his partner. While he doesn’t have any development, he serves a purpose in the movie, and he does his job well; Ryan reassures both the audience and Kotetsu and Barnaby themselves that there is no one else who could possibly replace a member of this team.
The rest of the heroes get a great amount of screen time. It is fun to see what the heroes have been doing since the end of the show, and how they have changed. Small humorous bits with Rock Bison, the Second League Heroes and Kaede keep the movie from being too dramatic. While Lunatic does make an appearance, he did not get any further development, and that was a bit disappointing. If you love Tiger & Bunny, you will enjoy this movie. It is a fun, fanservice-y movie that has a good balance of old and new. If you are not a fan of the show, you might not enjoy this movie as much; many characters are not given much of an introduction, and the interactions between characters are what really drives this movie.
Isao Takahata is a classicist animator if there ever was one. Sero hiki no Goshu is another chapter in his minimalist saga, a tribute to his two loves: classical music and pre-war Japan. His uncluttered yet expressive style is determined; neorealismo, la nouvelle vague, and surrealist poetry are only a taste of his influences. He shifts from realism to fantasy at will, the one requiring the other in the natural order; expressionism bound to the corporeal world.
The film is an adaptation of a popular story by Kenji Miyazawa (released in 1934). It is the 1920s in rural Japan and a local orchestra is rehearsing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral Symphony). At the fourth movement a thunderstorm rages outside, the musicians unaffected within the small rehearsal space. The sequence swells into fantasy with musicians hurtling towards the sky in a whirlwind of vests and instruments. The dream is shattered by the conductor. He accuses young cellist, Goshu-kun, of lacking musicality and being damningly inharmonious with the rest of the ensemble. Goshu is enthusiastic but struggles with passion.
The musicians are dismissed and Goshu returns to his modest cottage to practice. He hears a knock at the door. It is a cat who has brought him unripe tomatoes (picked from his own garden) as a gift. The two bicker. The cat suggests he play Schumann’s Traumerei instead of stubborn old Mozart but instead, Goshu renditions the antithesis of Schumann, Tiger Hunt in India, with a ferocity that startles the feline into submission. The following few evenings are booked with other forest animals; a tanuki, a cuckoo bird, a pair of mice, all of them imparting some parable of insight for the cellist. By the night of the performance, Goshu has learned to channel emotion into his playing and listen to his fellow performers, but most of all, he is able to empathise with his audience. The recital is a success. Following a rousing ovation, the conductor ducks into the restroom and weeps with secret joy – only one of Takahata’s gifts to his audience. The orchestra is asked to play an encore. Recognising Goshu’s significant improvement, he is asked to play something alone. He balks but is hurled on-stage. In defiance, he plays Tiger Hunt in India and the amphitheater glows with awe-inspired silence.
The film is lightly directed with deeply saturated backgrounds and fluid animation. There is a naturalism here (as there is in much of Takahata’s work) that is charming and engaging. Of course, Takahata has long since mastered this form of animated realism (inherited from such influences as Renoir and Ozu) and the ascetic devotion of his work is apparent in every frame. It’s been said that lead animator, Shunji Saida, took cello lessons in order to adequately portray Goshu’s fingerwork and this subtle detail is used to great effect throughout. Musical occurrences animate this quiet village (and its forest life) in a way that Goshu’s story is only a consequence of the transcendentalism of harmony and dissonance.
Early on in the 21st century, with the elderly population rising at an alarming rate, a groundbreaking innovation has been designed. The Z-001, a robotic hospital bed automating all nursing duties, has been developed by the Nishibashi Corporation and is being marketed under the umbrella of the Ministry of Public Welfare. The machine is advanced, operating within its own network. The bed holds food (of which, the patient can download fresh recipes online) for a week and can administer medicine. There is a “prone mobility” mechanism which exercises the patient’s body without them having to leave the bed and, most importantly, the Z-001 can monitor vitals and contact a nearby hospital if further assistance is required. One can even input an image and personality to simulate a digital conversationalist. It is a sixth-generation nuclear-powered bio-computer with the ability to upgrade its own hardware.
