22 of ? episodes seen
As older brother must always stay a few steps ahead of the younger one.
The younger now leads the older...
Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers), originally a manga by Koyama Chuuya which won two manga awards as well as nominated for several more, revolves around the two Namba brothers Mutta (the older brother by 3 years born on a day of agony) and Hibito (the younger brother born on a day of glory) who both vow to become astronauts after encountering an UFO in their childhood. However, as time passed, the younger brother seemed to be the only one to achieve the goal as he becomes the first Japanese man to step foot on the moon, where as Mutta, the older brother, gets fired from his job and is black listed from his industry. After much reflection and some encouragement from Hibito, Mutta once again pursues his promise to Hibito and tries to pursue going to space. With some unexpected help from his parents and brother Mutta is accepted to a Japanese Astronaut training program by JAXX. The rest is up to Mutta, his luck, and his own will. Now it will be the younger brother leading the older.
What I particularly like about the story thus far is the realism it takes, that the trials that Mutta encounters, can't be soley blamed on "bad luck" or being "born on a bad date" although the story makes that information available, it by no means takes the route of destiny, hence opening the anime to a much deeper discussion of personal attitude and ability.
Brilliantly adapted into an anime produced by A-1 Pictures (Ano Hi Mita... , Ao no Exorcist, Kannagi, Gash Bell!, etc) and YTV (Cardcaptor Sakura, Detective Conan, etc) directed by veterans Watanabe Ayumu (Pretty much all the Doraemon's) and art director Kato Hiroshi (Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei!), the art takes a older look to it reminiscent of BECK. The character designs are rather untextured and less "clean" many of the modern series.
The older style of art, however, really brings out more nostalgic feelings. The only drawbacks, however, would be the art quality cannot match many newer series using similar art styles.
The sound of the series again screams out nostalgic. Opening them "Feel So Moon" by Unicorn (a Japanese rock band formed in 1993) has a classical rock vibe that resounds with the older brother because Mutta was born in 1993. Again nostalgia. The ED theme "This Wonderful World" (素晴らしき世界 Subarashiki Sekai) by Gira Mundo resonates more with the younger brother, being a more modern rock sounding track with a nice electronic beat. The two themes fit perfectly to sandwich the story of two brothers.
The voice acting featured veteran Hirata Hiroaki (Sanji from One Piece) as Mutta and newer voice Kenn (Jil from Druaga no Tou). The two voice actors compliment each other and their roles, as an older voice actor and a younger rising one. The voicing are done well and I can't say I have complaints as I don't have much to base my judgement on right now.
The background music, again nostalgic, features overtones by trumpets and retains a "old school" feel, if that makes any sense. However, I didn't quite particularly enjoy these sounds and so found them mediocre at best. Sorry to the music director.
The characters introduced so far are few, featuring the brothers Mutta and Hibito, their parents, and several randoms (such as bosses can co-workers). However, only Mutta and his brother Hibito are really explored farther than just a few lines.
Mutta is in appearance far my ragged than his younger brother, with curly unruly hair and a unshaven face, he looks rather like a NEET than anything else. His character is portrayed as one who us more or less hopeless, rash and lacks boldness to "step forward" as he says himself. As the series hasn't progressed far enough, I'd have to say he didn't have enough depth yet and that potential in his development are huge.
Hibito is the younger brother who looks cleaner with a shorter hair cut, shaved face and cleaner brighter skin, looks like a professional or a ideal male protagonist in some Jousei drama. That being said, he contrasts his brother sharply and is has opportunities which his brother does not. He is portrayed as a hopeful, bold and caring young man almost everything the older brother "should" be.
by now the 3rd episode, character developments are taking root primarily as we learn about Mutta. However I do hope to see the development of the younger brother aswell
Did I enjoy this? Hell yes. Mainly because of how the story resounds with me, an underachieving older brother who is wasting away in university spending his nights writing anime reviews. Just kidding.
But jokes aside, I think the story is really well done and takes a very wholesome and realistic approach at the lives and circumstances of the two brothers. It hints at the ideas of destiny and fated good/bad luck. However, it merely mentions it so that viewer who see it that way can relate while it slowly shows reality of how the circumstances are products of individual choices and feelings, not of just "luck". Mutta was fired for head butting his boss, pretty real, not unlucky. Hibito became an astronaunt beause of his boldness and passion (as seen by his quick response as a child), real, not just luck.
