The Flowers of Evil, From Miyamoto To You, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Chapter I, Horror Channel, Ojo-chan, Yoidore Seiyu Horoki Seibero ‘Shinbashi-hen’ , Shunga and the Japanese, Gekijouban Soshite Ikiru, Cinema Kabuki Tokubetsu-hen Yuugen , Ninkyo Gakuen, Daremonai Heya Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Chichi no Kekkon Film Image
Chichi no Kekkon Film Image

I hope you are all well!

This week I published my review for Orphan’s Blues and also a look at the Japanese films at this year’s Busan International Film Festival. We’re getting closer to this year’s Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and I’m doing SNS and press stuff.

What is released in cinemas across Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “The Flowers of Evil, From Miyamoto To You, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Chapter I, Horror Channel, Ojo-chan, Yoidore Seiyu Horoki Seibero ‘Shinbashi-hen’ , Shunga and the Japanese, Gekijouban Soshite Ikiru, Cinema Kabuki Tokubetsu-hen Yuugen , Ninkyo Gakuen, Daremonai Heya 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”

Flowers of Evil / Aku no Hana First Impression

Flowers of Evil Anime Image

Aku no Hana

Director: Hiroshi Nagahama, Assistant Director: Tetsuo Hirakawa, Original Creator: Shuuzou Oshimi, Series Composition: Aki Itami, Character Designer: Hidekazu Shimamura, Art Director: Kentaro Akiyama
Voice Actors: Youko Hikasa, Shinichirou Ueda, Mariya Ise, Sayuri Hara
Studio: Zexcs

This was not one of my picks from the Spring 2013 anime season. When I was writing the synopsis for it during the spring season guide for Anime UK News I was very uncertain about it. I mean, on the one hand it sounds initially unpromising, a middle school student named Takao Kasuga steals the gym clothes of the girl he has a crush on, Nanako Saeki. Great.

But things get really interesting when we find out that he was spied stealing the clothes by a fellow student, the strange, creepy and rebellious loner named Sawa Nakamura. The class is shocked and Saeki is upset so Sawa is sitting on explosive information. Instead of informing people about Kasuga’s indiscretion, Sawa uses this information as a way to control Kasuga and draw him into her own twisted world. Kasuga has a difficult choice: Play her game or be revealed to the class as a perv.

After the spring season started and I was disappointed with Devil Survivor 2, I was drawn to this because I kept reading about how viewer reactions were extreme.

The art style has proven controversial amongst fans of the manga and anime in general. It is very different to that of the original manga by Shuzo Oshimi due to its use of rotoscoping, a technique where animators trace over live-action scenes frame by frame.

Aku no Hana Manga and Anime Comparison Image

There are real actors portraying the characters.

Aku no Hana Live Action Characters

Some hate it for this change but there is an opposing camp who love it. I am in the latter camp and not because I like being different (which I do). I have thought about this deeply (for once) and I have come to the conclusion that Aku no Hana is one of the most intentionally disturbing anime I have seen¹ and it is thanks to its art style.

I like it a lot because it is different and it is very effective at delivering this twisted existential love (?) story which captures adolescent feelings in a unique way.

Anybody walking in expecting bishounen or wild hair styles will be shocked. The characters look much more like normal human beings than in most other shows.

Aku no Hana Kasuga Walking Down the Street

Rotoscoping lends the features and movements of the characters an added weight to every scene. They constantly move and react to the world in real ways and while some of the detailing is off (faces can disappear), the visuals are never boring and always have an impact. Indeed, their faces are very expressive thanks to the technique. It feels like watching real people. It is perfect for conveying both huge and subtle changes in emotional tones, priceless for monitoring the reactions of certain disturbed characters and their tormented prey as well as the moments when the blossoming of love, hope and admiration appear.

Aku no Hana Saekis Emotional Shift

Continue reading “Flowers of Evil / Aku no Hana First Impression”