Posted by psgels on 23 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Okay, so I finally managed to check out this movie. My big fear before I started watching it that, now that he’s almost reached his retirement, Hayao Miyazaki would have lost his touch by now, especially considering how his previous movie (Howl’s Moving Castle) was arguably his least impressive work. Nevertheless, these fears were ungrounded: Ponyo shows that the old master still has plenty of tricks left up his sleeve. And then some.

Miyazaki’s movies that he made for Ghibli can basically be divided into two categories: epic and down-to-earth. With Ponyo, he tries to combine the two by creating a charming little story about a five year old boy who meets a goldfish with magical powers, and yet creates enough opportunities to show off some amazingly creative visuals and animation that you wouldn’t expect in such a down to earth movie. The result really works and it’s become a movie that’s suitable for any age to enjoy.

The animation really shows how much work went into this movie. Even though CG is the norm in today’s anime, Ponyo is entirely drawn by hand, and contains a record number of 170000 hand drawn pictures. This series really shows how much you can do with just animation: in an industry of anime in which the norm is to cut corners, this movie is full of life with an amazing attention to detail in even the slightest moves, and there’s hardly any frame in which something isn’t moving. The amount of eye candy in this movie is also amazing, and even though the art style is simpler than in some of his previous works, the visuals still rank amongst his most impressive.

This movie also excels in its portrayal of five-year-olds. I read somewhere that Hayao Miyazaki lives right next to a kindergarten school or something similar, and so he’s had plenty of opportunities to fully study how little kids behave. Kosuke is a bit timid, but a very likable young lead. This series doesn’t have much character-development and background (only a few side-characters have a serious change of character), but considering the story and situations they were thrown in, they didn’t really need to: it was fun enough to watch them as they were and extra focus to get some character-development or background in would only have gotten in the way of what’s really important.

My problems with this series lies within some of its messages it attempts to teach to kids. With the environmentalist that Hayao Miyazaki is, I expected that he would show the bad implications of major floods. Instead, a flood in this series just appears, puts an entire landscape under water for a few hours and then disappears without ever leaving a trace. Oh, I’d wish that reality were this simple and convenient. Or how about people who’ve lost their ability to walk, and suddenly are rid of their problems due to magic. Yes kids! If you have some sort of incurable ailment, just hope that a person with magic will arrive and wave these problems away!

Anyway, it’s been more than a year now since I watched all of Miyazaki’s major movies. Looking back, his movie that turned out the most memorable for me was Porco Rosso, which probably was his most mature movie. Ponyo, his least mature movie, probably isn’t going to take that place, but yet it is a very charming movie to behold and definitely worth the watch unless you absolutely can’t stand childish stuff.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 10/10
Setting: 8/10

30 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Last weekend I went and saw Ponyo at my local multiplex and I absolutely loved the experience; I feel the only place to properly watch a Ghibli film is on a movie theater screen.

    I didn’t find there to be any problem with the flood covering everything then everything going back to normal afterwards. As Ponyo’s father points out, Ponyo’s drinking of Kosuke’s blood throws the magical world and the real world into chaos, and Ponyo must become human or turn into sea foam for order to be restored.

    The ability of the old people to walk again is only temporary, if you noticed that when Ponyo & Kosuke had to continue their journey on foot and as they’re about to enter the tunnel we see off to the left of the entrance a stone guardian. In previous Miyazaki films he’s used this device to symbolise the border between the real world and the realm of the Kami. In Spirited Away, Miyazaki also used the device of the tunnel and the stone markers to separate the real world and the realm of the spirits for Chihiro and her family. If you noticed that as Kosuke and Ponyo travelled through the tunnel Ponyo’s human transformation slowly faded; she was returning to her “natural” form in the spirit realm.

    But, once Kosuke and Ponyo prove their love for each other and Ponyo becomes a real human girl, Ponyo’s goddess mother and wizard father will withdraw from the mortal world and once again the two worlds will be separated again and everything will go back to normal. So, I assume that once everything goes back to normal and the two worlds are back in there proper places the old people will gradually revert to their aged forms.

  2. Theowne says:

    I feel like this one meandered a bit at times. Not near the top of the Ghibli list for me.

