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1 of 1 episodes seen
They reorganized the five volumes of the original novels except for the ending. This change in the end of the story was unexpected for me, so I'm still trying to understand what Director Oshii wanted to say from it. The theme of the movie was "the meaning of living a plain life." So he might want tell us that there should be something new in our lives even if we think they're featureless.
The dog fight scenes were breathtaking works. I choose The Sky Crawlers to be the best air fight movie of the decades as well as Macross Plus. Contrary to the dynamic fight scenes, the description of the pilots' lives on the ground was flat. I know they intentionally did it to make a contrast between the vivid fights and the ordinary dull life.
The Skywalker Sound studio did an amazing job, again! Their outstanding performances put more realism to the dog fight scenes and made it a perfect art.
I don't like Kikuchi Rinko's acting as Kusanagi Suito. Other voice actors were doing well especially Kase Ryo as Kannami Yuuichi. Kusanagi is a half-adult and half-child or Killdre character, so the acting must include both sides, but her acting was indecisive in that point.
In the middle of the movie, I felt "Oh this is another Innocence, great arts with a tiresome story", but as approaching to the end, something different came to my mind "The director was coming down to our eyelevel." This movie is about us and not being put unworldly. I need to rewatch this to fully grasp the meaning of Kannami's decision.
Overall, this is a thought provoking movie for the young generations having uncertainty in the modern life. The awesome CGI is worth watching by itself. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
It's basically the same as the original one, but the change of Puppet Master's sex brought about slight changes in the voice actings and the atmosphere. Batou didn't show so much jealousy over the relationship between Motoko and the Puppet Master, and the fusion of the two gave a pure impression rather than a sexual association.
There are two full 3D CGI scenes, something similar to the OP animation of the S.A.C1. The quality of the two scenes were awesome in the descriptions of the optical camouflage, air bubbles, reflections in the water etc. etc. But nothing buffered between the neighboring 3D and 2D scenes. You see 3D CG Motoko in a scene and the next moment Motoko is now in 2D animation. I understanding these discontinuities that Director Oshii wanted to show us his partial idea about how ideal GiS looks like.
SkyWalker sound studio did a terrific job in the sound effects. They were particular about the differences in gun shot sounds. Each gun sounded distinctively different. The sound of Motoko's cyborg body torn up was so real that it gave me goosebumps.
No need to mention the greatness of Motoko, Batou, and Togusa. I focus on Sakakibara Yoshiko as Puppet Master. I think this casting has a good and bad point. Compared to the original actor Kayumi Iemasa, Sakakibara's acting didn't give me much mysteriousness of the character. (Kayumi's low tone acting was perfect for giving an enigmatic impression.) Good thing was it got easier to grasp the idea of the Puppet Master's line "We are mirror images to each other." because Sakakibara's voice resembled Tanaka Atsuko's one in this movie.
Before I watched this, I tried to memorize the contents of the original one as much as possible. It was so much fun to find changes in the lines and drawings. If you are fun of GiS 1.0, I strongly recommend to watch this remake. You will have a deeper understanding of this legendary title. read more
7 of 39 chapters read
Killdre (kill+children?) are ever-young and immortal pilots unless they are shot down. So they don't persist in their lives and never be afraid of death. They regard the sky as their true place for living and take the lives on the ground as "the bottom of the sky". The description of the Kannami's mind and the dogfights were so much in detail that I deeply empathized with the pilot although he was really weird in character.
As a mystery novel, this is incomplete. You have to read the rest of the four volumes to understand all the secrets and the backgrounds. But even without knowing them, you can enjoy this volume because all you know is just exactly as much as Kannami knows. You see the world subjectively through Kannami's eye and feel like unified with him.
I repeated reading this many times and found the impressions were different in each time. There are lots of foreshadows hidden in the dialogues. At first I couldn't understand the last scene well, but I started to grasp Kusanagi's despair after reading it several times. The end of Kannami and Kusanagi's romance firmly choked my heart.
If you are looking for a exciting military novel or a heartwarming love story, this is not your taste. But I strongly recommend this to those who wanna try something new and original. I'm sure you cannot help moving on to the next volume "None But Air".
5 of 22 chapters read
The balance of the comedy and serious part is maintained well throughout the pages. Especially the straight forward and passionate character of Kasahara Iku makes the serious plot mild and funny.
The background setting where two public organizations keep on fighting with guns in the middle of the city sounds too eccentric, but I feel the plot close to real because the topics of discussions of this novel are taken from the up-to-date controversy. In the chapter 2, for example, the influence of the "inappropriate" books on the juvenile crimes is discussed.
