The story of political and subversive intrigue in the series finally reaches endgame. Even as the law enforcement net tightens around Saki and her fellow Eden of the East associates over alleged terrorist activities, the complex web surrounding the mysterious Mr. Outside is finally untangled as the remaining Selecao attempt to outmaneuver one another. Takizawa's memories and identity are also finally revealed including his association with a former Prime Minister and his request to be the King of Eden.
Many things can be said about the second Eden of the East movie "Paradise Lost." The first thing that would probably be mentioned would be "underwhelming" because compared to the TV series, it is. The ending was definitely unexpected, because unlike EotE which is always so fast paced and high thought process, the end simply tells you the story is over without ending. It's a bit unclear whether this is really the end of EotE.
I'm writing this review to urge you to watch this movie regardless of whether some people on MAL told you this movie was "shit" - because it isn't. It's far from it, and not only that but this movie also answers a lot of questions about the EotE universe.
The story has somewhat departed from it's original venture of romance, action, and global politics and degraded into just politics, but that doesn't make this movie a bad one. The story moves away from Saki and the Eden of the East server and really focuses in on who Takizawa Akira really is. The movie directly picks up where the last left off, where Ropponogi gives Takizawa a private jet and goes to meet the wife of the Prime Minister, doing so because he believes he's the Prime Ministers son. Spoiling too much would ruin the movie for you, but I can promise the suspense that builds is great and resolve is incredibly interesting.
Art and Animation: 10/10
God, I love Production I.G. The animation is nearly the same from the original series and the first movie (as if you didn't already know) and is of course, gorgeous. There's one scene in particular though that has animation elevated on an even higher level than usually seen in EotE and that one scene is probably one of the most powerful. I won't say which one but when you'll see it, you'll know what I'm talking about.
school food punishment did the original ending to TV series and I really liked their sound, so having them do the opening and the ending made me pretty happy. The background music is also not something to leave without mention. The music can get pretty intense at times, and it definitely increases the suspense.
EotE is often criticized most harshly for it's characters. Takizawa Akira is the main subject of this movie, and you could technically say this whole series is about him, but that doesn't mean he's the only character that needs to be developed. At the very end of the series we have so many characters that haven't really been cultured into what they could have been. Saki is still just a romantically challenged girl running around Japan trying to find Takizawa, and so on. This movie introduces a couple of new characters too, the Prime Ministers wife, Takizawa's mom, the Prime Minister himself, the ball girls, and most notably Mr. Outside. Ato Saizo is the best new face in this movie. Once again, I'm not going to delve too far in because of spoilers.
Regardless of the last three or so minutes, the enjoyment of this movie for me was a ten out of ten. They really wrapped up the whole EotE story and put a couple of nice bows on it and then all of a sudden, a plot twist end that was very unnecessary came along. Albeit unhappy with this end, I'm not going to take out all my anger on this movie and call it awful. I think this movie has such a low score because like me, many others wanted to see the ending to Eden of the East. Whether this is or not, for now at least, we've reached the end of Eden.
This movie supplements us with so much information on the EotE series, it's hard to miss for fans. It keeps the original dramatic and suspenseful nature of the series without cutting any corners - it's an hour and a half of pure story. After finishing this movie, I'm glad I followed this series all the way through.read more
As a Higashi no Eden fan, I believe fans deserve a much better ending from writer Kenji Kamiyama. Paradise Lost went against the entire suspenseful plot of the Eden franchise in general. The mystery of the game is inexplicable. There’s no romance between the two main characters. It disappointingly concludes the Higashi no Eden series with illogical conclusions, no clarifications, and even more questions leading to cliffhangers.
*The rest of the review includes minor spoilers.*
This is no longer a dangerous game as it was portrayed to be. Mr. Outside makes an appearance, and he doesn’t fit the script of a criminal mastermind or an evil villain. There are last minute changes to the game in the last few minutes of the movie, and it eliminates all of the seriousness that occurred throughout the series thus far. Apart from that, the game ends without revealing the Supporter and explaining anything about how Juiz operates.
