Category Archives: anime

Revisiting old movies

Bad example: Ghost in the Shell 2.0. The CGI just doesn’t feel right, and it feels like messing with the film just for the sake of messing with it.
Good example: Evangelion 1.0 — You are (not) alone. In contrast, really excellent.

’tis a good season for anime

I haven’t watched much anime in the past few years, but recently there have been a fair number of shows which I’m actively following again; some due the teams behind them (Seirei no Moriboto, Ghost Hound), and some due to their premise (Dennou Coil, Nodame Cantabile).
So far, I can say the Seirei no Moriboto is really good. It’s technically well done, it tells a good story, and is not weighed by the common stereotypes. Instead, it simply tells the story of its characters, all of which behave believably and consistently.
Oh, and Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann is very old-fashioned and modern at the same time, and still typical Gainax. It certainly throws some curve-balls your way and is not quite as juvenile as it may at first seem.

PS: Why is Death Note so popular? I found it mostly annoying (due to the dislikable characters). I don’t get it at all. Still don’t know why I bothered watching it ’till the end…

Tekkon Kinkreet

An amazing movie. Very enjoyable, but slightly fragmented (with many fades to black separating scenes) and very surreal.
I’m a bit sad that many people won’t bother with the film because it seems to make very little sense in the beginning (and not too much more explicit sense in the end); it’s more like a collage of emotions at times.
The art style takes some getting used to, it is similar to Ping Pong from the same mangaka — which also has an excellent live action adaptation which I cannot recommend heartily enough; it evokes many of the same feeling that Tekkon Kinkreet does.
Technically, the 2D animation has a rather low frame-rate at times (and I’m not sure I like the motion-blur post-processing in that context), but the excellent backgrounds and superb 3D animation (which managed to never feel separate) are more than making up for that.
Last but not least, the soundtrack (although sparse) by Plaid fits perfectly.

Truly a high point for animated films this year!

Paradise Kiss Anime

The now is a Paradise Kiss anime (from Ai Yazawa’s manga) and judging from the first episode, it looks good. It sometimes mixes real backgrounds, characters have facial expressions, and it’s got voice actors I haven’t already heard a hundred times. Which altogether make it feel fresh, so that alone is a reason to watch it (other than the good humour — they’ve managed to translate the manga well without losing its a bit more adult focus). The animation is not always great, but rather focused; i.e. the parts that actually matter are animeted very well.
Oh, and George is still my hero… 😉

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (again!)

I’ve been reading the more recent chapters of the Yokohama Shopping Log manga by Ashinano Hitoshi this evening. It made me cry (again!). Thus, I have to implore you — whoever you may be — to read it and be moved. Because it’s just that good. It isn’t for everyone, but you ought to have at least tried.
There is an excellent Wikipedia article that can give you an idea of the series. If you’re still interested in reading, start your journey here and then move here for the more recent chapters.

Emma – Victorian Romance

I quite liked the first episode of the “Emma” anime (and I have to admit that I did not yet get around to take a look at the manga — although I’ve finished “Shirley” by the same author), all of which is thankfully provided by the iichan translation group. If you have a strong dislike of (non-superpowered) maids, this is probably not for you; it is very much “down-to-earth”.
I find it very intriguing and in the same vein as Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (“Yokohama Shopping Log”) with its slow development and strong focus on tiny little details (with good and detailed animation), but “Emma” seems to have a sadder undertone, which is underlined by the dark brownish-grey colour scheme for a Victorian London (I presume it is London from the picture of Big Ben in the ending), the contrast between poverty and the Rich as well as Emma’s reluctance to accept what would probably be best for her (in a variety of ways); but this is what makes the story. My only hope is that not too much trouble lies ahead for Emma, as I wish her well.
Slow, but recommended. Associated feeling of the day: mono no aware.