The realism really proved to be refreshing after all of the unrealistic, having circumstances thrust upon and fixed animes I've been watching recently.
Another thing I liked is how I could feel the older brother's anguish as his pride was stepped on by having his younger brother surpass him and his parents shame him. He's not a wimp, rather, realistically like an adult man, he sheds a few tears in secret and doesn't say word about his pain. *resonating feelings
My only criticism would be that I feel like they didn't cover enough ground so far, that there are many other feelings that should be portrayed that are missed. And that they could have made Mutta's suffering even more relatable by delaying his tears.
Ok so I know I've been pretty generous this whole review, but mainly because I think its a show worth watching and I want to encourage everyone to check it out.
The Story is sentimental and is adapted into a tangible form of nostalgia that makes you think. Utilizing the sounds and characters, Uchuu Kyodai really causes sympathies to run rampant and makes one reflect about their own usage of life so far.
Overall I'd give it the 8/10 for its ability to convey a consistent atmosphere fitting of the series thus far and the brilliant choices of music, voice actors and animation styles to compliment the story and characters.
Expect Updates After Each Episode, the plot section won't change very much but other sections might.
COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!
13 of 13 episodes seen
The story of 'Arakawa under the bridge' revolves around male protagonist Ichinomiya Ko, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, an elite of society in every regard (good at everything), and has strong family tradition to never rely on anyone. The opening episode is him on this bridge crossing over the river. Much like how he is progressing forward, but crossing over what true "life" is.
In an unexpected turn of events, Ko meets the female protagonist Nino who saves his life. Feeling indebted to Nino, Ko attempts to pay her back and follow the family policy of never relying on anyone. Oddly enough, Love becomes the one thing that bind Ko to Nino. The other residents of the river are slowly introduced and thus begins the crazy daily happenings of Life under the bridge as Ko learns about himself and people under the bridge, develops to a different human being, and as he fights of his father's plots to take him back.
The only flaws to the story I found was that it didn't quite settle on a solid "plot" or a "slice of life" direction. Many episodes seemed to be uncorrelated and had no continues plot, while other had more serious plot ideas (ie. v.s the Ichinomiya group). If there was a more serious direction it may have been more easy to follow.
The art for the series is quite beautifully and uniquely done, particularly as it involved drawing irregular characters, like buff nuns, frequently. Directed by Akiyuki Shinobu (Negima!, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei), and animated by Shaft Studio (Monogatari, Negima!, Sayonary Zetsubo Sensei) I expected no less than absolute quality, which they did deliver.
The clarity of the animation style (thicker outlines) combined with the environmental designs had me hooked from the beginning. The detail used in the setting (the bridge, river, grass) was exceptional, but cannot be compared to Makoto Shinkai (5cm per second). Overall, I really enjoyed Shaft's output and consistency in animating the odd characters while maintaining environmental clarity and integrity.
The only issues i found with the animation was the lack of diversity in environment. This may be a "me only" thing, but I found that they used the same settings for pretty much everything, that the "backdrop" for a scene "here" or scene "there" would be used over and over. It'd barely noticeable, but for me I'd like to have a larger diversity of areas.
The sound for the series never disappointed me. To begin, OP "Venus to Jesus" by Etsuko Yakushimary caught my ear. The opening had a very unique feel to it and the song is a bit awkward but yet sounds great. It caught me unexpectedly as I'm usually exposed to the more cliché opening (ie. j-rock/hip). Aside from the tender opening, the ending was interesting as well with "upside-down bridge" by Suneohair producing a contrast from the opening, but really helped to close the episode off. The random OP in a certain episode also added to the comedy.
The sound throughout the series was great, background themes worked well and weren't over used, coupled with the character voicing that were consistent with the characters made this series have the irregular slice of life atmosphere I appreciate. It also helped to mediate the plot in areas where silence or other themes would've been awkward.