As in the anime series, Takizawa ends everything with a bizarre move, and everyone wonders “What is he doing” and “Why is he doing this.” No one knows what Takizawa is thinking, and he never explains himself. Also, it ends in a goofy fashion when the series appeared to be serious.
There is no happily ever after between the two main characters. Nothing changes with Takizawa and Saki, and they spend no alone time together. While Takizawa is dealing with the drama of being the successor to the throne, Saki sets off to search for his long-lost mother. After everything’s over, Takizawa and Saki basically go their separate ways again.
At times like these, I would turn over to the adaptations for an alternative ending. Sadly, there is no manga in relation to Higashi no Eden, and the novels written by Kenji Kamiyama are the same as the TV series.
My advice is to read reviews on Higashi no Eden II: Paradise Lost before beginning the Higashi no Eden series altogether. The series starts on a good note, but the final ending is mediocre and twists the entire plot. If you already watched the series, then you may feel the need to complete it. However, don’t get your hopes up, because the dedication that you put towards the entire series will probably result in a heartbreak.read more
A disappointing end to what started off as a very intriguing series. I'm sure Eden loyalists will disagree with me. After the rather uneventful first movie I expected movie 2's plot to skyrocket and reach a memorable climax, Instead we have a silly plot, personally I think the plot lost all it's credibility when the selecao began to be granted rather extreme requests e.g. "make me the king of this country" it made me wonder why on earth nobody tried to ask juiz to make them king earlier on.
Takizawa seems to love wiping his memory and regaining it for no good reason other than "he doesn't want to bear the guilt of using himself as a scapegoat". At long last the elusive Mr.Outside makes his appearance except he's extremely unimpressive, he doesn't live up to his hype at all. The possibility of Takizawa being the prime-minister's illegitimate son is explored but I won't drag on about the weak plot, I'll let you guys judge it for yourselves. One thing I will mention is that the ending is left open, that's right OPEN! After the ordeal of having to wait for 2 very stagnant movies I believe that as viewers we deserved a decisive ending. To me the ending felt like more of a make-shift conclusion to a plot that had spiraled out of control, they had to wrap it up in this movie so they ended it abruptly. Nothing gets me more worked up than when good shows are given bad endings. It's almost as bad as the disappointment I felt when playing Lost Planet 2 (a game that i still pretend doesn't exist).
The only thing I enjoyed about this movie was the very atmospheric soundtrack. The only reason this movie is getting a 7 from me is because it's riding on the success of the anime series, Part of me still wants to give it a 6! If you've seen the series there's no way you're not going to watch this so the only advice I can offer is not to go into it with very high expectations because they will be quashed.
(It should be noted that this review covers both The King Of Eden and Paradise Lost, and treats them as a continuation of Eden Of The East instead of a separate, standalone entity…because that’s how sequels work. Also, this review is longer than what I normally do, so be warned.)
Horrible. There, that’s my introduction, now let’s just get right to it.
The two Eden Of The East movies were made as a continuation of the show, mainly to satisfy those who wanted answers that the show didn’t give them. In order to properly talk about what these films do right and wrong, I will have to reference what happens in the show. So first thing’s first, I recommend you watch Eden Of The East (2009) before reading all of this, because you shouldn’t even be looking at these films if you haven’t seen the show beforehand.
For those who haven’t seen it, spoilers ahead for the show…ye be warned.
After Akira Taizawa saves Japan from yet another missile crisis, he asks Juiz to use the rest of his funds to make him the “king of japan”, and proceeds to wipe his memory again. Saki closes out the show by comparing Akira to a prince in a world without a king, and a surprising sense of completion and satisfaction is the result of the final few moments of the anime. But still, there could be more…
Then the movies come along. After the show’s ending, Saki goes off to find Akira in America because he was taken away by the police after the missile incident. All the NEETs post his picture to the internet and people latch onto him as an icon, and praise him as a savior of Japan. Once Akira and Saki reunite, they find out that the game is still going on around them and it appears that someone is trying to prove that Akira is an illegitimate child of the Prime Minister of Japan. If that wasn’t enough to worry about, he is also accused of being the terrorist who carried out the missile bombings in the first place. So Akira and club members of Eden of the East have to work to counter whoever is trying to frame Akira Takizawa, and stay intact until the game comes to an end.
