Posted by psgels on 22 December 2006 with categories: A Spirit of the Sun

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Holy god… it took a long time for this two-episode OVA to get subbed, but it was SO worth it. Why the heck has nobody talked about this yet!? Taiyou no Mokushiroku, or A Spirit of the Sun in English is made of pure win. I’m seriously recommending this to everyone who enjoys a good, serious story.

I first wanted to just include this in my quick first impressions, though this anime deserves to be blogged. It consists out of two episodes, both take up one hour and fifteen minutes. The first episode can roughly be divided into two parts. The first part, which is also the longest, shows what happens to Japan if it were to be hit by a large chain of massive earthquakes. Seriously, that was intense. It offered a great view of how angry mother earth can be when she’s really serious. In about fifty minutes, we see the once thriving Japan being thrown into chaos, with its major cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto being entirely destroyed. We follow one young boy, the grandson of one of the ministers of Japan at that time. His home gets destroyed and he ends up with a a guy who’s heading for Tokyo with emergency supplies. Then, after a while, he almost ends up drowned, and disappears. Japan, meanwhile, has split in two, and is basically playing in the hands of both China and the United States.

Though if that part wasn’t good enough, the second part of the first episode shows the aftermath. It shows how the Japanese ended up after this catastrophe, fifteen years after it happened. Though the special thing is, that it doesn’t take place in Japan. For this part, we switch to Taiwan, were our main character ended up. When he nearly drowned, he was picked up by a childless family, who decided to adopt him as Xian, their son. What follows is a fascinating view of the Taiwanese, who had to deal with a huge number of Japanese Refugees who came to their country. Now, fifteen years later, the relations between the Taiwanese and Japanese aren’t too good. The Japanese are extremely xenophobic, while the Taiwanese keep blaming all of their misery on the Japanese. When combined, it doesn’t make for a good combination. Xian and his newly found friend are one of the few exceptions to this. I really love this new friend of his. He’s basically one bulky, muscular guy, though at one point, he actually starts crying when he hears Xian’s story. That was so awesome.

Seriously, if the second OVA is going to be just as good as the first one, this anime is going to be magnificent. Don’t get turned off by the unusual character art, what we have here is an awesome anime about what would happen if a once thriving nation gets thrown into despair by natural disasters, and how it attempts to recover itself afterwards. Seriously, this anime NEEDS more attention than it’s getting right now!

3 Responses

  1. Sasa says:

    Ugh, I read the first chapter of the manga ages ago and found it totally boring. (Which is very unfortunate because I’m a big fan of the mangaka.) But since it’s been 3 years now (I think), I thought I might give it a second try…

  2. Hazel says:

    I was looking at the anime that hadn’t been subbed the other week and wondered what this was like and then lo, the torrent popped up! Glad you think it’s good i’m looking forward to watching it more now!

  3. lisnoire says:

    I’m with you. It is an under viewed, underrated wonder. I immediately recognized the character designs and military mecha (not “robots” but weapons, aircraft, etc.) as the work of Kawaguchi, Kaiji. If you don’t want to wait for rest to be animated, you can follow it in the manga Taiyou no Mokishiroku Dainibu: Kenkokuhen. Haven’t read it yet but I intend to.

    Also, if you like Kawaguchi, do yourself a favor and watch Zipang, another brilliant Seinen work about a modern Japanese naval ship that slips back in time to WWII and the battle of Midway. Oh, the animation is a bit smoother in Zipang.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 12:13 AM)
    Ep03 of Arslan was weak. The only reason I’m still excited for the next episode is Narsus. Hopefully Arakawa’s portrayal is as cynically delightful as Tanaka’s.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 12:10 AM)
    @Emma: yeah I liked that. Uses the same digital rotoscoping that was used in A Scanner Darkly. I enjoyed reading ASD more than the movie. Philip K. Dick has a literary style that really doesn’t lend itself to the screen. Interestingly enough Southlake Tales is also heavily inspired by Dick’s novels.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 11:35 PM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen it but seems like theres noticeable dark humour there.
    I saw a trippy movie about lucid dreams lately called waking life.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:31 PM)
    Love it or hate it, everyone agreed that it’s certainly an interesting watch and a tantalizing and magnetic film that even if you despise it you would still badly want to watch it to the end. Dwayne Johnson, Justin Timberlake, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean William Scott are just the tip of the iceberg in this weird list of celebrities who all play a strange and out-of-character role in Southlake Tales. The movie was ambitious if nothing else.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:23 PM)
    I just recently watched Southland Tales for the first time: I gotta say I enjoyed it. This was Richard Kelly’s next big project after Donnie Darko. Not considering The Box this is pretty much the only thing he’s done since and it’s extremely polarizing with the audience; although most people hated it. It’s a satirical dystopian apocalypse story and might be one of the weirder films that strangely never became a cult classic.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:18 PM)
    @Emma: Vinland is one of those that stresses me every time I hear its name since I badly need to catch up with it. I also watch Vikings, pretty solid show. It premiered on the History Channel of all channels, mostly known now for the entertaining but laughable Ancient Aliens. I think I might’ve seen Angel a while ago, and Holy Motors just sounds so strange; so I might give it a go actually.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:03 PM)
    Ah, good Vinland saga, I am liking how this new arc is starting out and its good that Askeladd is still showing up in flashbacks.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:02 PM)
    @Bam: Beyond un chien andalou have you ever looked into anything else by Bunuel? I recently saw exterminating angel and found it a wickedly funny surrealist dark comedy. You may also be interested in a surrealist arthouse french movie called holy motors, which has its moments.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 06:59 PM)
    @Bam: Vikings is actually a pretty good show to check out for people into game of thrones. But the main tv show I am interested in right now is that new daredevil series and am waiting for season 2.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 06:22 PM)
    It’s going to get a lot better ;D

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