22 of 22 episodes seen
A world that keeps people under control breeds monsters, in order to keep an equilibrium. Psycho-Pass could have been just another action anime with a cute main girl and attractive bishonen cast, fortunately, that wasn't the case. I would describe this anime as having an unique approach on a detective/ futuristic setting, borrowing a variety of concepts from various medias and forming its own world.
In a world dependent on technology, which seems so guarded and secure, the human psyche has never been more endangered. This world is marked by the existence of the “Sybil System” (that is unquestioned by the avearge citizen, thus making you doubt the fairness of the system) which was a system created to improve the human society, by sorting out those who have a "clouded Psycho-Pass", (which means they have criminal tendecies) from the "good sheep". “Mental contamination” is presenting itself as a big issue, coordinating the future of its inhabitants. The degree of how "contaminted" is your psychic health, is being measured by the "Psycho-Pass" device, hence the name of the show. This is a world where humans chose comodity over personal freedom, which is only a very well camouflaged illusion.
The screen play was written by Gen Urobuchi (Nitroplus), the one and only creator of the thought-provoking Madoka Magica, he's the reason for the popular themes that attracts the masses while still delivering intriguing and imaginative themes. The first episode opens with the newly appointed young inspector Akane Tsunemori that has as her first case the dangerous mission of catching a criminal. As her "assistants" she receives in her care a few "enforcers" who are described as latent criminals who are allowed into the outside world with the sole purpose of flushing out criminals just like themselves : "They are hunting dogs. They're beasts used to hunt other beasts." At first, Akane is intimidated by them, but soon finds out they are victims of the society they live in. They are seen using cool-looking weapons, called “Dominator" that adapt to the owner's psychological data, which in my opinion is an ingenious concept.
I should add that action-driven, detective-oriented animes aren't my cup of tea, but in Psycho-Pass' case it is more than that, I was compelled by the waving of the plot and the philosophical aspects. They are smartly integrated in the plot, such as the existence of a dystopian future, how far can we grasp the mysteries of the human psyche, the thin line between right or wrong, the purpose of justice and law, the human need for comodity, which empties the human potential etc. Another strong point of the series is its social commentaries, using themes such as inequality in the society, fear of confronting reality by immersing yourself in the internet world, the existence of numbness and insensitivity of humans to stimulations since their reason of living had died out, as well as the opposite, people who want to outlive others by resolving to turn into androids. There are concepts borrowed from all over the place, from the science fiction novel " Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick (which is also mentioned by Makishima Shougo,the literature-loving killer), to George Orwell's famous "Nineteen Eighty-Four" to William Gibson's cyber-punk universe.
There is a particular scene that I think is very relevant to understanding the degree of how the existence of the Sibyl System and Psycho-Pass affected the society: A man walks in a crowded street and randomly chooses to attack a woman, cowering in fear of the consequence of having their psycho-pass be clouded, the audience watches apathetically as the woman is being hit numerous times with a hammer/ gavel while being undressed. As if it weren't enough, the spectators even film the scene, seeming to enjoy it tremendously. Approaching her, comes a robot that advises her to go see a doctor, since her psycho-pass is clouded (due to the beating). This scene shows the irony of the society they live in, on the surface the government pretends that they guard the citizens, but when something like this occurs, no one interferes A character commented:“They said they couldn't understand what was going on. Someone being killed right in front of you,the idea wouldn't even occur to you. All these people lived up until today without even considering that something like this could happen”.
There are flaws with the plot which is pretentious and it does have an intellectual approach, however, it does not always succeed. The anime has good flow until episode 11, after that it begins to be unfocused and starts prolonging unnecessarry story lines (however in the final episodes it returns to the original formula). It is ironic that the best part of the story was the beginning which didn't had so much plot, but managed to maintain its good points, the episodic villains not slowing the plot but preparing it for the climax.
If you watched series such as Ergo Proxy and Ghost in the shell you may not find the story so innovative. However, if you haven't watched these great show you'll be able to enjoy the story more than I did.
I have to say, the first thing I noticed looking on this anime's Mal page, was the design of the characters, I was like :"Are you sure Amano Akira-sensei that did Katekyo Hitman Reborn didn't drew the characters?" And I was right, you can't believe how happy I was since her drawing style is one of my favorites in manga. The art is very good, the designs for the characters are appealing and eye-pleasing, the scenaries are beautifully drawn and give the feeling the staff put a lot of effort and care into them, as well as in the technological devices. The animation is smooth and it flows naturally, giving a feeling of realism, while still keeping an anime feel to it.
The sound is great, it has catchy rhythms and lyrics as well as atmospheric backgroud music.I remember a certain lyric from the ending song "God....Where did you go?", which I think suits this society.
The characters are likeable, even the main antagonist. At first, I thought Shinya Kougami was a suicidal maniac, that seeked redemption by being killed. However, that's far from the truth, the audience discovering that he actually wants to live in order to avenge his murdered colleague. I find Shinya's character easy to empathise with (which is always a good thing), he is also interesting as a character, possesing superior observational skills which remind me of Will Graham from Red Dragon, who tries to enter the minds of criminals (at one point we see him reading a book called "Heart of Darkness", which presents the exact same situation he finds himself in, a conflict between the "lower", un-advanced humans and superior, technology-users ones).
Akane's physical appearance makes her seem younger than she is, but her personality is far more reserved and mature. She is at one time regarded as “mental beauty” because of the degree of her self-control. One character stated about her that: “She accepts things as they are. She forgives society, acknowledges it, and accepts it. On top of that, she doesn't mind taking risks, so it's not like she's just going with the flow”. However, her relationship with Shinya is almost non-existent even after 20 episodes, which really annoys the hell out of me.
