The Wind Rises

Posted by DiGiKerot in One shots at February 12, 2014 on 7:12 pm

There was a screening of The Wind Rises, supposedly the last film to be made by infamous director Hayao Miyazaki, as part of the Glasgow Youth Film Festival this last weekend. We’ll see how that whole “last film” thing goes, but being the only currently scheduled UK screening of the movie in the UK until it’s general release in May (months after the rest of the English speaking world, annoyingly), I figured I’d drag myself up to Scotland.

I kind of feel like I’ve done the whole cycle on Miyazaki at this point. Getting into anime in the mid-nineties, and living in the middle of nowhere, the Ghibli theatrical output was one of those things I’d heard about existing In Theory, but was the kind of thing that you’d only actually be able to get ahold of if you “knew someone”, as fansub distribution in the day so often went. Through sporadic TV broadcasts and theatrical festivals, by 2001 I’d managed to catch pretty much all of the studios output, however, and I rather liked it.

Then there was that Howls Moving Castle thing. I genuinely thought that was a terrible movie. Awful. It soured me to the point that I’ve still not actually got around to watching Ponyo.

The Wind Rises is not Howls Moving Castle, thankfully. It is, in fact, a pretty good movie.

SLA 2013: Fuse – Memoirs of a Hunter Girl

Posted by DiGiKerot in One shots at October 12, 2013 on 11:08 pm

I guess I’ll start this by saying that, should you be the sort of person who happens to live in the US, you can actually watch this whole movie on Hulu, of all places. Assuming, you know, you can stand the frequent, annoying advertisement breaks for products you probably don’t actually need.

Otherwise, I guess this was the first European screening of this movie, based on the novel by Kazuki Sakuraba (of Gosick fame), directed by Masayuki Miyaji (reminding me that I still haven’t seen Xam’d, not that I’m in a particular hurry, though I do own the BDs).

The movie, set just before Japan opened it borders to foreign commerce, follows Hamaji, a girl who goes through life living as a hunter in the mountains, equipped with a really peculiar looking gun. She’s summoned to the capital by her brother, a well-meaning, if somewhat dopey, wanna-be samurai, to help him hunt the last two Fuse – half-man, half-wolf creatures who live by devouring human souls – in the hope that he can claim the sizable bounties that have been placed on their heads, allowing him to actually make something of himself.

Now, guess who the handsome young man that Hamaji just happens to run into whilst arriving in the capital for the first time just happens to be? No, really, guess – unless you are being deliberately silly, you’re probably exactly right.

I don’t know, I have to admit, I’m having a hard time formulating a particularly strong feeling regarding Fuse. I actually really enjoyed it, but I’m a little mindful that I was told it was a smidgen on the tedious side before hand, so I went into it with expectations somewhat significantly lowered. I didn’t actually find it particularly tedious, if I’m honest, in so much as it didn’t have me checking my watch at frequent intervals or anything like that, and the narrative keeps a pretty brisk pace, even if what is happening isn’t necessarily the most exciting things in the world at all times. The animation is good enough, but there’s nothing there which will blow your mind either.

What I will say is that, whilst inspired by The Hakkenden, the movie certainly does show it’s light novel roots. It has a really silly climatic battle signposted only by the fact that it has it’s basis in The Hakkenden, and it’s full of the usual goofy light novel character archetypes in it’s supporting cast.

Not that’s there’s anything particularly wrong with that, but if you go into the movie expecting a weighty, substantial period piece to chew on, as opposed to pleasant piece of pulp with young-adult novel dramatics, you’ll probably be disappointed with it. Otherwise, yeah, it’s fine.

SLA 2013: Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene

Posted by DiGiKerot in One shots at October 12, 2013 on 10:34 pm

The words “mystery film” are words not to be taken lightly. Well, they aren’t words I take lightly, anyway, as I was once subjected to a surprise screening of Makoto Shinkai’s 5cm Per Second, a movie for which, whilst I understand it’s popularity, I just can’t get past the incredibly tortured dialogue it contains.

That being said, for this years Scotland Loves Anime, there were so many clues thrown out for the movie before hand that it could only possibly have been one of two movies, unless they really went out of the left field and threw DokiDoki Precure up on screen (alas, that’s only marginally more likely than seeing the Strike Witches movie at the event, I suspect). I think most people, correctly, guessed it was the upcoming ufotable movie Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene (The Magical Sisters Yoyo and Nene, I guess).

Which isn’t actually out in Japan until the end of December. In fact, unless something has recently changed, I gather that version being shown at SLA isn’t the final edit, not that it’s particularly clear as to what they’d be changing prior to the final version.


009 Re:Cyborg

Posted by DiGiKerot in One shots at April 5, 2013 on 10:41 am

I’m not really sure what the RE in the title of this movie is supposed to imply. I don’t think it’s supposed to imply that it’s a statement in response of the Cyborg future of it all – whilst director Kamiyama has a background in GitS:SAC, this isn’t a movie about life, politics and terrorism in the all-connected robot future. In fact, the robotic nature of the movies protagonists only really serves as an excuse to give them all cool superpowers.

In other ways, it could perhaps be seen as indicating that the movie is in more direct response to the franchise as a whole – as Kamiyama himself put it after the movie, there’s been a big shadow cast over the property in terms of a final story, incomplete due to the original author Ishinomoris’ death, which has left the property in a place from which it has been difficult to continue or reinvent.

Or it could just start for Religious Education. Or exposition. That’d work.

Six Quick Thoughts about Love Live!

Posted by DiGiKerot in Love Live!, One shots at January 8, 2013 on 10:27 pm

Love Live! (School Idol Project) is the new idol show from Sunrise, specifically Sunrise Studio 8. I gather that these two facts put it entirely within the wheelhouse of things I’m supposed to post about here.

Which is pretty much the main reason why I’m posting about it – honestly, I’m kind of luke-warm on the show as of the first episode. There’s a lot of things I appreciate about it – I think the music is pretty catchy, and whilst I don’t think the writing is particularly sharp, I do think there’s at least a degree of intelligent direction going on. There’s some degree cleverness to the way some sequences cut together at the very least. I’ll probably end up watching the whole show anyway, though, mostly because there’s precious little else that’s caught my attention thus far this season. Infact, there’s been a few shows I’ve not even managed to survive half an episode of.

Anyway, just a few quick thoughts about the shows first episode…