No Matter How I Look at it, It’s Yous Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular First Impression

No Matter How I Look at it, It’s Yous Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (Watashi gaIt's Not My Fault I'm Unpopular Anime Image Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!)      

Director: Shin Oonuma, Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka, Character Designer: Hideki Furukawa

Voice Actors: Izumi Kitta (Tomoko Kuroki), Kana Hanazawa (Yuu Naruse), Yuichi Nakamura (Tomoki Kuroki)

Studio: Silver Link

 It's Not My Fault I'm Not Popular Tomoko by Herself

Tomoko Kuroki has never been a popular girl and is quite lonely since she spends most of her time playing otome games (maiden games) where the female characters are the centre of attention and get a hot guy at the end. Although she’s brilliant at Otome games, those skills don’t translate into the real world with real guys. 

But she tries! With her entry into high school she dreams of becoming as popular as the protagonist of one of her games and developing a romantic connection with a boy. 

She aims to achieve her goal by becoming sociable by any means necessary but breaking out of her shell is proving harder to do than she thought. Merely talking to others leaves her in a state of panic and every time she is ignored or rebuffed she falls further into depression. Can she break the cycle of loneliness and negative thoughts and blossom?

Three episodes in and it’s looking very unlikely but I hope to God she can because this is making me upset.

Watamote If I Stay Here I'll Cry Continue reading “No Matter How I Look at it, It’s Yous Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular First Impression”

Advertisements

Danganronpa The Animation First Impression

Danganronpa The Animation (Danganronpa Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Danganronpa The Animation Image 3Kokosei The Animation)         

Director: Seiji Kishi, Series Composition:Makoto Uezu, Character Designer: Kazuaki Morita

Voice Actors: Chiwa Saito (Aoi), Yoko Hikasa (Kyoko), Megumi Ogata (Makoto), Takahiro Sakurai (Reon), Akira Ishida (Byakuya)

Studio: Lerche

Hope’s Peak Academy brings together the top students in fields like sports, fashion and art, being an overzealous hall monitor and an elite yankee.

The main protagonist is Makoto Naegi, a normal guy who was admitted to the school through a lottery. Standing at the gates he looks on in confidence. “My high school life starts now. The very first step I take is supposed to be full of hope…”

Sounds great but as soon as he steps through the door he is plunged into darkness. When he wakes up he is in a classroom with a camera monitoring him and steel plates on the walls with no exit in sight.

Genki-Makoto-Danganronpa-Classromm-Awakening

“What’s with this room?” he wonders. Makoto is in the school but less as a student and more as a prisoner and he’s not alone as a group of fifteen other students are with him, each with a peculiar trait and ability that makes them elite.

Danganronpa Cast in Anime

As the students try and figure out just what is going on and why they are imprisoned in the school a twisted looking black-and-white bear appears. Amidst all of his incessant cackling and laughter he introduces itself, “I’m Monobear, the principal of this school…” He soon explains the rules:

The only way out is to kill another student without getting caught. After a murder, the remaining students must hold a trial and figure out the guilty party. If the students fail they die and the murderer walks to freedom!

This is getting a bit overwhelming for Makoto but he is not alone because he knows one of the girls. She is named Sayaka and she attended the same middle school as him. What’s her special ability? She is an idol singer. She decides to work alongside Makoto. With the fridge refilled daily and the students allowed their own rooms, they could theoretically live in the school forever unless they follow the rules.

As Monobear says, “It is not the strong or the smart who survive, but the ones who can bring about change.”

The only questions left are who will be the one to bring the change and how?

Continue reading “Danganronpa The Animation First Impression”

Little Wing Children of March, Fast Baba, Gekijouban Toriko Bishokunun no Special Menu, Record Testimony Minako, the Last Yoshiwara Geisha Japanese Film Trailers

Desupera LeadThis week I reviewed the awesome Pacific Rim and gave my first impression of Sunday Without God. After seeing the trailer for Hana and Alice on Alua’s site I went on a spending spree and bought Love Letter, April Story, and Hana and Alice. I was bewitched by the trailer which I have had on repeat for quite a while! I already own All About Lily Chou-Chou so getting these three titles means that a Shunji Iwai season is in the pipeline!