This novel warns us that the censorship derived from "good intentions" is right next to us and it will be impossible to escape from it once it is established.
Compared to the last volume, the story is more intense and thrilling. The author tackled the problem of the discrimination against the handicapped. It's quite a delicate issue but he didn't show even a slight hesitation. He denounced the "Politically Correct" activists that they care about only the use of words itself and never pay attention to how the handicapped people actually feel about it. I'm deeply impressed by his opinion and braveness.
The situation of the censorship warfare is getting complicated. It is shown that the library organization is not monolithic and there are political tactics going on behind the curtain. There is no gun actions in this volume, but the strifes among the Task Forces, Media Improvement Committee and the secret association "Future Project" are sophisticated and exciting.
As for the love comedy, the story of Komaki and Marie is so sweet and touching. I sympathized with the contrast between the feelings of men and women in love.
I think the real Library War has started from this volume. I'm satisfied with the deep emotinal descriptions of characters and the complex political background.
It started with a blushing sweet love comedy and ended with a fierce gun battle. I couldn't stop reading until the end. In this volume, it is shown that Kasahara and Tezuka are getting matured. The chage of the relationship between Tezuka and Shibasaki was surprising and interesting.
The description of the battle in the Ibaraki modern art exhibition appeared a bit one-sided. I couldn't fully understand why Media Improvement Forces did such a reckless assault. Whole series lacked Media Improvement Committee side opinion. The author said he intentionally omitted it.
The political group "The Principle of Nonresistance" clearly refers to the recent activities of the extreme left-wing parties in Japan: the local ordinance of "The Unarmed and Nonresistant District". They claim that if Japan is invaded, they will refuse to let the Japan Self Defence Forces go in the district and surrender to the invading country. Those crazy pacifists believe it is the best way to avoid the bloodshed. It's an insane idea but there are quite a few people support this in Japan. I'm frightened at the terrible situation of the Ibaraki Libraries trampled by the Media Improvement Forces. It is a predicted future of Japan.
Like other volumes, "Toshokan Kiki" has all kinds of excitements: Intelligence operations, gun battles, funny comedy, and sweet romance. I'm sure you cannot help moving on to the next final volume "Toshokan Kakumei".
This is the final volume of the "Toshokan Sensou" series, and the BEST volume of all. The Library forces did their best to guard Touma, the novel writer, but they encountered a betrayal after betrayal and a crisis after crisis. Simultaneously with such thrilling operations, romances of Doujyou & Kasahara and Tezuka & Shibasaki have proceeded to the final stage. No other phrase fits to this story better than "Love & War", the subtitle of the Toshokan Sensou manga.
It's a good simulation of what will happen after a terrorist attack. The anger of the public can lead to anywhere because "to prevent the next terrorist attack" is gonna be a magic phrase for justifying any law. But we must keep it in mind that if we get flurried by the terrorist attack and change the principle of our society, that means we give in to terrorists.
The final battle (or rather kind of a car race) was exciting, funny and romantic. Kasahara did what a main character was supposed to do and made the desperate situation into a dramatic slapstick. It was a great entertainment and the marvelous grand finale of the "Toshokan Sensou" series. read more
5 of 34 chapters read
The technique background of this manga is equivalent to that in 18-19th century: the main gun arms are matchlocks and the cavalry charge is the strongest attack in the close combat. This restrictied background makes the battle tactically exciting. Shinjo wisely takes advantage of the telepathy soldiers and saver tigers and fights against Teikoku army 50 times larger than his ballation. The situation of the Shinjo's battalion is desperately bad. But no "miracle" helps them, rather it worsen the situation. That's makes this manga "real".
The arts by Ito Yuu is lively and energetic. I got overwhelmed by the breathtaking description of the hand-to-hand battle and the head-on collision of the cavalry soldiers and the saver tigers. I also feel some tenderness from her design of characters. I think the combination of the violent military manga and a female artist has brought forth a new sensation.
The exciting combat is not the only attraction of this manga. The character sketch is also impressive. Shinjo is not a "Superman". His teeth chatters with fright when he confronts the enemy. But once the battle begins, he becomes a brave and sadistic soldier. The duality in Shinjo's personality deepen his character. He receives good reputation from his subordinate for his generous behavior, but he realizes it's hypocricy. He lay bare his distress when a teenage telepathy soldier died from overwork: "I don't beg for your mercy, but I won't let
you regret..." and he questioned to himself. "Is that true? Are you surely think so, Shinjo Naoe?"
