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Kingtheninja
Jul 29, 2004

"You're the best looking guy here."


Ccs posted:

Woah the new trailer for Mamoru Hosodas Belle just got released and I don’t know the last time I needed to hear the full version of a song so badly. Does anyone know who the singer/composers are?

https://youtu.be/hM8T-6OvWpo

Production wise it looks amazing. This film involves character designs from Jin Kim (responsible for the main characters in Frozen) and some scenes from Cartoon Saloon in Ireland. I think the last shot of the trailer is one of theirs. It also combined hand drawn animation in the real word with cg in digital spaces, making it a kind of time capsule of where the entire art form is at today.

Masakatsu Takagi has done the score for the last few Hosoda movies (has a Playlist on Spotify) and I'm hoping he will be on Belle. I loving love this pair and the movies combined with his music get an emotional reaction from me every time.

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Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Hosoda really loves making films that juxtapose reality with the digital world doesn't he? This is what, his third? fourth? film to explore that dichotomy? I'm not complaining because wow it looks pretty, it definitely seems to be turning into his signature "thing"

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I watched Natsu e no Tobira, a movie based on the less famous gay french schoolboy manga by Keiko Takemiya. It was very pretty and had lots of interesting shots and sequences, however the music was distractingly bad 70s library fare that didn't even fit the melodramatic theme and were more fit for a crime caper show. It only had like three tracks it used which was very tiring as well. The plot was classic shoujo melodrama, unrequited loves and suicides and a 20-step gun duel. A bad sign of its mediocrity is I'm already forgetting a lot of the imagery despite having finished it three minutes ago. I think the montage where the mc talks about how awesome it is to sleep with an older woman, and the scene where his gay friend confesses his love juxtaposed with an intricate chalk animation of a raging horse symbolizing his unbridled horniness, are the only things that still stand out to me now.

Kingtheninja
Jul 29, 2004

"You're the best looking guy here."


Arcsquad12 posted:

Hosoda really loves making films that juxtapose reality with the digital world doesn't he? This is what, his third? fourth? film to explore that dichotomy? I'm not complaining because wow it looks pretty, it definitely seems to be turning into his signature "thing"

Off the top of my head I think it's his third counting the Digimon movie he did. Second I think for original movies.

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Digimon, Summer Wars and now Belle.

Also yeah you can definitely see the Frozen art design in Belle.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



80s double feature: Saint Seiya: Legend of Crimson Youth and Saint Seiya: Warriors of the Final Holy Battle. All of the Saint Seiya movies are exactly the same in terms of plot so how much you enjoy them depends entirely on the imagery and pacing of the events. Legend of Crimson Youth is the first feature length Saint Seiya movie and it tries to differentiate itself from the kids matinee style of the first movies by being BIG. This movie is slow and portentous and grand. It uses the extra widescreen space for some genuinely impressive backgrounds and some sequences that seem inspired by golden age Disney films. However, slow and portentous is not the Saint Seiya way: Saint Seiya the show is impressive to me for being one of the best paced shonen ever made, a well edited and thrilling action show that never lets up but never overwhelms. It doesn't help that the plot is a repetitive mix of everything the series and other movies have given us so far. The villains have unexciting designs and half the fights are rehashes of the show, which are also the most exciting sequences which is a bad sign! They also hosed up Phoenix Ikki's power, which is to give people nightmares so bad it kills them, with a very uninspired nightmare sequence that abruptly ends. That said the villain's goal was to commit incest and he was so dedicated to this goal that with his dying breath he uses his powers to create a giant statue dedicated to incest, which is hilarious. Really this film followed the formula of the other movies by having 40 minutes of non-stop action, it just had an extra 30 minutes of slow-paced angst leading up to it. At least those 30 minutes have some really great imagery of decaying cityscape, one of my favorite things in anime that has disappeared:




