Posted by psgels on 3 January 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



You know these really good athletes, performers or artists? And how they make what they do, whether it’s sports, acting, acrobatics, painting or whatever, look so incredibly easy? Well, that’s this movie. I mean seriously, I can wind a long story around it, but it’s just a brilliant movie. In fact, the Uchuu-hen and Houou-hen have a very good chance of becoming my favourite movies of the seventies and eighties!

It was a real eye-opener: to see how good the story of a movie can be if it’s small enough to fit into such a small time-frame without being rushed. This is exactly the example of how you should tell a story in a movie right, and I’ve only seen a select other movies that had such a solid storyline as the Hi no Tori movies.

The Uchuu-chapter of Hi no Tori takes, like its title makes you suspect, place in space. Where the Houou-hen focused on folklore, the Yamato-hen focused on romance, the Uchuu-hen is a full fledged mystery story. There’s a lot of emphasis on the past and backgrounds, with the eventual answers turning out very imaginative, like you’d expect from Osamu Tezuka. Again, Rintaro did an awesome job in building up the tension, and slowly revealing this backstory. It’s an excellent example of mystery done right.

This movie has the same elements that made me such a big fan of the Hi no tori franchise in the first place: lots of emphasis on character-development, characters with huge flaws, themes of betrayals and punishments and the celebration of life and progression also is prevalent in this movie. The creators yet again manage to weave them into a gripping science-fiction story. Even though it doesn’t exactly have a big budget to work with, it’s a terrific example of how to correctly write a movie.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Truly excellent mystery and build-up.
Characters: 9/10 – Lots of terrific character-development.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Good animation; awesome soundtrack.
Setting: 9/10 – Tons of nice ideas and details thrown into the setting.

Anyway, this concludes my movie spree, and it’s probably going to be the last one I’ll be having in a long time. It’s been a great way to close off the decade and start a new one, especially considering how I’m getting less and less confident to find eight bloggable shows for the new season.

5 Responses

  1. Firechick says:

    Awww. Your movie spree ended? I wanted to see you write a review for Ringing Bell! Your reviews are always so interesting and influential.

  2. Pax says:

    Nice review, i definitely plan to watch the Hi no Tori movies.

    As for not being able to find enough new series to blog,you can always watch older series and do arc reviews if they are long series or watch a batch of episodes and write a review for them, i have seen other bloggers do it and it’s not a bad idea imo.

  3. Camario says:

    Haven’t seen it yet, but I definitely plan to.

    I have to thank this blog, more than anything else, for helping me discover the Hi no Tori TV series, but I’ve long since started collecting a few manga volumes here and there instead of watching any of these movies.

    That’s why it should be interesting to try and compare how well these movies adapt the respective manga stories.

  4. Meep says:

    Just wondering, have you been able to find Hi no Tori: Reimei Hen (1978) anywhere? That is the only movie from the Hi no Tori series that I can’t find to watch.. xD And was there a reason why you didn’t blog the Ai No Cosmozone chapter?

    If you addressed this somewhere in your reviews, I didn’t catch it because I try not to read too in depth for something I haven’t watched yet. xD

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Meep: I actually watched the Ai no Cosmozone chapter, but it was so underwhelming that I didn’t end up writing a review for it. If you want to check out Hi no Tori, watch the other movies and teh TV-series. I haven’t seen Reimei-hen, though.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

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