Now, time for the most interesting character in this series, and the reason why this anime is so higly regarded, Makishima Shougo. In a world that humans aren't actually “alive”, as their lives are dictated by the Sybil System, Shougo wants to live life to the fullest. When people are given free hand to commit atrocious murders, they don't hesitate and grasp the chance. This is what Makishima really is in my opinion, a trigger that determines other people to go against the norms of society, fulfilling their destructive desires. He uses his natural leader skills to manipulate other criminals, being like a flame that attracts moths, ending up burning them, him being the only one left standing. His superior talents make him search for his equal, someone he can measure up against without ever getting bored. He represents the ultimate contradiction, his consciousness being crystal-clear and pure while committing heinous acts. He thinks of himself more of an artist than anything, a conductor that orchestrates the destruction of the world he lives in. There is beauty where there is suffering and chaos, only that way humans realise the importance of being alive. The exchange of words he has with Shinya adds to my enjoyment, as I can clearly see the chemistry between the two characters, each being the reflection of the other, the only thing that separtes them is the side of the coin they are on.
Nobuchika Ginoza is one of these characters you either love or hate. It is interesting to see his inner conflicts, having to choose between obeying the system or aiding his friends. I find intriguing the fact that he strives to be the perfect inspector, since his own father failed as an inspector and became a latent criminal, disgracing his family. His fear of not wanting to became a latent criminal like his father is smartly crafted, though I would have enjoyed to see more of their relationship. There is also the tensionate realationship with Shinya, his former collegue and friend, who betrayed him like his father did, becoming a latent criminal, and for that, Ginoza never forgives him.
However there are flaws with the characters as well. Even if Akane is the main character I would have liked to see more of her, the amount of information we receive about her is unsatisfactory. That doesn't only happen with her, but with Shinya as well, since we don't know anything about his background other than that he was an inspector.
This anime is worth watching, it does deserve some of the praise it gets, even if it had its flaws. It is however one of the most well-made anime in the winter-spring season of 2013. I will end quoting Makishima, 'cause I liked it a lot: " Just like God? That might be pleasurable in its own way, but unfortunately I'm not into umpire or referee, as I can't genuinely enjoy the game if I were one”.
Overall: 8.6 read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Koko Hekmatyar is a unique person, one of those people who keep equlibrium in the world, setting the delicate balance between right or wrong. As a guns merchant she encounters many chaotic situations where the line between right or wrong is easily crossed, however that doesn't stop her, as she stands collected in the face of perils. As every person working in this line of business, she gathers a team of people who subordinate to her. As you might have guessed, they are not ordinary people, but experienced soldiers who came alive from the pits of hell. They choose to follow the bright light that Koko emits, being attracted by her charm and wisdom, talents which make her a natural leader.
As her new subordinate, she recruits Jonah, a boy who fought as a child soldier in the Middle East. Jonah meets her team and is taken by surprise by all the new information he finds out about the world outside the war zone, since he only knew who to shoot a gun and fight. Koko gives Jonah a chance to be free and discover the world in his travels. However, Koko doesn't babysitt him, making him a new addition to her team, and giving him the role of protecting her in her gun transactions with people of the underworld.
The story follows the journey of Koko and her team to various countries and continents where Koko sells different guns and war machinery. As expected, the transactions don't always go so well, thus making Koko's team enagage in badass combat to protect her when the situation gets out of hand. It does remind of Black Lagoon, but this show stands on its own, the story being engaging and interesting enough to set itself apart. However, it does have flaws, the story not being coherent at times in the transition between episodes as well as having some characters's backgrounds unexplained.
The art is appealing, especially the designs of Jonah and Koko. The animation is constantly good, and the fighting scenes are engaging and highly-elaborated. I find the guns designs pretty imaginative as well as the various combat styles.
The music in this anime is really stunning, from the up-beat rap music to the classic music played in the background and the music in various languages that suits the multi-cutural backgrounds of the characters. One of my favorites songs from this anime is in portuguese, its beauty touching the strings of your heart.
At first Jonah clearly states that even if he's talented with shooting guns and killing people with them, he hates guns and those who sell them. However, he soon discovers that Koko is not your usual cold-hearted, insensitive gun merchant, but follows her own code of morals, even if it at times ambiguous. For example, she doesn't accept payment in drugs, and it's been shown that she admires determination and bravery even in her enemies. The way she chose her followers is the best example. For instance, her bodyguard and driver, Ugo, was a member of the mafia when Koko ordered for them to be killed when they wanted to pay her in drugs, leaving Ugo the only survivor. When asked why did she leave Ugo alive, she replyed that she liked the fact that Ugo looked away in disapproval when the mafia showed the drugs.
Koko is a force of nature, one of those rare people who can become anything they put in mind to be, however, Koko instead chose to be part of the dangerous underworld. She was born at sea, thus not having a place where she belongs, but because of that she feels unbounded, being able to feel freedom at another level. In norse mythology, Jormungand is called the "World Serpent" because he grew so large that he could surround the world and grasp its own tail. That may be a metaphor for Koko, who has the ability to feel free everywhere she goes in the world, thus by following her, she gives other people who strive for freedom, the chance of feeling eliberated.