The movies decide to take the show’s already solid ending to a segmented story and whip together some sort of conclusion to the entire ongoing plot, while also taking into account any amount of creativity, uniqueness, and wonder that the show had going for it and completely eradicate it, as well as hand-feeding pointless information to an audience that apparently isn’t allowed to think. I am convinced that these films did not have to be made for any reason whatsoever and their mere existence was able to murder a very special anime series and rape its corpse until it rotted away, leaving only the perpetrator to blame. It’s hard to pinpoint one sole reason why these movies didn’t work, because there were so many aspects working together to tear apart everything that made the Eden Of The East shine. In order to fully explore how the sequel falls flat on its face, I’m just going to go through some of the major points that kill any hopes for this followup.
1. Even though these films have less going on, nothing makes sense.
The very first scene in the show tries to introduce the new story in a surprising way, with a sad attempt to parallel the show, but nothing they pull feels real or logical. Akira leaves a voicemail to Saki on the Juiz game phone saying that he’d meet her where their journey began. We then see Saki step out of a taxicab in New York when her luggage falls over and spills out a boatload of firearms and other weapons. Then the cops come over and she runs away.
Right of the bat, nothing makes sense. We’re told later that Akira sent the voicemail to Saki after his memory wipe, but he didn’t know anything about Saki at that time and yet he still thanks her for what she did. And since all information of his past relationships are out the window, he wouldn’t have had enough information to locate a meeting spot that would work for both of them. If he just guessed, that must have been a big coincidence.
It’s also revealed that the meetingplace was in New York with ground zero in the background, and that “the place where their journey began” somehow only referred to when Saki was alone in America, which Akira would have had trouble remembering, and again, could only have been accomplished through an unbelievable coincidence. And it’s also a good thing that Saki was miraculously able to deduce that exact same interpretation so they could flawlessly come together to get everything started.
Saki’s suitcase filled with weaponry also makes no sense when we find out the reason why it happened. One of the other players rigged her case with the guns so that she would be caught by the police, but seeing as how she used a plane to get to America (after 9/11 I might add), I see no excuse to how she would be able to get her luggage past security. And even if it was rigged before it was placed in a taxi trunk that nobody could access, I don’t think Saki would be able to carry around something ten times heavier and noisier than her original luggage without getting curious as to what’s making those metallic clanging sounds and why her suitcase feels like an anvil.
After the police begin to crowd around the suitcase overflowing with weaponry, Saki makes a sneaky getaway and hides just in time for the film’s Opening music sequence. In the first four minutes, the audience is completely alienated with all of the asspulls they execute and the surprising lack of things making coherent sense. It’s very ironic that I bring this up because this is following a show filled with a ton of things that didn’t make sense, but instead of plot inconsistencies and apparent lack of logic, those things were just oddities and little sprinkles of the weird things caused by the game, all expertly paced out to keep intrigue without jeopardizing the plot. This, on the other hand, compromised a flowing, sensible narrative and seemed to be a desperate attempt to draw the audience in as a poor reminder that the movies are still the Eden Of The East that the audience watched prior.
We then get a segment explaining the popularity of Air King, the name given to the iconic image of Akira on his cell phone pointing to the missiles, using his Jesus powers to save Japan. I use the term “Jesus powers” because only a miracle could have created the overwhelming positive response to him from the internet. Somehow the collective community of NEETs and internet users was able to connect this complete stranger to the savior who protected Japan from the missile attack in the finale. Yeah, because when I see some random teenager on top of a carousel talking on the phone and making a gun sign at a terrorist attack, I immediately credit him as the one person who should be recognized as the messiah who saved Japan. I mean, it’s not like we should give credit to those fighter pilots or those working on the military ships who were responsible for launching the counter-missiles. There’s also no way this is part of Juiz’s response to making Akira the king of Japan because she doesn’t have control over how other people respond to pictures that other people posted online. Even if she influenced some people to comment positively on some of those pictures to nudge Akira towards fame and credit, it seems unlikely that an entity as collectively unorganized and scatterbrained as the internet would be so quick to unanimously accept it. It feels extremely forced and it’s a horrid way to open the setting of the films. It didn’t pull me in as much as it sent me into a highway of bad transition and forced attention-grabbers.
