Tag Archives: romance

Driven by ancient alien technology and love – a review of Eureka Seven (2005)

Back in August it was announced that AlltheAnime would be bringing the new film adaptations of the 2005 TV mecha classic, Eureka Seven every year from the start of 2018. Thinking this would be a good thing to do in dreary January, I set out to watch the original TV anime in preparation.

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Synopsis

Eureka Seven tells the story of Renton Thurston, the son of the hero of humanity as he joins the rebelling ‘Gekkostate’ befriending and falling in love with the mysterious pilot of the very first Light Finding Operation or LFO (mech), the Nirvage, Eureka.

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Building My Collection: Your Name Limited Collectors Edition

Few would dispute me if I said that the anime of 2016 was Makoto Shinkai’s gender-swapping, natural disaster romance, Your Name. Surely the biggest anime movie in foreign cinemas and the second biggest Japanese film in its own country the stats speak for themselves.

Fast forward a year and the home releases are making their way onto the shelves of the millions of fans that fell in love with the movie but there was a decision to make on exactly which edition of the film to buy. In the UK we had the option of a standard DVD, standard Blu-Ray, Steelbook edition Blu-ray or limited edition collectors set. Before I talk about the limited edition set, I’d just like to put on the record that I think it’s a great thing that more casual fans don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to get their hands on the movie – especially at the point of first release.

Now moving on I’d like to show you my copy of the limited collectors edition of the movie. It’s a pretty amazing set both on and off of the discs. So let’s get started!

The outer case is a chipboard box with art unique to this edition featuring the moment in the film Mitsuha and Taki meet face to face for the first time. There is the standard AllTheAnime information card lightly tacked onto the back of the box which can be removed without marking the box.

There are four elements to the set within the box: first up is the disc case itself which features the movie on both Blu-Ray and DVD as well as the soundtrack by RADWIMPS.

As well as the movie with both English and Japanese dubs (including Japanese or English editions of the soundtrack) both discs also contain a Japanese TV special featuring the director Makoto Shinkai and the voice actors of two main characters Mone Kamishiraishi and Ryunosuke Kamiki as well as the usual English and Japanese pre-release trailers and teasers.

This set earns it’s price tag by the extras though as next on the list is a set of 10 of high quality art cards showing scenes from the film, one of which is marked with a unique number of authenticity.

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There is also an A3 theatrical poster…

img_0527… but most impressive of all is surely the art/interviews book that as well as containing shots from the movie and interviews with the two lead voice actors contains a Q&A with director Makoto Shinkai and his original proposal for the film!

It is all in all a pretty impressive set, but there is still one little bonus that I’ve yet to show you. The so called ‘Red thread of fate’, popular in Asian folklore, is an important image within Your Name and AllTheAnime felt that it would be a nice gesture to include Mitsuha’s braid/Taki’s wristband.

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I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with that one – but it’s a nice extra to have.

There you have it then, the UK/ROI limited collectors edition of Your Name. At £49.99 it is a bit pricey, but it really is worth the extra and I’ve included the link to Zavvi (where it is exclusively available) below. I’ll also add some links for the other editions 🙂

Limited Edition

Steelbook Blu-Ray 

Standard Blu-Ray

Standard DVD

Reaping the benefits of a 50 episode run in Eureka Seven

Each season we are treated to a swathe of new anime for three months, only to be given a new set afterwards. Anime today is commonly produced in 12 episode seasons, even a double cours, 24 episode series is something to be excited about. As anime fans, we are conditioned to get excited about shows that are long than the standard one or two cours: Death Note is three cours, the two incarnations of Full Metal Alchemist are four and five cours respectively. The big shounen anime of Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, Fairy Tale and Dragon Ball are all significantly more than 100 episodes and hold massive fan bases because of it. I don’t follow any of those series but I am a fan of some longer shows that are less than 100 episodes.

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It’s not difficult to see why longer shows are popular. I’m thirty-three episodes into Eureka Seven’s fifty episodes and already it is proving why longer screen time can make for a better show. So then, without further ado, let me explain all.

Continue reading Reaping the benefits of a 50 episode run in Eureka Seven

The tale of the mistaken prince and an evil egg – a review of the Anthem of the Heart

It is not an uncommon trope in anime for young children to be catastrophically affected by an unfortunate event up until a time, in their middle or high school life, when they are forced to confront it.

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This is the case for the young, carefree dreamer Jun Naruse who inadvertently reveals to her mother that her father has been spending time at a love hotel with another woman. The separation leads both parents to cursing Jun for speaking too much, and from the girl’s imagination an egg is born, preventing her from speaking more under threat of stomach pain.

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First Impressions: Hyouka

On Friday I was lucky enough to get up to London for the first day of the second MCM of the year. While I was there I made some additions to my anime collection, most notably was the first part of the 2012 series, Hyouka. 

