Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo – A Flurry of Sceneries

Before I start, I must admit that I’m a little bit excited to get back to writing and reviewing anime again after such an extended period of hiatus. I immediately took advantage of the intense traffic jam that I got stuck in last week by finally watching Makoto Shinkai’s Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo/Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

For beginners, Makoto Shinkai is known in the anime movie world by producing absolutely stunning visuals and heart-wrenching stories. In this production, Makoto Shinkai instead focused on “acceptance” and created a Ghibli-like movie with the presence of multiple monster-like creatures (known in-movie as the Quetzal Coatl).

The story starts with a girl named Asuna meeting a young boy named Shin on the mountains, where she always spends her free time. With a kiss, Asuna had developed a yearning for Shin after finding out that he ‘died’ on the mountains later on. So, her adventure begins in search for the truth behind some mysterious events surrounding him.

The movie has a nice pace at the start but it got even more interesting as the story progresses. To be honest – I was expecting the story along the lines of his previous three major productions, and although this one is a bit different, it is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The theme of the movie is “traveling to know the meaning of goodbye’ and the path Shinkai-san took on this one is very imaginative and superb. Though I personally haven’t had such experience, the emotions of every scene can be clearly felt (what more if you’ve actually had trouble of accepting goodbyes). It’s very hard to provide more information on the story without giving anything away, so I suggest you watch the movie instead.

Visuals. Needless to say, it was another perfect 10/10. I hope the following screenshots from my phone give it justice:

I still can’t comment on the seiyuu after all these years because to me, they’re all perfect, really! ^_^ The characters though are very believable they blend seamlessly to the plot.

And finally, the icing on the cake, the almost obligatory music portion where he chose “Hello, Goodbye & Hello” by Anri Kumaki. Just like “One More Time, One More Chance” on Byousoku 5 centimeters, it seems that the movie is an animated visual of the song! Is Shinkai-san using songs as an inspiration? No one knows, but this is another great pairing!

In my books, this is a solid 8.7/10. I just felt it to be a little dragging at times but Shinkai-san is on the right path. Not constricting himself to the same ‘genre’ over and over again, this is a great, fresh movie from him. Now, please excuse me while I flip the internet over and under for Kotonoha no Niwa HD. 🙂

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Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words) Extended Trailer

Well, not really a trailer but sort of like a short music video of the OST showing short clips of the movie.

Also, I just have to get this out of the way – those trains and station are so Byousoku-like! Really looking forward to this one.

In case you’ve been under a rock for quite some time now, Makoto Shinkai will be releasing (well, it has already been released in other countries like Australia) Kotonoha no Niwa – a short film about a shoemaker who meets a girl only during rainy seasons. It also feels like Shinkai-san is going back to that theme of ‘distance’.

Until further news then. 🙂 Enjoy the clip.

Global Shinkai Day 2012

So it’s that time of the year again – the annual Global Shinkai Day which has now been technically extended to three days (March 9 – 11). However, it should also be noted that this event coincides with the first anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake.

The Global Shinkai Day was initiated by these guys from the Cherry Blossoms Falling forum (a Shinkai fan site) some 3 years ago. I have been following this event ever since and it’s a nice way to remember Makoto Shinkai‘s works from the very beginning – shorts, commercials, and full-time movies/OVAs. They managed to team up with Crunchyroll to roll out the film showing events worldwide. For more details on the Crunchyroll announcement, please visit this link.

To those who are new to his works, Crunchyroll streams Shinkai’s masterpieces English subbed (there were even dubbed versions before, but I didn’t like it as much as Japanese dubs do). The guys from Cherry Blossoms Falling also holds some contests and giveaways to the participants, as well as live discussions about the movie (I think this time around, they are giving away a signed 5 centimeters per second DVD). If you are a long time fan, maybe you can discuss what new realizations you have after watching the movies, since as we all know, we see a new dimension of the movie everytime we watch his works. 🙂

So see you there and I hope you enjoy his works as much as I do. With that, I will leave you with this snippet from his stellar masterpiece, 5 centimeters per second:

Akari Shinohara: Hey… They say it’s five centimeters per second.
Takaki Toono: What do you mean?
Akari Shinohara: The speed at which the sakura blossom petals fall… five centimeters per second.

Transcriptions Puhleeease

..for the following, if you have some time. Thanks a lot 🙂

For the upper video, which is A Little Pain by Olivia Lufkin, I want a piano/guitar one if possible. Voice may or may not be included 🙂

Other songs which I cannot find a video anywhere on the net:

Kaerimichi by Jyukai.

Maiochiru Yuki no You ni by Suara.

In another news with regards to my life, I congratulate the Los Angeles Lakers for winning their championship earlier this day (+8GMT). I pity the Boston Celtics. They played so damn hard, but only 1 team has to win it. Congratulations also to the Netherlands for winning their first World Cup game, and also to Germany for the victory. It’s so sad however that they (Germans) lost to the Serbians a while ago 😦

I also happened to finish watching Nana, the anime. Wow, just wow! What a great show, especially Olivia! @_@. Now I want to buy the CD featuring Anna Tsuchiya inspi’ Nana of BLAST and Olivia Lufkin inspi’ Reira of Trapnest. Will there be a second season to this anime? Please let me know soon. Domo arigatou.

Ja ne.