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Jul 11, 2012
While 1997's televised adaptation of Berserk left a lot to be desired, especially in terms of continuing the Berserk story, it's still far superior to the 2012 movie reboot, which will unfortunately only serve to disappoint fans of the series and chase away those who have been aloof.

Story: 6/10

As an introduction to the setting, the first arc does a decent job - the story takes place in a semi-alternate medieval European universe, where, for better or worse, kingdoms and principalities must rely on mercenary groups to maintain and expand their kingdoms. Our heroes are members of the Band of the Hawk, a prodigious mercenary group read more
Jun 19, 2012
I saw the Director's Cut of Steamboy recently, which had me reevaluate the movie more positively than I had in the past. Not that much more positively, mind you.

Steamboy is, if the title didn't already imply, a Victorian England Steampunk movie. I have no hate against Steampunk, but no love for it either, and Steamboy, I feel, falls flat on the premise of having awesome steam-powered machines fueling the action. They're there, but only on a small scale.

The premise of Steamboy is that two famous father-son inventors have discovered a marvelous steam-powered machine part which will change the future of mankind. The grandson gets involved read more
Aug 11, 2011
Mai Mai Shinko and the Thousand Year Magic explores the wonder of childhood through the imaginative minds of Shinko and Kiiko as they create friendships and marvel at the world around them. Set in 1950s-era rural Japan, a small group of elementary school students must rely on their imaginations and the local farmscape to pass the time.

There isn't any one central conflict to string the story along, but the characters learn to make friends, express themselves, and admire their prolific ancestors who once made the land a mighty cultural center. An imagined story of an ancient princess runs parallel to the lives of the characters read more
Jun 23, 2011
Rain Town, a serene, atmospheric short, is the polar opposite of Ishida Hiroyasu's first animation, Fumiko's Confession, which is, by contrast, a manic, zany, and cartoonish ride. Both works show off Ishida's animation talent, but it seems that Rain Town is merely a portfolio-building exercise for the young man. The beginning scenery evokes memories of La Maison en Petits Cubes, but Rain Town offers hardly any story. Still, the animation looks great, and the music is fitting.
Jan 18, 2011
The originality and success of 20th Century Boys owes itself to creator Urasawa Naoki's creativity and drawing talent. This is the kind of manga that you can get excited about and engross yourself in its story. Small boys in a little town dream big about saving the world and becoming defenders of justice, but the one thing they couldn't imagine is how their ideas will end up affecting the future.

Art

The art is great. The characters and environments have a consistent and interesting style, and the drawings are a pleasure to look at. Urasawa-sensei does a great job at keeping the physical look of the characters read more
Jul 8, 2010
Oblivion Island isn't so much a movie as it is a 90-minute revealing of some impressive cgi technology - or perhaps just a really long toy commercial.

The movie begins with our young protagonist, Haruka, being read a children's fantasy by her bedridden mother. The book tells a story of a man whose treasured comb was returned to him by a fox after offering an egg at a shrine. The townspeople begin offering eggs to the shrine in hopes of having their items returned as well, but little do they know that the foxes are actually responsible for stealing the items that are considered 'forgotten' by read more
Jun 30, 2010
Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu (Magical Girl Squad Arusu, or "Tweeny Witches" in the dub) is a fairly enjoyable fantasy witch show.

The show takes place in the Magic Realm, opposite the Human Realm from which the main character obviously arrives. Being the oddball idealist that she is, Arusu, the human newcomer, manages to get away with destroying the tradition of the magic realm and disrupting what the witches would deem normal by using her enthusiasm and optimism to assure everybody that magic exists to make people happy. Magic is not a tool of war, and war will eventually lead to destruction, despite the ideals that the read more
Mar 10, 2010
Junkers, Come Here encompasses everything that is great about animation.

The movie sticks close to the reality we know and avoids topical and epochal content while still using animation effectively to depict scenes that would otherwise be difficult, expensive, or uncanny in other media. While the story it tells is typical, the writing, soundwork, and pacing of the scenes demonstrate mastery of craft. While neither being a dramatic film nor a comedy, Junkers manages to constantly deliver scenes which are wholeheartedly funny, moving, and entertaining. The characters and story deliberately avoid feeling artificial, and even with the inclusion of a talking dog, the movie's universe feels read more
Jul 8, 2009
The cell is the smallest unit of life. Its mechanisms are complex, and only after many years of observation and exploration have we begun to understand their functions. Certainly, the examination of multicellular organisms warrants a much more exhausting amount of research. Even more sophisticated is the existence of life so varied and so involved that it involves taxonomical classification schemes and entire bodies of research. Plants have different organs which serve specific purposes, are able to reproduce sexually, and perhaps most interestingly, transform sunlight into energy for life. Animals consume other creatures and have a conscience, exhibiting specific social and survival patterns and are read more
Apr 7, 2009
A wonderful shounen anti-war film which slipped through the cracks.

The amazing art will surely catch your eye. The vintage styling, reminiscent of "Now and Then, Here and There", will make you think you're watching a film that's much older than a 2000 movie. The Boy Who Saw the Wind's classic look paints the film as a tribal fantasy epic, despite its technologically-advanced universe. The result is a multi-temporal environment which is nostalgic, modern, and futuristic, all at the same time.

Within this universe, the common boy-saves-girl anti-war drama takes place, of which Now and Then, Laputa, Conan, and Agito are variants. The Boy Who Saw the read more