After a needlessly confusing introduction, the rest of the plot plays it pretty safe and straightforward, even though some of the explanations they give regarding the content and developments they create make just as little sense as the bombshells from the beginning. For example, why is it that the Eden of the East website still active for others when the club people just had a dramatic scene where they shut the whole thing down permanently already in another scene? These films took too many liberties with the script and it all falls apart when they point everything out and explain absolutely everything that’s going on, revealing the poor writing structure. The real mystery in these movies is how they missed countless things that don’t add up. Tons of little shortcuts and easy ways out that pile up into something much more serious than a few gaping plotholes.
2. Nothing appears to be threatening or problematic, so why do we care?
Gone is any sense of danger, gone is any motivation to find out more about what’s going on, gone is any apparent sense of conflict that the audience could connect with. Everything feels so unorganized that it’s hard to get invested in anymore. We’re more confused and impatient dealing with all the ways that the script messed up with other aspects to notice that there is apparently something to worry about.
The beginning scenes feel more like conclusions to the show than exposition for these films. Everything seems so happy and resolved that we feel completely relieved within the first ten minutes. There wasn’t a problem, people were celebrating Air King, or the success of the Eden Of The East website, or the reformation of politics and economy favoring Japan. Compare that to a naked man without memories holding a gun in front of the white house. It’s comparing an intro without consequence or problem with an intro with an infinite amount of issues and conflict waiting to happen.
Everything in the movies is also laid out plain and simple without any sense of intrigue or desire to find out more about how the mystery elements work and which culprit is behind what strange event. The creative presentation style that the show did so well to execute is completely lost in order to make the movies an easier ride to take in, when in reality the wild ride was a highly successful aspect and one of the most enjoyable elements of Eden Of The East. But suddenly it isn’t a mystery as much as it is a very slow, dull, uneventful, uninteresting game.
3. Akira Takizawa and the rest of the cast aren’t interesting anymore.
Even after completely losing his memory a second time, Akira is completely fine because he isn’t put in an interesting or dangerous situation. After he meets up with Saki, he more or less knows everything that’s going on, when the real pleasure of watching him came from the fact that he was still confident and fun to follow even when he had no clue what he should be doing. By the second film, he gains all of his past memories as well, making the memory wipes seem like pointless excuses to draw out time, and because the movies end up ditching his mysterious amnesia case, they lose a major element that made the series work. The only thing retainable is that he still keeps his suave character and he still knows exactly what to do, but since we can’t attach to anything at stake, it ends up being boring and uninteresting. What made him likable was that he had these qualities even when his situation told him that he shouldn’t. Anyone else operating on lost memories trying to solve a mystery would come across as lost and confused, and while Akira still felt that way, it was his actions that mattered in the show. Now he’s just all over the place with weak motivations and even weaker ties to the people he erased from his life…only to get them back in exchange for even weaker ties. It also seems that he doesn’t even care about what’s happening to his memories as he’s getting them back, and every time he’s told something about his past or about some new development, he barely reacts. Since we also connect with him as the lead character, his lack of surprise and investment in what’s going on rubs off on us and we end up even more disconnected from what’s going on in the plot.
We also have to push all of our chances of getting attached to Akira aside for the most part because the films shove more focus onto the character of Saki, who is still upset after Akira disappears, and continues to mope as he goes off to handle various situations. Saki had very little presence and not many qualities of interest to begin with, and her relationship with Akira, even though it didn’t dive too deep into aspects of romance, was really effective in the show even if Saki wasn’t very impactful as an individual. The film focuses entirely on their romance aspects, which are incredibly weak, and by the time they have their big kiss at the end, you don’t buy it at all. It also doesn’t help that Saki really shined in scenes when she complemented Akira, and in the films, they’re rarely together. She wasn’t that memorable the first time around, and this time around she didn’t really even need to be there.
Also sad is how half of the film focuses on the Eden Of The East website club characters who are doing technical work in the background as the games continue playing out. They now have to carry half of the plot elements, instead of taking care of some side developments to aid Akira in the overall picture like the show had them do. They might have been interesting enough to hold their ground in the show, but they certainly don’t have enough presence to take up half of our investment in the entire plot.