The only issues I found with the "sound" was that nothing really "stood out" beyond what is said above. There isn't the strong immortalized emotional melodies during emotional scenes, or distinct "theme" music for characters per se.
The characters were a broad and diverse bunch who carried unique pasts (most of which we'll never know about) and who provide very critical social commentary. A brief introduction of the characters will prove to show the diversity and commentary.
Protagonist Ichinomiya Ko, nicknamed "Ric" or "recruit" is the new addition to the riverbank and the story flows showing his development as he expressed the usual and societal ideologies of "life" and "values". Being, in reality, a super successful elite, he represents what regular people aspire to. Oddly enough in the upsidedown world of Arakawa, he is meerly the a "leech" in the least. His confrontations with his short comings and with other things he finds valuable in life are the key points of his developement and will keep you thinking. Voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya (Teiria-Gundam00, Izaya-Durara, etc), the expressions of Ko to situations is diverse and draws attention and sympathies.
Female protagonist, Nino, is the self proclaimed Venusian who brings Ko, as a lover into the group. Little is known about her and her past. But she expresses the purest form of humanity, much like a child she accepts things and takes things oddly seriously. Her love for Ko is uniquely expressed and her lack of expression makes her very interesting to watch. She directly contrasts Ko in both values and traditions as she knows seemingly nothing of the surface world, or its values. She knows of love and caring for other people, sometimes blissfully ignorant of many facts. Her comments about Ko's responses to kindness, or forcing him to show it provide insightful commentary for how society perceives those around them.
The village chief, or the kappa, is a self proclaimed Kappa who is obviously some guy in a costume. The general hilarity of seeing a character completely believing in their own decided existence makes him fun to watch, particularly how his character does not change. Kappa, dare I say represents nature or the earth. Part of life, yet barely recognized (and recognized less and less though the years).
Hoshi, or Star, is the rival of Ko for the love of Nino. He is also a musician. The comedy of him and Ko's onesided rivalry is fun to watch in itself. But, truly it is his expressions in situations and how he completely delves into the world of Arakawa and combines it into his rivalry that is the most interesting. I think he is a major reason that Ko is able to integrate into the community, and an even greater reason that Ko is able to truly appreciate Nino. Hoshi represents one extreme of expressionism, muscianship. In society, those that pursue music to an over extent are critqued and excluded.
Other characters that are introduced each present their own very unique expressions of reality and uniqueness. Each commenting on individual ghosts of past and on societal reconciliation with said people. For the sake of length, I've excluded an indepth analysis of the other Characters:
- Sister (the Military male Nun)
- P-ko (the cute gardener girl)
- Iron Twins (the two kids with iron helmets)
- Maria ( sadist, and farmer)
- Stella (the little girl)
and other minor characters (Takai, Billy, Jacqueline, Last Samurai, Shimazaki, father Ichinomiya, etc).
If you'd like to hear my opinion about these characters please PM me.
The only flaw I found was that the characters were used very "on and off" the only character that was used consistently was Ko (expectedly). There are episodes that will no even touch upon characters for a long time. Billy, Jacqueline, and Last Samurai for example, do not even get fully introduced until the last episode of this season.
I really enjoyed this series, not only because it had me laughing, crying, or nervous at the right times, but rather because of it's awkward uniqueness that resonates with the human soul. I started this series hoping for nice rom-com, which is supplies, but I found a deeper social commentary in the series. I was, throughout the series, reflecting on where my sympathies lie, and like any other anime fan ... What would I do if I met these characters in reality?
The abnormalities of the people in the series, in real life, would be the people we deem to be crazy, that we can't spend another day with. Indeed, having done lots of work with people in poverty, there are many people with delusions out there. In reality, we cast them aside, or rather acknowledge their insanity. Even though they live in crazy communities, we neglect their reality.
So when did crazy become so normal? I don't know at what point in the series that I finally accepted the Mayor as being a Kappa, or that Hoshi was a star, or Nino was actually from Venus. In fact, near the end I became part of Arakawa, finding Ko's surface level ignorance to be odd, finding that Ko was the crazy one.
So this was most enjoyable to me because It actually made me realize how immersed is was in the world or Arakawa.
Overall, an amazing first season. PM me if you have any thoughts or comments about my review. I hope you check this series out.
