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
Vonter
The Jim Carrey movies.
Vonter
Dorei-ku seems like a Kakegurui. You see one episode you've seen all. It'll be better if it was crazier like Mirai Nikki. Mind control IMO could be a very creepy setup if it's watched through the perspective of the victim rather than the perpetrator. Losing notion or reality and control. Could liar liar and Yes man be considered mind controlled stories?
Vonter
Ore Mahou Shoujo, baffles me, since I had to skip another long musical off key number, which makes me wonder where the budget cut starts and where the trolling begins. Also makes me sad, there aren't a lot of female to male transformations since it'll be interesting watching that perspective. Maybe a love triangle from both genders could apply since females are more accepted to be bi, in media.
Vonter
Megalobox could be something really special, but I hope like with Ashita no Joe, the anime isn't solely boxing. Joe, had social commentary, had a personal struggle do to the protagonist origin, attitude and view of life, since he started very immature and rebellious.
Amagi
Megalo Box, Tiramisu (I find this genuinely funny), S;0, GGO which is so much better than SAO, Wotaku, Hinamatsuri, Cutie Honey, LotGH, Hisone to Masotan and so on
Amagi
I really love this season as well.
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
niello
ugh democracy
KTravlos
@Kaiser ultimately LOGH for me was a decisive point in my political life, as I think it made the best defense of democracy in any form I have seen. And it worked partly because the opponent was presented in the best possible incarnation (Rienhard). Yang's continued adherence to democracy, despite recongising its flaws, helped me avoid a personal descent into authoritarian politics.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I am happy you had a good experience. I watched the prequels a while after the main show and I was happy because it was great getting back to those characters. The prequels were also great in fleshing the setting and the characters. So yes, take your time and a break. That way the prequels will be like visiting a place you liked again after a while.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@KTtravlos: I have some other stuff to get through before watching the galactic heroes prequel though =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
YES according to discord poster I'm not a millenial!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for overposting. I have always always being an incredibly verbose person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter; Not that I oppose captilistically made for a buck cinema, it can be entertaining yes, but I set a standard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: As open as I am to trash cinema, I consider the resident evil films, like the superhero ones, anti-art.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand why people don't like Villier, but he did I think work as a device to add extra tension.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel some release at finishing but at the same time sadness at saying goodbye to the show and its characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
, showing its age.
But for something of this length, it kept itself up far better than most long shows and I feel the length its somewhat justified.

On another note….as corny as the third ending theme is, I got the feels listening to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But while the first 50 odd episodes were an easy job for me aswell as all of the 4th season and some of the late 3rd season made it difficult for me to pull myself away from it, the dialogue even though often well observed did become difficult to follow at times and somewhere in the middle theres a stretch of episodes, bar some moments that feel a bit of an endurance test and the animation is at
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its attention to detail I felt was at its strongest in the documentary and the series dedication to filling the view in on its world building/fictional history.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I admired the scope, ambition of this series and the battles eventually grew on me and I was surprised by just how visceral the melee combat got which suited me perfectly. At the same time for all the strategy and action, I found myself more in it for the story, characters and intrigue/politicking. Those battles, due in part to their music choices, had an epic feel to them
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end the characters stood out for me the best were Reinhard, Oberstein (for being essentially the amazing man with the plan), Reuntal, Kircheis and Rubinsky, I warmed up to Julian, Yang and Schenkop. When important deaths occurred, they felt highly dramatic, in four cases emotionally effecting for me .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, KTtravlos, thank you for pushing me toward watching the original legend of the galactic heroes, my opinion on the series is largely a mixed one, but by the end I felt I’d watched something rewarding and I’m happy its crossed off my list and I should have gotten round to it sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm probably the oldest here, being 32. Which apparently makes me around Yang-wenli's age, which according to someone means I'm middle aged .
Kaiser-Eoghan
To the discord guy who brought it up, its difficult not for me to be political, my father was an activist and is a Marxist , I ended up becoming a contradiction a semi-agnostic, but spiritually inclined/tolerant socialist with internationalist ideology.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Ends in very cliffhanger/abrupt indy way though and the things weakness/how to kill thems too easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I liked how it explains nothing also and the creature design and how it visual communicates to the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While I won't say anything, a character death is handled in what I considered a schmaltzy manner. There is a particularly headscratching decision the characters make that you'll either rationalize or hate, but it leads to one of the tenser set pieces later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Quiet place has a good idea at its backbone, that they use sign language in the film to communicate and occassional whispers adds to it, it and the silence allows for a mood to be effectively communicated. It does have jump scares, I wasn't annoyed by them, but I never felt the film required them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read the discord, if you ever need to ask a question relating to film, come to me about it, I will without fail be able to answer 9 times out of 10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was adequately amused by the first episode of wotaku, but found the male lead funnier, which I'm attributing to him be more deadpan.
Lenlo
We found a convient weekend for everyone
Kaiser-Eoghan
*watching
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would also float the idea of recommendation podcasts every now and then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will listen to the podcast more in full later. But I was surprised after asking/suggesting it on the discord, that it came so soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am thinking of re-watching gasaraki and ai yori aoshi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Perhaps after a while of watch the anime I will simply jump on to the manga.
Vonter
I watched Resident Evil: Vendetta yesterday. It's incredible dumb but kind of fun. I do wonder if in terms of entertainment are like the best videogame based movies. Since it plays like a videogame, it's based on a videogame and is more or less in line with the tone the series has had for a while.
niello
It's such a shame that Golden Kamuy art direction is such a train wreck.
KTravlos
and for the sake of Clausewitz there is clinical term for what Reinhard did. It is called "defeat in detail". Napoleon was a master of it. Proper way to defeat it , is to order the threatened force to retreat to a point where other allied forces are converging. The enemy will either have to retreat, or fight at a disadvantage. The 1813 and 1814 campaigns against Napoleon are examples of that.
KTravlos
Episode 2 of LOGGH: Der Neue Thesis was much better than the first. The music is still an issue, but Yang was well portrayed. I do think there is lack of the directors in showing the cruelty of war, like the first one did. We will see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still need to see his short films and black Peter.
Amagi
@Anon: I already know the manga and enjoy it, think the anime is a good adaption so far. Feels good to see a series about video games that are actually just games and romance without tsunderes, tons of blushing or unworldly naive harem girls.
Anonymous2016456
the anime
Anonymous2016456
how do you guys think of wotakoi?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Hereditary sounds pretty promising here
Kaiser-Eoghan
Forman's an interesting case, when you look at the huge disconnect from his early films from the 60s and then what he went on to make.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, unfortunately I am not a fan of country music so Nashville didn't appeal to me =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And before Jack kept playing the same role over and over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Aside from Courtney Love's presence, Larry Flynt is an excellent film. I love the custom camera tricks Kubrick used in Lyndon , dog day afternoon suceeded for me because it did so much more than being just a bank rob film. I wish Spielberg would return to his pre-90s films .
SuperMario
Cuckoo's Nest reminds me of the great 1975 Oscar Best Picture, which for me was Oscar's greatest line-up. The line-ups for that year were: Cuckoo Nest (winner), Nashville, Barry Landon, Dog Day Afternoon and Jaws
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Featured Posts