I’ll go into detail about these guys in the next segment, but the other players in the game get the shaft as well. The ones who saw memorable development in the show come and go like they’re nothing in the films, and the few other players introduced are barely interesting, though to be fair their screentime overall was laughable considering how the script treated them as important cast members. So as opposed to a surprisingly simple, but effective cast, in the movies nobody is memorable, nobody is really that likable, and I could barely get behind the one person I should have, let alone the rest.
4. Everything strange and memorable from the show is ruined with boring content that doesn’t matter.
Eden Of The East was the master at showing just enough to get the viewer sucked in. These sequels are messy examples of showing way too much. The films seem so hell bent on giving detailed answers to the questions that didn’t need to be asked in the show, but since many people complained how the show felt confusing or incomplete, it felt the need to treat them like idiots and spoon-feed concrete results to them. Because, you know, it’s bad for you to think.
Every little thing that didn’t have a proper answer from the show is needlessly brought to light, and nothing else is left for imagination to compliment the oddities of the show. Akira’s knowledge for movies, the mysterious golden ring comment in the finale, the other players of the game, and many more elements are brought back to be milked for content. But when each of them are explored, none of them end up interesting or effective emotionally. It’s just an attempt to get as much out of the world as the makers can to fill up time, to the point where the world and the characters are uninteresting and boring. We didn’t need to know Akira’s past as much as we needed to focus on his character in the moment of the show, we didn’t need to know why he points out the lack of golden rings on the carousel as much as it could have been seen as a simple little metaphor for repetition without reward, and we certainly didn’t need to know every little detail about the other players if they ended up uninteresting, forgettable, and ineffective for the story, when they could have just left it to the mind of the viewer to explore the other strange things going on. But instead, the movies insist that they show us absolutely everything, no matter how ineffective or uninteresting, even though you’re satisfied, tired, and ready to leave. Talk about taking material that was overflowing with content and reducing it to material that’s been run dry.
If you still weren’t convinced, don’t worry, the movies make it their mission to prove that they can botch even more. For no explainable reason Akira gets his memory back from the time of the show just so he could explain how the little dog with wings was connected to his mom, and then we see Saki trying to find out if this one woman was his mother in another part of the story. But when everything is over, Akira didn’t care about it anyway and it didn’t help the overall story. What was the point? Were viewers so mad that the show didn’t give enough exposition to an amnesia case? All it did was add on an extra half hour for us to sit through and not care.
There’s the discussion and debate about whether Akira is the minister’s illegitimate son or not, killing any subtlety within the title of “prince” that the show gave him. It wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, it was just a little play on words to say that he was the little man who was doing the good deeds even though credit wouldn’t go to him, and how Japan was in a state of crisis without a king to effectively combat it. If you’re going by that analogy, Japan isn’t exactly a world without a king if you’re going to refer to the Prime Minister as the king figure anyway. And when we see the huge praise he gets anyway due to the Air King element, it looks like the show’s attempt of creating a silent prince who helped Japan in the shadows turned sour as well. This movie ruined all the special little things that made this show shine. How is this supposed to be a satisfying followup if they completely mutilate any sense of subtlety or little thought provoking elements from the show, no matter how big or small they are?
It then screws over a ton of other players that actually had a lot of impact before by bringing a few of them back to do things that would be forgotten five minutes after they happen. Like the hospital director who left the world after giving all he had to others, or the fashion designer who knew how to make a shocking stage exit. But because the movies didn’t have much to work with, both were brought in to fill for time and to bring more explanations to the viewers. We are also introduced to the weakest and least memorable player in the game: Some random guy who just films Saki and Akira in NYC…and that’s it. He’s unlikable, he’s forgettable, he lasts about 10 minutes before getting jailed and we never see him again. We also find out about another player who is supporting the plan to make Akira the scapegoat for the missile attack, but it turns out that’s all he was there for. He didn’t do anything, he didn’t effect anything, take him out of the movies and nothing would change. The original player who was fed up with the world and wanted to bomb Japan is also brought back for no other reason only to be the catalyst in a lazy shock ending that leaves no impact at all, and another player gets about thirty seconds of screentime near the end as some half-assed introduction and conclusion for their apparent “arc”. Another element left for others to wonder about, the others who were playing the game elsewhere, brought to light and killed before our eyes for no other reason besides to say that the film explained it.
