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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