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Apr 17, 2014
Pupa (Anime) add (All reviews)
When I first heard of Pupa it seemed rather interesting and worth looking forward to. Based on the horror manga with the same name, Pupa tells the story about two orphaned siblings who only have each other to rely on after severe domestic violence. However, one day they are both infected with the Pupa virus which turns the younger sister Yume into a grotesque man-eating monster while the older brother Utsutsu gains regenerative abilities.

This is, to put it bluntly, an exciting premise and Pupa appeared to have all the elements to make a memorable horror anime. While there had been mixed opinions from those who read more
Apr 1, 2013
Imagine someone looking at Studio Ghibli in hope of creating something similar, but end up completely missing the point and delivering a train wreck of a movie. This is how I would describe Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

Although, to be perfectly honest, I do not entirely agree with the Ghibli comparison many have done. The similarities stop after a magical land, equally magical creatures and character designs that, with some small adjustments, could have come from any of Hayao Miyazaki’s flicks. The rest is characteristic Shinkai flair, albeit this time muddled with a severe identity crisis.

On a first glance Children Who Chase Lost Voices does read more
Apr 1, 2013
Originally published on Anime Viking: http://animeviking.wordpress.com/
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As with Shinkai’s other creations, 5 Centimeters Per Second deals with human relationships, in this case two lovers being separated by distance much like his previous Voices of a Distant Star. This time, however, the story is a realistic and down-to-earth. Life happens, it cannot be helped.

While this should be a splendid and tightly written story about love and growing up, it fails in the same regard Voices of a Distant Star did. Namely: the lack of connection to any of the characters.

Despite telling its story through three different parts of Takaki Tohno’s life, we never venture into his head. read more
Apr 1, 2013
Originally published on Anime Viking: http://animeviking.wordpress.com/
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What marks Shinkai’s first full-length movie also remains as his best work to this date. Unlike Voices of a Distant Star’s rather simplistic production, The Place Promised in Our Early Days instead features gorgeous visuals, a breathtaking soundtrack and a much stronger directing overall. Personally, this is the movie by Makoto Shinkai.

What makes The Place Promised in Our Early Days such a success is how it is built up; divided into four distinct parts, yet flowing into each other naturally. This way of telling the story strengthens it, since we see the main characters interact with each other and grow read more
Apr 1, 2013
Originally published on Anime Viking: http://animeviking.wordpress.com/
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The first time I saw Voices of a Distant Star was in the middle of the night back in 2007 when I was merely 14 years old. One of the biggest television channels in Sweden was holding an anime marathon from 12:00A.M. to 06:00A.M. and naturally, since I was an anime fan and this was a rare occurrence, I simply had to stay up and watch it all.

Out of every short, OVA and movie that aired, the single piece that stood out was Voices of a Distant Star. This is not surprising, considering how unique Shinkai’s works really are. The read more
Apr 1, 2013
In less than two minutes we are told a story that touches the typical themes found in works by Shinkai. In other words, the focus lies on drama, romance and, naturally, clouds.

But despite Tooi Sekai being as simple as possible due to solely having been created by Shinkai himself, it does not hit home. In seven silent sentences we are told an ultimately forgettable story that comes across more as an idea, an experiment to test his skills, than something with a point.

There is nothing wrong with this. However, it is not very exciting to watch.
Apr 1, 2013
Originally published on Anime Viking: http://animeviking.wordpress.com/
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Told entirely from a cat’s perspective, She and Her Cat remains one of Shinkai’s more interesting ideas to this date. But similar to Tooi Sekai, She and Her Cat is more of an experiment than a proper story.

It is more about how it is told than exactly what is told. Despite dropping a few subtle, yet too vague for speculation, clues at something larger than what we witness, it is clear that this is not important to She and Her Cat.

The way it is conveyed, on the other hand, is smart. As I mentioned, everything is from a cat’s perspective, read more
Apr 1, 2013
Egao (Anime) add (All reviews)
This little film came to be thanks to the Minna no Uta (“Everyone’s Songs") program by NHK and was a way to promote the singer Hiromi Iwasaki. The one who received the task to create a music video for her song “Egao” was none other than Makoto Shinkai.

What he produced was a delightful little video about a girl and her newly bought hamster. This complements the already beautiful song extremely well and creates a charming whole.

Every now and then I find myself re-watching Egao due to how simplistic it is. If I am to make a wild guess, this marks the only time where read more
Apr 1, 2013
This is one of two short commercials advertising Taisei Corporation. In this case it highlights the Marmaray Project, a tunnel that will connect Europe and Asia.

Interestingly enough it focuses on a nameless woman rather than the project and company themselves. She tells us how she in her younger years failed to reach a certain height in high jump, but will definitely succeed with building the tunnel.

Stunning visuals and a lovely song by Anri Kumaki contribute to an already romanticized commercial, but it is still not something you will remember for long. In fact, you may wonder what this even has to do with the project read more