And then we get the most insulting development of them all: The mediator of the game, Mr. Outside, and all of the different Juiz figures, who are basically just women who look exactly like one another, are revealed as people to the audience. Why do these films insist on showing us a bunch of things that we don’t need to see? 1984 didn’t have a scene where it revealed Big Brother to be just some guy in a big chair, because Big Brother didn’t need to be shown. Juiz was a plot element similar to a Big Brother figure, just an omnipotent presence that had massive control over the world and stayed behind the curtains for the entire show, and we didn’t need to know the ins and outs of it because that wasn’t the focus of our investment and it didn’t matter in the big picture. Mr. Outside and the Juiz system was untouchable, something that nobody could interact with, but the ultimate oddity responsible for nearly every other oddity in the show is given the same exact treatment as everything else. It’s also revealed how Mr. Outside had picked his players for the game, shoving in more information that the movies are so scared the audience will miss and complain about. They’re so paranoid that whoever is viewing can’t follow their story, so they lay it all out infront of the audience so that no amount of thought or intrigue is required to take it all in. And once they do that, all the inconsistencies and mistakes they make when putting these sequels together ironically multiply almost exponentially.
There’s a couple of those weird events in the beginning before it gets really boring, but it comes off surprisingly as quirky and slapstick, nothing like the reality challenging events and spectres that the show thought up.It was also filled with pathetic little attempts to mirror some of those stranger scenes. For example, the second film starts off with a bad dream scene where the Juiz phone comes alive and Akira calls it “Johnny” as a lazy throwback, and then it goes in his ear and he wakes up. It serves no purpose, and that’s the only remotely strange or lively event in the whole second movie. It felt like some cheap knockoff of FLCL, and if you say that out loud, “Eden Of The East needed to rip off FLCL”, yeah something just feels wrong. Hope you enjoyed that guys, the next 90 minutes is gonna be like watching grass grow, only more painful.
Also quickly throw in that fantastic insert gospel song from the show during the ending to try and convince people that what happened in those 3 hours was memorable and worth their time. I’m sorry, but whenever that song comes up, I’ll only look at the finale of the show, which perfectly wrapped up an incredible albeit shaky script and gave so much satisfaction to something that really shouldn’t have worked that well in the first place. Way to take the iconic music from a fantastic ending and use it as a desperate means of forced closure for an unorganized and degrading followup script. Just another unfortunate element that couldn’t escape awful writing.
5. An extremely unfulfilling plot and finale to an unbelievably strong start.
Instead of focusing on the little things that added up to create a fascinating whole, the movies decide to put all of their attention on the one plot problem that we are supposedly supposed to fully believe and care about. And just like the introduction scenes, nothing makes any goddamn sense.
The main problem by now is that another player in the game is trying to make Akira a scapegoat again by saying he’s an illegitimate son of the Prime Minister and that he was responsible for the missile bombings. Even though it was Akira’s request to make Juiz make him king that was getting him closer to the Prime Minister, but another user knows about this and is somehow using those developments to make him look like the bad guy, even though he’s already celebrated by now as the savior who stopped the missiles, but the Prime Minister is already dead so a sudden reveal of an unknown child wouldn’t exactly make him a considerable king in the first place (and by political structures, he wouldn’t become one anyway, this isn’t a monarchy here), and why exactly would they treat the child of the late prime minister with such hostility if he’s already Jesus-kun, infact wouldn’t that just make his hero image even stronger, but since the other player is accusing him of the missile attack then somehow people are just going to go with the flow again and the whole collective unanimous internet and general public will unanimously deem his as a demon asshole, but weren’t these people trying to save Japan instead of just playing a stupid game of objection with scapegoats and pointing fingers, and do you really think the mediatior of the game would allow them to mess around like that if he can kill anyone he deems isn’t taking the game seriously?