Have you seen the trailer for 47 Ronin? Tired Paul sent it to me earlier this week and I think it looks pretty damn cool with its mix of fantasy and historical Japan. Nothing profound but possibly a lot of fun.

Also, sad news emerged earlier this week when Ryutaro Nakamura passed away last month at the age of 58. Nakamura was the director of two boundary pushing and highly intelligent anime: Kino’s Journey and Serial Experiments Lain. These are two truly brilliant anime that are dark, life-affirming and philosophical. Confusing but always fun. They had a heavy emotional and creative impact on me and I recommend them to everyone. RIP Ryutaro Nakamura.

Not much is released this weekend. There’s a lot of non-Japanese films actually like Two Days in New York and a documentary about Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, There’s also Emperor, which played at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (trailer in that post). Here are the Japanese films:

Fast Baba                                      Baaba Film Poster

Japanese Title: 高速ばぁば

Romaji: Kousoku Baaba

Release Date: July 27th, 2013

Running Time: 71 mins.

Director: Eisuke Naito

Writer: Eisuke Naito (Screenplay)

Starring: Miki Honoka, Shiori Kitayama, Yu Goto, Atsuko Ono

Eisuke Naito was at last year’s Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival with the grisly sounding title Let’s Make the Teacher Have a Miscarriage Club.  It stars Miki Honoka (Maria Watches Over Us), the model Shiori Kitayama and Yu Goto, member of the idol group idling! As someone who finds old women (and people in general) creepy as hell, I know this film will have me on edge! RUN, PRETTY IDOL GIRLS!!!

J-horror! Which looks funny, actually. The story follows an idol group who are shooting a TV report in the ruins of a nursing home. They witness an old woman moving at incredible speeds. What they don’t realise is that they have been cursed and this old lady is going to be chasing them!!!

Gekijouban Toriko Bishokunun no Special Menu Toriko Film Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版 トリコ 美食神の 超 食宝(スペシャル メニュー)

Romaji: Gekijouban Toriko Bishokushin no Chou Shoku Takara (Supesharumenyuu)

Release Date: July 27th, 2013

Running Time: 80 mins.

Director: Akifumi ZAKO

Writer: Isao Murayama (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryotaro Okiayu (Toriko), Nana Mizuki (Tina), Kenji Matsuda (Zebra), Miki Maya (Ayame), Romi Park (Komatsu)

The Toriko anime movie has been released!!!! TIME FOR THE OPENING THEME!!!! The anime is directed by Akufumi ZAKO, series director for Toriko, and written by Isao Murayama, writer on Toriko and Kaidan Restaurant.

Toriko is a “”bishokuya” (gourmet food provider) who hunts down strange animals and plants that are used in fine cuisine (that’s actually pretty evil, now I think about it). Toriko has to head to a fabled island to get the ingredients for a special menu. Acacia the Bishokushin (Gourmet God) is getting in on the action as Toriko finds himself facing a new enemy, the former bishokukai brass Girimu.

Continue reading “Little Wing Children of March, Fast Baba, Gekijouban Toriko Bishokunun no Special Menu, Record Testimony Minako, the Last Yoshiwara Geisha Japanese Film Trailers”

The Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi) First Impression

The Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi)       Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Director: Yuuji Kumazawa, Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu,Character Designer: Shinichi Miyamae

Voice Actors: Aki Toyosaki (Ai), Daisuke Namikawa (Humpnie Humbert), Akeno Watanabe (Anna), Eiji Maruyama (Yuto) Eri Kitamura (Dee Enjy Stratmis) Rina Satou (Hana)

Studio: Madhouse

 It started 15 years ago when God forsook the world.

 “Heaven and hell are too crowded. It won’t be long before this world is too.”

Those were the last words heard from him and people stopped dying. The dead now walk the earth regardless of injuries even as their flesh rots. In order to save those people God sent one final miracle, Gravekeepers. Only burials by Gravekeeper grants permadeath.