I liked the second movie, and the final movie of the 80s Saint Seiya a little more. Despite not being as big I thought the animation had more oomph, the new enemy designs way more interesting, the fight choreography was probably the best of all the Seiya movies, and it has a genuinely freaky Phoenix Ikki nightmare sequence. It really muddles up the lore by involving The Bible and Satan and "a Chinese sun goddess" in the world of greek gods but hell. It got what makes Saint Seiya enjoyable a whole lot more than the last movie, it jumps right into the action and doesn't let up for 45 minutes. Anyway here are some cool shots from both films:




chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





I always feel a bit inadequate coming into this thread. Everyone's reviewing all sorts of movies, some I've never even heard of, and meanwhile I'm just going to a checklist of some of the big names.

For example, I think most people here have some opinion on Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, so I'm not doing near as much by bringing it up as someone rattling off a long list of forgotten but amazing 80s OVAs, but it's what I watched most recently, so it's what I'm talking about.

Ghost in the Shell is a solid success as a franchise. Multiple TV shows, games, a critically acclaimed and (eventually) top grossing movie, and a manga brought stateside well before the modern era's habit of licensing everything that people make noise about. But ultimately, there are three things that people tend to think of. The first volume of the manga, the first movie, and the two seasons of Standalone Complex. Innocence, by contrast, is a secondary, a "oh, yeah. There's another one, isn't there?" or a "here's a more obscure thing that's better than the one all the normies talk about". Which... is kind of natural. The huge time gap between the first film and Innocence meant that it was an icon, its influence spread through films and anime worldwide. It's rare to be genre defining more than once, and the delay meant that Innocence couldn't ride the original's tailwinds to be thought of as "more of the same." It has to stand or fall on its own.

...Mostly, it just felt like it wobbled.

It's not a bad film. Oshii's got a first rate eye for scene composition, and even with moments of 2000s CG being early 2000s CG, the film's got enough gorgeous visuals to justify its existence once you get on its wavelength. But I'm not sure if I'd say it was good, either. The plot is thin enough that it wouldn't rate a "Complex" on the show, and the spectacular visuals that help draw the story out to feature length don't feel as impactful as the pans over the city in the first film.

The character dynamics make it worse. In theory, they should be a strong point. The Major is great, but she tends to dominate the screen when she's around. Section 9 left without its ace can make for a more balanced ensemble piece.

Except they don't here. Batou takes the Major's place as a lesser "the one who gets everything done", while Togusa is pretty much useless, and nobody else has anything significant to do.

(I'll pause here on the topic of Togusa. In most Ghost in the Shell, he is something of the butt of the unit. He's also a competent and honest officer who manages to prove his value just as often as he gets in over his head (sometimes even doing both at once.) Here, though, he just exists so that someone can be shocked at Batou's latest loose cannon move, with no real contributions of his own. It stands out all the more because the film's a detective story, which is normally Togusa's area of expertise.)

The worst part, though, is the dialogue. While all iterations of the series have people casually discussing philosophy like it's sports scores, Innocence reaches a point where you're just watching two chatbots trained on Bartlett's. In a film with so much emphasis on puppets, it's a shame the writer shows so many of the strings.

On a smaller issue, the scene with the Yakuza didn't feel like it played quite right. I admit that some of it might be watching this after playing Yakuza 0 and reading Hinamatsuri, adjusting the sympathy balance in a way the film couldn't account for, but the general balance is wrong here too, even aside from the current climate.

Generally, this gag is set up so that the hero offers the villains a clear out, and they explicitly reject it, justifying whatever horrific vengeance the protagonist inflicts. Here, Batou opened with a demand, then immediately escalated to murdering everyone in the room when they showed they were armed (with weapons that weren't remotely a threat to a combat cyborg.) It crossed the line from funny heroic sociopathy to just feeling kinda gross, especially since we didn't get scenes making us personally dislike these Yakuza members prior to the slaughter. (They were involved in deeply scummy business, but the viewer isn't informed exactly how bad it is until long after they're dead.) It's amplified further by the minimal reactions from others, with Aramaki just wagging a finger and Togusa focusing more on his own life being at risk (when Batou had offered for him to stay in the car) than on, you know. Extrajudicial killings by the truckload. Basically, the gag didn't land for me.

