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. 🙂

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.

The Garden of Words – Official Trailer

FINALLY! The Garden of Words’ official trailer has been released:

If you’re not familiar with the title yet, but are an avid anime fan, you would’ve guessed that it was Makoto Shinkai’s project. Well – you’re right! Right after Hoshi no Ou Kodomo (Children Who Chase Lost Voices), Shinkai-san gets right back to work with a new production – partnering with Comix Wave Films again.

Ok – I’m gonna say it now: IT IS GOING TO BE EPIC!

It’s no secret I’m one of the biggest fans of his works. Though Children is ok, and even though it must have been said a million times now – that it’s Ghibli-esque, I really liked Byousoku much, much better due to the heart-wrenching story line. From the looks of this one, looks like Shinkai-sama is going back to where the fans have absolutely adored – great music, ahead of its time animation (I mean, just look at the quality of that trailer!), and un-paralleled love story.

I must admit I did not understand a single thing in the trailer – so hopefully, I can update this one with English subs in the near future. What we do know is that it’s slated for an end of May release. You can visit the official site here.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to it. And for the record, I watched Byousoku thrice on the first day I learned of it and have had sleepless nights over it. It’s just… a masterpiece. Judging by the trailer itself, I might just reach that epiphany again.

It’s My Birthday! – Hanamuke

Before anything else, I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since I last posted something here! I deeply apologize for that. =;=

In other news, I wasn’t able to keep my promise to bring in more content and insight to my blog this year. I think I promised that exactly 1 year ago – but I guess promises really are made to be broken. But I’ll make it up this time around (as in exactly in this post. LOL).

5 years ago, I literally can’t get off my bed because of a stubborn fever that kept me from doing anything else but sleeping. So I grabbed my roommate’s laptop to look for something to pass the time and guess what, I stumbled upon a music blog that’s so eloquently written, it actually motivated to make my own! Hence, the birth of this little space of mine. I initially created this to post updates on Jyukai 樹海, as well as blabber about some fandom rants. Several years since then, this blog actually evolved into a more anime/personal/sports/music/absolutely-whatever oriented blog, which is way better than it initially was. This became my outlet for everything I felt like pouring out to the world when no one seemed to care. At some points in this blog’s timeline, I had actually considered closing this one down. If that was continued, that would have been one of the greatest regrets of my life.

Now that the drama’s out of the way, I’m just looking for more fruitful years with this blog o’ mine, and I really hope to produce more content and thoughts along the way. To all the readers, passers-by, and haters alike, thank you for sticking around! 🙂

Happy Birthday, Hanamuke!

******IN OTHER NEWS******

I have been watching (and re-watching) a lot of Fairy Tail recently – it really has a great story line (as well as plot and twists) for a Shounen manga/anime. Also, a lot of its music has been instantly added to my MP3 list. Fairy Tail boasts a great list of OPs and EDs and it’s a definitely a big plus for me. The animation, voice-overs, and effects are of a great quality too, so I’m finding it hard to spoil myself by reading the manga. I guess I’m sticking with the anime.

I’ve also finally grabbed a copy of Hoshi ni Ou Kodomo, as well as the first few episodes of Little Busters! and Code:Breaker. If I find the time, I’ll definitely be watching them as well.

Lastly, I managed to continue writing down my plot for my light novel, but due to my unstable work conditions, I haven’t restarted again since last Wednesday midnight. Several hours later (of not writing), another 7.3 earthquake struck at the eastern coast of Japan. *sigh* Is this a sign?! But – I will definitely finish it – before 2013 ends, that is. 😛

Please continue to look forward for it.

Ciao for now! 🙂

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.

Classic Makoto Shinkai Animation

Here is from one TV advertisement in Japan, directed by Makoto Shinkai.

I don’t know how to explain it but even if I hadn’t known who the director was, I am still convinced it was only Makoto Shinkai who can create such artistry.

On a side note, I still haven’t seen Hoshi O Ou Kodomo. That makes me a sad man..

Year-End Post

So yes, here we are again! The time of the year where every person is kind and generous – Christmas. But then, let us not forget the very reason why we are all celebrating this in the first place. Let us spend an hour in the church to say our thanks to a magnificent past year. Merry Christmas to all! 🙂 Merry Christmas to my blog as well, whom I have spared very little time with. I actually regret every moment I wanted to put up a new post, but did not materialize. So I’m giving my all in this post. Well, not really. Just a little. Haha. But at least, I tried. Hahaha.

I have been very busy lately – couple of projects from major subjects, thesis, reviewing for job interviews, etc. My projects are doing well and my thesis is almost done (except the documentation proper). However, I am actually worried for my incoming job hunt. I don’t feel like I have the sufficient knowledge to be able to propel myself into greater heights. All I have now is booming confidence and motivation. (Yes, finally, motivation!) I had my very first job interview last week in Ascott Hotel, Makati for a semi-conductor company (Toshiba). That includes 3-layers of interview, which when passed, gives one the chance to work in Japan! How’s that for a dream job? 🙂

Anime-wise, I can’t believe I still haven’t finished even the first season of Honey and Clover! It’s not that I don’t like it, but I’m afraid that if I watch even two episodes in succession, I might lose track of time. However, I have managed to finish watching Giant Killing, and it was great!  A superb combination of sports, entertainment, and thrill indeed! It’s a must watch for football enthusiasts. I might actually create another review in the not so near future. Hahahaha. 🙂 [I can’t wait for Makoto Shinkai’s next film!]

I’m also enjoying the tabs I found for the songs of SCANDAL. The tabber(s) did an amazing job (from SCANDAL HEAVEN forums) and it’s such a pleasure to play and sing their songs. They are as great as ever! On the other hand, Jyukai haven’t had any updates recently (industry-wise), so it’s a bit sad. If you have any news about them, could you please update me? Thank you so much!

After the New Orleans Hornets started out the season with a bang, they are freely falling right now. Well, at least the Atlanta Hawks are putting up a decent fight. Tottenham Hotspurs are also fantastic this season (especially Gareth Bale and of course, my favorite player Rafael van der Vaart). Lazio, likewise, are doing an incredible job in the Serie A this season (with the reborn Mauro Zarate and great signing Hernanes). Sevilla… uhm, well.. I’d rather not talk about them.

That’s it for now I guess. See you again next time.

Again, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE! BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BLOG! 🙂