We also meet her other subordinates which are people who survived wars and conflicts. There is Lehm, the always calm and collected veteran soldier and mercenary who is very compelling as a character. There is also Valmet, a skilled war combatant from Finland who still pursues revenge for her murdered comrades. As Koko once stated : "She's her teacher, her friend and more than that".Another member of Koko's team consists of Lutz, who serves at times the role of a comic relief, being shot in the ass several times, however showing superior skill as a sniper.
The character of Jonah is very interesting to watch as he develops, at the beginning showing a strong loathe of guns and the criminal world, joining Koko's team he finds out things aren't as black and white as he initially had thought. And that people like Mao, for example, who have a family and are good-natured persons, but still have to kill because of their job.
However there are problems with the characters as well. The portrayl of the characters as being the “good guys” is highly unrealistic, because of the profession they have. Seeing a sympathetic law-breaker is acceptable in anime format, though. There are also interesting supporting characters but who aren't developed, which is quite a pity. I would also had liked to see more of Jonah's experience as a child soldier and how it affected him. That would have been very interesting for me to watch, but unfortunately, it was totally discarded.
I enjoyed this anime, I recommend it to those who watched Black Lagoon as well as those who like action scenes and imaginative combat styles.
Overall: 8 read more
28 of ? chapters read
This manga is all about simplicity conveyed in a subtle, mesmerizing way. It tells the stories of everyday people in Central Asia in the 19th century, focusing primarly on an unusual newlyweds couple and their families. The manga begins with 20 year girl that marries a younger groom through an arranged engagement. At first their interaction is a little awkward since there is a 8 year difference in age, but quite soon, Amira and Karluk become fond of each other, forming a strong bond. Amira is soon accepted in Karluk's warm-hearted family. The plot of Otoyomegatari is episodic, showing different aspects from different angles of the towns folk way of living.
There are also a few larger story lines, such as the arrival of Amira's nomadic family that want her to marry another for political reasons, as well as Henry Smith's (the foreign guest of Karluk's family) departure and journey back home, and his encounter with a mysterious, beautiful woman (which in my opinion is the most compelling and heart-breaking story until now).
The degree of knowledge and historical accurency is as impressive as ever, coming from the mangaka of Emma, Kaoru Mori-sensei. Her portrayal of the culture, the tradition and cuisine is remarkable. The dedication she puts in every detail, such as a complex turkic embroidery, that is passed from generation to generation, in order to accumulate more knowledge of the patterns and make it in your own style. As well as the depiction of a carving master at work, producing real wonders from wood, passing down his wisdom to an interested kid. All those little gems do not drag the story, but enhances its beauty.
Simple things such as a woman singing in a field, the threads of a woman's hair caught by mistake, a gentle hand removing the tangled hair, the making of an embroidery, covering someone up with a blanket or the carving of wood, they are all gestures of kindness and affection towards nature, towards art or the person you love. They are gracefully portrayed by the skillful hands of the mangaka. They all seem like verses from a poem taking lives of their own in the sensei's drawings.
In my opinion, the character of Amira is one of the most vibrant, charismatic female characters in recent years. Her mesmerizing, strong-willed personality left a powerful impression on me. Amira may seem the perfect wife, she is talented at embroidery and cooking, she is also caring and loving, but at times out of concern for Karluk she worries too much. Uncommon for women in that period of time, she is independent and self-sufficient, showing talent for hunting, as well as understanding the equilibrium in nature, feeling at home among the wildlife, and connecting with it on a deeper level.
Karluk's character is very mature for his age, showing an adult's wisdom and determination, as well as courage when Amira is taken back by her family. There is also the intriguing character of Henry Smith, who is a traveler and researcher of distant cultures. He is often the comic relief in this manga, but at times he shows another side of him, a more serious, melancholic side, which makes him more mysterious. His story after his departure showed that he is a profound person. There are also charming supporting characters, such as Pariya, who has a tsundere personlity, which is also the cause of her not finding suitors, since in that period they were very important for becoming a respectable woman in the society. Her reactions are also a comic relief, especially her outspokeness and her embarrassment that follows soon after, which are lovely.
I highly enjoyed this manga, and after reading it for almost 2 years I still can't get enough. It is my type of manga, so I recommend to those who like slice of life and historical mangas, for the action-loving readers it may not be for you, but the quality of the writing may just fascinate you enough not to let the manga out of your hand.
Overall: 10 read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
“A man who takes a stand, though it scars him from head to toe, and that man is here”
I first watched this anime on tv back when I was a kid that couldn't comprehend much of Trigun's philosophy, but still got the essentials of its message : "It's all about LOVE & PEACE!" I recommend this anime for the newer anime fans, that only watched recent animes, I believe that watching this anime will make you appreciate the anime industry more, and their development across the history.
*It will be a rather long review, so beware*
The story centers around the character of Vash the Stampede, nicknamed "The Humanoid Typhoon", a man with a $60,000,000,000 bounty on his head. The rumors are varied and never the same, some say he has a mohawk, others say he's blonde and wears red clothes, but most stories agree that wherever he goes, disaster follows, leaving whole cities in ruin, but as if it were an act from God, there are no human casualities.
We are introduced to the characters of Meryl Stryfe and her partener Milly Thompson, who are sent by an insurance company to investigate the cause of the destructions, Vash. They encounter in rather strange circumstances a young man who matches the physical description of Vash the Stampede, but they soon dismiss that idea, since the young man was too air-headed and gulliable to be the notorious infractor.
