I can’t help but to love Wolf Children. It’s partly a Ghibli-esque story about a young woman overcoming the challenges set on her by a demanding life. But it’s also a very un-Ghibli film about a single mother and the bittersweet experiences she has raising two children alone. The 117-minute run time seemed to cruise by as I got utterly wrapped up in the characters and their daily lives.
About a year and a half after releasing the final episode of Bakemonogatari, Shaft followed up with its sequel Nisemonogatari. Although shorter than its predecessor with only 11 episodes, watching Nisemonogatari nonetheless felt like a long, drawn-out affair. I watched the series over the course of a weekend, but I wouldn’t suggest watching more than two or three episodes at a time. Despite my intrigue and mild excitement going in, it was a pretty exhausting anime to sit through.
The Garden of Words is Makoto Shinkai’s latest film, returning to his favorite subject of star-crossed romances being jerked around by fate. I think it’s the emptiest of Shinkai’s films, but this one does seem to be more about the craftsmanship than the content.
When we left off, Saki and crew discover a living archive of knowledge from around the time of the downfall of civilization. As I expected, episode four covers a lot of those events in exposition. Roughly half the episode is devoted to telling us what happened between the awakening of psychokinesis (which happens in 2011) to the five hundred year Dark Age.
Anime has changed. It’s no longer about creativity, storytelling, or artistic expression. It’s an endless series of adaptations made by Koreans on computers. Anime – and its consumption of time – has become a well-oiled machine. Anime has changed. Adapted characters speak adapted dialogue, in adapted settings. Laziness in the writers dilute and simplify their material. Video game adapations. Light novel adaptations. Manga adaptations. Visual novel adaptations. Everything is adapted and copied from another source. Anime has changed. The age of moeblob has become the age of adaptation… All in the name of flooding the scene with highly marketable properties. And he who cranks out adaptations the fastest… prints money. Anime has changed. When the market is totally filled with adaptations… anime becomes routine.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi o Ou Kodomo) is the fifth major film by Makoto Shinkai. It’s a fantasy yarn about Asuna, a young girl living in a rural Japanese village, who visits a certain mountain to listen to signals on an unusual radio. One day she hears a haunting melody, and soon after meets a young man named Shun. This sets off a chain of events leading to Asuna’s discovery of Agartha, a world underneath the earth where the gate between the living and the dead is believed to be.
I suspect something might have happened in this episode, which looked pretty important. We start once again with an out-of-context flashback, an assassination attempt on Empero Jikoutei 430 years before present day. The dude gets stabbed, and… cut to canoeing.
Looks like Super Serial’s back for the time being, but never doubt my ability to not finish what I start. Today’s feature is the first episode of Shin Sekai Yori, the anime adaptation of a novel by Yusuke Kishi. It opens with some horrible things, goes on to do some mysterious things, and ends with a sad thing all set to striking imagery.
Black Rock Shooter originated as an animated music video by Supercell. The OVA adaptation features the eponymous character and tells two stories. The first takes place in the normal world, where Mato starts her first day of junior high. There she becomes fast friends with Yomi, although this friendship becomes strained as time goes on. One day, feeling alienated, Yomi mysteriously disappears. The second story takes place in a dark fantasy world, where a young girl does battle against an unnamed nemesis.
Thanks to a chance encounter with a vampire, high school student Koyomi Araragi became aware of ghosts, spirits, and other aberrations. Bakemonogatari tells the story, from Araragi’s viewpoint, of five girls who have been possessed (or cursed) by such spirits. Each story arc has Araragi getting involved with a new protagonist. Out of a sense of duty, he takes it upon himself to rid each girl of her curse.
December 16: the S.O.S. Brigade is being dragged around as usual by a spirited Haruhi, who decides to hold a Christmas party. Kyon dreads the inevitable trouble that will arise. December 18: Kyon awakes to what he thinks will be another day full of Haruhi’s mischief. To his shock, he finds that things have changed. Everyone’s memory of the last few weeks has been altered. More importantly, no one in his class has heard of Haruhi Suzumiya. Kyon goes to seek answers from the S.O.S. Brigade members, only to find that they don’t know who he is. At wit’s end, Kyon siezes upon a clue that could unravel the universe itself.