The Great Passage TV Anime PV

The award-winning novel/live-action film The Great Passage (2013) is getting an anime adaptation which is due to air in October this year as part of Fuji TV’s Noitamina. It is being animated by Zexcs (Aku no Hana) and directed by Toshimasa Kuroyanagi (director on Say “I love you.”) and the series scripts are being overseen/written by Takuya Sato (writer/director on NieA_7 and Strawberry Marshmallow and storyboard artist on And Yet the Town Moves and Kino’s Journey). The big name for a lot of anime fans isn’t necessarily the writer/director but the character designer/manga author Haruko Kumota who won fans for her series Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.

My review was super positive on how good the movie is and that went on to clean up at the Japan Academy Awards 2014. The anime looks classy and mature so I’m hoping to enjoy it as my re-entry into the world of anime after three months off.

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Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:降臨  (2013)

Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent        Berserk III Movie Poster               

ベルセルク 黄金時代篇III:降臨  Beruseruku Ogon Jidai-Hen III: Kourin

Release Date: February 01st 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (script)Kentaro Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd), Takahiro Fujiwara (Pippin)

Studio: Studio 4°C

Website   ANN   MAL

There are three entries in the Berserk Golden Age Arc and this review follows on from one I wrote in 2012 after watching Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King at a cinema. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD alongside the second film, Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey, and third film, Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Advent.

This trilogy of films adapts Kentaro Miura’s on-going manga which has reached 38 volumes at the time of this review. It has already been adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98 and a new series is going to air in the summer. With this film…

Berserk (2)

The Golden Age arc is coming to an end.

Continue reading “Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:降臨  (2013)”

Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey ベルセルク黄金時代篇 IIドルドレイ攻略 (2012)

Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey   Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey Movie Poster

ベルセルク 黄金時代篇 II ドルドレイ攻略  Beruseruku Ogon Jidai-Hen II: Doldrey Koryaku

Release Date: June 23rd, 2012

Running Time: 93 mins.

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (script)Kentaro Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd), Takahiro Fujiwara (Pippin)

Studio: Studio 4°C

Website   ANN   MAL

There are three entries in the Berserk Golden Age Arc and this review follows on from one I wrote in 2012 after watching Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King at a cinema.

This trilogy of films adapts Kentaro Miura’s on-going manga which has reached 38 volumes at the time of this review. It has already been adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98 and a new series is going to air in the summer. The three films adapt around twelve volumes of the manga and cover the same ground as the TV anime. A quick flashback at the beginning of the second film sets the scene but it’s best to watch the opener so you can figure out what is going on and who each character is. Essentially…

Berserk Anime Movie Guts Talking

Continue reading “Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey ベルセルク黄金時代篇 IIドルドレイ攻略 (2012)”

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…

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Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:覇王の卵 (2012)

Genki Jason Berserk Golden Age Arc I Egg of the King Review Banner

Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King        Berserk Film Poster                      

Japanese Title: Berserk Ōgon Jidai-Hen III: Haou no Tamago

Romaji: ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:覇王の卵

Release Date: 4th February 2012 (Japan)

UK Release Date: 2013

Running Time: 80 mins.

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (Script),Kentarō Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd)

I find it hard to believe that I resisted Berserk until earlier this year. My first taste of it was an unpromising opening episode from the anime that was part of a cover-disc on Neo magazine and a Dreamcast game (Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage) which convinced me that it was a simplistic medieval hack and slash title. Then I was inspired by fan fervour to watch the twenty-five episode TV series. At first bemused at the story of a guy with a huge sword in a love triangle with a bishōnen and tsundere I gradually lost my flippant attitude and got sucked into the saga of Guts.

How did I go from dismissal to full embrace?

I came to realise Berserk was a magnificent existential drama taking place in a medieval world laced with supernatural elements and populated by characters I came to care about. It also had awesome action, music and an ungodly amount of gore which also helped. When I watched the movie at a recent anime film festival it was with a sense of trepidation. If it was bad I would be pretty disappointed. Thankfully the movie proved to be a great adaptation.

Guts is a wandering mercenary who has a huge sword and few dreams or ambitions beyond surviving. All of that changes after he meets Griffith, leader of a group of mercenaries named Band of the Hawk who are working for the Kingdom of Midland in their war against Chuder. Guts decides to throw his lot in with them and develops a deep relationship with Griffith but also finds that Casca, a commander in the Band of the Hawk, is jealous that Griffith returns his feelings. Both Guts and Casca find themselves facing fierce battles and fierce emotions as they are swept along in Griffith’s rise to power.

BErserk Griffith Victorious

Berserk Golden Age Arc is the first of a trilogy of films that adapt Kentarō Miura’s much lauded manga which began all the way back in 1990 and was adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98. The manga currently stands thirty-seven volumes and is still being printed. This trilogy of films focusses on the Golden Age Arc which ranges across volumes three to fourteen of the manga, the same story covered by the anime. That is a lot of ground to cover but this film sets everything up neatly.

Berserk GutsThe script does an excellent job compressing the story into eighty minutes and you do not need to know the original story to fully understand what happens.  The film charts the initial success of the Band of the Hawk and ends just after the assassination run with Griffith’s speech about dreams. While the TV anime had enough air time to give us a mixture of full blown battles with detailed tactics and the twisting court intrigue faced by Griffith in the kingdom of Midland, the film is more selective and the story is told elliptically.

Continue reading “Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:覇王の卵 (2012)”

Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent Trailer

Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent           Berserk Movie III Descent Poster

Japanese Title: Berserk Ōgon Jidai-Hen III: Kōrin

Romaji: ベルセルク 黄金時代 篇 III: 降臨 

Release Date: 4th February 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (Script), Kentarō Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd)

Possible spoilers ahead. This is a new teaser trailer for the third Berserk feature and it gives us a glimpse into the mayhem, carnage and trauma that comes at the very end of the Golden Age Arc. This is where the story goes from conventional medieval combat to full on supernatural horror and I was left pretty horrified at the end which just reinforced how swept up in the Berserk saga I was. It is directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka who was the director of the previous two instalments and Studio 4°C look to have continued with their excellent animation.

After Guts leaves the employ of the Band of the Hawk it all goes very wrong for Griffith and The Band of the Hawk. Casca does her best to hold the remnants of the mercenary army together but with Midland’s soldiers closing in on them their days seem numbered. Until Guts steps back into the picture. This, however, will lead him to the Eclipse Ceremony and the horrific  creation of Femto.