 Cut to a European landscape that could be from Kino’s Journey. Green fields stretch into a mountain range, forests spring up intermittently and an aqueduct towers over a village which is where our protagonist lives. The place is beautiful but violence is about to tear everything apart as a mysterious stranger walks into the village and men grab rifles and prepare for a gun battle.

 Cut to a girl wiping her brow after digging graves. Her name is Ai and she is the lead character.

 Genki-Kamisama-Nichiyoubi-Ai-Main-Protagonist-Wordpress

She inherited the position from her mother Lady Alfa who died when was seven. On the day of the funeral, Ai discovered that as the last of her mother’s bloodline she must take over the role of village Gravekeeper.

 Ai is finished digging graves and heads back to town where she encounters the mysterious man from earlier. The two talk and Ai discovers that he is Humpnie Humbert a.k.a the Man-eating Toy. Humpny Humbert is the name of her father and she starts to follow him but when she gets to the town square she sees the scene of a massacre.

Continue reading “The Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi) First Impression”

Pacific Rim

Genki Pacific Rim Review Banner

Pacific Rim                                                        Pacific Rim Japanese Film Poster

Japanese Title: パシフィック リム 

Romaji: Pashifikku Rimu

UK Release Date: July 04th, 2013

Running Time: 132 mins.

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Travis Beacham

Starring: Charlie Hunnan, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Burn Gorman, Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr., Mana Ashida

I like Guillermo del Toro films. I’ve seen Hellboy 1 & 2, The Devil’s Backbone, Chronos and Pan’s Labyrinth in a cinema. Deep down he’s a fanboy like me, a guy who grew up reading and watching everything from anime to gothic fiction. Pacific Rim reflects his love for the distinctly Japanese mecha and kaiju-eiga genres. Giant robots vs giant monsters. Think Gigantor vs Godzilla. I know my mecha. I grew up in love with tales like Patlabor, Evangelion, Gasaraki and Macross (not so much Gundam) and I’m partial to a bit of giant monster carnage so trust me when I tell you that this genre mash-up is God-tier.

Warning, this is a long babbling review listing loads of stuff I loved and loads of Gifs that I created to celebrate it.

Continue reading “Pacific Rim”

The Flower of Shanidar, Fuan no Tane, Seeds of Anxiety, The Wind Rises, Kaze Tachi Nu, GARO Side Story: Whistle of the Phantom Peach, CULT, Children of Soleil, Things Left Behind/Those Who Were Bereaved by Hiroshima, Short Peace and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Only God Forgives Ryan GoslingAh! Summer. Although I hate the heat I feel the potential of life now more than ever before. This week has been quite a good one. Nice weather, eating out and work has been fun because I met Japanese and Spanish people during/after work and babbled about films in Japanese and Spanish while I was all dressed up kind of like Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives, white shirt, black trousers, tie and all). Speaking of work (and getting back to films), I joined the film club and have managed to talk the organisers into screening anime and Japanese short films! Potential!

Shonan Story 3It’s weeks like these I appreciate life and what I have so I’ll try and up the work rate. I managed a good rate of anime with Sunday Without God episode 2, Attack on Titan episode 14 and It’s Not My Fault I’m Unpopular episode 2. I watched some indie Japanese flicks and Source Code. Even better and I even got to watch Pacific Rim which was fun and appealed to the mecha fan in me and it reminded me that Rinko Kikuchi is a great actress and a goddess. Expect more first impressions and film reviews as I round-up reviews from the Terracotta Far East Film Festival (at the insistence of someone important) and start covering newer Japanese films and doramas. This week I posted about Gatchaman Crowds which is awesome and did a spring 2013 anime round-up.

What’s released today in Japan? J-HORROR!!!!

Pet Peeve (English Title) / Seeds of Anxiety (Literal Title)The Seeds of Anxiety Film Poster

Japanese Title: 不安の種

Romaji: Fuan no Tane

Release Date: July 20th, 2013

Running Time: 87 mins.