Also, man. The ending shot with the doll was terrible.

Overall, I'm glad I saw it, and it's much, much better than the actually bad Ghost in the Shell material (Man Machine Interface was physically painful) but I wouldn't particularly recommend it, either. At least the ghost hacking scene was neat.

Davincie
Jul 7, 2008



Submarine 707R: This is basically a Leiji show but underwater. Just not as good. There's a baffling art style difference between most of the cast in this and the main characters daughter. Characters are very simple archtypes and the underwater battle is predictable if you are familiar with submarine fiction but the cgi is great! I have nothing deep to say about this, cause there's very little to it. Its 2 hours of shipservice, so if you really like submarines or yamato it might be worth a watch

Malsangoroth
Apr 2, 2015


I watched the Violet Evergarden movie several days ago (the sequel one, not Eternity). I had watched the TV series when it came out and thought that it had some good episodes and fantastic visuals but the writing seemed underwhelming. I don't really know how to describe what ticked me off about it, it just "felt" flat to me. The movie is all the TV series is but raised to the max. The dialogue still felt flat; there would be times when it boldly declared 'this is the grandeur of powerful writing that moves your heart' and then we would see / hear what was written and it wouldn't live up to the emotional pull that it needed to. I can't tell if this is just a translation problem, or if this issue persists across languages. I will say, though, that it is the most (visually) beautiful anime movie to date. Every single shot in this film was stunning. I cried during it, but for unrelated reasons. Or maybe the movie was just really good at getting me to think about other sad things. I'd give it a 7/10, maybe an 8/10 for the visuals alone.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



Malsangoroth posted:

I watched the Violet Evergarden movie several days ago (the sequel one, not Eternity). I had watched the TV series when it came out and thought that it had some good episodes and fantastic visuals but the writing seemed underwhelming. I don't really know how to describe what ticked me off about it, it just "felt" flat to me. The movie is all the TV series is but raised to the max. The dialogue still felt flat; there would be times when it boldly declared 'this is the grandeur of powerful writing that moves your heart' and then we would see / hear what was written and it wouldn't live up to the emotional pull that it needed to. I can't tell if this is just a translation problem, or if this issue persists across languages. I will say, though, that it is the most (visually) beautiful anime movie to date. Every single shot in this film was stunning. I cried during it, but for unrelated reasons. Or maybe the movie was just really good at getting me to think about other sad things. I'd give it a 7/10, maybe an 8/10 for the visuals alone.

The tv series felt like something written by someone who had read about things like emotions and trauma but never experienced it themselves, only seen it from the outside looking in. Is how I can best describe it. When they hit upon the same emotions you've felt at some time it can be extraordinarily effective but it's just a passing feeling. It makes you cry but not the kind of cry you remember.

Davincie
Jul 7, 2008



Taiyou no Mokushiroku: A Spirit of the Sun: A rather low effort ova series (2 x 1 hour and 17 mins) from Madhouse. I've read enough of Kawaguchi to know he's a great author so I'm not going to put the blame of the mediocrity of this on him. The VA performances themselves are good enough and the supporting cast is likeable (with the Taiwanese gangster Zhang being a standout) but the series fails to engage. The actual plot lines should also be interesting, from disaster stories to refugee crisis and political turmoil, but the presentation of it fails to make the watcher care. I've certainly watched worse disaster anime so it's not like its a huge loss, but I expected better. At least its not as bad as Japan Sinks. 6

Davincie
Jul 7, 2008



Seitokai Yakuindomo Movie: fairly boring. I think I don't find the basic dirty jokes in this series funny any more. It also does nothing with the fact that its a movie. 5

