Posted 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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  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Lacrid Surprising, yes, but it seems they’ve brushed over that so far. The story has gone back to normal romcom/slice of life.
  • LacridSayo
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:11 AM)
    Wow, Horimiya managed to surprise me twice. They teach me that in the face of adversity, conformity is the way. Also, Miyamura and Hori f&@ks.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 04:09 AM)
    The whole world structure and the framework of spirituality, eyes of death perception, counterforce and whatnots are kept intentionally vague so he can have some wiggle room to bullshit and handwave plot elements as they go on. KnK was a pretty good OVA series tho and Ufotable had a big party to play in that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:56 AM)
    Here’s some classic Nasu at work.
    http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2003/30-P02-034.jpg
    A f*cking security system? No, it’s a person creating a small alternate world around them from their mind. Plain and f*cking simple.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:45 AM)
    I’ve heard people criticize Nasu as “writing terrible history fanfiction” and “Like my old bad fanfiction” “When the action scenes actually happen they suck”
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @K-Off: didn’t we all.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @Aidan: I didn’t know what they were, but “withering eyes of death perception” doesn’t really leave a whole lot up to the imagination anyway…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan Reminds me of my English papers where I bullshitted tons of explanations to fill up a ten page report.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:39 AM)
    And the eyes of death perception. Ho Boy. He talks about how it’s not cutting but severing and bonds and blah blah blah.
    Here’s the shorthand. You cut a tree with a knife you make a small cut, cut a tree with a knife while using the eyes of death perception and the tree withers and dies. There only took one sentence to explain something that Nasu uses 10 or so paragraphs for.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:33 AM)
    Take the explanation for mana. All the man had to explain was more mana = More powerful servant. Yet he makes this comparison to ammo, guns and cannons that is just needlessly confusing.

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