Anime Club: Millennium Actress

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

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS

millennium-actress-poster

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 – Fooly Cooly (FLCL)

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

FOOLY COOLY

FLCL_image

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!

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

Anime Club: Death Parade

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we have the life and death judgement of Death Parade.

DEATH PARADE

Deathparadevisual

CREATED BY: Yuzuru Tachikawa

NO. OF EPISODES: 12, 1 short film

GENRE: Drama, Mystery, Psychological Thriller

YEAR: 2013, 2015

COUNTRY: Japan

Whenever two people on Earth die at the same time, they are sent to one of many mysterious bars run by bartenders serving as arbiters. There, they must participate in Death Games with their lives on the line, the results of which reveal what secrets led them to their situation and what their fate will be afterwards, with the arbiters judging if their souls will either be sent for reincarnation or banished into the void. The series follows Decim, the lone bartender of the Quindecim bar, whose role in judging these souls changes when he meets a curious black-haired woman.

death-paradeI have to say, it has been a very long time since I have been enthralled with a new, I would say post 2011. anime series. I came across Death Parade while doing some research for a Watchmojo anime list, and the premise enthralled me. Death Parade has some relatively unique characters, much like the main bartender Decim, who are essentially mannequins that have been given life to judge others. In order to judge properly, Decim is given human emotions and it allows an analysis of the grey area of morality. Many of the Death Games that are played are fun to watch, as they are based on casual bar games and range from gruesome darts to casual Old Maid.death-parade-2

Unfortunately, there is obviously no way that Death Parade is perfect. The pacing varies from time to time, and the built up anticipation during the Death Games is immediately erased afterward. Death Parade is a very character driven show, but it would be nice to have a more interesting larger plot. I mean, it is interesting enough for twelve episodes, but we need more Death Parade.

PROS:

  •  Interesting premise.
  • Unique characters.
  • Analysis of morality.
  • Death Games.

CONS:

  • Pacing.
  • Needs a more interesting larger plot.

SCORE: 9.0 / 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.