Takazawa Kijuro is the first invalid selected (with the permission of his remaining family) to “showcase” the Z-001. Haruki, his volunteer nurse, is alarmed when her patient is whisked away by men in suits. She is skeptical of this “better” quality of life. “How can a machine give him the love he needs?” she implores of the Ministry’s executives. The Z-001 is well-received however: the bureaucrats sniffing money, the medical volunteers eased that their responsibilities can be dedicated to less routine tasks, and the general populace content to remain oblivious of risk as long as the elderly can be left to their own devices in peace. Not much later Haruki receives a message on her computer from Mr. Takazawa calling for help. She, with a handful of other volunteers, break into the Ministry of Public Welfare and attempt to free the old man. The head of the project, Mr. Terada, discovers them and it isn’t long before Takazawa is returned to the Ministry building and the volunteers reprimanded. Mr. Takazawa is once again imprisoned in the Ministry building, probes wired into his trachea and nervous system, the impromptu removal of which would kill him.
The lead programmer at Nishibashi Corporation and designer of the Z-001, Yoshihiko Hasegawa, is fully aware of the machine’s more radical capabilities but remains observant until there is no hiding it any longer. Terada, though a corporate administrator, seems to genuinely care about geriatric health but is unaware of Z-001’s more dangerous proficiencies. He is a man willing to sacrifice for the greater good and, in this regard, is one of the deeper characters of the story. It is soon revealed that Hasegawa’s hand was guided in his designing of the Z-001 so there are things he reveals to Terada and things he doesn’t; Terada is, himself, only a stooge with a great deal of power, bound to his superior, Secretary Minagawa (he, a pawn to a greater power).
As punishment, Haruki is restricted to the grounds of the hospital. While there, one of her patients hacks an American system for fun which gives Haruki an idea. The old hackers tap into Z-001 and are able to communicate by projecting the voice of Takagawa’s wife. By doing so, they imprint the personality into the bed’s database which begins to carry out the man’s wishes. Since there is little elaboration on the “appearance” of Mrs. Takagawa, this can be interpreted a number of ways: either the spirit of Takagawa’s wife has somehow taken control of the machine or Mr. Takagawa is simply using this projection as an extension of his own will (whether inherently coded or a sudden achievement of sentience). Whichever, Haruki and her friends soon learn how to remotely control the bed from the hospital. Of course, Takagawa’s recurrently moaned wish to see the beach is taken literally by the machine and so devastation is left in the wake of his journey.
Written by Katsuhiro Otomo (director of Akira), the Roujin Z story was adapted into a manga titled, ZeD, shortly after the film’s release. The concept is simply and realistically speculative for it is a modern inevitability. Bun Itakura’s score is always appropriate with pensive synthwork, piano asides, and intense swells of sound always with a dominance of incidental music. It’s a futuristic morality tale where man attempts to forego the trials of caring for those in a fatalistic role under the guise of “effective health care.” It is really man’s aversion to facing death firsthand, to avoid the humility of death, that allows for the acceptance of such a machine. The Z-001 provides for the patient’s every physical need but there is no substitute for human empathy. “A nurse is useless unless she can love her patient.”
On Earth, Nobita, who annoyed Doraemon when asking for a robot like the one Suneo had, which consequently added up to Doraemon’s previous disturbance of hot weather, causing Doraemon to go to the North Pole to cool down. Nobita waited for a while before going after Doraemon, where he accidentally found a bowling-ball-like object that was sending signals to transfer a strange and mysterious solid object to the surface, which Nobita also accidentally brought home with him, along with the ball that traveled on its own. The ball directed the transferred solid components to Nobita’s backyard, by which he soon figured out those were the components to build a giant robot. He first thought it was a gift from Doraemon, but Doraemon soon returned and rejected his idea. After a moment arguing, Doraemon and Nobita decided to build the robot, with Nobita promising to return the robot to any reasonable owner if they could find out who it was. In order to have free space keeping the robot, they sent the parts to the mirror world and started building there. Meanwhile, the ball, which turned out to be the robot’s brain, was damaged when Nobita’s mother stepped on it and angrily locked it in the small warehouse in the backyard. While fixing itself, it communicated with Lilulu and told her where it was, also revealing that Nobita was responsible of its missing and false landing destination of the components.