Director: Toshikazu Nagae

Writer: Masaaki Nakayama (Original Manga), Toshikazu Nagae (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Ishibashi, Kenta Suga Koudai Asaka, Kanji Tsuda

J-HORROR! This looks so damn awesome! Ah, a horror manga adaptation! This omnibus movie comes from Toshikazu Nagae (Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night) who is adapting Masaaki Nakayama’s horror manga collection which is full of creepy tales. How do I know? I actually remember some of them, so they must have been effective. It stars Anna Ishibashi (Milocrorze – A Love Story), Koudai Asaka (The Kirishima Thing, Lesson of the Evil) and Kanji Tsuda who has worked with great directors like Beat Takeshi, Takeshi Miike and SABU.

When a motorbike accident occurs it unleashes a series of strange phenomenon which Yoko (Ishibashi) can see.

 

The Flower of Shanidar                            The Flower of Shanidaru Film Poster

Japanese Title: シャニダール の 花

Romaji: Shanidaru no Hana

Release Date: July 20th, 2013

Running Time: 87 mins.

Director: Gakuryu Ishii

Writer: Gakuryu Ishii, Hiroaki Jinno, Tomoaki Tanaka (Screenplay)

Starring: Gou Ayano, Haru Kuroki, Kanji Furutachi, Ayumi Ito, Rio Yamashita, Yuiko Kariya

I have reviewed two films by Gakuryu Ishii and they were both hugely different. Isn’t Anyone Alive? Was a slow moving quiet Armageddon film while Angel Dust was a deliciously twisting serial killer thriller. Unlike someone like Kiyoshi Kurosawa who is quite easy to identify from his visuals, Ishii’s diverse range of films are hard to categorise. This one is even more different than expected, a quiet sci-fi romance. It stars Gou Ayano (A Story of Yonosuke), Haru Kuroki (Tokyo Oasis, The Great Passage, The Wolf Children), Kanji Furutachi (The Woodsman and the Rain), Ayumi Ito (Penance)

The Shanidar Institute is is home to a strange process where a beautiful flower blooms on a selected woman’s body. These flowers go under the name Shanidar  and when they are n full bloom they are harvested and sold to drugs companies for high costs. A rookie botanist named Otaki (Ayano) and his colleague Kyoko (Kuroki), who is a therapist, both work for the Shanidaru Institute. They come to question their employer when it comes to light that constantly harvesting these flowers causes great strain on and even the death of the women hosting these plants.

Continue reading “The Flower of Shanidar, Fuan no Tane, Seeds of Anxiety, The Wind Rises, Kaze Tachi Nu, GARO Side Story: Whistle of the Phantom Peach, CULT, Children of Soleil, Things Left Behind/Those Who Were Bereaved by Hiroshima, Short Peace and Other Japanese Film Trailers”

Spring Season Round-up

The summer anime have started and I’ve already watched the first episode from all of my picks so now it’s time to round up what I thought of the spring season titles I watched with some AMVs.

How was the spring season?

I thought it was pretty damn good. It’s the first time I have finished more than one show I started watching and I never felt like I was forcing myself to the end of the ones I watched all the way through. Red Data Girl, My Youth Rom-Com, Aku no Hana. Attack on Titan is on-going but I’m totally up to date. After about a few episodes of these I was caught by the appeal of intelligence and great animation and even nostalgia over my youth.

The only spring season casualties are Devil Survivor which I dropped and Hataraku Maou-Sama where I have stalled on episode 9. Perhaps I’ll finish it one day but not for now. What did I finish?

Red Data Girl was the last title I finished watching. It was gorgeous and the music was great but what concerned me was the writing.

It looked really obtuse at the start, so much so I figured it would have difficulty telling Izumiko’s story in one series and revealing all of the aspects of her world and bringing In lots of Japanese folklore. The writers probably thought the same thing when it came to adapting Noriko Ogiwara’s series of books so they didn’t bother going into any more detail than Izumiko and her school days over the short series. With its slow start and the pacing issues it could have been a disaster but it ended on a nice note and it was always beautiful to watch as the next picture reveals.

