Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bobobo-bo bo-bobo (This is not a review)

In these dark times of terrorism, and political unrest, Bo-bobo, like Don Quixote before him, harkens us back to a forgotten age, an age of chivalry.

The year is 300x, as the evil hair hunt troop casts a shadow of fear and despair over the land, only one warrior can stand in their way. He is Bo-bobo, a gifted warrior trained in the ancient techniques of the nose hair, his courage shines out like a ray of hope to the oppressed people he valiantly fights to protect.

One of the first things I must say about bo-bobo is that it is an acquired taste. Upon first viewing many people will write it off as another silly anime, but those that stick around will discover another layer to this amazing show. The adventures of Bo-bobo and his friends can be interpreted as an allegory for the struggles of the average man. Every day people find themselves living in a constant state of monotony, and for them the adventures of Bo-bobo shine out like a beacon, a promise for a more interesting, and enlightening existence.

Still think Bo-bobo is a silly cartoon well here is a condensed literary analysis to some of the characters. Bobobo himself is a perfect example of the archetypical hero, one who will protect his ideals and beliefs at all costs. Beauty is presented as a normal person, who is hurtled from a life of mediocrity into a fantastic life of wonder and awe, the Dante to Bobobo's Virgil. Finally Don Patch often provides the impossible solution to the impossible problem, a literary phenomenon known as deus ex machina.

Keep these ideas in mind when you watch the next episode, and you too may reach enlightenment, like me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Gundam Seed

Okay first off a question have you seen any of the following shows: Mobile suit Gundam, Mobile suit Gundam wing, or Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, you probably have a really really good idea of what to expect of this series. Basically it is about some kids who pilot giant fighting robots, and fight alot while philosophizing about how bad war is....while fighting in one...VOLUNTARILY.....wait did I describe Gundam Seed, or JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE GUNDAM SHOW.

So how does the successful (at least in Japan) Gundam formula work this time?

Visual Quality-17 points. Overall this is a pretty well animated series, and features some great animation. Considering the fact that it had a whole bunch of money put up behind it, and was made in 2002, it had better have some top quality stuff. The show features lots of vivid bright colors, and fluid animation, THAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM WITH THIS SHOW. The problem with this show is that the character designer completely sucks. Perhaps I should explain myself, the man's name is Hisaishi Hirai, and he runs by the pseudonym "He that can only draw three faces". If you don't believe me then watch S-cry-ed, Fafner, or infinite ryvius and see if you don't recognize a few characters (I haven't seen Fafner or Infinite Ryvius, but I can only guess that they are the same).

Plot-28 points. Oh yes, when I said everything in this show is a copy of previous Gundam shows before it, I was not excluding the plot. The story reads like a checklist from any Gundam show before it,

  • Blonde haired villain in a white mask
  • Young kids with genetic abilities
  • Said young kids stealing Gundams from the "enemy"
  • Death of the main character's girlfriend
  • Main character is an orphan
  • Race wars
  • Death of "cool" character
  • Equal representation of both sides of conflict

Those above mentioned bullets are just a handful of the obvious shortcuts that this show has taken in plot. Oh wait I'm sorry, according to wikipedia Gundum seed is a "reimagining of the original Gundam show", oh okay Geez then every single Gundam show after it must be a reimagining also then? These things could be forgiven if the show was actually entertaining, but I personally had problems staying awake during this show, and this doesn't happen very often with me and animes. In conclusion this show is really boring, and copies the plots of other Gundam shows before it BAAAAADDDDDD!!!!!!

Characters-22 points. The only reason I could remeber any of the characters names was that the main characters kept yelling out each others names a couple times every episode, which I guess is this show's form of character development. So I guess I was a little harsh with that character development crack, they have some fairly good development in this show, and you end up knowing something about each of the characters, even if you don't know their names. Also all the characters are transplanted from other Gundam shows into this one. Want an example:

Is that Char Aznable? No its Sechs Merquise? No it's Rau le creset!!

Confused yet? I sure was.

Music-10 points. The music in this show was pretty good, the theme song was alright. Frankly this show needs the extra points for the music, I think I'll leave it at that.

Visual Quality-17 points, Plot-28 points, Characters-22 points, Music-10 points.

Overall score- 77 points

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro

Lupin III is one of the biggest anime properties in Japan, with several long-running series and many many movies. However, only a few of those movies are even worth watching, and Castle of Cagliostro is the best of all of them. This film has many fans, and probably one of the most famous of them all is Steven Spielberg, who heralded this movie as one of the greatest adventure movies of all time. Another thing this movie has going for it is that it was directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the famous Japanese animator.