However, when they are in a pinch, the man goes to their rescue, showing determination and fearlessness in the face of danger. Since their first encounter, the two insurance employees meet the mysterious young man on various occasions, and on many of these, the young man protects or tries to protect the defenseless, without killing anyone, but taking the violence on himself. Because of his pacifistic ways, Meryl tries to convince herself he is not Vash, despite all the proof that indicate otherwise, like his expert gunsmanship and his otherworldly ability to deflect attacks that are not humanly possible to deflect. However, when asked what is his name, he tries to avoid to answer, in the end the girls discover that he is indeed the real Vash the Stampede.
From then on, Vash is under the insurance girls surveillance, travelling along with them. Being able to know the real nature of Vash, a pacifist at heart, the girls gradually forget the rumors that portray him as a heartless villain.
The first part of the anime is episodic, and focuses on the pacifistic nature of Vash, showing how far he can go saving other people without killing the agressors. The latter half centers on the 100 years old conflict between Vash and his twin, Knives. Knives sends a criminal group called "Gung-Ho-Guns" in order to assasinate Vash (or to make him stronger). Knives' right hand is Legato, he serves the purpose of being the master-mind of many schemes to make Vash suffer. In comparison to the first part that is light-hearted and has a lot of comedy scenes, this part has far more darker themes, touching important philosophical aspects such the flaws of humans, their greed and instinctive need of perpetuating their species, even if that means to make colonies on other planets as well as questions on morality, such as the fear and guilt of killing someone.
The anime's primary inspirations are the westerns and science-fiction themes. The science-fiction themes are more subtle, and beautifully depicted, especially the existence of "the plants" (which I will not spoil what they are).
To be able to save others, to shoulder their pain, in spite of his own sacrifice, that is what this anime's about, what is Vash's character and his journey is about.
I will begin saying that the mangaka of Trigun Yasuhiro Nightow's character design is very appealing for a 90's anime, especially the desgins of Vash and Wolfwood, which I can observe the mangaka put a lot of care into. The scenary is interesting, especially the existence of the two or more suns. For a late 90's animation it looks rather well-made, even if it couldn't be compared with the recent animation, which wouldn't be fair.
The soundtrack of Trigun is addicting, varying from the up-beat, action-packed background music, to the heart-felt western music and to the sorrowful,soothing atmopsheric music, such as Rem's song "Sound Life". You may find one of your favorite soundtracks in this anime. Both the opening ("H.T." by Tsuneo Imahori) and ending (Kaze Wa Mirai Ni Fuku byAKIMA & NEOS ) are engaging and enjoyable.
The characters are the anime's strongest point in my opinion. Let's start with the character of Vash. First introduced as a goof-ball, it is later revealed he has a heavy burden to carry. Vash is a complex character, full of contradictions, he is afraid if he himself is in danger, but when others are in danger he becomes fearless. He sometimes acts foolish and reckless, but other times he is serious and analytic. In my opinion, he is also one of the coolest anime characters, on one occasion he wears a trash lid on his head for protection, transforming a comedy scene into an epic one. Vash is unlike any other anime character. What he does no other can do. He lives by the motto : "love & peace" , the degree of his self-sacrifce is unmatched. The total opposite of his brother that wants to destroy the human world, Vash chooses to get hurt or worse in order to protect it, because "they are alive and no one has the right to take the life of another".
The character of Meryl didn't appealed to me but she was neccesary. The character of Milly, the giant girly girl, however was intriguing. At first look she appears scatterbrained and clumsy, but at times shows unexpected wisdom and gives advices and moral support when the characters need it the most. As Vash once stated : "The big one [Milly] is exceptionally scary. My only salvation is she doesn't know how sharp she is."
In episode 9, we are introduced to the character of Nicholas D. Wolfwood, an unusual priest, who can use guns expertly and talks in a kansai-ben dialect (in the japanese version). We see him carrying a huge cross around him everywhere, saying that it's so big because it's full of mercy (the quote I used above). His character portrays the best the human flaws, the perpetual conflict between choosing to do good or doing bad in order to save the good. He is often jealous of Vash's determination of not wanting to kill and always looking for a peaceful alternative.
The relationship between Vash and Knives is beautifully depicted in an episode that shows their origins and how they are different from humans. Even though they are twins and grew up together, they choose different paths in life, Vash choosing to follow the human path and to protect them, Knives choosing the path of destruction.
The character of Rem rarely shows but has a big impact on the viewer. She is the one that influenced Vash's pacifistic view on life. Even after so many decades, Rem still lives in Vash's memory, guiding him along the way.
I highly enjoyed this anime, as a result, I re-watched it, enjoying it even more.
I'm aware that there are better reviews on MAL for Trigun, I wrote it only to share my opinion on the anime with you. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
The only episode that I really enjoyed watching was the first episode, after that, it went down hill. From being a student in a military academy to becoming a "church boy magic user" already says enough about the "development" of the characters. I must say, the show really had promise, even if the art itself gave "shonen-ai alerts" I didn't mind, thinking that the story will progress from there, sadly it didn't.
The art is too eye-candy,making the mostly bishonen boys characters stand out too much.However, for older characters or "unappealing" ones the show does them a disservice,since the art is suited only for the "young beautiful boys".The action scenes are dull, slow and uninteresting. I saw shows where the female character could have beaten them without breaking a sweat,which I must add, it' most embarrassing. Being a supernatural themed anime, I expected more from the visual effects,which left me totally unimpressed.
The only redeeming factor is the quality of the music, which is the only thing the staff actually put some effort into.
