1 of 1 episodes seen
Picking up where part 2 left off, You Can (Not) Redo — or Q Quickening, if you’d rather – begins with a mesmerizing six minute sequence in which Studio Khara blows 75% of their budget on Asuka retrieving Shinji’s unconscious body from outer space by shooting the shit out of some artificial angels. It’s lavishly animated and beautiful on multiple levels, keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat as pretty colors light up the cosmos. The action is insane, even jaw-dropping, perfectly setting the film up to be an action-packed thrill ride. And then Shinji wakes up.
Do you remember the preview at the end of Evangelion 2.0? Yeah, none of that happens in this movie. Instead, the remainder of the film is a joyless husk; a cheap imitation of NGE that plays out more like self-indulgent fanfiction than something written and directed by the original creator. Following a fourteen year (yes, fourteen) time skip, in which no one has aged a day — a minor inconvenience that is apathetically hand waved near the outset — protagonist Shinji Ikari enters a world in which everyone hates him but refuses to say why. Poor Shinji is just as confused as the audience by this, but all of his requests for clarification seem to result in a reply of “don’t touch anything”, “be quiet”, or “fuck off ya twat”.
Misato now commands a fleet of flying battleships, her goal being the destruction of remaining NERV personnel. While this could have been an interesting storyline had something — anything — built up to it, this motivation comes completely out of left field and feels extremely unsatisfying. It is then that Rei, who Shinji was told died in the last film, suddenly shows up to whisk him away to the now-desolate NERV headquarters. The audience is subsequently left wondering why the hell Misato’s fleet hasn’t completely wiped them off the map yet, as their staff consists entirely of Gendo, Rei, Kaworu, and Fuyutsuki. That’s not a joke either; their staff is literally half the size of the average internet forum's before Shinji shows up.
By the time the fairly predictable climax rolls around, viewers will have been left utterly bored by almost an hour of nothing interesting happening. The film is mostly set in drab, empty environments — and if that was meant to be symbolic in some way, Khara failed miserably. Plot twists from the original Neon Genesis Evangelion occur in ways that are presented in a much less compelling manner this time around, and the bulk of these scenes simply feature Shinji being kind-of-but-not-really depressed and the expected yaoi ship-bait between the leading man and Kaworu. However, their interactions feel more manufactured than before; an attempt at shallow fanservice rather than a pivotal moment in the protagonist’s character arc… a character arc that hardly even exists in this film.
That's not to say that their relationship was particularly well-written in episode 24 of NGE - far from it - there just wasn't enough meat for it to be expanded upon at this level without some major rewriting. Their storyline works more for the concept than it does the execution in both instances, and the way it was presented in the original series, while certainly out of left field, made it seem like it had more depth than it really did. In 3.0, it just happens, because. It didn't really seem to affect Shinji much outside of moving him to the next plot point. But it's unfair to make such a blanket statement at this point in time; the final movie could definitely do some interesting things with Shinji/Kaworu.
Fans of human interaction and actual dialogue will no doubt be distressed by the fact that Kaworu is the only likable character and how the interesting dynamics and relationships of past Evangelion works have been completely discarded in 3.0. Rei has maybe twenty lines total, the majority of them being “I don’t know” and “that is not my order”. Gendo says all of one sentence to Shinji and only has a couple more lines after that. Ritsuko exists solely to deliver exposition and disappears after the first act. Misato is basically a new character. Mari speaks almost entirely in one-liners. Kaji doesn’t even appear.
The story as a whole is mostly inconsequential and serves only to undermine what was accomplished in the previous two movies. Nearly everything established or built up in 1.0 and 2.0 is either ignored or demolished in part 3, leaving the fourth and final movie to probably function better as a standalone piece than part of a film series. I hold NGE (and the other Rebuild movies) dear to my heart and consider The End of Evangelion to be among the finest films ever made — animated or otherwise — but even my love for this franchise cannot make You Can (Not) Redo look like a good movie. Sure, it excels in the A/V department (as expected), but it has no soul, meaning, or purpose. Anno’s heart is nowhere to be found in this glorified fanfic; it’s a stylish Eva knock-off at best. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
What we've got here is a slice of life school drama masquerading as a trippy fantasy action movie. It doesn't help that the trailer is composed almost entirely of fight scenes or that there is pretty much no fan or official art depicting anything other than the characters' alternate reality personas.
The title is misleading.
The trailer is misleading.
The art pertaining to it is misleading.
But, disregarding all of that, is it any good? Well... yes and no.
The story begins with rejected Magical Touhou: Lucky K-On Witches' Kindergarten - A's character Mato Kuroi getting ready for her first day at a new school. Yes, this is yet another "moe" anime, though it actually makes sense in this context, since the characters are in Junior High and not college. This, unfortunately, does not stop the producers from throwing some (thankfully light) fanservice into the mix on occasion (really, guys?). It isn't long before she meets Yomi Takanashi, and they become good friends very quickly.
