Posted on 1 February 2007 with categories: A Spirit of the Sun

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Short Synopsis: The second episode of Taiyou no Mokushiroku focuses on Japanese who fled from the Japanese camps in Taiwan. Obviously, when a select number of Japanese starts killing others, the entire number of 80000 refugees who have nowhere left to go will be kicked out of the country.
Good: An amazing amount of morals and values as expected.
Bad: While it was a great episode, the first episode was better.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

It’s been quite a wait, but finally the second part of Taiyou no Mokushiroku has been released. This one really brought Gen forward as a guru, following people like Ghandi. During the previous episode, we got to know his ideals. In this episode, he has to make them true. In order to stop the Japanese-turned-to-terrorists, he starts a silent march, of no less than 80000 people.

The terrorists would have been convinced to stop in the end, if it weren’t for the Taiwanese government which was sent out to kill the terrorists, against the president’s orders. Apparently, these orders were issued by the ones who were behind the terrorist attack in the first place. During an announcement by the president in order to take responsibility of the things that happened and which has about 200000 Taiwanese gathered, Gen finally manages get the guys behind it arrested.

Gen being a messiah-like person and all may have been nice, it isn’t really what makes this anime great. In my opinion, his purpose is just to be the main character of the story, centred around what’s really important: the relations between the Japanese refugees and the native Taiwanese. This anime depicts civilians of a nation, who have never really had the need to seek major refuge elsewhere, to turn to other countries, in request for help. They stood above the poor Asian countries for a huge amount of years, though with the earthquakes, the tables have suddenly turned. Because of this, the Japanese and Taiwanese have turned so nationalistic that they just can’t seem to understand that nothing’s wrong with living together. Only the people as individuals can realize this. This part of the anime has been done magnificently. Definitely something to remember.

So why was this episode worse than the first one? Probably because of its impact, and that it didn’t deliver as much to the before mentioned themes as the first episode, and focused a bit too much on Gen, instead of what’s really important. It’s not that Gen isn’t a good character or anything, but he pales in comparison to the struggle between the Japanese and Taiwanese.

I’m also not too sure what to thing of the ending. The atmosphere was perfect. It’s great as a conclusive, yet open ending. But at the same time, it was so horribly cheesy. Especially when the threesome stands side-by-side, smiling on top of their boat. I’m also not even sure why the third guy ended up going. He could have used a bit more development for this.

Despite these flaws, I really recommend this episode, because it’s first episode just was pure win.

Posted on 22 December 2006 with categories: A Spirit of the Sun

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Holy god… it took a long time for this two-episode OVA to get subbed, but it was SO worth it. Why the heck has nobody talked about this yet!? Taiyou no Mokushiroku, or A Spirit of the Sun in English is made of pure win. I’m seriously recommending this to everyone who enjoys a good, serious story.

I first wanted to just include this in my quick first impressions, though this anime deserves to be blogged. It consists out of two episodes, both take up one hour and fifteen minutes. The first episode can roughly be divided into two parts. The first part, which is also the longest, shows what happens to Japan if it were to be hit by a large chain of massive earthquakes. Seriously, that was intense. It offered a great view of how angry mother earth can be when she’s really serious. In about fifty minutes, we see the once thriving Japan being thrown into chaos, with its major cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto being entirely destroyed. We follow one young boy, the grandson of one of the ministers of Japan at that time. His home gets destroyed and he ends up with a a guy who’s heading for Tokyo with emergency supplies. Then, after a while, he almost ends up drowned, and disappears. Japan, meanwhile, has split in two, and is basically playing in the hands of both China and the United States.

Though if that part wasn’t good enough, the second part of the first episode shows the aftermath. It shows how the Japanese ended up after this catastrophe, fifteen years after it happened. Though the special thing is, that it doesn’t take place in Japan. For this part, we switch to Taiwan, were our main character ended up. When he nearly drowned, he was picked up by a childless family, who decided to adopt him as Xian, their son. What follows is a fascinating view of the Taiwanese, who had to deal with a huge number of Japanese Refugees who came to their country. Now, fifteen years later, the relations between the Taiwanese and Japanese aren’t too good. The Japanese are extremely xenophobic, while the Taiwanese keep blaming all of their misery on the Japanese. When combined, it doesn’t make for a good combination. Xian and his newly found friend are one of the few exceptions to this. I really love this new friend of his. He’s basically one bulky, muscular guy, though at one point, he actually starts crying when he hears Xian’s story. That was so awesome.

Seriously, if the second OVA is going to be just as good as the first one, this anime is going to be magnificent. Don’t get turned off by the unusual character art, what we have here is an awesome anime about what would happen if a once thriving nation gets thrown into despair by natural disasters, and how it attempts to recover itself afterwards. Seriously, this anime NEEDS more attention than it’s getting right now!

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  • K-Off
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 09:34 PM)
    My palette is cleansed after Legacy. I think I can make a push and finish Mirage Sessions by Monday.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 06:25 PM)
    Altogether there is no good explanation as to why Berserk has been on the fringes for the last 20 years. The silver lining is that it looks like things are picking up for the franchise- with a new series, two new games and frequent manga releases- so here’s hoping we get a much bigger budget for the next cour, and god willing maybe even a studio change. And I’m getting greedy, but gimme that From Software Berserk game! That would be an instant cash mine.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 06:18 PM)
    @Vyse: I was actually thinking of that, and the dark mature content is definitely a factor. Yet looking at what’s trending at the moment, with AoT and Kabaneri, it seems that the more violent stuff are bankable now. And it’s not like anime is stranger to adapting material that hasn’t finished yet. So I’m guessing that Miura is hard to work with probably, and maybe he’s tight about giving studios the license.
  • Rusty
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:16 PM)
    I like it better when animes are different then the manga because normally i know how everything will end after reading the manga.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:07 PM)
    And I’m more than open for an anime to do things a bit differently from the source, I mean look at the new berserk they included an action scene that wasn’t in the manga, I liked that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:59 PM)
    @Mike: Makoto Takahashi! Makoto Takahashi! I know who he is, I spent a while looking at his art, best example of good oldschool shoujo style. He also is credited with kickstarting the shoujo-ai genre I think…
    @Bam: flowers of evil both improved on and took away from its source material.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:16 PM)
    Furthermore, it’s not as if Berserk is so special by itself that a decent adaptation is automatically impossible. You’re watching one right now. If you think otherwise than it boils down to personal preference.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Vyse It’s obviously not trying to cater to children, the studio knows its audience. I wouldn’t automatically assume that just because it’s an anime adaptation that it’s an attempt to please everyone.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Because the story is so dark and so violent, its hard to cater to a middle ground audience that includes kids or maybe even adolescents.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Hey Bam, the reason for Berserk’s neglect is how unadaptable it is to other media. As a manga it stands as a monolith. but the thematic and graphical content -as well as the long and rather convoluted presentation – don’t lend well to either anime or games.

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