This is my first year participating in the Reverse Thieves Secret Santa Project, this is a cross-anime site blogging experiment that is started by the Reveres Thieves, to promote anime titles that may or may not have been seen by various bloggers participating in what appears to be a second year project for the Reverse Theives.
Each blog initially submits an application with an up to date anime series list on MAL or any other website listing agent. From that list, the blogger is given three anime choices by their secret Santa to see in a two month period. Around the holiday season, put up a review for a chosen anime series.
For my choices I was given, Banner of the Stars, Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? and Basilisk. Two science fiction and one historical series… yes two genre I barely touch, one even more so than the other. Basilisk though, I will watch on my own time, but it does reflects a time where the world is filled with themes that I am inherently not too fond of. Banner of the Star is supposedly the sequel to Crest of the Stars.. forget about it! I tried watching Crest of the Stars in college, and it left a confused yet sour taste in my mouth. So unless someone ties me to a chair.. Banner of the Stars is a complete no no.
That leaves Macross: Do you remember love? Several reasons that bumped this choice up.
- Prior conversation with @hisuiRT
- Macross is a classic series, that I want to watch try and sample at least to know more.
- Music is a huge draw for me.. I heard the theme song before I saw the movie, so I finally have it in context.
While I have certainly cut back on my anime watching, in favor of manga reading. This was a good break from reading. So I sat and watched Do You Remember Love… and it was a good movie to sit through, if someone wants to cover their basis to watch a title that made famous the idol singer concept, and is an anime classic for many mecha fans. It should be then a primer material for what fans should watch.
In a post-apocalyptic world where mankind is living in a space ship, they become target of two warring alien civilizations. Hikaru Ichijyo, a space fighter pilot rescues idol Lynn Minmay, and a relationship form between these two. The movie spins off with the mention of a love triangle of Hikaru with Misa, and a race to rescue mankind.
This is a movie that is apparently different, from the original tv series of Macross, and as the animation goes – the art is quite dated. Themes in the movie are also quite dated. There was more of a lesser defined role for females other than several, one being a warrior, two a female devoted to their career giving it up after marriage. I found the target of this movie obviously meant for male viewers.
So other than the fact that there are some themes, that I wasn’t as pleased with. The main thing I obviously found quite attractive to this film is the main theme song, Do You Remember Love (愛おぼえていますか). The descendants of man has forgotten how emotion can affect people, so to just keep this in mind. With suddenly hearing lyrics and the depth of the emotion this song convey, can definitely lead to tears. I have stated my opinion that I liked this song, and a later version of the song sung by the actual singer..
Hearing this song over and over again, makes me realize how much I love anime songs, it is just like listening to JAM Project, and of countless other songs on my iPod devoted to sections of music inspired by or of anime songs.
The mecha aspect thought I am still confused by, so I may not be a mecha fan from this film, but to finally place a context to this song is something that I can place some worth in.
Oh and also since this is my first exposure into the Macross series, I can obviously mention that while it was an okay one. So other than the song, and the movie plot line, I am not motivated. I am reluctant to start watching any more of Macross on the same reason why I never started in the first place. Too much time commitment, and I don’t want to end up stressing myself over it. In spite of how popular, latter seasons of this series is, I know my own bias, and that is to watch everything, so as to understand the series.
Last week was the last week of 2010’s Japan Cuts… and I was able to catch two more movies.
Plot -What is the purpose of a marriage? Is it to honor, love, and obey? What happens when there if there is adultery? What then is the worth of a partnership.
Impression -This was a period movie piece, so I was impressed with the acting from the actors in this cast. Granted this is my second opportunity I had to see this movie, I still believe that this is a pretty solid performance from Matsu Takako. She plays a patient, suffering mother/wife splendidly. At times, I thought of different times were, and how valid Takako’s argument was at the end to her husband. What is she to do when she sees her husband obviously cheat on her, and when she has a role to fulfill. I wonder then what would be the reality for this couple, if they were real, as they continue to survive past the movie.
About Her Brother
Plot -There’s always a black sheep in the family, but what happens if something happens, would you shun that black sheep or embrace them?
Impression – Several surprises, I cried at this movie, and was sad to see it end. I was surprised that Nakai from SMAP had a cameo in this film. This was a slice of life portrayal of how the Japanese families can be quite similar to an American dysfunctional family. It also taps upon death/dying issues, and how a family does cope. It is also rare for me to see divorce mentioned in Japanese movies, so this is a gem of a movie to be enjoyed.
This year, I managed to up, my movie viewing for Japan Cuts, and it is hard to decide which is my top choice. If I had to choose though, it would be a tie between Confessions and King of Thorn. I fully enjoyed my experiences with watching Japanese movies, when normally the chance to see Japanese movies with English subtitles are pretty limited.
This was my second weekend with Japan Cuts, and sad to say that Japan Cuts is about to end soon. Then I would have to wait another year for this to come about. I watched three more movies, this weekend.
Difference between these two trailers, one is the official trailer, and the other is another trailer with feedback from the five main actors with the director.
Plot: How well do people really know one another, even if they are living together in an apartment?
Impression: I saw this movie with special appearances by Isao Yukisada the director and Tatsuya Fujiwara of Death Note, and Battle Royale fame. The movie successfully portrayed the mundane existence of Tokyo youth, and also portrays a darker side to the roommates who live with one another. I wouldn’t mind reading the book that this movie was based from. I recognize a majority of the cast from television dramas, this movie changed my impressions I have made of two actors from their dramas. I was real surprised with who the criminal was in the end. Still I do appreciate some messages that were in this movie, that with emotional dependency, it can often become a monster for an individual. For a person to realize this emotional dependency weakness and mature from it, then that is what growing up should be like.
Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World
Plot: Young love, one lover dies – and years later the surviving lover remembers his deep love, but is coping and to move on to a new relationship.
Impression: I had though that I would cry, during this move, but somehow I couldn’t even shed a tear for this movie – Crying Out Love was a pretty youthful movie, also directed by Isao Yukisada. The director mentions that he feels nostalgic when he re-watches this movie. Similar to Parade, this movie was also talking about youth and was based on a book. There is a television drama of this movie. Shibasaki Kou’s character was made for the movie, but as an interesting tidbit, is that she also sang the theme song for the television series. It was interesting to see how a set was definitely recreated to show the time period of 1986. Then the stunning visual of Australia at the end was quite nice.
King of Thorn
The difference between these two trailers is, one has English and the other is an original Japanese trailer with a clip of the move’s theme song, which I really like.
Plot: Imagine a world when a disease appears and has 100% fatality. There has been a successful cryogenesis facility made, and a select amount of people is chosen to sleep and wait for a cures. Well then, what happens if this sleep is interrupted and monsters appear. Well then what is the solution then?
Impression: This is the only animated feature chosen for Japan Cuts, and it was a highlight of what I have seen this weekend. I am a bit afraid for these type of movies, so for the parts of blood and gore, such as when the people was eaten or killed, I closed my eyes. I am reading the graphic novel at this time, so I knew what I was getting into, but on the print page is different from the screen. What an interesting turnabout series of events though. The movie is quite different from the graphic novel. So definitely read the series for this movie, to get a more filling picture. The entire series in six volumes is available in English from Tokyopop.
From last month to a portion of this month, New York Asian Film Festival 2010 is happening. From my perspective, it is going to be Japan Cuts, which is Japanese movie screenings at Japan Society. Japan Cuts began on July 1, 2010, so there has been non-stop movie viewings at Japan Society now, so far I have seen three movies, and have five more movies to go see. The price for these movies are reasonable, since I am a member, so ticket prices for me are $8 compared to the normal $12 for non-Japan society members.
So far I have seen:
Plot– This is a movie about a Japanese office lady who has been in Tokyo for five years, and went through five boyfriends. What happens if she has to go back to her hometown and help her dying father’s factory.
Impressions – I liked this movie, it was a thoughtful one that makes me think about the life of a Japanese woman, how stressed one can be, pessimistic, misunderstood, and beer loving one can also be. This was a underdog succeeding type movie. There were moments in this film that made people around me, laugh out loud… although throwing bones of family members should be a no no. I have seen Mitsushima Hikari last year in Love Exposure, so this movie is a complete different role for her. I also couldn’t recognize Kotaro Shiga, it was first wig seeing him without glasses and with a wig, that I am quite use to from the dramas I have seen of him.. so I did a mental double take.
Plot -Based on a book, this is about a teacher who is also a mother, that talks to her middle school students, about the death and murder of her daughter Manami. That and she knows two students in her class was responsible
Impression – I am absolutely riveted by this film. This was a brilliant movie, that had me thinking wow. Bullying, mother complexes, musical, there are so many layers to this dark, and socially deviant movie. Just when you think there would be a cliche part, the movie twists and turns – making this a very enjoyable movie to watch. This is a complete opposite role for what I normally see Takako Matsu. She definitely plays a grieving, yet vengeful mother to the hilt. This movie definitely impacted my feelings for what a brilliant director Nakashima is. Music is also definitely a strong part of this movie, as was the cinematography was just stunning.
Plot -How much reliance should there be on a doctor? Then how about an entire village’s welfare? What happens if the doctor, who everyone in the village loves turns out to be a quack? Then what?
Impressions – This was a pretty dry, yet mellow slice of life human interest movie, on the questions of doctor or patient privacy. I was watching this movie, and at times I felt the movie was a bit long, but it proves to be a good experience. The doctor who is played by Tsurube Shofukutei won an award for this role. There was the appearance of many other actors/actresses that I have recognized. I recognized Eita, Sasano Takashi, Yachigusa Kaoru, Matsushige Yutaka, and Kagawa Teruyuki.
Hmm. I will be going to see more movies.. so I will be writing snapshot reviews for those as well.
Ever since I learned of this series in High school saw various representations of the manga series, in the form of anime, movie, Meteor Garden Seasons 1+2, Hana Yori Dango Season’s 1+2… finally the movie: Hana Yori Dango Final is released.. and fans can breath a sigh of relief – or smack your head in disbelief. It is shoujo at it’s sappiness, let me say that… while I can see Matsujun’s young bode nearly nude. I am quite annoyed… by the girlishnss of this film… Makino and Domyoji finally tie the knot in this movie.. still what a long winding road to this… at the end of the film, there is a nod to the manga, which reminds me of the anime…
After promotions and plugs on Anime News Network, Japanator… this news piled up on my RSS feeds of Google Reader until I found out about this event on Thursday evening. On a whim I decided to go to the screening of Mamoru Oshii’s new animated movie: The Sky Crawlers スカイ・クロラ. None of my friends actually wanted to go, but I was able to meet up with Omo who was there with his friend. I also saw Rym from GeekNights as well. This event was held at the Walter Reade Theater… which was next to Julliard, getting there was quite annoying with the scaffolding. Read more…
All right.. all right..graduate school, and trying to live have sucked all my inspiration to write much on the One Piece topic, so I must push myself to write more of this series.