This blog is mainly as I considered myself to be a rookie of anime is discovering titles that I either heard before but never watch and especially the unknown anime, the ones that I and maybe you never heard of.
Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
Anime Discovery Triple Review: Angel’s Egg / The Restaurant of Many Orders (Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten) / The Sky Crawlers
First up, it’s Angel’s Egg.
As I may already said in my previous entry, this is Mamoru Oshii’s work prior to Ghost in the Shell released in 1985 from Tokuma Shoten, but he had actually had other works he helped with like Gatchaman II, Yatterman, Ippatsu Kanta-kun, & Urusei Yatsura (both the series and the movies).
The plot consists of an unnamed young girl, who is the keeper of a mysterious egg and collects water in jars, then she met a mysterious man and they discuss the world around them.
If you are expecting any character development throughout here, there isn’t much to find. They are more geared as a plot point and even though every character is basically nameless, it doesn’t mean they’re uninteresting. Also, the dialogue is very minimal or none at best, but it means that the movie is more into visual storytelling rather than give exposition just like that and I will say this: the visual imagery shown here is actually spot-on with its dark tone and eerie atmosphere throughout the movie and its music score really does contribute alongside with the surreal symbolism and its outlandish weirdness and I will give kudos to Studio DEEN on the animation.
But……….if you are going to see this movie, don’t see just for entertainment value. This is one of those movies were it should be valued more for its artistic imagery and surrealism rather than just being entertained. It may have a 71 minute runtime, but some parts do tend to drag, especially with some long pauses but sometimes I do like using my brain to detail what is going on in a scene but I was still left wondering, “What did I just watch again?”
FINAL VERDICT: While this can be a confusing clusterf**k to watch sometimes, I can enjoy see myself giving this movie multiple views not just to understand beyond the symbolism throughout the movie but it is actually a decent watch when you’re bored. I would recommend this for people who are looking for anime outside the mainstream.
And now, let’s enter The Restaurant of Many Orders (or Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten).
Based on a short story by Kenji Miyazawa, it tells a tale of two British hunters getting lost in the woods and discovers a strange restaurant. Mainly, it is a situation of Man vs. Nature or hunters becoming the hunted.
Like Angel’s Egg, this short doesn’t have any dialogue at all. I’ll admit that no dialogue did bother me a bit, but I was completely OK with that. Sometimes it takes more than dialogue to do any story right. Once again like Angel’s Egg, it has that eerie atmosphere but this time, it doesn’t give away that it’s haunted. Once you enter the restaurant, the realization of it being haunted will come to you sooner or later.
Instead of the typical Japanese look, the animation has borrowed the European pastel style and it did work……at a few times. For me, it can look very lazy at some times but then again it feels like you are inside a storybook….albeit a short storybook.
However, I’m not judging it by its looks. It did have a genuine eerie look but it worked only 50% at the time. But the music did get frightening for a little time but kind of whimsical at some parts.
FINAL VERDICT: For a 20-minute short, it can be a riveting storybook tale with a few spooky moments. However, it wasn’t much of a masterpiece but I never had any high expectations from it. But I would still watch it.
THE SKY CRAWLERS:
Yep, I’m once again exploring the direction of Mamoru Oshii and this time, it’s based around the Japanese novel series by Hiroshi Mori that follows the journeys and tribulations of a group of young fighter pilots involved in dogfight warfare, set in an alternate historical period, but it is never mentioned what year or century it takes place. I assume it would be in the near future, due to some notices of technological advances.
The plot involves ace pilot Yūichi Kannami is reassigned to Area 262 after the deaths of three pilots and bond with the other piloting corps, the chief mechanic, and the base’s CO. There is also a subplot with the mystery that is Kildren and they are humanoids genetically designed to live eternally in adolescence and one of these people in Area 262 happens to be one of them but I’m not going to reveal who it is. Also there is a master pilot fighter who goes by “The Teacher” and this is, by far, the biggest threat to the main characters despite it not being more important enough.
Now it’s time for a HybridMedia fun fact: The Japanese dub version both feature actresses Rinko Kikuchi & Chiaki Kuriyama and I happen to know there is a movie “Six-degrees” like connection with them. As in, Rinko Kikuchi played the deaf girl in “Babel”, a movie which stars Brad Pitt, who was in “Inglorious Basterds”, directed by Quentin Tarantino and he did “Kill Bill” and yet…..there are double connections. Production I.G. did the anime sequence in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Chiaki Kuriyama played Gogo Yubari. Isn’t learning fun? (crickets chirping)
But…….both the Japanese and English dubs sounded like they were either drifting off to sleep at some parts, especially from both actors that played Yūichi Kannami. It is very slow-paced and if you wondering about any dogfight scenes, they exist but I felt like I missed an interesting part of the movie and only see the ones not worth mentioning. Also, the CGI is really not a good idea (in my opinion, of course). It felt more liked a computer game rather than a movie and Production I.G. is no stranger with CGI, counting the opening of GiTS: Stand Alone Complex, 1st season & GiTS2: Innocence but the animation is still standard.
Now, I get some people call this movie “pretentious and slow”, and they are….
Well, they are 50/50 on this.
FINAL VERDICT: Despite some good dogfight scenes, I completely lost interest in some parts of this movie. It’s just average quality in terms of storytelling and characters but I wasn’t expecting GiTS quality but I think they tried too hard with what they got and it backfired and disappointed.
ANGEL'S EGG - 8/10 - Solid B.
THE RESTAURANT OF MANY ORDERS – 7/10 - Watchable
THE SKY CRAWLERS - 5.5/10 - Vanilla
Until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the elements into one format.
ANGEL’S EGG – courtesy of Studio Deen/Tokuma Shoten/Pioneer (or Manga Entertainment)
THE RESTAURANT OF MANY ORDERS – courtesy of Sakura Eiga-sha/Echo/Herald Ace
THE SKY CRAWLERS – animation by Production I.G./ distributed by SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT (US Distribution) & The Sky Crawlers Production Committee (Nippon Television Network Corporation, Production I.G, Bandai Visual, Warner Brothers, D-Rights, VAP, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, D.N. Dream Partners, Yomiuri Shimbun, Chūōkōron-shinsha, Hochi Shimbun)
- Anime Discovery: Elfen Lied - Anime/Tokusastu Jun 17
- Anime Discovery Double Review: Madlax & Eden of the East - Anime/Tokusastu Jun 19
- Anime Discovery: TEKKONKINKREET - Anime/Tokusastu Jun 25
- Anime Discovery V2: Eden of the East THE KING OF EDEN & Paradise LOST - #36 - Anime/Tokusastu Aug 19
- Anime Discovery the Third: Jin-Roh the Wolf Brigade - #54 - Anime/Tokusastu Jan 13