I'm sort of surprised there isn't a review for this show already. This is really a great show. It's defenitely a classic.
The story itself may not sound extremely original, but the way that it develops is excellent. The main focus of the series is the growth of the main character, Tatsuya. His brother, Kazuya, is the ace pitcher of the baseball team and everyone loves him. Both him and his brother like the same girl, Minami. Over the series, Tatsuya tries to make himself a better man for Minami, with a lot of influence from his brother Kazuya. The show has a lot of romance
in it, as well as sports, but there is a good balance. Also, the dramatic parts of the story are done so well, but not overdramatized. The first 26 episodes focus on the relationship between the brothers and Minami, but after that it focuses on Tatsuya becoming part of the baseball team. It really feels like a slice of life anime when you're watching it. The series covers 3 years, but the pacing is perfect.
For a show that was made in 1985, the animation is really nice. It's simple, yes, and the character designs arent flashy. However, the animation itself is great. The movement of the characters while they are doing sports, or anything, is dead on. There aren't many "repeated" scenes over and over again, and if they are they're not too noticeable. The quality of animation is also consistent throughout. I personally also liked the simplistic character designs and feel of the show.
Nothing to out of ordinary here. You have your typical 80's pop songs for intro and ending songs. In the show there is a lot of classical music (like chopin) when Kazuya listens to his records or Minami does gymnastics. Aside from that the background music is fitting to the show, but does not really stand alone well. The voice actors are very good though, and extremely fitting to their roles. Tastuya and Minami's seiyuu's were great.
The character development in this show is huge. Throughout the show you see the growth of the characters. Tatsuya undergoes the most growth since he is the main character, but Minami and other characters (even some of the minor characters) grow and change throughout the series. The only downside was the fact that you never really got to know all the members on the baseball team, which happens a lot with sports related shows. However, all the characters in this show are great.
I enjoyed this series so much. There was not really any filler (besides a few recap episodes which would have been necessary for people following the show weekly) and each episode was interesting. The story never really seemed to drag, and even though there were times where you got frustrated at certain situations, they always turned out fine in the end. DON'T avoid this show because you dont like sports. the sports may be a crucial part to the story, but it defenitely does not have your typical "sports anime" feeling. Same with the romance. The romance in the show is really important, but it's not a "romance anime".
This show was really well done. At first, I was hooked by the romantic rivalry between the two brothers. However, as the story progressed i got hooked into seeing how Tatsuya would change by becoming part of the baseball team. The story itself is really good and I think it's defenitely worth watching. Don't be scared because it's an old series, it's defenitely a classic that should be watched by all! :)
Feb 11, 2008
I have watched this movie many many times since it is one of my favorite Miyazaki films, so why not write a review? I have also read the book, which takes a much different direction than the film does. And yes, it may seem like I rate highly but for some i was between 9 or 10, and I have explained things that I disliked that may not reflect in my number ratings.
Story: the story is about a girl named Sophie who gets turned into an old woman and ends up living with a wizard named Howl in his moving castle. The story is the ... only part I felt was lacking in this movie. Though I have to admit I see more flaws with the story after reading the book (even though I find the movie much better). Overall, I felt many of the war scenes were overdramatized and left a lot of questions. There were also a lot of small things throughout that they could have done a better job at explaining. Even after watching the movie so many times I cannot fully explain some scenes and still have questions about the movie.
Animation: The animation is absolutely stunning and many of the backgrounds look realistic. I also have to say that I am impressed with how Sophie is animated, and how it is so easy to tell when she is aging/regressing just simply by looking at the animation (her voice also helps). Overall this is the most impressive Miyazaki art I've seen and I really haven't seen much that can top it.
Sound: I'll just start off by saying the music in this movie is so beautiful. I love every single background music in this movie, and the only song I don't like so much is the theme with the words that plays at the end. Aside from the beautiful soundtrack, the sounds in the movie are so dead on. Hearing Sophie's bones crack as an old woman is really painful, and as much as I don't like Sophie's voice, her seiyuu does a great job at portraying the character and how she fluctuates between young and old so frequently throughout the movie. I think all the seiyuu in the movie were good as well.
Character: The characters in this movie make up for all the lack of closure in the plot. Each character has their good points, even the Witch of the Waste. I personally adore almost all the characters, though I actually like Sophie the least of all. Calcifer, Heen, and Turnip head are such adorable and fun characters to watch (and Heen and Turnip have pretty much no lines in the whole movie). Howl is also another loveable character as well. The characters have such different personalities that you will probably like at least one character or more.
Enjoyment: Obviously I enjoy this film a lot. I've watched it so many times! Each time I sit there in awe of the animation and empathize with the characters. It's one of those movies that I love to watch and I have not gotten bored of it yet. I do have to say that towards the end I get slightly bored with the stressed focus on the war, but that only lasts at most 15 minutes.
This movie is defenitely worth watching, and even if you watched it and didn't like it, you only spent two hours watching it since it's a movie. I think it's defenitely one of Miyazaki's better works. If you have time or interest, I think it's worth checking out the book, since it's a completely different take on the story. It's got a lot less romance between Sophie and Howl in it, but it brings a lot more character development to Markl and Sophie's sisters (she has more than one in the novel). But if not, just watch the movie!!
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Jan 16, 2008
After finishing this manga, I just had to write a review because there was none, and this is such a great manga! I tried my hardest to rate realistically, but in the end it didn't really work out. As always, I'm more critical with my explanations rather than my ratings.
Story: So the story is about Sana Kurata, a famous child actress, and her relationship with Hayama Akito. At first she hates him because he is a trouble maker and cold, but over the course of the manga their relationship grows into a really deep conection. The story itself is a romantic comedy, with drama mixed ... in. It moves quickly but nothing feels left out or missing. There are many unexpected twists and turns that make it really exciting. It's really one of the best shoujo stories since it's not in any way a typical shoujo or idol manga. One of the reasons I loved this manga was because it stands out from others of the same genre.
Art: I am a huge fan of Miho Obana's art. Her art style is very "shoujo" so many characters do infact have the same style of eyes. However, she does a great job of expressing the emotions of the characters. I am bothered by the lack of definition in arms and legs (they're just like sticks), but that's not really unusual for the style, also they arent adults so it makes sense. For a manga of its time the art is very good, and of course the art gets better as the manga progresses, well.. a little bit.
Character: The characters are what make the story. Each character has a distinctive trait that makes him/her special. Sana is really hyper and says the weirdest things. Hayama is cold, says what's on his mind, and never ever smiles. Tsuyoshi is sweet and a pacifist, until he snaps and throws desks all over the room. Mama, Sana's mother, has crazy hairstyles and a squirell lives in it. I could keep going. However, aside from their quirky personalities, the character development over the manga series is great. No one is perfect, and this manga shows how a lot of the individuals may not be who everyone thinks they are. Sana is also not your typical heroine. She is not a crybaby who relies on her love interest. Instead she is hyper, dense, and always wants to do the right thing. The fact that the characters aren't extreme shoujo stereotypes made the story interesting.
Enjoyment: Yeah, if you can't tell by now I really enjoyed this series. There are lots of funny moments that made me laugh. But there are also really series moments that really surprised me! It's hard to put into words exactly why I enjoyed it, but I was not bored a single moment in this manga, even though I had seen the anime beforehand.
Overall: If you're a shoujo fan, you have got to read this manga. It's one of the most unique mangas I've read and it really is a great story. I would like to say that non-shoujo lovers would be able to enjoy it as well, because it's not all "lovey-dovey" like most. The romantic drama is secondary and is defenitely not the main focus. I highly encourage everyone to try it out.
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