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Archive for the 'Anime/Manga' Category

Review: Junkers Come Here

Combing through lists of anime films in the hope of stumbling upon overlooked gems is a process which becomes tedious rather quickly, but it is the occasional discoveries of films like Junkers Come Here that continue to push me back on track when the effort becomes tiresome.  While televised anime often build cult followings to keep some semblance of awareness alive, it seems more common for films to fade into history unless associated with a company or famous director, which …

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6 responses so far

Review: Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies)

Hotarubi no Mori e is based on one of the earlier works of Midorikawa Yuki, a mangaka primarily known for her more recent Natsume Yuujinchou – a series that I often hold as an example of commercial success falling upon a work that wholly deserves it.  Natsume Yuujinchou is part of a relatively rare breed in the world of televised anime – a series that can be enjoyed by any viewer of any age and communicates admirable messages about kindness, …

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7 responses so far

Review: Mai Mai Shinko to Sennen no Mahou (Mai Mai Miracle)

Over twenty years ago, amidst the backdrop of a rural Japanese town, My Neighbor Totoro explored both the boundless imagination and the underlying fragility of childhood, setting the standard for the genre.  Mai Mai Shinko to Sennen no Mahou  (released as Mai Mai Miracle in English) takes many cues from that film, but diverges from the established path to present something fresh and worthwhile while simultaneously feeling like a spiritual partner.  The influence of the former thus takes away no credit …

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6 responses so far

Kemono no Souja Erin Review

The quirk of reviewing longer series is that their appeal so often depends on the slowly developed attachment they allow you to form with their characters and setting – something which is often hard to communicate in words, and is a direct result of the gentle pace that these series can afford.  Kemono no Souja Erin takes full advantage of its length of fifty episodes – it takes us though many years in the life of its protagonist, Erin, allowing us …

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6 responses so far

Third Impressions – Kemono no Souja Erin ( Episodes 23-40)

Note: posts which contain episode numbers in the title may contain spoilers – read reviews instead for spoiler-free opinions.

Though the majority of this arc featured gentle development of Erin and her raising of Lilan, the end of episode 39 appears to signify that the show is ready to approach the resolution of the overarching plot.  The various threads of the story thus far – Erin, the Grand Duke, the Queen, Damiya, and Ial – are merging due to the …

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Second Impressions: Kemono no Souja Erin (Episodes 11-22)

Note: posts which contain episode numbers in the title may contain spoilers – read reviews instead for spoiler-free opinions.

I think I have a somewhat firmer idea of where the plot of Kemono no Souja Erin will be heading with regards to the overarching conflict, which will no doubt intersect at some point with Erin’s personal growth thusfar.  Much time has been spent building up the background between the Queen and the Grand Duke, and the factions which cause trouble …

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One response so far

First Impressions: Kemono no Souja Erin (1-10)

Note: posts which contain episode numbers in the titles will likely discuss plot developments during those episodes – read reviews instead for spoiler-free articles.

I first sampled “Kemono no Souja Erin” some time back, when it had first begun to air.  As I was following another show at the time, I wasn’t able to give it more than a brief trial (one episode) and it drifted away from my mind.  However, it is one of those shows that I …

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3 responses so far

Karigurashi no Arrietty Review

Studio Ghibli,which for decades has been dominated by the “old crowd” – Suzuki, Miyazaki, and Takahata – has made occasional attempts at cultivating younger talent in the past.  Ocean Waves was initially envisioned as an exercise for younger staff, and occasional films such as The Cat Returns or Tales from Earthsea have all been attempts to bring new directors into the forefront.  However, the studio has never really managed to find a proper spiritual successor to Miyazaki, who is the man …

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6 responses so far

Planetes Review

I’ve often claimed (with some degree of hyperbole) that Planetes is one of the best kept secrets of anime.  While it does not enjoy the same level of awareness and popularity as some of its monumental brothers in the same genre, tucked within this 26-episode series is one of the most satisfying character-oriented shows you will find.  This is an important aspect of Planetes – the show is about characters, unlike sci-fi shows which derive their drama from the large …

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5 responses so far

Sword of the Stranger Review

Sword of the Stranger is a 2007 film by BONES centering around a young boy and two warriors who are drawn to him due to various circumstances.  The film is set in feudal Japan, with more than a few similarities to..... Read more

6 responses so far

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