So how does one of Miyazaki's first movies rate?

Visual Quality-15 points. Having been made in the 70s most of the animation is not as great as the newer computer assisted movies, but everything still looks pretty good, and the characters are well animated. Since this movie is a part of a franchise not many points can be awarded for new character design, but the villians and new characters all seem to be pretty original.

Plot-38 points. This movie comes up with a completely original story that stands on its own when not viewed in the context of the T.V. series, and the storyline is pretty good also. Basically it revolves around a thief, Lupin III, who ends up trying to stop a notorious counterfeiter, and finds time to save a princess. I know it sounds kind of hokey, but give it a chance, it's worth it. The ending is fully resolved, and the movie is not too long, two things that often plague other Miyazaki movies. The only place that it loses points in is that some people will need to have a little bit of background info on the characters in order to understand some of the character relationships.
Characters- 29 points. This is probably the best any Lupin III related show is going to get, and as a result Lupin III, and his friends are at their best in this movie. The character development largely focuses on the newly introduced characters, and spends some time on the gang from the T.V. show. The lines in this movie are all great, seriously some of the best stuff I've heard in anime, Manga Entertainment, the English translators for this movie have done a great job, just thought I should mention that.

Music- 8 points. Some of the music in this movie is a little dated, but its still all good.

Visual Quality-15 points, Plot-38 points, Characters- 29 points, Music- 8 points

Overall score 90 points.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Place Promised in our Early Days

The place Promised in Our Early days is the second movie from a relatively new Director, Makoto Shinkai. Shinkai gained alot of buzz after he released Voices of A Distant Star, a movie that he wrote, voice acted, directed, and animated by himself on his computer. For his second movie Shinkai had to recruit a few more people, but still maintained the independent spirit of his first film. Both of his movies have recieved tremendous praise from the anime community, and some have dubbed Makoto Shinkai with the moniker of "the next Miyazaki".

High praise, but does Shinkai live up to it? Commence Reviewing NOW!!!

Visual Quality-20 points. The whole time I was watching this movie, I was in awe, it looks amazing, and it was not animated by major studio. It was mainly made by one man, and a few other people all on their computers. One thing that will strike any viewer is the incredible backgrounds, and the brethtaking sky scenery. The character designs are pretty well done, each character is distinct, and easily identifiable. Moreover the animation is fluid, and well done, I can't believe this wasn't produced by a major studio. I wonder what would happen if this guy was put in charge of a studio Ghibli movie, the beauty of it would probably kill whoever watched it.

Plot-35 points. Some of the subplots are a little weird, alot of Scifi stuff is included parallel dimensions and whatnot. The parts explaining all of the strange happenings went right over my head, I didn't even try to comprehend it (not that it was based on fact or anything). However, the main storyline of how friendship and romance develop over time is pretty good. Basically The place promised in our early days takes place in an alternate reality in which part of Japan is split into a northern and southern half after World War II and takes a look at the lives of three kids who build a plane to travel to a mysterious tower erected on the northern half of Japan. The ending of this anime leaves alot up to the viewers imagination, not exactly a bad thing, but I felt like I should mention it here.

Characters-27 points. One of the best parts of this movie is the extensive attention paid to developing the main characters. One of the main characters provides the narration for most of the tale. This technique of character development is seldom used in anime, and gives a unique tone to this film. Overall each of the three main characters comes off as a believable person, and this adds greatly to the impact of this anime.

Music-10 points. Lately I have been neglecting the music section of my reviews, so I will try to put a little more emphasis on this section. Overall the music is great, lots of orchestrated pieces, and songs. The music adds greatly to the romantic tone of this film.

Visual Quality-20 points, Plot-35 points, Characters-27 points, Music-10 points.

Overall score-92

If you guys didn't notice I, Rabbit-man, used a different style of writing for this review, tell me how you liked it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

End of Evangelion

Damn, you guys complain a lot. Well, here’s my first review on Anime is Blasphemy and I present to you the masterpiece classic End of Evangelion.

For the people who have seen the post-modern, yet disappointing finale to the acclaimed Neon Genesis Evangelion Series, this movie was made for you!!!

When Neon Genesis Evangelion crew had their budget cut, they failed to produce what they had in mind. When Hideki Anno received the opportunity to finish the series as it was supposed to, he gave the public a masterpiece and an ultimate dis to those who had criticized him for the poor last two episodes. With the Evangelion series officially over, it won a place not only in the minds of millions of fanatics but also as an Anime Classic in a league of its own.