The scenes involving Mato and Yomi being best buds would serve to make the rest of the OVA more effective if they didn't feel so rushed. More than half of their friendly interactions are shoehorned into a montage, removing any and all relatability from these situations that could be emotionally charged under other circumstances.
Soon, the inseparable pair begins to drift apart. While this is extremely abrupt and there is almost nothing building up to it, these scenes are easily the best in the feature. Mato, though she is unaware of this, begins neglecting Yomi, and once the latter disappears from the picture, she becomes horribly confused and begins feeling isolated and regretful. The raw emotion compounded into these segments is conveyed very well and would have genuinely constituted a few wonderful moments had the establishment of their friendship earlier on not felt so amateurish. It's also too bad that this topic was already covered this year (and to better effect) by Toy Story 3.
This is all supplemented by numerous, random, and very brief sequences of the main characters' alternate world selves fighting over... something. The action scenes are all fairly lame with the exception of the last one, which is suitably over the top and fun to watch. It is unfortunate that these alternate world segments - for which the OVA is named - are all entirely inconsequential and have a total running time equivalent to that of the movie's ending credits. One of these is literally a three second shot of a desert spliced in between two school scenes for absolutely no reason. Several of them feature a character whose alternate persona does nothing whatsoever aside from stare off into the distance for 15 seconds or so.
The ending and moral have both been done before... in Pokemon: The First Movie. Black Rock Shooter basically tells you that if you cry hard enough, your missing and/or dead friends will come back to you. This would be relatively easy to ignore if all the loose ends were tied up by the conclusion, but that is not so. There will likely be a sequel sometime in the near future (though nothing has been announced yet, as far as I know), and I can assure you that I will not be watching it unless it fixes all the problems from this episode.
The art is fine if you like the generic "moe" style. Nothing too spectacular, but nothing really awful, either. The animation varies greatly; some scenes are amazingly fluid while others are choppy and terrible. Ironically, it is usually the supposed "eye-candy" action scenes that get the short end of the stick.
The voice acting in Black Rock Shooter is pretty good. Mato's actress especially does a great job of making her character's emotions seem "real." While the others' voices aren't quite as excellent, it's all very professional-sounding and the performances are enjoyable. The music doesn't fare as well, however. I only really noticed two songs in the entire OVA (outside of your standard ambient background soundtrack), neither of which I liked. The first, played during the friendship montage, is a teary-eyed, nostalgic piece and, as far as I can tell, is sung entirely in Engrish (and I hate teary-eyed, nostalgic pieces - especially when sung in Engrish). The second, played during the ending credits, sounds like it was recorded by a Japanese Green Day cover band (and I hate Green Day - especially when played by cover bands).
Overall, you could do a lot worse than Black Rock Shooter. There's not much that's actually wrong with it, even though all it really boils down to in the end is a great story told poorly.
Story: 6/10 (It had a chance to really connect with the audience on an emotional level, but instead felt like it was hastily slapped together at the last minute)
Characters: 5/10 (While we're offered lots of interesting insight into Mato's life, she's the only character who really develops at all)
Art: 5/10 (Standard "moe" style)
Animation: 7/10 (Can change from awesome to awful in a matter of seconds)
Voice Acting (Japanese): 8/10 (The voice cast did a really good job with what they were given)
Music: 3/10 (Nothing really memorable or even good)
Overall: 6/10 (Feel free to watch it if you're bored; it's nothing amazing but you might like parts of it) read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Let's start with the story (1/10). At first, it merely seems like a pathetic and shameless knock off of Higurashi; reminiscent of what Friedberg and Seltzer (don't know them? look 'em up) would probably do if they were given the opportunity to produce Cicadas Movie. But no, this is just the tip of the shit iceberg, because it gets worse. It begins with a flash-forward to a point later on in the series (OH GEE WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS BEFORE), which is painfully stupid without the proper context and even worse once you know what's actually going on.
The story really starts with our hero, Hiroshi, moving to a new town with his father and lame sister. "Lame" has a double meaning in this case, by the way, as not only do her legs not work, she is probably one of the least interesting characters in the show (and that's really saying something). Hiroshi is the new kid on the block, but it isn’t hard for him to make friends; in fact, every character in the show save the ubiquitous creepy Furude Rika-lookalike seems to crave the taste of his dick. See, this is due to a special pheromone his body unwittingly produces that makes the local yokels hungry like the wolf. There are multiple scenes involving one of his (or perhaps his only) male friend(s) trying to make out with him. Under normal circumstances, I’d consider this blatant wish fulfillment on the part of the writer, but after seeing how big the boobs were on EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER in Umineko, I’m convinced that it’s just fanservice.