3 of 3 episodes seen
This being a work that touches upon the human concept of relational distance resonated with me, whom being away from my home(s) for schooling is seeing aspects of relationship deteriorate, as paralleled in the film. The enjoyment of the film was the tugging of heartstrings tied in with the blissful nostalgia of past relationships.
On a technical aspect, the illustrations were amazingly well done and rendered (watched in 1080). The backgrounds were sometimes in so much detail that the characters, drawn more or less in a simpler fashion, took the back seat (however stood out due to their simplicity). The music was also emotional in tone and further helped to mediate the message from the heart of Makoto Shinkai.
Definitely a good watch, one of my favourite anime OVAs of All time. read more
3 of 3 episodes seen
but now I'm quite interested in the series.
This series took me into the journey of the regular "what if games were real?",
but it had the touches of characters that were able to draw soft spots, (brilliant character designs). The emotions portrayed by the plot, were oddly relatable as the voice acting (japanese) was very well done. I would say, however, I enjoyed the action scenes the most, as they were well choreographed and the stayed very close to the "video game" motif.
1 of 1 episodes seen
The same feeling the protagonist has at the beginning of this movie, and the same feeling I got while watching it. The beginning made me feel a bit lost as to what happened in between Higashi no Eden and the King of Eden - which was supposed to happen. But this lack of cohesiveness disappointed me in the form that it couldn't "build" up as much as it "should".
Overall, I enjoyed the rebuilding from "ground zero" and the quick pick up of pace that is selecao game. This middle piece lives little room for disappointment.
1 of 1 episodes seen
This would be the sole word I would use to describe Paradise lost. It left me with a feeling of being unsatisfied, and that there /should/ be more. But regardless of what people say, I would need to comment on it being well enough paced. I found it had "Spurts" of action, however, this last part engaged the technical aspects of plot much thoroughly than it's prequels. I enjoyed the last part, but truly, truly, truly hope. No dream. of a third part to "complete" this brilliant series by Production I.G.
11 of 11 episodes seen
I enjoyed again the musical choices and integration of a music into the plot. And of course the romance aspect sent shivers down my spine. All I can say is that, as a guy, this series made me soft. As a musician, this series re-inspired me. As an anime-lover, this series was like a refreshing touch of idealistic reality in a sea of fantasy and sci-fi. Again a great watch.
Watching the PREQUEL is recommended, but not needed. read more
23 of 23 episodes seen
The use of the music as both a plot enhancer and foresight further brought out the richness of the music, and being a musician myself, I can't help but feel the warm tingly sensation that is Nodame Cantabile. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
Regardless the finale of the anime, was very much, adagio cantabile. Song-like, floating and passing through all the twists and turns. The music used throughout the finale proved to be great selection, and the WAY the music was used brought out the nostalgic memories of old and worked my emotions into this series.
I strongly recommend watching the prequels prior to enjoying this amazing ending. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The sequel Darker Than Black, Bones and Tensai Okamura have surprised me with a more or less 'new' direction that oddly lacks the feeling of 'freshness'. The beginning started in a very different spot than the original, and seemed to point towards a new protagonist, Suou Pavlichenko (voiced by Kana Kanazawa), Hei (voiced by Hidenobu Kiuchi), however, quickly regained the spotlight. The Hei introduced is a very different Hei than that of the original. Hei is much quieter, darker, and more "contractor-like". As the story progresses, Hei loses his signature contractor abilities as Suou gains new abilities and slowly becomes a contractor. The side Suou x Hei romance is an interesting addition to the story. Honestly, this series was enjoyable purely on the level of it being a sequel and the character developments. I was kind of disappointed by Okamura's lack of philosophical indexes in this sequel, with the original "belonging" and "fate" motifs faded. The music plays little role in my view and the story concludes with many deaths of what I feel are insignificant characters. Overall, I enjoyed the series as a whole, but when isolating Darker than Black: Ryusei no Gemini, I feel it did little to impress me or draw me in (hence the light non-in-depth review)
From my blog:
http://randomryanreview.blogspot.com/2011/12/darker-than-black-ryusei-no-gemini.html read more