Tag Archives: anime series

30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 14

Day 14: Anime that never gets old no matter how many times I watch it.

774789a98cfcef6b8f19ae2ede8724a5ef940da1_hq

An anime series that has stood the test of time and could be agreed as such by the entire community is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This series has been the grounds for all anime series that have come after it. It set the basis for the current style of anime we see today.

This anime series has made a cultural impact predominantly in Japan, Asia and English-speaking countries. Numerous parodies of the dance shown in the anime’s ending theme, Hare Hare Yukai, were popular during its airing time and gave the companies a very hard time to enforce copyright.

That’s quite enough evidence to say that the Haruhi franchise contributed largely to the culture of anime.

When I mentioned “set the basis,” I mean it in the sense that this series has set the standards for your typical slice-of-life, high school-set anime series. Same goes for the entirety of the works that the studio, Kyoto Animation, which they base from the entire Haruhi franchise.

the2bmelancholy2bof2bharuhi2bsuzumiya2b3

Why is the series good, you might ask? That’s a pretty hard question to answer but let me try to do so in the best way I can.

For starters, the story telling used in the Haruhi franchise is somewhat new and unique. Kyon narrates the story to the viewer and adds in his own internal monologues but doesn’t take away the spotlight from the real main character which is Haruhi Suzumiya. Some people might mistake Kyon as the main character of this series but if you think about it, the story always surrounds the titular character, Haruhi Suzumiya.

ee8a406e7c5b283f86805dc50b0bc2ec

Its story is quite unique as well. I don’t think I have seen an anime series where it balances the high school, slice-of-life aspects whilst also mixing in the supernatural phenomenon in the mix. I mean, seriously, the titular character is god and it is Kyon’s (and the other characters) job to make sure that she is not aware of her abilities.

We got really fantastic characters here: an esper, an artificial humanoid interface, a time-traveler, and we have Kyon – a normal guy. All of them ensures that Haruhi is entertained and in blissful ignorance of her god powers. Simple yet something unique at the same time.

Imagine if you were in such a situation – you, as Kyon, would have to keep these fantastic and extraordinary phenomenon in the dark and make sure this blissful ignorant “ojou-sama” doesn’t know that she is god for the sake of the world’s safety.

6048d017d603495acf8c3edab81810da46de994b_hq

Another thing to note is the animation quality shown in the entire Haruhi franchise was the highest of its time. Kyoto Animation was known to produce movie-like animation quality and still does so to this day.

The airing order of episodes was completely unorthodox and viewers had different ways to watch them. Its either to watch the series in two major episodic orders: Haruhi’s order (which was the chronological order) or Kyon’s order (which was the broadcast order).

haruhiepisodeorder.png

It created somewhat of a confusion and also a sense of appeal since nothing of the sort is common. In Kyon’s order, the first episode would be “The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00” while it would be listed as the eleventh episode in Haruhi’s order.

The ending theme was quite phenomenal as well which, as I mentioned earlier, bred numerous parodies as people were trying to do dance covers. The theme had a catchy, upbeat tune and showed off a full dance sequence. It was quite unique and probably even in our current time.

1024px-hare_hare_yukai_2007

Because of the Haruhi franchise, there was a rise of popularity when it came to the high school set stories in Japan.

The story might not appeal to people at this time but take note that this franchise is the reason why anime, light novels and manga are written as they are right now. The trend of school-set anime was started by the Haruhi franchise which is probably the reason why despite the absurdity of most anime series, it is still in high school – “because apparently everything happens in high school.”

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was a classic, a trend-setter, and is still appreciated till this day despite being released in the early 2000’s. It is, definitely, an anime series that never gets old no matter how many times I or you watch it – you can fight me on this.

01300000164456121473371879402

Sagrada Reset – Episode 2

REACTION – I am extremely infuriated about this episode right now. Not only does it feel too absurd, it’s going at a ridiculously faster pace than usual. The first episode had a slower pace which was both boring but acceptable given the genre, but right now, it’s just out of whack.

horriblesubs_sagrada_reset_-_02_720p-mkv_snapshot_02-54_2017-04-12_16-44-45-thumbnail-750x540-90

The episode’s main event was to help out Mari and persuade her mother not to leave her alone in Sakurada.