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I watched TO-Y, an OVA based off of a hit manga about a punk band leader that wants to pursue his own sound at all costs, even if it means losing out on success, and also he's dating a 15 year old who might be a cat. The OVA was presented in the sort of abstract music video inspired style. There's a lot of impressive and creative animation but it felt hollow to me somehow, like it was putting it on to seem hipper than it really is. That is until the second half, when it gives way to a genuinely electrifying presentation of the experience of a live concert. This is the best part of the OVA and it has nothing to do with any of the characters; we see the rivalry between the goth punk fans and the highschool girls that are going to the same stadium after the punk band gets replaced with a soulless pop star last minute, with one particularly Sandman looking goth who was prepared to slit his throat until the climactic band performance by our heroes, and a bunch of people running around to bars telling their friends what's going on. It made me nostalgic for the days of sitting in bars listening to bands jam out waiting for a buddy to come along and tell you and your friends the next cool place to go, which seem so far away now. It also lovingly depicts late 80s japanese fashions that gets glossed over these days in favor of city pop and Popeye approved fashions which I liked. I appreciated the disdain the source material must have had for Japanese pop culture but it didn't really come across in the OVA, which had 0 punk music or anything, instead having 80s alt-rock hits. Sometimes they were good but mostly they were indistinguishable from the heartless sell out music the story claims it's trying to avoid. Frankly I think the director was too soulless himself to really be able to "get" what the source material was getting at. That's just my impression though. Looking at the director's other stuff he hasn't directed anything else of note, just the inferior remake of an 80s shoujo and one of the more forgettable Lupin movies, although he was animaton director on a lot of stuff which makes sense considering the quality of animation here.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



That's actually a lot of words for something I didn't particularly enjoy, so maybe someone out there would like it more. If you like the sort of 80s aesthetics that are in vogue you'll probably like it a lot, although I'm fairly burnt out on those

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



Because I could and because I got dosed with extra strength coffee and can't fall asleep I watched B.B. Fish, an OVA by the same director as the previous OVA. This is based on a 15 volume manga but is only 30 minutes long which probably accounts for why it's so nonsensical. It's about three friends in Hawaii? Some tropical island? searching for the Legendary Fish, although no fishing happens and mostly the MC tries to cheat on his girlfriend with a local. The director has a good sense of place and his backgrounds and settings are very believable and capture both the memory of being somewhere along with the physical presence of the place itself which is no small feat for an animator. It treads the line between nostalgia and a present lived experience in a way that's somewhat uncomfortable to me, so he has good artistic chops. However he clearly doesn't care about voice acting much because in both OVAs the voice acting was terrible and unbelievable even by anime standards. People sounded like they were talking to themselves which lends a dreamlike quality but is also extremely distracting. The animation in this was excellent and everyone was drawn like an actual person proportion wise. I think personally it has a slight edge over T-OY for being shorter and a truly absurd ending where the hero activates their third eye and gains super swimming powers so he can rescue his girlfriend from a massive undersea cave which made me laugh. It's probably the worse of the two if I'm being honest though. The only other anime this director did of interest to me is Bt'X, which is a Masami Kurumada adaptation so his animation chops and utter disregard for even trying to depict naturalistic human conversations or contact in any remotely believable form will really serve him well there I think.

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moZH0tKUT8o

Figured I'd cross-post this here as well, considering he's talking about the films of Patlabor. Licensing rights for dubs and releases are muddy and it's sad when history gets lost due to who currently owns the franchise license. So it's cool that this guy managed to preserve the Manga Entertainment dub that I'd never heard before. It's something I want to check out.

A Doomed Purloiner
Jan 4, 2006



Arcsquad12 posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moZH0tKUT8o

Figured I'd cross-post this here as well, considering he's talking about the films of Patlabor. Licensing rights for dubs and releases are muddy and it's sad when history gets lost due to who currently owns the franchise license. So it's cool that this guy managed to preserve the Manga Entertainment dub that I'd never heard before. It's something I want to check out.