So the motivations behind the conflict are really hard to follow and the logic behind everything that develops around it is absolutely broken, and by this point I could care less about what’s going to happen, nor do I have a clear investment in a certain party, even though the films have been basically spelling everything out so that an seven year old could understand it. By the time the ending comes along, a few more stupid little twists are quickly thrown in that screw over a lot of the logic with how the game is played and how the mystery elements work properly. It were an insulting way to bring about a completely unsatisfying ending to the entire franchise.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to find a solid five minutes where the script doesn’t shoot itself in the face trying too hard to be too simple, but despite a lot of really poor choices, there were also a few scenes that turned out to be pretty well done. When Eden was being hacked into and how the club handled it; that was interesting. When the missiles were targeting each of the Juiz entities, that proved to be a good development. I might give it a lot of faults (and that might be an understatement), but it definitely wasn’t devoid of at least a couple good moments in the script. Considering all of the accumulated garbage from the writing, it had a set pace, and plot developments that at least kept your attention despite not adding up overtime and being comparatively uninteresting. But that’s barely enough to save it in the end, because these were severely disappointing and unnaturally complicated when they didn’t have to be.
6. The production values for two films (3 hours) are somehow worse than the show (5 hours).
When talking about animation itself, the usual character body animation was pretty good, but the facial expressions this time around are much more stiff and restrained, unlike what the show could do so easily. For example, after Saki runs away from the mess of weapons and luggage in New York, her reactions and the reactions of everyone around her feel way more exaggerated than needed while still feeling held back by stiff motions and bland expressions. Overall, I thought it was surprisingly lazy, and it’s made evident whenever the films bring up visuals from the show, which in comparison feel much more polished and natural. Infact, the producers must have preferred the show’s animation because that’s what they showcase when the final credits start to roll, and you pine for something that was pointlessly mutilated beyond recognition.
The backgrounds and the 3D also look more simplistic, and some scene shots aren’t exactly rendered very well for a theatrical film. Sometimes the settings look pretty well done and impressive, but many other times did they look exceedingly cartoony.
The music by Kenji Kawai, even though he uses a couple tracks from the first OST, barely even registers now. The few standouts from the show used here aren’t as memorable, and the ones made specifically for the film feel really stale for some reason.
Both Openings for the show were actually pretty decent, mainly because they didn’t have a script to mess them up. The visuals are fine, the music’s fine, and they actually did well to further the understanding of the messy transitions and the overall situation. No complaints here, they just didn’t seem as memorable as Oasis or stop motion pencil missiles.
I never watched these films dubbed so I unfortunately don’t have anything to say regarding those aspects, though I imagine the voice actors get a little bit more settled into their characters by now to feel a touch more natural or believable. The original voice actors still do fine, and weren’t able to take me out of anything, save from a couple more awkward scenes with different language exchanges from their time in America.
Talk about something that had absolutely no reason to exist from the get go, something that took its counterpart and burned it at the stake for three hours, something that completely and thoroughly executed a horrible continuation that didn’t even need to be told.
Even people who saw the films and liked them didn’t really think the ending was all that good, and…yeah, the ending was pretty dumb. As much as people didn’t like how the show ended on a note that there might be more, this particular type of “more” didn’t end up very satisfying whatsoever. So why did they like the films? Probably because they explained some stuff that the show presented more clearly so they didn’t have to bother thinking about it.
Because again, thinking is bad for you, and viewers should never be put in situations that require them to think about something the work of art didn’t take time to explain. Because that’s how art works. Yeah.
The only saving grace of these movies is that it’s required that you watch the show beforehand. With that in mind, as I judge the entity as a whole, it had an incredibly strong first half, it’s just that the second half in turn is one of the funniest jokes in anime history. If these films were standalone, I would definitely slap on a lower rating than the one I’m giving it, so since the show is included (even though it’s completely torn apart by the time the films end) it saves a bit of the overall piece. And it turns out that the show itself gives a much higher sense of satisfaction and closure than the films ended up giving the story. My real recommendation is to just watch the show on its own, because it really is something special that doesn’t deserve to be degraded by some forced continuation.
I give this anime (the show and the films) a score of 3.8/10 (2 stars), and an Unrecommended rating.read more