Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 交響詩篇エウレカセブン ハイエボリューション, Dirs: Tomoki Kyoda, Hisatoshi Shimizu (2017) [Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2019]

Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution    Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution I Film Poster

交響詩篇エウレカセブン ハイエボリューション Kokyo shihen Eureka sebun Hai eboryu-shon 1

Release Date: September 16th, 2017

Duration: 109 mins.

Chief Director:  Tomoki Kyoda

Director:  Hisatoshi Shimizu

Writer: Dai Sato (Screenplay),

Starring: Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), Yuko Sanpei (Renton Beams/Renton Thurston), Aya Hisakawa (Ray Beams), Juurouta Kosugi (Charles Beams), Tohru Furuya (Adrock Thurston), Michiko Neya (Talho Yuuki),

Animation Production: BONES

Website ANN MAL

When did anime compilation films become a thing and which greedy capitalist initiated it? Most months of the year feature a spin-off or a sequel to a TV anime, all of which are fine, but the compilation seems like the most cynical cash-grab since it is often only the most salient parts of a TV show blown up on the big screen, something that could only satisfy a pre-existing audience who have watched the entire story and will have a high level of familiarity with the characters and what is going on in the narrative and bring all of that linking material to a truncated story. This film is a great example of everything wrong with compilation films and then some.

Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution is the first of three movies that serve as a reboot for the Eureka Seven mecha anime which ran for 50 episodes on TV from 2005 to 2006. It takes footage from the first 10 episodes and adds a brand new beginning and end while the remixing footage from the TV anime for the middle section – you’ll notice which parts were made for the cinema and for TV with the change in aspect ratio.

Continue reading “Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 交響詩篇エウレカセブン ハイエボリューション, Dirs: Tomoki Kyoda, Hisatoshi Shimizu (2017) [Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2019]”

Sword of the Stranger ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚- Dir: Masahiro Ando (2007)

Sword of the Stranger    Sword of the Stranger Film Poster

ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚- Mukou Hadan

Running Time: 82 mins.

Release Date: September 29th, 2007

Director:  Masahiro Ando

Writer: Fumihiko Takayama (Screenplay),

Starring: Tomoya Nagase (Nanashi), Yuri Chinen (Kotarou), Atsushi Ii (Bailuan), Kouichi Yamadera (Luolan Rarou), Junko Minagawa (Mu-You),

Animation Production: STUDIO BONES

Website MAL ANN

Sword of the Stranger is an incredible action spectacle built around a good old fashioned chambara story brought to life with a flair and dedication to the details of the era and the characters in it through an incredible anime aesthetic that accentuates the physical world, a place of movement, passion, lies, loyalty, and action!

The story kicks off in Sengoku era Japan with intrigue and excitement as the first thing we see is a temple set ablaze and a boy named Kotaro (Yuri Chinen) and his loyal dog Tobimaru fleeing the scene. He is being pursued by the royal army of China’s Ming Dynasty. They have been hunting him for over a year and the net is closing as the boy and his dog run through the bleak wintry countryside and along the coast of the small state of Akaike. When Tobimaru is injured in an ambush, Kotaro reluctantly recruits a mysterious, nameless samurai as his bodyguard with the promise of payment. However, “No-name” (Tomoya Nagase) has a guilty past and his own inner demons to battle, all of which comes out in the open in an epic chase narrative. 

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Star Driver THE MOVIE Trailer

Star Driver THE MOVIE                                     Star Driver the Movie Visual         

Japanese Title: スタードライバーTHE MOVIE

Romaji: Suta-doraiba- THE MOVIE

Release Date: February 09th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 150 mins.

Director: Takuya Igarashi

Writer: Yoji Enokido

Starring: Mamoru Miyano (Takuto), Saori Hayami (Wako Agemaki), Jun Fukuyama (Sugata), Ami Koshimizu (Keito)

Here is a trailer for the film adaptation of the anime Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto. This was announced at the beginning of last year and with the release date of February 09th approaching we are starting to see a deluge of promotional videos including a region-locked music video of the girl idol group 9nine’s theme song ‘colorful’ and this trailer.

South of Japan is a tropical island resting under brilliant blue skies named Southern Cross Isle. This is the island that a boy name Takuto Tsunashi has washed up on after swimming from the mainland alone and without any possessions. After enrolling in the local senior high school he makes a positive impact due to his happy-go-lucky personality and scores some friends in Wako Agemaki and Sugata Shindou. What he does not know is that beneath the school sleep giants named “Cybodies” and Takuto will find himself caught up in this secret as an epic story unfolds as a secret organisation named The Glittering Crux plans on activating giant mobile suits which have been sealed away on the island. Known as cybodies, these suits can only be controlled by pilots identified as Star Drivers and to unleash their full power a seal put in place by the island’s four shrine maidens must be broken. It just so happens that Wako Agemaki is a shrine maiden and so Takuto resolves to protect her. It should help that he is the Galactic Pretty Boy, gifted star driver of Taubrun, the 22nd cybody.

The anime movie is touted as a retelling of the TV series with some new content added. It is directed by Takuya Igarashi (Mushi-Shi, Soul Eater) and it is animated by studio Bones (Un-Go, Fullmetal Alchemist). The script comes from Yoji Enokido, a familiar figure from the industry who has written the scripts for the anime movie Redline and who was in charge of the composition of the TV series for titles like Nodame Cantabile, Revolutionary Girl Utena and , more importantly, Star Driver the TV series. So this movie is in good hands then! Seiyuu from the TV anime take their roles again with Mamoru Miyano (Taihi in Chihayafuru) taking the lead as Takuto, Saori Hayami (Miho in Bakuman) voicing Wako and Jun Fukuyama (Yukio in Blue Exorcist) voicing Sugata.

Un-Go First Impressions

Based on a series of original detective stories named Meiji Kaika Ango Torimonochou by Ango Sakaguchi,  the story takes place in the near future and focuses on a detective named Shinjūrō Yūki his assistant named Inga as the two work together solving mysteries. It was produced by the animation studio Bones and the production team of Un-Go consists of Fullmetal Alchemist staff veterans. So what is it like?

Un-Go TitleA car is on fire. It seems to have fallen into a ravine. A man lies on the ground. “Am I gonna die?” he gasps. Out of the corner of his gaze a woman replies, “You did die.” He is Yuuki Shinjirou, the last great detective or, as the media dub him, the defeated detective and the woman is Inga.

Un-Go Inga the FirstAnd so begins an anime that mixes near-future hi-tech adventures, crime, gender-bending, shady politics and censorship in a nicely animated slice of speculative fiction.

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