Posted by psgels 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
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 8. 2015 08:10 AM)
    Had a look at episode one of monster musume, at worst its a slightly amusing romcom, at best a novelty, I can see this wearing off/running its course. On a side note the sunglasses lady in this episode, Smith looks like a type of female character I’d probably have designed lol
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 8. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Yo Bam, seeing as how you like true detective, theres this spanish flick, called Marshlands that people say takes inspiration from it , I’d recommend giving it a shot.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 8. 2015 01:57 AM)
    But as far as assassin based stories go in anime/manga I think I’d rate kite and gunslinger girl better than this.
    Good enough though.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 8. 2015 01:56 AM)
    *girl may kill
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 8. 2015 12:58 AM)
    Finished off girl may girl since you mentioned it Aidan. It was okay I guess, premise of a young girl assassin is often a good one and it was pretty messed up I suppose, decently violent and the characters were alright. Though I did feel it was a bit stilted, the art is kind of plain and it does feel like a prologue to a bigger story.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 06:10 PM)
    Somebody PLEASE update this: http://mangafox.me/manga/death_sweeper/
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 05:38 PM)
    Going to hell for reading this , but it was right up my alley: http://www.mangachapter.me/34166/doreiku-boku-to-23-nin-no-dorei.html
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 05:34 PM)
    With giants in mind, I for the life of me, keep struggling to remember a manga I read ages ago. It was a series of off-beat one-shots, a seinen manga most likely and one of the stories involved a group of giants shrinking themselves and in one scene going after/taking the human women for themselves. I remember the art style standing out. This came out before Titan and has nothing to do with it.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 05:29 PM)
    Ha, finally found it, for the longest time I had been trying to re-find that romcom manga where the love interest was a giantess.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 05:21 PM)
    @Aidan: Didn’t think anyone else knew about that manga.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Knights of Sidonia S2: Battle for Planet Nine review – 73/100

The second season of Sidonia makes a number of mistakes that a lot of second seasons do. That namely being that the anime slows down and introduces characters and conflicts that are often resolved in a undetermined to exist, third season. A new antagonist is introduced, whom does very little in the season and only […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 12

Tanikaze’s rendezvous with Benizumie looks to have been cut short as Izana interrupted with some hacker magic. The entire sequence being as uncomfortable and disturbing as you could imagine. I still wonder just what was her goal in doing all this to Tanikaze. Was it some method of killing him or just some really kinky […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 11

It’s quite the coincidence that both shows I am covering have decided to use their last episodes to make up for the season’s shortcomings. This will be a short post as while action packed episodes are great to watch, they make it hard to bring up topics to talk about. Guana look to be imitating […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 24

Now this is more like it. Well as they say, better late than never and this was at least the best moment to bring back the quality. All I ask is where this was three episodes ago which it could have made all the difference in the world. Admittedly this episode has made me a […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 10

Unfortunately this wasn’t the time for Izana to become an ace pilot though she did at least show some ingenuity in her escape from gauna. Instead the spotlight falls once again to Tsugumi and Tanikaze. A lot of the fight scenes before the challenger appeared was to shown that Tsugumi and Tanikaze have great teamwork […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 23

Sometimes it’s hard being a veteran anime fan and a huge Fate Franchise fan. I sit down to watch the latest episode of this series and I want to shut up the cynical critic in the back of my brain pointing out everything that is wrong with this episode. But as events I adored from […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 9

Though the majority of the episode was of the same antics I have been complaining about in previous episodes, it’s nice to see Sidonia get back to what it does best. Dire situations and sci-fi mecha action. Izana being pushed into the role of scouting with a new weapon has to be the best path […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 22

A fairly uneventful episode this week.In some ways for me that’s good as it allows me to go into detail about the nature of the ever so popular CGI dolpins. But first let’s speak about what happened. Our three heroes had a strategy meeting discussing how to deal with Gilgamesh and the grail while all […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 8

I think something is wrong when I consider a protagonist from a movie these characters are watching a more compelling lead than our current one. I was surprised when starting the episode to see a sudden rise in visual quality only for it to turn out to be a movie within an anime. Actually I […]

Latest Reviews

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

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: […]