The storyline of this version and the original are much alike, yet Nobita and the New Steel Troops is actually the most altered version comparing to the comics and its original film. The additions was mainly Pippo, who shares the same role as Lilulu to be the center of emotions in this version. This doubled the emotional scenes, thus making the film much more touchy. The cuddly appearance of Pippo, as I believed, shouldn’t be something unnecessary, but rather very important to give the film its emphasis of sympathy and compassion to one another, and the meaning of sacrifice oneself for the right reason. The details about Lilulu and Pippo’s communication, stars-like hearts and the seemingly developed love between Nobita and Pippo, Shizuka and Lilulu, made the film much more emotional and more educational to watch. I myself adored this film, though I’m not quite the age to watch stuffs like this. In fact, I have to admit that I was stunt watching this, not because it was worse than the 1986, but it indeed improved in many aspects. It was worth crying at the end, when Pippo and Lilulu were disappearing. It’s a fact that this film are what you should watch at least once.
The plot concerns Nobita and his friends attempting to stop an invasion of Earth by an alien robot army being spearheaded by a young woman and an electronic bowling ball they met earlier. I wouldn’t say it’s the most original concept, but it fits very well into the Doraemon universe, and it’s well-written and well-directed enough to keep you invested. The thing that struck me the most about this movie was it’s somewhat darker, more emotional tone, compared to the TV show. Without giving away the plot, I can say that it is not quite the goofy joke-fest that the TV series was, although it still leaves you feeling good at the end.
The animation is quite good. It’s not the best I’ve seen, but everything is quite nice to look at. The copy I was watching was Japanese with English subtitles, so I can’t really comment on the quality of the voice acting, although I can’t say anything seemed wrong with it. Overall, I would say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It’s not anything that I would call ‘innovative’, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s simple, but comforting, like chicken noodle soup. Anybody who has a little under two hours to spare and wants to enjoy something pleasant should seek this film out, especially if they are young children*, or fans of the Doraemon cartoons. Doraemon is a cartoon series that I’ve watching for years. I have seen many animation movies including most of the Doraemon movies, but no animation movie has ever touched me as deeply as this one did. Even those who do not know Doraemon may watch the movie without feeling out of place. The story is excellent, the script is well-woven. The cinematography is excellent too. The music is emotion-evoking, the lyric of the three line-song are deep. The movie shares a big message for both children and adults and may leave all age groups teary-eyed.
Youkai Watch is based on a video game created by LEVEL-5, the company responsible for those addictive Professor Layton puzzlers as well as the forgotten gem, Steambot Chronicles, and kid friendly tactical football game Inazuma Eleven. Youkai Watch is another game aimed at kids and it is a big deal in Japan. How big a deal? This is the movie release from a multimedia franchise that has spawned a TV anime and it has broken records for the number of tickets pre-booked. One day, whilst searching for bugs in the woods in Sakura New Town (based on Tsukuba, Ibaraki), a boy named Keita Amano (or in the video games a girl named Fumika Kodama is also an option) comes across a peculiar capsule machine next to a sacred tree. When he opens one of the capsules up, it brings forth a Yo-Kai named Whisper, who gives Keita a device known as the Yo-Kai Watch. Using this, Keita is able to identify and see various different Yo-Kai that are haunting people and causing mischief. Together, Keita and Whisper start making friends with all sorts of Yo-Kai, which he can summon to battle against more ill-intentioned Yo-Kai that happen to live in his town, haunting the residents and causing terrible trouble.
