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♦ Studio Ghibli Reviews, Articles and Chronology
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Review: Furusato Japan (Japan, Our Home)

 

According to the Furusato Japan’s website, the WAO Corporation, which has funded the production film, describes itself as providing general education services across Japan.  This film, then, represents one of their areas of interest – making films with strong messages for audiences, particularly youth, across the country.  Furusato Japan is a film which tries to communicate the importance of maintaining traditions and culture, in this case, traditional children’s songs, by using a story of a school in post-war Japan. …

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A Letter to Momo Review (Momo e no Tegami)

After roughly a ten year gap, Hiroyuki Okiura, the man responsible for the critically well-recieved but generally little-known Jin-Roh, returns with Momo e no Tegami.  Though the film won’t be released even in Japan until 2012, a very early premier was, surprisingly, held at the Toronto International Film Festival (which I gleefully attended).  While Jin-Roh was a dark and adult character drama, Momo is a completely different kind of story, one that is friendly to all ages and treads territory …

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Kokuriko-Zaka Kara Review (From Up on Poppy Hill)

Kokuriko-Zaka Kara (From Up on Poppy Hill) marks the second full-length film by Miyazaki’s son, Goro, after his first attempt, Earthsea (Gedo Senki), received only middling response from most Ghibli fans and critics alike.  Admittedly, the Ghibli fan response, including my own, was influenced in part by his father’s disapproval at Goro’s sudden rise to director status, something which was exploited fairly heavily by the media – who are always eager for a dramatic headline.  Although it is impossible to tell to …

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Dennou Coil Review

Dennou Coil is a near-future science fiction series which revolves around a group of children entrenched in the fad of their generation – special glasses which overlay a virtual reality onto the real world.  This technology, of course, serves a purpose in the infrastructure of the adult world, but for the children – at first, at least – it is a source of high-tech entertainment.  The havoc they cause is cleaned up by the authorities, who monitor the junk floating …

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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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Ojiisan no Lamp Mini Review

This short film of roughly 20 minutes was one of the entries in the JAniCA Animator Training Project, a competition aimed at developing younger talent from various animation companies.  Ojiisan no Lamp comes from Telecom Animation Film, headed by Takiguchi Teiichi, an animator who worked on such films as Whisper of the Heart and Piano no Mori.  Here, he gets to flex his storytelling skills by contributing both the screenplay and the direction itself.  In a certain way, …

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Sheet Music – Kemono no Souja Erin

Here are two sheet music arrangements for two of the more noteworthy piano pieces from Kemono no Souja Erin.... Read more

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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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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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