Steins;Gate 0 – 2 [Epigraph of the Closed Curve -Closed Epigraph-]

9 years. It has been almost 9 years since the original season of Steins;Gate. Since Okabe overcame received a mysterious video message, which prompted him to finally save the day. Back then it was a rather clever, if thin, plot device to get a happy ending. Steins;Gate 0 is the story of this video message. […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 2/3[The Battle of Astarte/An Indomitable Prodigy]

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political […]

Golden Kamuy – 02 [Nopperabo]

Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which […]

Hinamatsuri – 02 [This Is How You Have a ESP Battle!]

Welcome to THE comedy gold of the season. Before I get into anything specific, let’s me discuss about what make this little show about a psychic girl and a yakuza hilarious in the first place. The main source of humor in Hinamatsuri largely comes from situation-based weirdness. Putting these characters out of their comfort zones […]

Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly […]

Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

Welcome to the Spring 2018 anime season! I am proud to present to you the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary project, Megalo Box. Easily the most stylish anime of the season. Lets jump in! With just 2 episodes, Megalo Box has become my favorite for the season. Everything about it feels like it comes from […]

Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

That was the best episode of Darling in the Franxx to date. Truly I am impressed with this though it may be perhaps because the fanservice aspects of the show were not present at all during this episode. Todays episode was spent entirely on the past of Hiro and Zero Two. When this episode is […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore – 08-10[No Second Strike ― Dead End ― /Golden Theater of the Deranged ― Aestus Domus Aurea ― /Unlimited――― ― Unlimited/ Raise・Dead ―]

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered […]

Darling in the Franxx – 10-12[The City of Eternity/Partner Shuffle/The Garden Where It All Began]

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. […]

Latest Reviews

Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an […]

Yuru Camp (Winter 2018) Review – 74/100

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio. Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between […]

Devilman Crybaby – 83/100

It’s an exciting time to be an anime fan where new business models and players are making big waves within the animation industry. After debuting with the original and excellently-produced Neo Yokio, the juggernaut streaming service of Netflix has decided to revive the classic series of Devilman and gives it the full adaption treatment. By […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 69/100

Fantasy is a rather prolific genre in anime, with a vast majority of Isekai and Shounen fitting snugly into it. Most take place in their own unique setting, either Amestris of Full Metal Alchemist or the made of world of the latest Isekai trash. Few however try to set themselves in our world. To peel […]

Mary and the Witch’s Flower – 73/100 (Joint Review)

Wooper: Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first feature film from Studio Ponoc, which spun off from Studio Ghibli in early 2015. Given Ghibli’s towering reputation, the bar was high for this inaugural flick, which recently made its way to U.S. theaters, giving Lenlo and I a chance to see it on the big […]

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]