Sengoku Basara is pretty simple and easy to understand. It’s far from being complex in nature and it’s wonderful that it doesn’t try to be. Each character epitomizes very general personality characterizations, and with artistic license that appeals to most fans of the fantasy/sci-fi fans genre, the series gives each character a theme color. Such decisions really tickle your insides due to how it makes complicated, epic fight scenes more streamlined, crazy, and fun to watch. Read More
Make way for a new year and make way for yet another seasonal playlist. These playlists, I found, have provided me with incentives in discovering and learning new music that I otherwise would not have, or at the very least, listen for music where I normally do not. A similar effect occurred after having taken my Music and Computers course this fall semester; I had consequently become more aware and sensitive to the sounds in my daily life. It is both strange and wondrous to have your world opened in such a vast way with only a small paradigm shift. Now, while the music I will present here is not eye-opening at all (perhaps for another time), hopefully the melodies and styles will evoke certain feelings and emotions within your gut.
Usagi Drop is a breath of fresh air from the copious amounts of fanservice, placid character structures, and excessive moe that permeates anime series of recent times. It’s a rare series (from my limited knowledge) that touches upon issues in a serious and honest manner, while simultaenously having the ability to subtly include right amounts of lightheartedness and humor that prevents the series from adopting too heavy an atmosphere. There exists a synergy and expert balance rare in such a form that weaves an empathizing and heartwarming tale.
Two weekends ago, I spent way too much time not studying and watching Dennou Coil, an anime I had sitting in my hard drive for years. I never began Dennou Coil since each episode I had skimmed looked pretty average, with no standout elements that caught my eye. Having finally completed the series, however, I quickly realized that Dennou Coil did not need any of the flashy peripherals to prove its worth.
On average, anime that causes the type of addiction where you marathon 26 episodes in 2 days are the ones with plot twists, cliff hangers, or eccentric action scenes, which happens to be some qualities kept in mind by anime producers who want to create instant-popular series. Dennou Coil, on the other hand, is completely different. It is neither bombastic, nor boring, but always takes itself seriously and deliberately balances every aspect of its story, art, and music with great expertise. It’s a series that is easy to under-appreciate despite the numerous things that Dennou Coil does right, and overcomes its very few faults by delivering the most solid series I have ever scene to date. Read More
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, close friend of Hayao Miyazaki, founder of Studio Ghilbi, brings his very first movie to the screen and what a treat it is. Studio Ghibli well known for it’s rather large portfolio of family movies and Karigurashi no Arrietty ( The Borrower Arrietty) deserves no less to be on that list. Though this is Yonebayashi’s first time directing his own film, the Studio Ghibli art and Miyazaki-style of storytelling are present and familiar. Ghibli movies range in both scale and theme, ranging from fantasy adventure to family slice-of-life and though the film definitely cannot be considered a grand epic (maybe one of miniature proportions) like Princess Mononoke or Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Karigurashi no Arrietty is a movie full of heart and quiet charm. Read More
Based on the one shot manga, Amon Game by Uki Atsuya, Cencoroll is a unique movie that confidently deviates from the standard anime practices in a range of elements, ranging from plot to production. There are numerous titles that showcase extremely original plot, cutting edge animation, or some other production aspect that aides in the art of effective storytelling. I recently mentioned in my Japanese ANIME post several series actually exemplify these characteristics (while many titles that do not), however, rarely do you see a series like Cencoroll balance all of these aspects and do it with such a unique twist that criticizing it becomes difficult.
I happened across Cencoroll while I was searching for popular anime torrents on bakaBT and was instantly attracted to the promotional poster. Intrigued, I downloaded the movie and jumped right into it and was pleasantly surprised with what I had found. Read More
A few weeks ago, I had an unexpected trip down memory lane as I remembered the good ol’ days where Pokémon took the world by storm.
I’ve always loved Pokémon. I wasn’t exactly a Pokémon nerd who followed each episode of the English-dubbed anime (or the original Japanese anime, for that matter) or attended local trading card game tournaments, but I had my fair share of obsessions. Like many others, I totally dug the Pokémon video game. What is so fantastic about the handheld franchise was exactly the idea of Pocket Monsters. Teenagers could explore the Pokémon regions anytime and anywhere. It was a world that felt expansive and endless (151 Pokémon felt like a lot at the time) and was accessible all at the flick of a switch. It was a game that was super easy to get into and out of, with tons of people almost mixing the two together. Read More
Conveying emotions is one of the great purposes of art. Stories have an almost magical ability to reach inside any audience and communicate universal feelings. Animation has the same potential, but la large difficulty that the animation industry faces is the fact that they are dealing with “non-real” images. Many people think animated works are worth less than their live-action counterparts since they are more artificial. This barrier increasingly makes connecting with an audience difficult. In order to reach across the divide and establish a connection, animation needs to take advantage of the medium’s creative potential to appeal to human emotions and thoughts. The late Jean Renoir, an outstanding film director, wrote in his memoirs, “the spectator is a human being, capable of reflection and, therefore, of imagination. Being human, he is devoured with curiosity.” If Mr. Renoir is correct, then animation is at its finest when it can take advantage of this curiosity, and draw the viewer deep into the creator’s own imagination. Read More
I spent maybe 5 minutes trying to think of a witty title and witty catch-phrase that was interesting, but my uncreativeness reigned supreme and left me dissapointed (not that I expected much anyway).
So here I am, flipping through my video folder, trying to decide what movie I would lament about for my debut post on “the sighs of efuzzy n’ zuangster.” Of course, I had to pick something meaningful, since it would be difficult to put as much meaning, purpose, and information in a movie review post as a “Pentatonic Scales.”
So I picked “WHISPER OF THE HEART.” [please disregard the CAPITALIZATION – it’s probably the only way to emphasize something important in notepad]
Produced by Toshio Suzuki and Directed by Yoshifumi Kondou, I was pleasantly suprised after viewing this anime feature film. After being pleaded to watch this movie by efuzzy in earnest, I could not believe that I put off watching this movie. Of course, Studio Ghibli has always, is already, and will always continue to pioneer wonderfully colorful, moving, and meaningful films, but I was always sort of partial to Mr. Hayao Miyazaki; and so after finding out that Whisper was not directed by the aforementioned master of animation (of course, i.m.o.), I didn’t really summon much interest.
O.K. Enough chit-chat. On to the not-so-serious stuff.