The duality of character is not only true for Shinjo. The backgrounds of the Teikoku officers are also depicted in detail. Kaminski is appears to be an elite officer with good looking, but his past as a male prostitute accounts for his innate ambition for authority. Barkhorn is a warmhearted person of a noble birth, but his tough looking led him to become a dauntless cavalryman.
In the intense battles, this manga deeply drawn the emotion of the soldiers: hope for survival, fear for death, and dilemma between the duty and the humanity. I strongly recommend this manga to people who hesitate to read a military title.
8 of 8 chapters read
The movie "Jin-roh" was based on this "Kenroh Densetsu" but the director had to reassemble the stories of this omnibus manga and created a new main character Fuse. So some episodes were omitted from the movie. I will focus this review on them.
The existence of Japan's controversial Self Defense Force (JSDF) can not be ignored in this manga. Oshii poses a question "what makes a distinction between the "Police Force" Tokki-tai and the "Military Force" JSDF? ". Both possess heavy arms and the task is to kill the "enemy". But police forces should function only in the time of peace. The Tokki-tai acts like a military force but the fact that Japan is not at war barely guarantees that it still belongs to the police. But does it also justify the bloodshed ? Sects are heavily armed so that a slight hesitation to pull the trigger kills Tokki-tai officers. But even a veteran officer, Washio Midori, seized firing when she saw a teenage boy pointing his gun at her. Tokki-tai officers are in dilemma whether they should be a merciless soldier or be a guardian of civilians.
The activity of combat by JSDF soldiers is tightly restricted by the constitution. One JSDF captain wrote letter to lieutenant Washio. He wrote that he wonders if he and the soldiers are really sure who the enemy is and what ensures the justice of their attacks and killings. The difference between the time of peace and war is too vague in Japan at civil war to have a confidence in one's act. The Tokki-tai's officer were trained to shoot anybody who confronts them with a gun. In contrast, the JSDF soldiers were "tamed" not to shoot first, he replied. Oshii makes the self-contradiction of JSDF even more conspicuous by comparing it with the imaginary forces "Tokki-tai": a police officer having no hesitation to shoot the enemy versus a soldier restrained to attack. At the end of the letter, the JSDF captain concluded that he will follow the order from his own "internal voice" when he confronts an enemy and is ready to fire. I agree with him. The constitution will never give him an answer, instead, the smell of the gun powder on the battle field will lead the soldiers to take an action.
The final chapter describes the "Kerberos riot", where the Tokki-tai refused the order of its dissolution, and made a sudden charge against the HQ of the Local police "Keishi-chou". The objective of the riot was unclear. One Tokki-tai captain stated that they were not carrying out a coup d'état. I think Tatsumi had intended to produce a war in Tokyo by the sacrifice of hundreds of police officers' lives and to drag the JSDF in front of the Tokki-tai. By making the JSDF go through this ordeal, he let the JSDF special unit to succeed the spirit of Tokki-tai. There still remains a room for debate whether there was any alternative to meet his objectives other than causing such a tragic riot.
If you wanna know more about the background of the "Jin-roh" world, this manga is a must-read. You will be fascinated by Oshii's elaborate scripts of the "Kerberos Saga". read more
18 of 18 chapters read
While reading this manga, I find myself nodding to each line of Goro's monologue. He says "When I eat, I wanna be free from any concern and, so to say, be sanctuaried." He cares about the act of eating, not the quality of the food. Even side dishes bought from a convenience store satisfies him as long as he is "at liberty".
Other "gourmet" manga, such as "Oishinbo", gives you tens of trivia in one episode. Kodoku no Gurume doesn't have such valuable infomation, but Goro's monologue stating his impression on what he is eating tells you something different: you can find excitements and surprises from a simple dish. A boiled spinach reminds him his childhood, taste of a sauce makes him wonder what a "boyish" taste is, and he regrets his pork-redundant order.
Being alone shapens Goro's mind and he notices something attractive, which usually escapes our attention: artifical taste of a juice, changes of scenery on a downtown street, a gigantic petrochemical complex, fresh air of a rooftop amusment center of a mall etc... I can share his feeling through his frank monologue and it leaves me some kind of confort.
Kodoku no Gurume is surely a masterpiece. Its uniqueness as a food-related manga, Goro's attractive character, Taniguchi's detailed and warm art, everything has contributed to the readers' appreciation of the enjoyment of "eating". read more