So onwards!

Visual quality: 20 points - The post modern art meets anime! From the mind of the acclaimed director Hideki Anno, the visual mastery of the production is perfect! The juxtaposition between the Live scenes and the anime frames is both subtle and symbolic. The battle scene of Asuka's last stand against the mass produced Evas is unchallenged as the best battle scene in the entire series. Every frame of the armageddon sequence is a piece of art. Heavily drunk(?) in mythological and bibilical allusions the astounding visual quality is one that deserves a place in the Louvre. Full points!

Plot: 34 points - Here is where End of Evangelion loses a few points. The concept of the Third Impact and the human complimentary project is a little vague and difficult to grasp, but it isn't to a point where it hinders you from enjoing the movie. In fact, it is a perfect finale to the series. Its surreal armageddon sequence makes us wonder about our own fleeting existence as we all have to come into terms with the inevitable demise of our own selves.

Character: 30 points - This is one of the few movies I have seen where there are no irrelevant characters. Each and everyone compliments each other. The protagonists are even more refined as we go into the depth of their souls, searching for their fears and desires. The level of philosophy presented within the anime is unbelievable. Through the actions of the characters nihilist and fatalist ideals are presented with humanism and free will. Unbelievable piece of work.

Music: 10 points - The music in End of Evangelion is brilliant. Especially the song juxtaposing the Third Impact, Come Sweet Death, exmplified the complex emotions of the human heart in ways that art and plot cannot. The music is mostly sad, morbid, or forboding as expected in a end of the world scenario, but the best qualities of every song was complimented to enhance its effects on the whole story. It's truly a masterpiece

Overall score - visual quality 20 points, Plot 34 points, Characters 30 points, Music 10 points

Total: 94 points!!!

Reality is in an unfamiliar place, and dreams are within reality.

And the truth is within your heart.

For it is the hearts of people that create their appearance

And new images will change peoples' hearts and appearances.

Images... the power of imagination... The power to create your own future, and to make time flow.

But people must act of their own free will, or nothing will change at all.

So you must find your lost self on your own...

Even if you lose your own words, or become lost in others' words.

Anyone can return to human form as long as they can imagine themselves in their own heart.

Don't worry. All living things have the ability to return to their original form... and the heart to go on living.

Anywhere can be heaven as long as you have the will to live.

After all, you're alive... and you can find the chance to achieve happiness anywhere.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Neighbor Totoro

Alright I know what you people are thinking, "Rabbit-man Totoro is a freaking children's movie, first you watch a girl movie and then this?!?!?!? what is the matter with you?" However the more important question really is "Rabbit-man you are British why didn't you spell neighbor, neigbour like you british people do?" Well there's no good reason, so get in the kitchen and make me supper fool. Now for some funny trivia about this movie, firstly Totoro was shown in tandem with a similarly happy little movie called grave of the fireflies, about two children happily living through the horrors of World War II (that ladies and Gentleman is sarcasm). No wonder it did so bad in the Japanese box office. In fact according to wikipedia this movie wasn't even profitable until they unleashed the Totoro plush dolls on the world. Those crazy kids love those things I mean look at this picture right here wouldn't you want one of these things. Think of all the hours you can spend disecting it.

With those important questions answered let's go on to the review NOOOWWWW!!!!!

Visual Quality-20 points. Amazingly this movie looks better than kiki's delivery service, a movie that was made a year after this one. The backgrounds are beautiful, and the character designs are awesome. There is a cat that is also a bus in this, did you hear that, a cat that is a freaking bus. NO I don't think you understand it is a cat, and it's insides look like a bus with little seats and everything, HOLY SHIT, I need one of those.

Plot-33 points. There is no plot in this movie, so it is kind of hard to grade this section, since most of the story is driven by the characters. The movie basically revolves around two sisters whose mom is hospitalized with an unknown disease, and their adventures with the totoro, forest spirits, they befriend. This movie, like kiki's delivery service is just a simple look at life with a mix of the fantastic thrown in.

Characters-29 points. This movie excels in this area, there are times when you wonder how they can make these characters so believeable. This movie can do no wrong in the character category, since it devotes so much time to character development. I only had a minor problem with the fact that the catbus, and the Totoro were not in there more. That catbus was so awesome.

Music-9 points. Some times the music seemed a little outdated, and some of it was pretty childish, which makes sense since this is a family movie. All the rest of the music was awesome though.

Visual Quality-20 points, Plot-33 points, Characters-29 points, Music-9 points.

Overall score-91 points