Chaos erupts throughout the city. Citizens begin slowly turning into wolves like honest, hard-working Americans turned into dirty Commie bastards during the Cold War. Not that the show really gives a shit about the outbreak, as only about a minute per episode is devoted to these scenes. There's some secret, ancient society devoted to exterminating these furry pests, but we wouldn't be able to focus on the supah kawaii antics of Hiroshi and his mini-harem if the story decided to expound too heavily on their history or their work, so it doesn't. Eventually, some guy - who might as well be sporting a curly mustache and evil smirk - randomly stumbles into the series and announces that he will be the antagonist from this point forward. I'd compare him to Takano Miyo, but that would be too easy, since they're pretty much the exact same fucking character (except this guy is completely one-dimensional with tacked on motives and makes Genocyber look like great literature).
I've already talked quite a bit about the characters (1/10), but there's something I need to make perfectly clear; as you may have noticed, there is a recurring theme throughout this review: aside from Hiroshi, I haven't mentioned any characters by name. This is because every single character was so terribly written and developed that I was never able to actually learn any of their names or differentiate between them by anything other than their voices or looks. Let's do a quick break-down (with the aide of MAL to help me match names to faces):
Hiroshi - Our protagonist. Accidentally castrated instead of circumcised at birth, which explains his appearance, voice, and lack of courage or assertiveness. One of the least likable characters in the entire series due to his bratty attitude and general stupidity.
Mana - Hiroshi's sister. Cries a bunch. Probably wants to fuck her brother. Unimportant story-wise.
Masaaki - Hiroshi's dad. Loves to tell stupid stories. Probably the best character in the anime, but not because he's interesting; he's simply less uninteresting than every other character. Unimportant story-wise.
Isuzu - Shameless Rena clone, personality-wise, but without any of her good points. Probably the worst character in the series.
Kaname - The smart one. Has no personality to speak of. The most boring character in the series. A piece of cardboard would be more interesting to talk to.
Nemuru - Anti-social girl who acts like a prick to everyone.
Kannon - Anti-social magical girl who acts like a prick to everyone and kills wolves in her spare time. Has the same voice actor as Nemuru (see where I'm going with this?).
Kaori - Plays music. Has some kind of terminal illness that is never really explained. Disappears from the series without much explanation near the end. Unimportant story-wise.
Issei - Gay for Hiroshi. This makes him a bad guy. Way to reinforce the anime being homophobic stereotype, guys. Isuzu's brother.
Sakaki - The bad guy. Has stupid plans that never really amount to anything and is incapable of using a gun properly.
Detracting from my enjoyment (1/10) even further, the final episode is a comedy special. That's right, not only is the story slow-paced and mind-bogglingly boring, it can't even fill up an entire half-season. This episode is about as funny as being force-fed a popsicle made of frozen diarrhea. If you thought Higurashi's comedy was bad, well, just imagine it without the lovable characters. Now make it ten times worse and add in some poorly-done fanservice. That's the final episode of Ookami Kakushi in a nutshell.
The art and character designs (1/10) are so unabashedly generic that you won't be able to tell the difference between this series and every other half-hearted, mediocre anime out there. The animation is about on par with Filmation or Studio DEEN on a bad day.
The sound in general (5/10) isn't anything to write home about, but none of it is bad. The OP and ED are unmemorable but inoffensive and the voice acting is fairly standard.
Story - 1/10 (Beyond awful)
Characters - 1/10 (Boring enough to put you to sleep)
Enjoyment - 1/10 (Not one bit)
Art/Animation - 1/10 (Walt Disney is rolling over in his grave)
Sound - 5/10 (Passable)
Overall - 1/10 (I'd marathon Umineko in its entirety before I'd subject myself to another minute of this bullshit) read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
This film is highly philosophical. I actually felt regret when the Big Bad Ancient Guy told Random Armored Cop Dude that the humans were the true invaders of Earth. This plot twist was stunning and, on the whole, thought-provoking. It was like something written by Kafka.
This movie is so amazing that it actually makes DEEN's animation look like Madhouse by comparison. It gave me more appreciation for other anime titles! I love you, Mars Of Destruction!!!
The voice acting is absolutely perfect. When the characters yell each other's names repeatedly you will FEEL the emotion. The OST recorded by Beethoven himself is also marvelous. He did an excellent job, as always.
The characters are all equally well-done, from Green Hair Girl to Blue Hair Girl; it's so easy to tell them apart! I especially enjoyed the doctor's dialogue, as I would not have known that the girl whose head exploded was dead without his helpful reminder that "she won't make it."
This picture is absolutely riveting on every level! I could watch it over and over and never get bored!
Run, don't walk, to your nearest YouTube to catch this masterpiece as soon as possible! You won't regret it! read more