Posted on 11 November 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



While not technically a WWII-movie, (but rather a movie about the aftermath of WWII) I still decided to include Barefoot Gen 2 in this mini-marathon I’m having, because I watched the original movie yesterday. At first I feared that this would be a cheap cash-in to the success of the first Barefoot Gen, but in the end there was no reason to worry about this: it’s completely different. Don’t go into this one, expecting the same.

The graphics really got a major upgrade. My big issue with the first movie was that the animation just couldn’t handle the things it wanted to portray, but the second movie suffers from none of this. The animation is very smooth, detailed and crisp. It’s amazing considering it was only made three years later. And it’s not something that you only see for these two movies: somewhere between 1983 and 1986, something happened that completely revolutionized the anime industry in the graphics department.

The tone, atmosphere and themes are also completely different. The intention of the first movie was to portray a hellhole: there was no subtlety whatsoever, instead it wanted to make very clear what happened in Hiroshima during the bombing. The second movie is much more subtle: it focuses on the characters, three years after the bombing, as they try to sustain themselves. It’s a movie that combines the dark realities of war, like the overabundance of street children, mourning the loss of loved one, and the heavy scars (the visible and invisible ones) from the bomb, along with more positive themes as hope, enjoyment, education as it portrays people who struggle to pick up their lives again.

It’s also in this movie where Gen gains his depth: you can see that he’s grown up and changed, while still remaining the playful boy he was in the first movie. The new characters are also likable and well characterized, although at times they do try a bit too much to look cool. The second movie is much more a family movie than the first one was; it’s all focused to cheer up, while not shying away from the harsher aspects of the aftermath of a nuclear impact.

I guess where this movie drops points is that it only shows one side of the argument: it only shows Gen and his friends. The Americans, working adults and other people in the neighbourhood are just a bunch of random drawings with only one or two short lines of dialogue.. The movie just assumes that we can imagine what these people are going through. While this is indeed partially true, I do think that the creators could have added an extra layer of depth if they showed a bit more of these guys.

I’m not going to say that this movie is better than the first. The first movie, while I may have given it a lower rating still deserves to be watched because of its subject matter. I have not seen any other anime with such a realistic attempt at portraying the effects of a nuclear explosion; so what if the characters lacked depth.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Friend
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 02:52 PM)
    @Aidan dat straightforwardness XD
    Sidonia is a little strange, Ill have to see how well it sticks for a few more episodes.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 10:28 AM)
    @Roger, It’s funny just how little it took for you to say “Screw you guys. I’m going home.”
    Rather flaky if you ask me. Not that you would be missed of course.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 09:04 AM)
    *typoed an M instead of a , =<
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 09:03 AM)
    *isn’t felt as much.
    I actually that while he drew the monsters and robots pretty well and was as always dependable drawing the scenery his modern art actually loses alot of his older style actually benifitted from.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 09:01 AM)
    Sidonia no kishi volumes 1 through 8: All in all compotent, decent m average enough to stick with and even buy the rest of it. The setting, tech/science is fine, its not trapped by exposition and when the action shows up its enjoyable to look at/read, good designs on the monsters too. However the flow/pace of it is a bit off, it drags, meanders a bit, its too mainstream for that author and favours poorly in comparison to the rest of his work. The athmosphere, roughness, grit isn’t felt.
  • Roger
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:48 AM)
    Seems my Mushi-shi post finally showed up, so I guess ill just abandon that Nickname to avoid the issue.
  • Roger
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:46 AM)
    @psgels I posted as Spike coincidentally my shoutboxes also disappear when using that name
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:41 AM)
    I guess a moderation system wouldn’t necessarily be of the cards, I too tend to find all the bots pretty annoying too.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:39 AM)
    I have noticed on occassion that the shoutbox window will sometimes “red out” when links are posted and then it won’t go through,this is for short messages mind, not long ones. For example it never lets me link animefans ftw.
  • psgels
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:20 AM)
    The thing is, I do not try to moderate my comments unless things become really bad, but I’m very rigorous on deleting spambots. Seriously, you do not want to know how many spam comments I have to deal with. >.<

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Clipboard02

Mushishi – Tokubetsu-hen

Mushishi holds a really special place in my heart. Back in November 2005, when I started up this blog, Mushishi was one of the first shows I picked up to cover weekly. At first I didn’t think much behind it: it just looked interesting and I wanted to cover it, but as it went on […]

Seasonal Anime Podcast – First Impressions – 2013 Fall Anime Season

Hey everyone, I participated in a podcast again, together with Deadlights (Deadlight’s Anime Blog) Flawfinder (Standing on my Neck) and Slashe (Behind the Nihon Review) with two new members, Landon (Mecha Guignol) and Tom (Nigorimasen) Today we talked about the past Fall season. You can find the link here, enjoy: http://deadlightanime.blogspot.nl/2013/10/seasonal-anime-podcast-first_12.html

OVA Impressions: Kurenai – 02

Why was this made? I mean, apart from completely raping the Kurenai TV-Series, perhaps? If I were someone who reads manga, this would totally take away any motivation I would have had to buy and check out the manga. Please, someone. Tell me that the manga is more than just this endless string of silly […]

Mushishi Review – 94/100

Mushishi is one of those rare series you can only run into once in a long while. it consists out of 26 episodes, and each of these episodes tells a story about ordinary people, living in the quiet areas of medieval Japan and their encounters with the creatures called Mushi. Only a select few can […]

Mushishi – 26 – Sadly, This Anime Has Ended

Seriously. Mushishi managed to pick an AWESOME story for the final episode. It’s sad to see this anime finally go, one year after it started airing. Hoping for a second season would be rather false hope. Still, this show has been awesome. Definitely something to recommend to anyone. The story mostly takes place during Ginko’s […]

Mushishi – 25 – What to choose: Light or Darkness?

I’ve been looking forward to another episode of Mushishi. It seems that it doesn’t know how to deliver a bad episode. Each of the stories presented works so incredibly well, dealing with a different problem every single time. This time, we have a little girl, who’s blind. She encounters a mushi, Ganpuku. This mushi gives […]

Mushishi – 24 – Fake Fire

Mushishi returns with the same outstanding quality of its stories once more. This time has yet another happy ending. I really loved it. The case is like this: we have this village which has its own Mushishi. On one day, they run into a yet to be identified Mushi. It came from a vulcanic rock, […]

Mushishi – 23 – Voice

The series had normal episodes, and it had awesome episodes. It’s the same with the OVA. Episode 21 was perfect in every single way. Episode 22 was amazing, despite its flaws. Episode 23 shows us a standard Mushishi-story again. It’s about a disease, which causes limbs and body-parts to become stiff and unmovable. It’s being […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

Clipboard01

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]