A group of high school students. I repeat, a group of HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS managed to psycho-analyze an adult woman and convinced her of staying with her child, which she created using an ability, just because our main character thought it was wrong.

It would’ve been better if the problem at hand was something realistic and can be solved by a bunch of high school students – but no, it’s just became a complex situation in a span of twenty minutes.

The thing that bugged me was the instant development of romantic feelings between Haruki and Kei. It happened too fast and feels too fabricated to be a legit romantic relationship between the too. There was a really bad kiss scene – no emotions, no proper conversation, no reason, no nothing.

At least, it was acknowledged by the main character that Haruki “might be confusing trust with love” but still, it’s just too goddamn fast.

sagrada-reset-ep1-4-640x350

After that, Sumire Sona dies after taking a hike in the mountains. Prior to the whole confession scene, Sumire talked with Kei after the whole Mari situation and pointed out that he’s making the whole thing as an excuse to feel righteous – which, for me, is a valid fact.

But when she told Kei that “you love Haruki, don’t you?” Kei just, downright, says yes – which is pretty much me going like… why?

This episode was a mix of hate and love due to the points I mentioned before. It was too fast in terms of story pacing, character were developing in weird ways, but the setting still shows some bit of promise.

I hope this series doesn’t drive itself right into a wall. At the moment, it’s pulling a Charlotte episode two.

Alice to Zouroku – Episode 1

REACTION – Alice to Zouroku focuses on an old man named Zouroku and a girl named Sana, who has the ability to create any thing she imagines out of thin air.

The episode starts with Sana’s escape from the research facility she was detained in. An unknown lady, who wields the same power, helps her out by giving protection as she escapes to Shizuoka.

az13

Here, she meets old man Zouroku in a convenience store and decides to acquaint herself with him since, after reading his mind, she has deemed her as a nice person.

After a couple of accidents and encounters with other detainees of the research facility, Zouroku finds himself stuck with Sana, much to his displeasure.

az14

The episode was pretty much confusing to me since it was basically just a fight with some “summoning sh*t from thin air” being used. I couldn’t help but notice J.C. Staff’s usage of CGI when it comes to vehicles – although it’s not the best, it works and that’s pretty much great for any anime series.

Some anime use CGI too much that they don’t really know how to balance the traditional 2D animation with CGI. You mix CGI and 2D too much, it becomes really odd to look at.

2017-04-03_065353

Ah, J.C. Staff – you never fail to mix up a magical, fantasy show with some good ol’ moe.

Zouroku, as a character, can be easily described as your doting grandpa. He doesn’t like being bothered by too much disruptions or big problems and just simply wants to lay low. The situation’s pretty much changed after he meets Sana.

Sana is the one brat that will probably annoy you if she was your child or your grandchild, for this matter. You, as a man of old age, don’t want no youngsters disrupting your “old man time” – no f*cking way, sir.

The way the story is being presented, I can’t help but bring up a similarity to the anime series, Brynhildr in the Darkness. Same thing but teenage characters: a group of girls escape a research facility that were conducting tests on them for their special powers and a guy who’s caught up in the whole fiasco since one of the witches resemble closely with his childhood friend who died many years ago.

But the thing that I like about this show is that it’s not much on the magic powers are being focused so far but about the two characters, Sana and Zouroku, who develop some sort of fatherly-daughter bond. At least, that’s how I feel it is going for. Pretty cute, moe stuff going around here.

You can compare it with like the movie, Thor, where the god Thor is banished to Earth and he has to adapt living with humans – something like that. But this time, it’s a girl who’s going to the outside world and an old man is her guide, something like that.

This anime series is not really something I’d urge someone to watch but if you want some good ol’ cute interactions between a doting grandpa and a child he just took in who has special powers, then be my guest.

 

 

Himouto! Umaru-chan gets second season this fall

NEWS – An issue of the magazine, Weekly Young Jump, has revealed on Thursday that the anime series based on the manga Himouto! Umaru-chan will be getting a second season. The anime’s official website posted a teaser promotional video for the second season coming this fall.