  3. Kalandra says:

    I think this is the first time that you gave a ten for production values.

  4. I loved this movie. Especially the fact that it was drawn entirely by hand, and was still more breathtaking than many other animated films.

    I don’t get why no one seems to like Howl’s Moving Castle. I’ve heard a couple people say that it wasn’t his best, but I think that it was actually one of his better films.

    Miyazaki can do no wrong in my eyes it seems.

  5. Shirachi says:

    What’s with all the hate on Howl? That’s by far my favorite Ghibi movie.

    I’d personally rate Ponyo very low on the list; it’s nowhere near as good as his normal films. It’s childish to a sickly fault(yet I could fully enjoy Totoro), the story is all but absent, and the “test of love” was ridiculous – especially when you take into account that they’re five.

    The only thing that made the movie was the characters – well, Ponyo’s father, who’s adorably awesome – and the animation.

  6. Kim says:

    I actually saw this movie last night and while I enjoyed it to an extent: loved the animation and how innocent & charming it was. I did think it was lacking in plot. As someone else said Totoro was also fairly simple but I felt it wasn’t as corny. I guess because it didn’t have the save the world with the power of love sub plot.

    And while I did enjoy the spunky senior citizens. I also felt the fact that everyone called run around at the end was pretty cheap. Even in a kid’s movie I don’t think everything needs to be solved so easily. In some ways I think the story would have been better if Ponyo had to stay in the sea.

  7. Wyrdwad says:

    Yay! I just saw this one recently myself, and absolutely loved it. I’m glad you did too – and I’m also glad I’m not the only person who considers Porco Rosso his best work.

    -Tom

  8. Haruka says:

    I just saw Ponyo yesterday. I thought it was fantastic and I liked the more old-school water coloured art. And I couldn’t agree more on Miyazaki’s portrayal of young children – it was spot on ^^.

  9. evolstar says:

    I find it interesting to read what Miyazaki film people like best. I’ve heard Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and now Porco Russo as favorites. If there is so much debate over which one is his best, it just goes to show that Miyazaki is a brilliant director who has such a plethora of amazing films.

    As for this movie, I haven’t seen the english dub version yet but I thought the movie was cute and the visuals outstanding. As for magic miraculously allowing the elderly to run, how about in Princess Mononoke when the forest god cured Ashitaka’s bullet wound? Oh yeah, that’s realistic. THIS IS A KID MOVIE, why can’t magic and love cure all? Disney does it all the time!

    I guess I’m not one who looks for realism in a kid’s movie. Realism is not something that should be looked for Miyazaki’s movies. A major reason why he’s so loved is his out of the box, original, fantastic characters and plots.

    Sorry for the ranting but I love Miyazaki (if you hadn’t noticed already :) ) he is one of the reasons why I started watching anime in the first place. Spirited Away was one of the first animes I ever saw so it holds a special place in my heart.

  10. Kim says:

    Why can’t magic and love cure all? Disney does it all the time

    Because it is horribly cliche and I don’t like it when Disney does it either. Children are smart they don’t need stories where everything is solved so easily.

    I love Miyazaki but that doesn’t mean he is above criticism.

  11. Theowne says:

    On the topic of Miyazaki in general, I’d say his best films are Mononoke -> Porco Rosso -> Totoro -> Laputa and then etc. Howl’s is his worst in my opinion. But curiously I consider the best Studio Ghibli works to be two non-Miyazaki films.

  12. Wyrdwad says:

    I’m gonna actually go out on a limb here, and say that my least-favorite Miyazaki work, aside from Nausicaa (which I honestly don’t like at all), is probably Spirited Away. I truly don’t understand all the love that movie receives… it felt like it was trying too hard to be too many things, and never spending enough time being any one of them. I like it when Miyazaki focuses – when he’s all over the place, it just doesn’t work as well IMHO.

    Castle in the Sky is one I keep forgetting about, too… I love Castle in the Sky. Probably my second- or third-favorite of his works.

    -Tom

  13. Theowne says:

    While Spirited Away isn’t my least favourite film, I also felt like it was a bit “all over” and I didn’t think it was nearly as cohesive as something like Laputa or Mononoke. I feel like it is very much overrated but only in regards to Miyazaki’s other works. As a standalone film, it is still fantastic.