The idea is that there a world beyond what we normally see, filled with youkai which are seen by only a select few. However what makes this anime so great, is possibly simply the atmosphere of the anime itself. The anime is written superbly, the writers are able to create an anime which gives a relaxing feel while watching; as well as being entertaining. The anime does not have a linear plot or goal of any sort, which is rare for its genre of drama. Although it lacks any obvious story-line, it is obvious that after watching this anime, the writers goal was simply to take viewers on a journey through a kind hearted boys life; as he discovers more and more about himself as well has his ability to see spirits which he as always felt burdened by, he discovers that not all spirits are cruel, but some are loving, even more so than those who are living around him.
When, really getting down to evaluating this film, I realized that the film really added to my understanding of the main characters and their motivations. It would really be wrong, however, to see Natsume as a primarily supernatural anime, it’s really more of an examination of emotions and the relations which exist between both people and Yokai. There are really beautiful tales of love and friendship depicted in various scenes, and that’s where this film really succeeds. These stories will move you and bring you to tears. Yōkai Watch the Movie: It’s the Secret of Birth, Meow! also has some of the most easily likable characters of any anime I’ve seen, and their interactions and motivations seem very natural. The amount of back story we’re given about the main character especially really helps with the understanding of his personality.
When the credits rolled, I sat in the theater realizing that you learn to understand that the world is not simple, you have good humans and good Yokais and also have bad guys in both sides… but you cant just judge them. This movie has a simple and wonderful style to develop characters and make them special and deep in a very short time. All in all, Yōkai Watch the Movie: It’s the Secret of Birth, Meow! is a warm anime sure to brighten your day and make you laugh and possibly make you think about the relationships you yourself might have with people on a day to day basis.
Welcome to Academy City, a futuristic metropolis populated with super-powered students. As the brightest intellectual minds in the city work to complete the world’s first space elevator—a towering spire capable of taking citizens into the heavens—perpetually unlucky Kamijo and nun-in-training Index befriend a talented street musician named Arisa. When the beautiful singer lands a big break, her miraculous voice attracts unwanted attention, making the songstress a target for magicians and scholars alike. As the battle between sorcery and science blasts into space, Kamijo, Index, and their allies in Academy City are rocketed to a psychedelic stadium thousands of feet above Japan in a desperate attempt to keep Arisa—and the rest of the world—safe. Science fiction and fantasy collide in this action-packed feature film set in the shared universe of A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun. On the day Touma Kamijou and Index see Academy City’s space elevator, Endymion in the distance, they meet a Level 0 girl with an amazing singing voice, Arisa Meigo. As the three enjoy their time together after school, magic-user Stiyl Magnus suddenly attacks them. His target: Arisa. Why would a girl from the science side be targeted by someone from the magic side, Touma wonders. In the chaos of Stiyl’s attack, he tells Touma, Index and Arisa that she might cause a war between the magic side and the science side.
Unfortunately this arc unfolds within the context of Index once again being a damsel in distress. The Book of the Law turns out to be even denser and more impenetrable in this version than it perhaps is in real life, leading to Tōma needing to enlist the aid of a couple of other supporting characters.
For those drawn to the occult subtext of A Certain Magical Index, this particular storyline will probably hold the most interest with regard to this first set of episodes of the second season. The rest of this filmunfolds with a couple of other multi-episode storylines which offer supporting character Mikoto an interesting if not particularly meaningful plot, and, later, what amounts to A Certain Magical Index’s tip of the school hat to a shōnen academic setting.
The film continues to develop its rather complex mythology rather well, though the series also continues to fall into a series of silly showdowns and patently contrived obstacles that regularly confront Index. As with the first season, there’s a certain tonal imbalance between the show’s mythological foundations and its sometimes schtick laden comedy aspects. While not everything gels perfectly in A Certain Magical Index, the film continues to weave a rather interesting spell that deserves if not demands attention.
imdb is Gekijouban Toaru majutsu no Index: Endyumion no kiseki