What is there to say about this strange Christmas timey (?) film? This movie reminded me of a combination Eight Crazy Nights with Cromartie High School (check out the review further back). I had no idea what I was in store for and it slightly touched my heart. Although the animation took me slightly aback, I was okay by the end with the characters and the conclusion this animated film comes to.
So Satoshi Kon and Shogo Furuya present a film that tackles some big issues while at the same time speaking to the humanity in all of us that we try to show around the holidays. Coming from a team that has done such films as Paprika (again, check the
Some strange hobos...
review earlier on in my list) and the animation on Spirited Away, comes something strange and yet strikingly familiar in its theme. Three hobos, one by choice, one by circumstance, and one by bad luck, come together in order to, in the spirit of ole Saint Nick, bring a child left in a dumpster back to its parents. Simple plot aside, a lot of weird, crazy shit goes down in Tokyo town. And I wasn’t ready for a thing.
Such good emotional scenes.
Coming from the same creators of Wolf’s Rain (Strayyyy) and just countless award worthy things, I was hard pressed at first to find the credibility in this film. I found it though. The characters. Every last one of them, despite being given the stigma of homeless loser, is a worthwhile and redeemable person. Proven by their words and actions in the film, Gin finds his home, Hana becomes the “mother” he always wanted to be, and Miyuki can finally go home and not feel scared about her actions. This combined with a twist with the baby’s parents that leaves them out to dry, this film really makes you wonder whether the bums on the street have better hearts than you do.
And I do love the message. Nice things done on Christmas? Always a winner in my book. Christmas coming from a perspective I’ve never seen before in a
Come on, could be cuter...
culture I’ve yet to experience for myself? Eye opening. I really don’t know what more to say about this film. The comedy shines through, there’s quite a few tear jerking scenes, and the baby, although I wish it was cuter, is still okay. The voice acting is good and, as expected from award winning creators, the story is solid and animation is unique in every respect. I give this classic a 6.8 out of 10.
So, I’ve been getting behind on my posts, and I’ve been watching a lot of anime. So now I think it’s time for another. Wolf’s Rain, produced by Bones and licensed by Bandai, is a story of wolves. Who look like humans. But are wolves. Who look like they can act like humans. But are detectable by some as being wolfish. A little elaborate, I know, but when you see it, which you will after reading this, you’ll understand. But these wolves live in the human world. And they’re after only one thing. Paradise. And they’re the only ones who can find it.
The story starts off rather intensely. No introduction of characters, just train robbery. Gigantic explosions. And then we meet Tsume (Crispin Freeman). He’s a complete badass (come on, his voice actor is Crispin Freeman, my hero) and he’s not even the MAIN CHARACTER. But Tsume robs and plunders until one day he and his gang come across a gigantic “dog” hidden in a tree. This dog? Wolf. Kiba (Johnny Yong Bosch A.K.A. Green Ranger). He’s pretty badass, and as the story develops, we find him to be the leader of the pack. Along with these two, we have Hige, (Joshua Seth) the hungry rambunctious sniffer, and Toboe (Mona Marshall) the whiner with the best of intentions.
The story gets heavy as these two encounter Cheza (Sherry Lynn) and who becomes their arch-nemesis, Lord Darcia III (Steven Blum). The search all over the decaying human world for Paradise using Cheza, the biologically successful human flower, to achieve their dream of paradise. The ending is sad, confusing, and uplifting, all at the same time. You won’t regret a watching of this show.
Now down to the nitty gritty likes and dislikes. The show length was great. It was a fast-paced, character driven, subplot induced thrill ride. Loved it. Didn’t love that there was a disc that Bandai decided to release called Recollections. This disc, these 4 episodes. Recap. In full, up to that point. It helped my girlfriend catch up, I almost fell asleep. If you do watch this anime, skip episodes 15-18. Those episodes went unaired. You can guess why. Other than that, the anime was fantastic.
The animation was really great on this anime. It was quite cinematic, and to me, felt like I was riding the crest of a video game, playing as Kiba, destroying with Tsume, that kinda thing. It was fantastic. Cheza, okay, Cheza was kind of annoying. “This one is hurt,” “This one is happy,” “This one feels your sadness.” How about… “This one will either stop using third person or shut up?” That would’ve been nice. There’s just that one incompetent character in every anime, and she’s it. Nobody in that wolf pack is annoyed by her. They like being petted by her. Probably because all she is is a flower.
Lord Darcia was fantastic, the fight scenes were epic, the Nobles, were mysterious, it was great. If I had to compare it to another anime that it’s like, I’d have to say none. It’s the classic adventure epic (Comparable to Lord of the Rings) that really takes itself out of the anime genre and becomes something far more. And best part? It’s all capped with a great opening theme. “Stray” by Steve Conte. This song will annoy you to the point that you’ll fall in love with it. It’s so 80’s, it’s ridiculously awesome. Download it, listen, love it. In fact here it is.
Great anime, definitely a 9 out of 10. Happy watching and thanks for visiting the abyss.