  14. Wyrdwad says:

    Oh, I completely agree. The only Miyazaki movie (and indeed, the only Studio Ghibli movie) I legitimately DISlike is Nausicaa. I’ve found every other one I’ve seen – which is most of them – to be, on some level, brilliant.

    Even Tales From Earthsea is spectacular, IMHO, and probably ranks among my favorite Studio Ghibli movies.

    -Tom

  15. Konstantinos Travlos says:

    Sorry. I li9ke Nausicaa Manga and Anime. But I saw the anime before reading the manga so it may help me like the movie more then others. I like all his epic movies. Can’t say something about his more children oriented ones, since I have only seen Spirited Away which I enjoyed. But I do want an new epic one from him. Howl was fun but not epic enough.

  16. kabli says:

    not wanna be rude to you dude but your review annoys the shit out of me. There are so many things wrong with it that makes me wanna punch everyone in the face.

  17. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    I always enjoy a good Miyazaki debate, mainly because you get the full spectrum of opinions. For his best film is Howl’s Moving Castle, followed by Spirited Away, Naussica, Totoro and Porco Rosso. Ponyo probably comes right after, though I am not sure.

    I find it strange that you consider Porco Rosso to be his most mature film, as I always thought of it as his most simple, straightforward story, with nothing really on the side. Just great characters and an incredible atmosphere (which always reminds me Casablanca for a reason unknown). But certainly, his most “mature” film is Howl’s Moving Castle, which is also his most intelligent, imaginative and dense films he has ever made. You can take 10 min. of that film, and there is enough concepts, character development, emotional arcs, intellectual ideas and sheer magic and atmosphere to fill up an entire movie, without it being a stretch [the same is true for Spirited Away and Naussica, though to a lesser extent]. To all who dislike Howl, give the film another shot. It may be too dense for a lot of people to get into the first time through, but trust me, it’s worth it. Having seen it 6 times, I am still finding new elements in it (and I’m not talking minor detail).

    As for the flood not being dangerous… how can I respond to that? I mean, what do you want? Teach kids cynicism? Rather than show the sea as something to be afraid of (which he partially does; remember the kid walking out on the beach?) he makes the sea something magical and beautiful, something that you fall in love with and want to protect and cherish. I find that to be a far better message than “nature is dangerous and is out to destroy everything around you”. As for the healing of the elderly, as someone already pointed out, that was temporary. Besides, as a medical student, I can tell you that far more “miraculous” things can happen than what is shown in the film, if you can just activate the proper associations in the patient, and put him/her in the proper state of mind. patients who not only are seemingly physically incapable of walking, but have forgotten how to do so, may get up and dance with a little bit of luck. Surely magic can do better than we humble slaves of biochemistry?

  18. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    Oh, and @Kim;
    Miyazaki can be criticized, but not successfully :-)

  19. Nat says:

    Agreed. Porco Rosso is probably my favorite of his movies. And it manages to be BOTH epic and down to earth.

    I tried to watch Ponyo the way a five year old would watch it, and got much better results that way than if I were to analyze whether of not the tidal wave was insensitive, or whether Kosuke’s dad is out fishing for whales, haha. Lots of married to the sea jokes. I am still not sure what role Ponyo’s dad had to play in the story, and what this movie says about parenting. Moms > Dads, mybe. I loved Lisa btw.

  20. Mark says:

    @ Kalandra

    PSGels has given one or two other series/shows/etc,a TEN for production values.

    http://psgels.net/category/finished-series/casshern-sins/

    I saw it in the the theatre,and LOVED it.The Englsih dub in genereal was good,but the one cast for Ponyo herself was annoying….And why the hell did they mess with the ORIGINAL music !???!

    Oh…psgels…why did you refer to this movie as a series ? “My problems with this series lies within” Really ? So when is the next ‘episode’
    of Ponyo airing !?? ^.^

    Oh,and out of all the R1 releases by Disney,on behalf of Ghibli (which I own,all of on dvd) Howl,is in my top 5.Spirited Away makes my top
    ten.Porco,Princess Mononoke,Naussica,and Castle in the Sky,are my top 4.

