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.

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.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Stunning casts:

Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Lily Cole, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law

Plot:

The story of Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick, in which he won immortality. Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all.

Trailer:

http://www.imaginariumofdrparnassus.com/

Verdict:

A MUST WATCH 😀

Taiyou no Uta (Movie)

1

A movie starring YUI and Takashi Tsukamoto, it really is a sentimental and moving piece of work. Amane Kaoru (YUI) suffers from a disease known as XP (xeroderma pigmentosum) where exposure to the sun’s UV rays may end her life. As a consequence, she sleeps during the day and treats the midnight as her chance to go outside the walls of her room. Everytime she is staring by the window in her room though, she oftentimes spot Koji (Takashi) hanging around with his friends, motorcycle, and surfboard. The story revolves around her and how she, with Koji and her family, would deal with this extremely rare disease.

2What made me watch this is that YUI is the actress and it is my first time seeing her act in such a dramatic movie. She included three of her singles in the movie, one of which is one of my favorites and is also the theme song of the movie – Good-bye days. She sang it with intense emotion and it was very integral to the storyline. Koji’s actions and his efforts to make Amane feel satisfied is very touching indeed, not to mention captivating in its every sense.

The lighting, the setting, the sound were all great, but I coudn’t imagine that JDrama presents the story in a VERY SLOW pace. I almost dropped it. In fact, I just watched the movie “in parts”. But when I finished it, it was all worth it. It was great, but not amazing. And YUI is as beautiful as ever, along with her unique voice quality.

3I’ll definitely search for another one to watch, probably something similar to this. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop a comment. My appreciation. 🙂

Tooi Sekai + F/S Night Movie

How can something so short be something so… emotional… Makoto Shinkai, I really praise you..  (How come I haven’t seen this before. ><)

Aside from that, I will be anticipating of what-would-be a movie (theatrical) adaptation of Fate/stay Night, believed to be worked under the Unlimited Blade Works arc (?).  I’m hoping to watch this as soon as it is released. ^^ Pretty much excited, I guess. 🙂

Source: Anime News Network on F/SN Movie’s release

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