Peter Marinker's Goto is really good. When I upgraded my movies to Blu-ray I made sure to keep my older DVDs and added their audio as an additional track (I rip all my movies onto a media server).

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


A Doomed Purloiner posted:

Peter Marinker's Goto is really good. When I upgraded my movies to Blu-ray I made sure to keep my older DVDs and added their audio as an additional track (I rip all my movies onto a media server).

Oh poo poo that is Peter Marinker isn't it?

The guy playing Arakawa in the UK dub absolutely steals it. The guy who preserved the UK track to play alongside the Blu Ray release also did a comparison video of the Unjust Peace speech and Fairman runs away as the clear winner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEPKcMhpHCY

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



Watched Take the X Train, an OVA by Rintaro. It was great! It's misanthropic to an extent that puts Miyazaki and Oshii to shame, everyone in it is ugly, vain, short-sighted and stupid. The ghost of Japanese industrialization comes back to haunt our protagonist, a young man in the train industry who doesn't think about anything other than sex and food. The government psychic conspiracy that exists in the fringes of the film is reminiscent of Philip K Dick's more paranoid works. The titular ghost train is as animalistic as our protagonist, the sound of its train engine more bestial growl than burning coal. The soundtrack is entirely made up of variations of Duke Ellington's Take the A Train except a short scene featuring Mambo No. 5, and the anime is dedicated to him. The background work reminds me of fashion magazines, showing the shallow facade of the world this film takes place in. The ending is disturbing but triumphant, with the train leaking oil over the corpses of psionically vaporized Men in Black in a callback to an earlier scene where the protagonist stops in the countryside to take a piss. Great film, and I can't believe it took me so long to watch it.

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Just remembered a film I watched back in high school, Sword of the Stranger. The stuff with Nanashi and Kotaro is really good and Luo Lang is great whenever he shows up. I didn't really care for the subplot with the Daimyo or with the Ming warriors evil plan, but that ending remains one of the best sword fights ever.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Arcsquad12 posted:

Just remembered a film I watched back in high school, Sword of the Stranger. The stuff with Nanashi and Kotaro is really good and Luo Lang is great whenever he shows up. I didn't really care for the subplot with the Daimyo or with the Ming warriors evil plan, but that ending remains one of the best sword fights ever.

I love that film. I think that's where Yutaka Nakamura really came to a lot of people's attention. He had done great work up until then, but that sword fight really made poeple go "what, who did this, who animated this amazing thing."

The whole film has incredible visuals though, there's not a single clash that doesn't look exceptional. The final fight just has the absolute perfect combination of music and choreography.

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Nanashi dyes his hair to fit in and Luo Lang is explicitly coded and identified as "Western" (though whether this means Western China or European is ambiguous) but it's neat how both swordsmen are explicitly outsiders to their respective cultures and don't really give a poo poo about the Ming or the Daimyo's plans and have their own reasons for being there.

Kingtheninja
Jul 29, 2004

"You're the best looking guy here."


Sword of the stranger is one of my anime blu rays I will never let go of.

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Looking at the films I've watched I tend to drift towards genre films more than anime films, if that makes sense. They lean into the conventions of genre like thrillers, sports, jidaigeki more than they do into so-called anime tropes. I think it's why I empathize a lot with that quote from Hosoda where he emphasizes that he makes films, not anime.

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


EDIT.

Wrong thread.

Arcsquad12 fucked around with this message at 02:31 on May 4, 2021

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Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




I wish we got a new Kawajiri film every few years. Itís bonkers the last film he directed was Highlander in 2007 (which was really good!) But apparently heís been storyboarding on a lot of the best series thatve come out in the past 5 years so maybe he enjoys that more than full directing duties.

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