    “Tales of….” for me and my Wife,was utter garbage.Goro should find another line of work….
    No I am dead serious ! What a HUGE,massive,and completely unforgivable waste of precious Ghibli resources.No wonder father and son had a falling out over it.Its an embarrasement to the studio and Miyazaki Sr.The usually fantastic animation of course,then we are greeted with a horrible,broken plot,iffy va’ing in both langs,and simply terrible direction overall.I want my 38.98 back that I spent on the R2 dvd.

  21. Moo? says:

    That’s great, so far you’re the only one who agrees, Everyone I asked thought Howl’s Moving Castle was a “Great” movie, like mindless creatures only agreeing because others do. All of Miyazaki’s movies always left me with a feeling of wanting More, you know… like you can visualize a sequel in your mind or something, never wanting it to end, However Howl’s was the only one that did not make me feel this way. Yea it was an interesting movie, but… it was just lacking…
    I was reluctant to even watching this movie because of his last work, but based on your review, I’m downloading it right now :D.

  22. Jason says:

    Ponyo does not contain the word “end.” Instead, at the start of the film, Miyazaki gives us the caption: The Beginning. At first I thought this was a subtle joke by Miyazaki, considering that this is the man who has announced his retirement after his last three films, but soon realized that the film is about new beginnings, and the experience of watching it is akin to a rebirth. Miyazaki has crafted a piece of art that is so pure and innocent that while I was watching Ponyo every malevolent thought and action in my life was evaporated and all that remained was the pure optimism and hope of a beginning.

    Read my full review at http://cfilmc.com/ponyo/

  23. Deb says:

    I just saw Ponyo the other night. I won’t say it was bad, but I didn’t feel it was one of Miyazaki’s best. I had to take some time to think about why that was because, in general, I like all of his movies. I think it was a little too childish and bland for my taste. I relate better to his movies when they have more adult characters in them, like Howl’s Moving Castle or Princess Monoke. I don’t know how to put this exactly, but I was a little weirded out by the fact that Ponyo was a “love” story between two kindergarten aged kids?

  24. Solaris says:

    Deb, Ponyo is indeed a children’s story. Theorethically speaking, all of Miyazaki’s anime are intended for youngsters. As an example, Sen to Chihiro was aimed at 10 years old girls, but it had such a strong symbolism that it was more suitable to an older general audience instead.
    Further more, yes it was a story of friendship and love betwen kids. Love is intended as affection and not an adult way of loving, of course. Given that it’s not that weird, i suppose.

  25. mds says:

    I remembered that psgels has given the 10 in production values for about 4 times.
    This one,Bounen no Xamdou,Casshern Sins,and Batman : Gotham Knight.

  26. Tommy says:

    Watched Ponyo last night and enjoyed it. I thought it was ok, not one of his best. For me the ranking is Naussica, Spirited away for first, Castle in the sky, and Mononoke.

  27. fool says:

    I loved Howl’s Moving Castle, and I still do. Why? Because it has probably the most cathartic ending out of any Miyazaki movie.

  28. cheesesticks says:

    uhh, wasn’t his name sousuke? anyway, the animation was amazing, especially the fish-like waves, but yeah like the others, I didn’t get the trial of love thing either—they’re five! and the thing about them turning into seafoam reminded me of the little mermaid (the novel I mean) O.O

    this isn’t his best imo, I liked Spirited Away and Totoro better.

  29. cheesesticks says:

    uhh, wasn’t his name sousuke? anyway, the animation was amazing, especially the fish-like waves, but yeah like the others, I didn’t get the trial of love thing either—they’re five! and the thing about them turning into seafoam reminded me of the little mermaid (the novel I mean) O.O

    this isn’t his best imo, I liked Spirited Away and Totoro better.

  30. Ytinasni says:

    While I can’t say that it was his best, and trying to rate any of his movies in order is a challenge for me, what I can say is the Myazaki is a brilliant storyteller and the works that come out of ghibli are outstanding.

    I’m not sure why people are trying to find the one the liked the least, although I would say Tales from Earthsea was…flat? I don’t know, it didn’t stick out for me in terms of visual appeal like all of the other ones (but it was still spectacularly beautiful).

    Ponyo however, put me into a state where I felt like a kid again, I just sat there and enjoyed the visual feast.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
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