Anime Club: Millennium Actress

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we have yet another Satoshi Kon work, Millennium Actress.

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS

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DIRECTED: Satoshi Kon

STARRING: Miyoko Shoji, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa, Shōzō Iizuka

GENRE: Anime, Drama

YEAR: 2001

COUNTRY: Japan

chiyokosA movie studio is being torn down. TV interviewer Genya Tachibana has tracked down its most famous star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who has been a recluse since she left acting some 30 years ago. Tachibana delivers a key to her, and it causes her to reflect on her career; as she’s telling the story, Tachibana and his long-suffering cameraman are drawn in. The key was given to her as a teenager by a painter and revolutionary that she helped to escape the police. She becomes an actress because it will make it possible to track him down, and she spends the next several decades acting out that search in various genres and eras.

tumblr_m19c54aZJ61qzpdnho1_1280Hey all, what a surprise, yet another Satoshi Kon film! We are definitely fans of Satoshi Kon here at Media in Review, so be prepared to see most if not all of his work. As with the rest of Kon’s work, the animation is crisp and fantastic. This time around I watched the dub version, and the voice acting cast was properly picked and do a fantastic job. All of the characters are well-designed, as none of the feel out of place.

My biggest gripe is the story. While I admit that it has to be one of Kon’s best stories, it is rather confusing and difficult to follow. What exactly is Kon trying to say? His format for Millennium Actress, albeit many films within a single film, get the job done. Unfortunately this even further confuses the story. If I would have to compare it to anything, it would definitely be on the scale of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.

PROS:

  • Crisp animation.
  • Fantastic voice casting.
  • Well-designed characters.
  • Films with a film format.

CONS:

  • Confusing as hell story.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Anime Club – Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club, we have season 2 of Knights of Sidonia! If you would like to read my review for season 1, check it out here. Knights of Sidonia season 1.

KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA: BATTLE FOR PLANET NINE

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CREATED BY: Hiroyuki Seshita

EPISODES: 12 Episodes

GENRE: Mecha, Adventure, Space Opera

YEAR: 2014 –

COUNTRY: Japan

23uqul2In a distant future where mankind has fled a destroyed Earth, Nagate Tanikaze has been raised apart from other humans by his grandfather, and thus has always dwelled in the bowels of a massive ship, where he trains regularly in an abandoned but still functional mecha simulator. After his grandfather’s death a shortage of food eventually forces him to the surface, where he discovers a strange reality: a highly regimented society built in the interior of an asteroid-based ship, one where people his aged are commonly trained to be garde (mecha) pilots against the possible reappearance of the Gauna, a betentacled alien foe which Sidonia (the name of the ship) has not encountered in a century but which has devastated the ship and populace in past encounters.

One of Sidonia’s leaders, suspecting the truth about Nagate’s origin, has him integrated into Sidonia’s training academy for its defense force, where he quickly proves unable to handle the newest-model garde but proves quite adept with an older one once used by a renowned hero. The timing couldn’t be better for Sidonia, as when a resource-gathering mission leads to a Gauna contact, Nagate will prove instrumental in helping Sidonia (which, as far as they know, may be the last remaining remnant of humanity) to survive. But Sidonia also has its share of deeply-buried secrets, and not everyone is necessarily happy to see Nagate succeed.

1319764519772479891I have been waiting for season 2 of Knights of Sidonia to drop since I had an all night marathon of season 1 when Netflix released it. I was beginning to worry that Netflix was forgetting about Knights of Sidonia and it was quickly brushed under the floor boards. Luckily..it came to light!

Now lets get to the great parts of Knights of Sidonia. The series maintains the beautiful animation and design style from the first season, which I am happy that the production value hasn’t depreciated. The new characters introduced this season were actually not complete wastes of space and added a little bit of variety to the main cast. Tsumugi is obviously the most unique character added this season, since she is a Guana/human hybrid. I also want to add that there is a surprise guest towards the end of the season, but no spoilers here.

My biggest beef with this season of Knights of Sidonia is that there were a handful of filler episodes that I felt dragged down the middle of the season. It spent about three episodes developing the relationship between Tsumugi, Nagate, and Izate. I don’t necessary feel that the relationships paid off, but at the same time it was set up for the next season. It better be expanded upon.

PROS:

  • SEASON II!
  • Beautiful animation/design style
  • New characters.
  • Tsumugi = Guana/Human hybrid?
  • Surprise guest.

CONS:

  • Filler episodes.
  • Relationships didn’t pay off.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Anime Club – Fooly Cooly (FLCL)

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we have the ridiculously short and wacky Fooly Cooly.

FOOLY COOLY

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CREATED BY: Kazuya Tsurumaki

NO. OF EPISODES: Six OVAs

GENRE: Action, Comedy-drama, Science Fiction

YEAR: 2000-2001

COUNTRY: Japan

fooly_cooly_by_akomango-d5thmj9FLCL is a coming of age story and revolves around Naota Nandaba, a 12-year-old, working class boy living with his widower father and grandfather. His life in the city of Mabase is interrupted by the arrival of Haruko Haruhara, who runs over Naota with her yellow Vespa 180 SS scooter, gives him CPR, then hits him on the head with a blue vintage Rickenbacker 4001 left-handed electric bass guitar. Naota discovers that the blow to his head created an “N.O.” portal, from which giant robots produced by a company known as Medical Mechanica emerge periodically.

Alright, when it comes to absolutely ridiculous anime series, FLCL (also known as Fooly Cooly) definitely takes the top crown. The characters are over the top and ridiculous, but while this can normally be a bad thing, it actually works for FLCL. Naota is a weird main character, as he can oddly be related to due to his imagesnihilistic attitude. He doesn’t really care what happens to him for the first few episodes and it works well with his character. If you are looking for a very short series to sink you teeth into, I recommend.

My biggest pet peeve with FLCL is the animation style. I am definitely not a fan, as it appears very amateurish and unpolished. Then again, that is exactly what FLCL is. A word of advice, don’t even try to understand the story. The further and further you travel into the series the farther you dive into the rabbit hole.

PROS:

  • Ridiculous characters.
  • Awesome soundtrack.
  • Protagonist design.
  • Short episode run.

CONS:

  • Animation style.
  • Confusing story.
  • Continuity errors.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.