The main characters are the usual stereotype of an uke and seme,from physical appearance to personality and so on. Teito Klein is the usual "prettier than a girl uke, who many can easily imagine him dressed up as a girl. He doesn't have much of a character development, other than being forced by certain situations to "man up" a little, like the loss of his friend and coming to a different place.The Frau character is the cliche of a "badass", "cool" seme with a past. The lack of originality in the creation of the characters and the lack of commitment of the staff could have annoyed the hell out of me,if I weren't too busy to yawn.
Another minus is the lack of female characters all together,which often happens in shonen-ai and yaoi,since that way the straight male won't be tempted by "the seduction" of the opposite sex,his attention focusing only on the gourgeous looking boys.And what would be the perfect setting for gathering males without female intervention ? You guessed right, a "church" !
It is really awful how the creators used all type of clichees and mashed them up together to result in something of low quality,but enough to appeal to the gullible audience,the lack of respect for the viewers is revolting.
My enjoyment lasted only as the first episode, the rest was a bloody, unfocused mess. I recommend it only if you enjoy bishonen staring at each other,if you are a yaoi admirer, this is not the anime for you, it only degrades what a yaoi really is.
Overall: 5 read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
Can one anticipate the future? The struggles, the joys, the pain? It may be a mystery because we humans have to learn from our past mistakes and try to continuously improve ourselves. Motherhood is one of these things, never regretting, only moving forward, that is the only way. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is one of these rare animes who come once a year or more, to remind us why we became so enchanted by animes in the first place.
*The following review may contain some spoilers*
The movie opens with the introduction of a University student named Hana. The main character's name has in itself a great semnification, her father named her that because she was born on the day the cosmos flowers in their backyard bloomed naturally, without being planted. Her father then thought he will raise his child to have a smile as beautiful as a flower, that won't fade away. This also symbolises the journey of the character, that overcomes difficulties with a positive mind, even when inside, she suffers.One day, at one of the University's classes she notices a young man who seems estranged, otherworldly. She then starts to interact with him,even though reclutant at first, he gradually warms up to her. On one of their walks, she tells him the reason her father named her, adding that at his funeral
she didn't cry, but smiled instead. The young man finds it normal,since he understands that Hana tried her best to be strong.
Thinking he cannot hide it anymore,"Ookami" (the young man) reveals that he is a descendent of a long forgotten clan who were able to transform into wolves. The legend became reality,but suprisingly,Hana accepted Ookami's true nature,showing that her love for him is without limits. After a while,Hana becomes pregnant with a child. The first born Yuki, was a girl who was born on a snow day,hence "yuki" meaning snow. The second born follows shortly, a boy named "Ame", who was born on a rainy day,"ame" meaning rain.
They live happily, until one day, when Ookami doesn't come back home.And so begins Hana's struggles with her not quite normal children, learning the difficulties of not only raising two kids alone as a young,single mother, but also dealing with the strange nature of her half-human,half-wolf children.
The story is quite simple in itself, yet mesmerizing in its message and emotional impact on the viewers.
Story : 9
The art resembles quite a lot Toki wa Kakeru Shoujo's art, since it has the same studios: Madhouse Studios, FUNimation Entertainment etc. and the same talented director, Hosoda Mamoru. The art is beautiful in its fluid,soft animation style. The colors are variated, from the bright scenes of nature to the dim ones on a eerie, rainy day. The characters design is eye-pleasing and more similar to the real people than most animes.The strongest point of the art is the stunning depiction of the movie's various landscape,ranging from the rendering of suburban Tokyo,to Japan's countryside and to the mountain's deep forests. The change of landscapes helps the viewers along Hana's journey.
The soundtrack fits perfectly every scene in this movie, encompassing the atmosphere. The seyiuus do a marvelous work in this anime,especially the two young seiyuus who voice the children Ame and Yuki, showing great promise, with the skills of a professional and natural talent. Some scenes in this anime are heart-breaking, so the music is at times sorrowful,but at the same time soothing and comforting.
The characters may as well be the show's strongest point. This two hour movie had more character development than most 26 episodes animes. The main characters,Hana and her two children, Ame and Yuki undergo a constant methamorphosis. At the beginning, Hana is a young girl who lives by herself,only having to worry about mundane day-to-day problems. All that changes when she meets her soul mate Ookami. She finds a hidden world from ours, where men who transform into wolves do exist. After Ookami disppearence, she finds herself alone, taking care of her supernatural children.Hana breaks free from her chrysalis,gradually maturing into a
responsible,strong woman who faces any difficulties for the sake of her children.
The two children are completely different from each other, Yuki is a energetic, curious, restless, playful girl, bustling with life.Her brother being the total opposite of her, having a weak constitution,and an introverted, withdrawn and fearful personality. When they move to the country side, Ame's reaction is reclusive to the change, fearing the wide, open spaces and the variety of wild animals. Yuki however rejoices at the thought of living so close to the wild life.
In a twist of fate,their roles are being reversed after Ame's accident,and Yuki's going to school,transforming Ame into a more adventurous spirit,as well as a wild life admirer. Noticing her interests are unlike her classmates, and afraid of rejection, Yuki begins to restrain herself, becoming more like them. The depiction of the change in the children is wonderful, their choices in life separate the two siblings in time. Ame embraces his wolf nature, while Yuki chooses the human life style. Both choose to walk different paths from each other, which is heart-breaking but at the same time helps the character's development.
Even supporting characters are interesting and have their own charm, such as Souhei and the grumpy old farmer. It is fascinating to see the staggering growth of the characters during a two hour movie.
Characters : 10
It has been a while since I enjoyed every minute of an anime like this, it has been a wonderful experience, that re-awakened in me the pure joy of watching a story unfold.