 

The main staff will be returning from the first season, as well as the studio Doga Kobo (Gabriel Dropout), director Masahiko Ohta (Gabriel Dropout), series script supervisor Takashi Aoshima (Gabriel Dropout), and character designer Aya Takano (One Week Friends).

According to the teaser video description, the following cast members are also returning:

  • Aimi Tanaka (Yamada-kun and the 7 Witches as Eri) as Umaru Doma
  • Kenji Nojima (Yuri on Ice!!! as Seung Gil Lee) as Taihei Doma
  • Akari Kageyama as Nana Ebina
  • Haruka Shiraishi (Oregairu as Mori-chan) as Kirie Motoba
  • Yurina Furukawa as Sylphynford Tachibana

c85ixpcuwaapjtj

[via ANN]

Sakura Quest – Episode 1

FIRST LOOK – Sakura Quest centers around our main character, Yoshino Koharu, as she struggles to find a decent job in the city of Tokyo. It’s either Tokyo or back to the rural countryside for her. She’s applied for about thirty jobs now and still hasn’t had any luck until a modeling agency contacted her for a job in a rural city’s tourism board – much to her displeasure.

maxresdefault2

Seeing no other option, Yoshino takes the said job and heads to the rural city of Manoyama to serve as the “queen” for the city’s tourism gimmick, the “Kingdom of Chupakabra.”

However, forgetting to read the fine print, she realizes that her job is gonna be a whole year instead of the one day thing that she thought. Yoshino tries to get back to Tokyo but after seeing old photos in the rural city’s so-called “castle”, she realizes that she came to the rural city before as a child and served as “queen”, which probably changed her mind a bit.

nctgi1b-640x360

If I had to get a similar anime series to this one, it would be Amagi Brilliant Park. Same old concept: main character is called upon to revive a rusty, old town/amusement park that’s way beyond it’s glory days and he/she has some sort of childhood history with the place than he/she once thought.

The first thing that hit me was the opening theme, “Morning Glory” by [K]NoW_Name, which was really upbeat and catchy to hear. As a pianist, I was just enjoying the jolly piano background throughout the entire theme song. Same goes to the upbeat vocals. It really brought interest and hype for me as I was starting the episode.

shirobako_sakuracompare.png

I was somewhat let-down by P.A. Works’ failure to create more diverse character designs for its anime series. Shirobako (an anime series about anime production) and Sakura Quest’s character designs are all too similar and every time I see a character, I just get reminded of a Shirobako character. P.A. Works needs to do something about this.

Although both series have the same character designer, he/she should have spiced it up a little bit.

Other than that, the animation style is pretty much okay.

Sakura Quest is not really that “godly” of a series as most people claim it to be, in terms of story, animation, and etc., but it does bring a smile to your face.

This is still the first episode but I hope it remains consistent with the upbeat tone and humor in future episodes.

First Look: Re:ZERO – Episode 1

FIRST LOOK – Re:ZERO was a popular anime series in the year 2016. Although I may have been late to the party, it’s better than never as I may put it.

1889704_0

The first episode centers around the hikikomori, Natsuki Subaru, as he is suddenly transported to a medieval-aged world filled with magic and fantasy. He meets a silver-haired girl who introduces herself as “Satella” and a spirit named “Puck” after they save him from a group of thugs.

He offers his help to this girl in finding her stolen insignia which leads them to the slums of the city. It all goes wrong when Subaru discovers that the building they believed to be the whereabouts of the insignia was, in fact, a murder scene – and they were going to be killed as well.

Subaru, as a character, is surprisingly perceptive and just outright dumb at some times. He displays this by using the system of bartering as means of re-acquiring the stolen insignia which was going to be sold by some black market shop. However, he is very tactless about what he says.

Being a person who has suddenly been transported into an alternate fantasy world set in the medieval era, you should’ve developed the mindset that “not all you know will apply in this place and you should be extra-careful about what you do.”

But no, not our boy, Natsuki Subaru.

I would’ve loved this series if only Subaru got his act straight and got self-aware but no, he doesn’t. The only thing that’s piqued my interest in this anime series is the: how’s, where’s, and why’s?