Red Data Girl Sun Shower

Izumiko blossoms as a character. She is a nice character and one you can follow with ease. The final episode featured far more supernatural action than the rest of the series combined as Izumiko’s supernatural abilities came to the fore. There was no way that she was going to turn into a kick-ass heroine who blasts people with magic but she matures enough so that she recognises she has some strengths and needn’t be as submissive and scared as she started out as. There’s still scope for her to grow but even if there’s no second season you can still imagine her growing up into a person comfortable with her powers and being able to step between the worlds of mortals and gods. And what about Miyuki? The romance really blossomed as well. Awww. A touching ending.

4/5

  Continue reading “Spring Season Round-up”

Gatchaman Crowds First Impression

Gatchaman Crowds        Gatchaman Crowds Anime Image

Director: Kenji Nakamura , Series Composition/Scripts: Toshiya Ono, Animation Character Designer: Yuichi Takahashi

Voice Actors:  Maaya Uchida (Hajime Ichinose), Ryota Ohsaka (Sugune Tachibana), Daisuke Namikawa (Jo Hibiki),  Aya Hirano (Paiman), Ayumu Murase (Rui Ninomiya), O.D. (Daisue Hosomi), J.J. Robinsoun (Katsuji Mori), UTsu-Utsu (Kotori Koiwa)

Studio: Tatsunoko Productions

It is the year 2015 and the place is Tachikawa City, the “second metropolis” of the Tokyo area.

Gatchaman Crowds Tachikawa City

The city has a population of 180,000 people and rumour has it that amongst these people are beings known as “Gatchaman”. Nobody believes this because they have never been seen.

Continue reading “Gatchaman Crowds First Impression”

The Fighting Men’s Chronicle Elephant Kashimashi Movie Version, Dilemma of Sacrifice, Under the Nagasaki Sky, Jinjin, Garden of Sinners/Recalled Out Summer 3D, Fate/Zero Café, ExtremeSpeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens, Apple of Life and Other Japanese Movie Trailers

Long Day of StarsWell with my new position in work I am in the gallery longer than is legal (I think) which explains why this post is late but I still have time to watch anime and dorama! Alright, not as much as I like but at least I’m going to get paid. This week I watched Gatchaman Crowds (which is awesome and made me happy), Dog and Scissors, It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular (tragically funny) and two episodes of Penance (intriguing and a reminder that Eiko Koike is a fox!). Four totally different shows and all pretty good. I also tried watching Free! but lost interest because I’m not a girl. I wrote up my first impression for Dog and Scissors and announced the arrival of my Tumblr blog. I hope to continue my first impressions going next week. 

A lot of films released this week and few of them are all that spectacular. The Berlin File is also released… So yeah, a bit slow.

The Fighting Men’s Chronicle Elephant Kashimashi Movie Version The Fighting Men's Chronicle Film Poster

Japanese Title: The Fighting Men’s Chronicle エレファント カシマシ Gekijouban

Romaji: The Fighting Men’s Chronicle Erefanto Kashimashi Gekijouban

Release Date: July 12th, 2013

Running Time: N/A

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita

Writer: Kosuke Sakoda, Rama Nishikura (Screenplay)

Starring: Kouji Miyamoto, Toshiyuki Ishimori, Yoshiyuki Tominaga, Ken Yokoyama

Nobuhiro Yamashita, director of the Drudgery Train is back with a rock documentary about Elephant Kashimashi. This documentary that plumbs everything from their debut to recent work in 2012. Expect interviews with the band and collaborators and behind the scenes footage.

 

Dilemma of Sacrifice                   Dilemma of Sacrifice Film Poster

Japanese Title: 生贄のジレンマ

Romaji: Ikenie no Jirenma

Release Date: July 13th, 2013

Running Time: 82 mins.

Director: Shusuke Kaneko

Writer: Shinjiro Dobashi (Original Novel), Hirotoshi Kobayashi (Screenplay)

Starring: Kenta Suga, Seika Taketomi, Minhiro Kinomoto, Hikaru Yamamoto, Rio Kanno, Nana Seino, Toshi Takeuchi

The day of graduating from high school should be a happy one for Junichi Shinohara (Suga) and his friends but when a voice over the school’s intercom announces that everyone will die in an hour it is understandable that people are pretty terrified. Terror turns into desperation as the prospect of survival is handed to students as they are given a way out by sacrificing one of their number.