1 of 1 episodes seen
There is a time and space when the world changed overnight, all that was left were a few survivors, ruins and over these,governing as a mighty shadow,was the forest. It obeys no one, but needs to be obeyed,it isn't the same nature we knew,it is chaotic,destructive and belligerent. However, even in these harsh conditions, man learned to adapt, trying to co-exist even with this hostile nature. After a harsh struggle,man finally reached an agreement with the forest. They may reconstruct a town to live over the ruins,in exchange of a few of them being possessed by the forest, sharing the mind of forest,turning with time into a tree themselves, reuniting with the nature.
Amid this pre-existed rules, comes a strange girl,named Tula, whom the towns people never saw before. She was released from her dormant sleep,where she was put into a cryogenic capsule,by a young man,named Agito. Finding out about it,the guardians of the forest,release a humungous amount of water in order to drown the suspicious girl who come from the past,but to no avail,the girl being saved again by Agito.
Tula tells him about how the world became like this,how her father's team whom conducted an experiment on plantes,tried to find other purposes in nature.However,a mistake in the conduct let to the nature to go beserk,transforming the world into a jungle in ruins.
Tula has to take now the responsabilty of turning the world the way it was,trying a dangerous method.She leaves Agito's side,who thinks that the way the current world is can be improved,by humans co-existing with the nature...And so the "real action" starts...
Yes,I know what you'll say, the nature taking over the world, definitely Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The conflict between nature and technology,Princess Mononoke, the awaking of a human from the past into a post-apocalyptic future, Blue Gender.
Indeed, Origin is all of the above, however, executed in a clumsy manner,trying to give a message,but can't really deliver it. Is this movie trying to frighten us,showing how a failed genetic experiment destroyed the earth,quite possible. Is this movie an original,innovative idea?God no.
It is more of a showing of the various ideas of animes such as Princess Mononoke to the current, young, gullible audience, but in a flawed, all thumbs and awkward manner It would have been acceptable in anime format,where imperfections are somewhat more hidden by the lenght,but as a one hour and a half film,the plot holes and flaws are inacceptable. The beginning starts slow,and the ending seems to be too rushed, leaving a foul taste in my mouth.
The art wasn't skyrocket good, but it wasn't too bad, either. For a 2006 movie,the animation was decent,even if in that year anime movies such as Toki o Kakeru Shōjo and Paprika had such innovative,imaginative ground-breaking story as well as art,raising the bar much higher.
Some of the scenes such as the hand of Agito turning into a monster, was copy pasted from the scene of Princess Mononoke, when Ashitaka's hand was being infested by the boar-god,another minus for lack of originality.
However, I will give props to the openning scene, where a dragon covered in grass swallows the earth, symbolyzing the destruction of the world by the failed genetic experiment. I have to admit that the scene gave me goosebums, but I also blame that scene for giving me false expectations.That scene's epicness can also be atrributed to the bewildering music, which I will review next.
As soon as I hear:"Shizukesa no naka hitotsubu ochita da ke" (In the calmness only one drip has fallen), shivers came over my spine, the music leaving me me in awe,speechless.This breathtaking music is entitled "Chouwa oto ~with reflection~" performed by the very talented KOKIA,now making its way through my top favorite soundtrack in a anime. KOKIA's varied rage and playfullness is really enchanting. The lyrics,the way it is performed, the anguish, the torment, the passion which transmits to us viewers is awe inspiring.It indeed sends you into a calm state,as the lyrics suggest, transforming your consciousness into a clear drop of water who falls into the core of the universe. However, the other songs pale in comparison,not being as powerful as the first one.
The main characters even if created quite clumsily, are quite likeable, especially Agito. His perseverance in defending the precarious equilimbrum between the forest and the humans, his innocent, earnest yet courageous pesonality makes this character quite charming for me. Not many youngsters his age choose to sacrifice themselves for the well-being of others,that takes bravery. Tula,however fades in comparison,even if she isn't detestable,the creator tried too hard making her likeable. In my philosophy, if the creator of the character doesn't take risks and only plays safe, by creating a avearge character,they end up hurting their own character.
The other characters are far from being memorable, Shunack guy seems suspicious form the beginning, making the audience already guess what will happen.
Another interesting but undeveloped character is Agito's dad, who seems like a fascinating human being, I would have preferred they would give him more screen time, instead of annoying characters such as Minka,who don't really have a purpose, maybe other then being a nuisance. The character of Agito raised the bar.
My enjoyment wasn't all that great since I spotted so many similarities with other well established movies, as I mentioned above, in contrast, this movie seems like a creation of a fourth grader trying to recreate "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh. The only thing I really enjoyed was the soundtrack and the
development of Agito.
Enjoyment : 6
Overall: 6 read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Type Moon is famous for its dark themes,supernatural settings and plot twists.The Tsukihime novel was the the second creation of Type Moon,so you can say it's the predeccesor and inspiration for the anime fate/stay night.
The story revolves around the main character Shiki,who lost his memory,after
a supposed car accident.The anime begins with Shiki as a little boy, as an effect of the accident he starts seeing "lines" and by touching those "lines" he can break things from their inner core.He than mysteriously encounters a young woman who introduces herself as being a witch.She gives Shiki a special pair of glasses that make him not see those lines,adding that he should use that power only when he really needs to protect a precious person to him. He is then taken in by his relatives,the Arimas.After his father deceased,he returnes after 8 yers to his sister side,Akiha,now the head of the family.He founds the house of the Tohnos giving of a hostile,uncomfortable feeling,wondering if that house is really his.One day he sees a mysterious foreign woman,and as if in a trance procedees to cut her into pieces.Thinking it was only a dream,he finds himself that the woman is alive and well,saying he owns her,and that's how all starts...