Why is Subaru here? How? Where is ‘here‘ exactly?

I, honestly, am annoyed of Subaru’s character as a whole – reminds me of Kirito except that he is very much aware that he’s a dumb piece of meat.

Re:ZERO can easily be described as a deconstruction of the whole “trapped in an alternative world” scenario with some dark elements shoved into it. This episode ended with the death of a main male and female lead but somehow doesn’t matter since the main male character has the ability to go back in a specific point in time – kind of like a spawn point.

This anime series has definitely hooked me in at the end with more questions: why was Subaru transported into this world? Why can he revert time? What is so significant with Satella? Who is this female murderer? And other more questions.

I will finish this series as soon as I can (if I survive). It was quite a bummer why I didn’t watched and followed along this series as it aired but it’s better than not ever watching it.

Also I don’t like gore. Never have I liked gore. I almost dropped Attack on Titan when it first came out as I saw Eren’s mom being devoured slowly by a creepy-looking titan. That does not sit well with me.

I’ve already been spoiled about some points of this series so it’s okay to spoil but it’ll ruin my viewing experience though (wherever your conscience lies, dear reader).

An interest in anime

PERSONAL ENTRY – When I was five years old, I had an uncle who was obsessed with the Naruto anime series. Every time my mother left me in his care, we’d spend most of the idle time watching a few episodes of it. I remember him talking excitedly about everything that was happening in an episode, whether it was a fight, a conversation or something that caught his attention.

Even my mother and I had some times when she’d pull out her collection of Voltron episodes. It was a fun time seeing these different robots fighting other robots – the action, the lights, the clashes. They were all something new for me.

I could say that my love for anime is sort of hereditary because of my uncle and my mother who both loved anime during their childhood and teenage years.

The first series that I’ve followed, each episode, was the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It was a time where science fiction piqued my interest. The thought of futuristic technology and concepts were so exciting to me. Every episode I’d wonder about the reasons for each scene in an episode. Pretty deep thinking for a seven year old.

The concept where your classmate was, in fact, god and you had to keep her entertained and if not, she’ll destroy the world? That sold me right in.

Another favorite anime series of mine would be Shakugan no Shana. It awakened my love for fantasy and adventure as Shana would go on to be an achieve Flame Haze – one that would make a difference for her world. How one human can be play a great role in a conflict between greater opposing forces than himself.

I was fascinated by the terms: the Reiji Maigo, the magic used, the different weapons – it filled me with awe and enjoyment.

Fast forward to recent years, I have somewhat limited my viewing of certain anime series. Instead of viewing it for the sheer thrill and excitement, I now delve even deeper. Character developments, story developments and twists, complex concepts and settings – I guess this is what happens when you learn more as you grow.

Nowadays, anime series have been more prevalent on re-occurring themes. Most spend less time on depth and are to shallow for me to enjoy. Instead of the usual twenty-five or more episodes in a season, we’ve now gone to common twelve-episode cour.

A lot of things have changed in the anime industry and people as a whole to have caused these things. It’s stretched itself to even foreign audiences other than Japan.

It’s a sense of happiness yet there’s a feeling of uncertainty – how anime has become bigger than people have expected.

Despite the new tropes and ideas, I still do hope we get to see more Haruhi’s, more Shakugan no Shana’s, more Naruto’s, more Voltron’s – where the entertainment value matters on the audience’s relation to the anime series rather than flashy CGI and the sorts.

Miandro

Why anime doesn’t work in live-action film adaptations

DISCUSSION – As of late, various anime series have gotten really popular to the point that they have been adapted into many media forms. While this is certainly a sign that anime has gone global and is being adored by an even diverse, bigger audience, there are some problems.

Why do we love an anime series? One of the main reasons why is the storyline. When things get adapted into a new media form, there are some changes needed to be done to make the story “work” in the media form it is being adapted into.

For example, let’s say we have a successful visual novel like Clannad. In a visual novel, the reader gets to choose what path the main character takes thus changing the events, relationships, and the like in a story.

What if during your walk-through of the Clannad visual novel, you chose to end up with Ryou – one of the main heroines of the game. Sure, we could have that in the anime adaptation but what about the rest of the gals? How would the story pan out? Would it be appealing to you, the viewer?

