Posted by psgels on 30 August 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




I was really starting to fear that Symphony in August would meet the same fate as Furusato, Japan (as in, arriving to the west three years late and flying completely by people’s attention even though it’s really good), but thank god this didn’t turn out to be true. I really urge someone who likes the realistic kind of movie to somehow sub this thing, because it really doesn’t deserve to fade into obscurity.

Symphony in August turned out to be an incredibly uplifting movie, but the interesting thing is that it’s completely non-fiction: it’s based on the autobiography of the singer and songwriter Ai Kawashima, and takes place seven and eight years ago as she tried to find the recognition for her singing skills. She she even voiced the songs throughout the movie.

After watching,I can really understand why people wanted to make a movie about her life, since it is a very inspiring and slightly unusual road through which Ai worked herself up, and eventually ended up singing the theme song of the Place Promised in Our Early Days (that part isn’t shown in this movie though, it’s solely about her rise to fame), starting out as a street performer. The creators did a wonderful job of portraying her as a character. She grows like a real character, acts very genuinely on the hardest moments of her life, and the people around her who support her are also portrayed as wonderfully restrained.

The director, Akio Nishizawa really has a knack for these kinds of movies: realistic, down to earth and honouring the Japanese cultural heritage of music. In this movie though, I did notice one of the very few points at which he missed the mark: the ending. For who knows what kind of reason, the producers just couldn’t get the right funding to fully animate it, so parts are shown in CG. To make matters worse, at this point the movie abuses its sentimentalism a bit too much and shows a few too many people with tears in their eyes, and this goes on for too long. Apart from that I consider Symphony in August to be just as good as Furusato Japan, but the ending is where the latter is just much better.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Realistic, down to earth and well paced. Only the ending could have used more subtlety.
Characters: 9/10 – Non-fiction, and it shows. A very realistic portrayal of the characters, and they’re charming as hell.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Detailed and well drawn movements, with some unfortunate CG abuse at the end.
Setting: 8/10 – Good portrayal of the modern singing business.

Suggestions:
Furusato, Japan
Fancy Lala
Piano no Mori

2 Responses

  1. Firechick says:

    I’ll have to put this on my list when I have time. I wonder where I can find it?

    Oh! Speaking of Furusato Japan, I think someone subbed it recently. I remember seeing an entry of it on AnimeSuki.

  2. kagura says:

    You must be kidding me! A movie about Ai Kawashima? It can’t be true, can it? *___*
    I’ve been in love with her music ever since I heard her songs in Place Promised in Our Early Days and One Piece movie 8. Hope some group subs this really quickly (though I’ll probably end up watching it raw anyway before that happens)…

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  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 04:01 AM)
    @Aidan Based on your review I’ll at least try Danganronpa.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:59 AM)
    …I really need to play more VNs again. I have been putting off Kara No Shoujo 2 come to think of it…
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:58 AM)
    Maybe I should just tell you to play DanganRonpa.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:57 AM)
    Though Muv Luv Alternative is considered by a great number to be the best VN ever made so perhaps you can see it as a last chance to see if the medium has anything that you could get into.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan …good to know.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:54 AM)
    …You wouldn’t last five minutes in Muv Luv Extra K-off. It’s a by the books harem on the surface. Even I find it polarizing. Yet it is a title that is practically necessary to get the most out of Alternative.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:52 AM)
    @Aidan Hm, I’ll try them anyways for curiosity’s sake.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:51 AM)
    Jesus Christ I never got preordering. Why the hell would I want to buy a game I don’t even know is good or not when I can just wait for the reviews to come out and decide if it’s worth my time? I orignally thought Pre-ordering was a means to get something that was high in demand but low in stock. Now it’s a means to scam the customer.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:48 AM)
    @Aidan Well, you’re definitely one of the smart backers then. Because so many people are so blinded by the promised final product that they’d keep preordering, backing shady kickstarters, etc.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:48 AM)
    As far as VNs go I have put down money on a number of VN kickstarter but I can’t say I have found anything new that I would consider recommendable. I mean a improved version of Muv Luv is coming out and while I would recommend Alternative I don’t think you would have the patience for Extra and Unlimited. Even Alternative might not be your thing.

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