Tsukihime the anime is more of an apperitive before the novel,making you eager for a real treat.If you think watching the 12 episodes anime will satisfy your hunger,than you are terribly mistaken.The Moon Type universe is far more complex,the anime is only a tiny glimpse of into the “nasuverse”.
In anime format is disappointingly mundane,the pace is slow,and it rarely breaks from its shackles,the action is used with the chinese drop.I do admire the ideas and inspiration for the story,however the execution leaves much to be desired.The original novel being more complex and entertaining.If compared to Kara no Kyoukai movies,this anime pales in comparison,like a human dried out of blood (no pun intented).
2003 represented an important year in the anime industry,animes such as Chrono Crusade,Full Metal,Peacemaker Kurogane,which determined the new generation of animes,animes with which most of us grew up.The art in that year showed the evolution of the industry on a whole other level.However,the art in Tsukihime isn't perfect,being more of a prototype for the art in fate/saty night,it's not as detailed,showing that the animation staff didn't gave their all,or weren't paid sufficently.The good thing about the art though,is the design by the original creators,Type Moon.
Some viewers may have found interesting and innovative the almost constant piano and violin music overlapping the action,but I personally found it quite irritating.It slows the action and deviates into mundane.I prefer the music to be played in the moments of climax,that way it makes the music more meaningful,more precious, hearing it almost constantly earses from the impact.The openning theme entitled "The Sacred Moon" preformed by Toshiyuki Oomori,is for me one of the highlights of the series.It holds a lot of power in its message,it truly mesmerises you,making you feel as if you were diving into an ocean of mystery and sadness.The constant playing of the background music drags down the score.
The portrayal of the characters in this anime doesn't do them justice.The development of the characters is easily descreased in comparison with the novel,or doesn't even exist.The sole purpose for characters such as Arihiko Inui and Satsuki Yumizuka is to let the viewerknow that there are also humans in the world of Tsukihime,not only vampires,magicians,demon hunters and people with supernatural abilities.Satsuki Yumizuka isn't even taken in consideration as a possible lover interest.In contrast to animes such as fate/stay night and Kara no Kyoukai,the majority of the main characters personalities are not likeable.
Shiki indulges himself in a ignorant lifestyle,preferring to avoid taking responsability for his actions.I was waiting for him to become cooler like in the novel,but it didn't happened,it disappointed me immensely.Akiha is the stereotype of "ojou-sama" (young lady from a rich family),she finds the most interesting subjects for a conversation the types of expensive tea such as "Earl Grey" and "Darjeeling" and takes a variety of classes such as violion,ballet etc.,the usual attitude of a snob.She is also the stereotype of a sister who has a brother complex.Ciel has a non-existing personality,being only interesting when she tries to be mysterious,laughing inside about Shiki's cluelessness and teasing him.The twins Kohaku and Hisui are also the stereotype of weird twins,since japanese people regard twins as being quite an abnormal existence,they also represent the streotype of the faithful maid,that will serve you even if you don't give her money.
The only interesting character for me is Alcueid,that even though she is a vampire,doen't fit the stereotype,been able to enjoy the sunlight and food like any other normal human.She has an energetic,playful personality which I find very enjoyable.She has an innocent,sincere aura about her,which makes her likeable.As an vampire,she also has a mysterious past,and that is a bonus.The character of Alcueid raised up the bar a little higher.
My enjoyment was similar to a ghost,you can perceive it from time to time,but most of the time remains hidden.The lack of dedication of the staff,the poor execution of the adaptation,the stereotypical characters made this anime for me quite painful to watch,now I really need to go back to read the manga,thanks God for that.
Overall: 5 read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
• Story: Dance in the Vampire Bund is the anime adaptation of the manga with the same name. The author is Tamaki Nozomu,well known for his ecchi and hentai mangas, so we didn't expect too much from him either way.In this anime we have a blonde moe prepubescent girl (most likely twelve years old) that never ages. We also have the bishōnen Akira Kaburagi Regendorf (the first two names are japanese,but the etymology of the last name is a little complex,"Rege" means in romanian "king",but I'm not sure if the mangaka named him knowing this detail). As for Mina Ţepeş's name,her family name is derived from the Vlad Ţepeş (meaning Vlad The Impaler) also known by the surname Dracul or later "Dracula". Vlad was referred to in several documents as "Dracul", which means "Son of the dragon" and points to his fatherl, who received that moniker from his subjects because he had joined the Order of the Dragon. Dracul, derived from the Latin word Draco meant "dragon", though in modern Romanian it means "devil".
Now, returning to the story... The anime introduces the viewer to the main characters, Mina ( the above mentionated loli vampire ), and the bishōnen Akira , which is later revealed to be a werewolf ( love between a vampire,how original ). Akira-kun is the knight in shiney armor that wants to protect his lady ( Mina ) and rescue her. The intial story line shouldn't be taken so serious,since it is more of satire/parody of what modern japanese people about vampires, attributing many distorted concepts. Therefore,alternating the mythology in order to appeal to the modern audience. Per total the story wasn't meant to be a deep,complex and emotional story full of unexpected story twits, but more of a parody. Therefore the story seems constrained to take a serious turn,and even when it finally does it feels out of place and clumsy. This anime achieves more being a comedy/satire than it achieves being dramatic.