Before the anime adaptation is set into motion, things have to be changed in regards to the story and character development since we can’t have every single route of a visual novel adapted into anime – otherwise, it would’ve been a harem.

Same goes with a live-action film adaptation, it needs to work with the media form and its intended audience.

In the Hollywood film, Edge of Tomorrow, where Tom Cruise played as the main character, the director based the film on the 2004 light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.

In this film, the planet Earth is under invasion by alien species called Mimics. However, these alien species and their appearances are very different from the manga and light novel adaptations of All You Need Is Kill.

allyouneediskill_mimic.png

In the manga adaptation, the mimics appeared as some sort of spherical floating creatures resembling that of bacteria. However, in the Hollywood film, they have changed their appearances to some sort of cunning wolves of metal and electricity. Instead of floating, they are fast objects that would kill you in a heartbeat before you will even notice.

It is these minor changes that make an adaptation sell. The audience in the West would not have been entertained by floating balls in the sky as the film’s main villains. To make it sell, they needed to give a feeling of thrill and action that would be familiar to a western audience.

The reason why live-action film adaptations of anime fail to live up to expectations is because they are too reliant on the original source. Directors need to understand the source material of the anime they are adapting then change some minor details so that it would actually work in a film media platform.

maxresdefault

Let’s take Death Note, for example. Seriously do we actually need to fit every detail of a character’s description from the anime series? I mean, it doesn’t make sense when it becomes a live-action film adaptation. It does not give appeal and it is just downright cringe or hilarious watching this.

1-27

And we’ve got a CGI-Shinigami in the live-action film… Seriously, it is just too cringe and hilarious that probably most viewers wouldn’t even take this film seriously.

We could’ve gotten a human who could fill Ryuk’s role, yeah? Hell, we could have Tom Hiddleston play as Ryuk or whatever name change we could do to fit a more global audience.

The bottom-line here is that most live-action film adaptations of anime and manga stick too much to the original work without consideration if the actual film will come out good or not. There are some anime and manga that won’t work if you adapt it as it is. That’s why we call it an “adaptation” – to adapt something from its original media form in order to appeal more audiences.

What about you? Do you think all live-action film adaptations of anime and manga need to follow the original work? Or do you think people working on the film need to understand their based storyline more clearly?

New stunning CM for Violet Evergarden

NEWS – Kyoto Animation recently released a new promotional video for their upcoming anime series, “Violet Evergarden.” The video does not show new information but we do get to see more of the studio’s stunning work.

 

“I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll, Violet Evergarden.” – Violet Evergarden (at the end of the video)

There is still no exact date announced for Violet Evergarden so we will have to wait longer. Considering the animation quality of the promotional videos done by Kyoto Animation so far, it would not be too surprising that the series would still be in the works. After all, the level of quality has to remain consistent otherwise the whole series would be bad.

As far as the little information I have gathered regarding the anime series, here is a brief synopsis:

Auto Memories Doll.

It’s been quite a while since that name caused a fuss. Originally invented by Professor Orland solely for his beloved wife, Auto Memories Dolls eventually spread out into the world, and a machine that allows people to rent out the dolls was also created.

“I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll, Violet Evergarden.”

A girl who almost appears to have popped out of a fairy tale with her blonde hair and blue eyes said this with her inorganic beauty and sweet voice.

The promotional videos, so far, were worked by the following staff:

Director/Storyboard: Taichi Ishidate (Kyoukai no Kanata)
Character Design/Animation Director: Akiko Takase
Key Animators: Nami Iwasaki, Fumio Tada, Kohei Okamura, Shinpei Sawa, Nobuaki Maruki, Tatsuya Sato, Miku Kadowaki
In-Between Animation Check: Hiroko Kuroda
Color Design: Yūka Yoneda
Special Effects: Rina Miura
Background Art: Mikiko Watanabe
3D Art: Joji Unoguchi
Director of Digital Composite: Kōhei Funamoto
3D Computer Graphics: Tetsuro Umetsu

It is still unclear whether these people will be working the anime series itself.

On a personal note: *suppressed fanboy screaming*