 Danganronpa, anyone?

New S&M Theatre Version                   S&M Film Poster

Japanese Title: 新 SとM 劇場版

Romaji: Shin S to M Gekijouban

Release Date: July 13th, 2013

Running Time: 99 mins.

Director: SHUN

Writer: Mio Murao (Original Manga), SHUN, Makoto Tachibana (Screenplay)

Starring: Tomomi Miyauchi, Ida Kunihiko, Asumi Miwa, Rike Kawamura, Tsutomu Niwa,Mio Murao S&M Manga

Type Mio Murao into Google and you can see the clean bits of the mind of an S&M obsessed manga-ka. I haven’t read her but there’s a lot of girls in peril and tied up and it all sure as hell comes under the S&M. She must be popular because this is the second live-action film adaptation of her S&M erotic suspense manga where a chap named Toda (Miyauchi) has managed to save his company and his marriage from the ruin of an affair with Saya Amami (Kawamura) but Amami isn’t finished with him yet and she’s going to use someone close to Toda to take him down! Warning foxy Japanese women in steamy positions ahead.

 

Continue reading “The Fighting Men’s Chronicle Elephant Kashimashi Movie Version, Dilemma of Sacrifice, Under the Nagasaki Sky, Jinjin, Garden of Sinners/Recalled Out Summer 3D, Fate/Zero Café, ExtremeSpeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens, Apple of Life and Other Japanese Movie Trailers”

Dog and Scissors First Impression

Dog and Scissors (Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou)       Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou Anime Image

Director: Yukio Takahashi,  Series Composition: Toshizo Nemoto, Character Designer: Yōko Satō

Voice Actors: Takahiro Sakurai (Kazuhito), Marina Inoue (Kirihime), Ai Kakuma (Hami), Chiwa Saito (Sara), Maaya Uchida (Sakura)

Studio: Gonzo 

This s a story about books. Of writing and dying. A Story of writing and reading.

The anime begins in a richly furnished home where a woman sits typing and a dog sits reading. A narrator informs us of who he is:

Dog and Scissors Natsuno AKA Shinobu Akiyama at Work

I, Harumi Kazuhito am a dyed-in-the-wool idiot for books. I’m not just any dog, either. Until recently I was human!

Dog and Scissors Harumi Inu Reading

 

Yes, that dog reading is the narrator and he was a bibliophile high school boy in his former life. His favourite author was Shinobu Akiyama, who appeared out of nowhere seven years ago, and has gone on to conquer Japan with her seven deadly sins novel series which Harumi adores. Harumi was desperately waiting for the final novel, Lust, to come out but found that destiny was going to deal him a bit of a strange hand by turning him into a dog.

Why is Harumi a dog? He was present during a robbery of a diner. A mentally unstable man threatened to kill a fellow patron of the diner, a woman too engrossed with writing a book. Harumi stepped in and put up a fight but it ended badly.

Dog and Scissors Diner Hold Up

 

During that special moment when he is in the afterlife he expressed his desperate desire to live and found a body that would accept his soul. It just happens that the body was that of a dog rescued by a pet store owner with a huge afro.

Despite being reborn as a dachshund, Harumi is still obsessed with reading books and he’s still obsessed with Shinobu Akiyama. He soon finds himself bought by the woman who got him killed. She turns out to be Natsuno Kirihime but Harumi knows her quite well through her pen name Shinobu Akiyama.

This might be awesome situation except she is majorly irritated that she can hear all of Harumi’s thoughts, has a scissor fetish and carries a pair strapped to her thigh. She’s also a bit of a dom and so the two clash.

Genkinahito-Dog-and-Scissors

 

The two settle down into a life full of reading and writing, bondage and cutting. Why is Natsuno taking care of Harumi and will Harumi finally get to read the final volume of the Seven Deadly Sins series, Lust? All will be revealed… Hopefully…

Continue reading “Dog and Scissors First Impression”