Added: Watching more episodes,I changed my rating to 5.
• I've always liked and admired SHAFT for the excelent animation and art, because of the master pieces animes such as Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Kino's Journey: The Land of Sickness -For You-, Maria†Holic ,Bakemonogatari etc. I can't say that I don't enjoy this anime's graphic same as the others,that would be a lie. It has good animation,interesting visual effects and innovative visual concepts. However, the story drags down the art,with its clichés and fanservice, especially from a loli exchibitionist like Mina. The fights scenes are decent,verging on average ...
• The music was good, but nothing out of the ordinary.The Opening Theme Friends by Aiko Nakano and Ending Theme Tsumeato by Hibiku were fine,and agreable but nothing surprising,interesting and kind of wanna be a deep song or something like that.I liked it,but they are far from being my favorite japanese songs.
• The characters may seem at first glance full of clichés. Their personality may seem aphatic , even when they face situations of emotional intensity. That may be because the mangaka focused more on the superfical aspects of the characters, and less about their inner selves.However,as the story progresses, the characters seem to gain more substance,being more believable in the interactions with each other. The character that I empathize/symphatize most with is Akira, he is just a normal teenager surrounded by unusual circumstances. And never forget: A single word:FANSERVICE. A lot of fanservice, especially loli fanservice. They don't really have a role or any purpose whatsoever, the complexity of one's character is not that important.
Added:Watching more episodes,I realised the characters do have development,and I have been quite harsh in the beginning,now I realise that the over the board fan service and strange humor is not so bad,therefore,I changed my rating to 6.However,the characters remain the weakest point in the anime.
• I really do hope that this anime will have in the future a more serious plot,and that the mangaka will be more serious about it,after all, is offensive to us readers.The idea was quite interesting and it could be a lot better and complex,but it turned out to be quite clichéic story.I really hoped for more..
Added:As I said before,I have been to harsh,now I realise the anime can be quite enjoyable if you don't take it to serious.I changed my rating.
Note: I have made a review of this anime back in 2010,when the first episodes appeared. At the time I was angered by the lack of historical knowlege that made people misunderstand a few things about the vampire concept. However, as of 22.02.2013, I changed my review and ratings, toning it down, and presenting the anime in a more favorable light, without being blinded by subjectivism. read more
7 of 13 episodes seen
To stay the same forever, frozen in time can be frightening,contrary to the popular belief that to obtain “eternal youth” is the ultimate goal, for most of us it can be a curse.
At first I was conflicted writing a review about this anime, however, watching more episodes, I got quite warmed up to it.
Hakkenden is adapted from the manga with the same name, created by Abe Miyuki, who is known for her yaoi and shonen-ai mangas, as well as her sense of humor and wit. That also explains the shonen-ai "hints" that appear from time to time, fortunately without being over the board and without straying from the main plot.
The series begins in a quite dramatic way, with a scenery covered by flames, while two children and a dog are severly wounded, especially a young boy who lays on the ground, dressed in a blood-stained kimono. Suddenly, a young man appears, offering the boy the option to choose between dying without protecting his friends, or letting a ayakashi (spirit,demon) take over his body. The boy chooses to live and to save his friends, but pays a heavy price, his growth process is stopped,making him stuck in his child form for eternity.
While the story unfolds, we find out about the existence of the Four Beast Clan, which become very important later in the story, since they are the center of the conflict between humans (the power being held by the church) and yokai. To fight the demons,the church chose four children to wield the power of ancient,powerful beasts,in order to protect humanity.
However,the story is by far original, being based on a classical Japanese novel "Nanso Satomi Hakkenden" by Bakin Kyokutei Takizawa. As if that wasn't enough,it has been animated already twice, in different forms. I could say that this current form has been mordernized for the current audience, but I think it could have been better. Even so,after episode 5 we can see some improvement in the story, focusing more on the choices of characters and the consequences.
My first impression of the characters was decent, at times they were quite enjoyable, especially the young girl, Hamaji, which has quite shows to be quite mature, posessing observational skills. His brattiness may a temper, for example, even when kidnapped, she remains calm, presearving her composure, asking impossible demands with a straight, poker face. The main character, Shino Inuzuka, may appears as your usual brat, but at times, he have been perserved by the "curse" of wielding the power of one of the four beasts,Murasame, that retains him from growing up.
There is also the loyal Sousuke Inukawa, that as his family name reflects,has the loyalty of a dog (quite literally,since he can also tranform into one). Other characters start to emerge as Satomi (the one who saved Shino), Kobungo Inuta (whose brother has the same beast seal as Shino) and Kaname Osaki ( who fancies Hamaji's unlady-like but charming personality) however until now they remain quite underdeveloped. In my opinion, it is one of the weakest points in the series, since I consider the plot and characters the most important parts of an anime. However, little by little, the plot thickens, and the characters have to start making decisions that help them develop.
One of the highlights of the anime is the design and animation, the mangaka provided an eye-catching character design ( she specialises in it,since she is a shonen-ai mangaka) as well as the Showa era inspired sceneries,costumes etc. Studio Deen specialises in fantasy-inspired worlds such as Fate/stay night and Amatsuki,delighting the eyes of the 2013 audince thorugh its bright coloured sceneries,almost as if emanating warmth from each light, each nunance.
The music from the first episodes is not extraordinary, but after that, it starts to pick up the pace, becoming more and more interesting and accomodating the atmosphere.
Maybe I became less exigent with this anime,therefore my enjoyment was decent.
Overall: 6 read more