The show follows Hotaro Oreki, a dedicated ‘energy conserver’, attempting to get through his high school life doing as a little as possible to get by. After a letter from his travelling sister, he joins begrudgingly joins the Classical Literature club where he meets the enthusiastic and overbearing Eru Chitanda.

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Oreki is usually indifferent to Chitanda’s curiosity.

Episode one doesn’t waste time in getting down to the pull of this story: mystery. Eru is ‘curious’ about the Hotaro’s ability to solve the everyday mundane mystery which in the opening episodes range from how Eru gets herself locked in the club room to why a specific book was taken out only to be returned later the same day on five consecutive Fridays.

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Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 12, And Then

For a relatively simple anime, I felt there were several ways this final episode could go and, thankfully, the writers got all of the decisions spot on.

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We’re not left with any suspense at the start of this final episode – Kotarou failed his entrance exam. Unsurprisingly, he’s pretty dejected but initially it seemed as if all was going to be okay. The first five minutes of this episode epitomised for me just why the show generally has been so good: for both parties involved, it would be the natural response to try and put a brave face on this sad event, but inevitably (this is a relationship between 15 year olds, remember) things don’t stay as positive for all that long.

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Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 11, An Encouragement of Learning

When living with your parents it can often be difficult to understand why the make some of the decisions that they do. What Tsuki ga Kirei shows well in episode 11 is that they usually have a good reason for doing so, and even after making decisions initially, they’re flexible enough to adapt when it’s in the best interest of their children.

Last week, we expected that Kotarou’s parents, particularly his mother, wouldn’t take well to his decision to go a school two hours away in order to follow a girl. It wasn’t surprising then to see that when Kotarou announced his school of choice at a parent meeting with his teacher, his mother wasn’t best pleased.

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Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 10, The Setting Sun

Every single week after I’ve watched this show I’ve wanted to jump up and down shouting; I will support Akane and Kotarou until this, and every other blog on WordPress, is no more.

There is little to discuss when addressing tone in episode ten as things continue on for a couple much as they have since episode five when they’re relationship came out into the open. Potential problem arises, problem threatens to be troublesome, someone takes actions to deal with the problem, problem averted, everyone is happy.

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This week that problem was Hira as Akane and the track club went to the festival where Kotarou was performing. If you were looking to find a problem with this show overall, it would be the weird love square that it attempted to present as meaningful in the middle episodes, though saying that it has served to strengthen the relationship of the main couple no end, so I shouldn’t complain. Anyway, Hira: this week it was his turn to confess to Akane and as to be expected things to quite work out how he would have dreamed.

Things for Akane are swell then? Well not quite as Kotarou takes issue by displaying a little customary jealousy (well he is 14) and, rather unfairly, taking that out on Akane by ignoring her for the rest of the evening.

Fortunately though, the magic wasn’t dead in this episode as the moving/new school fiasco continues as Kotarou attempts to come to terms with Akane moving to Chiba. One of the central points of Kotarou’s character throughout the series has been his lack of interest in studying in favour of writing novels – Akane’s news seemingly changes this however as we see him more at cram school and taking an effort to improve his school work. Why could that be? Because he’s going to try and get into the school Akane is going to go to and to do that he needs to improve his grades. Despite how unrealistic this feels, I feel like I can relate to this action somehow, even if my circumstances ten years ago were somewhat different to Kotarou’s.

As I said, there isn’t much to comment on in terms of the shows overall thematic development. What I would say though is that the relationship between the Akane and Kotarou continued to grow this week through a disagreement (even if it was one sided) and a big decision to change an aspect of his life on Kotarou’s part. Whatever happens in the final two episodes, I’m sure that specifically choosing a high school to be with your partner cannot be a good thing, but this is fiction and anime at that, so I want it to work out for them, because, frankly, at this stage nothing should stand in their way.

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What did you make of episode 10 of Tsuki ga Kirei? Are there any important overarching developments that I missed or were you just enjoying the minutiae that make up each episodes? And finally, are you feeling at all nervous for Akane and Kotarou in these final two episodes or are you confident everything will work out? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 8, Vita Sexualis

The cat is out of the bag and everyone knows about Kotarou and Akane’s relationship. In typical Tsuki ga Kirei fashion, we’re made to feel as if this could be really difficult for the pair, when in fact, of course, their interactions with everyone else are quite mundane.

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Most of this episode focuses solely on the main couple as Akane comes to Kotarou’s taiko practice before they go to a shrine festival. If you haven’t enjoyed Tsuki ga Kirei up to this point, this episode won’t change your mind with its romance/slice of life genre continuing along with some fairly questionable animation (what is with that run?!). However, if like me, you’ve become fully invested in the overtly normal development of Akane and Kotarou’s middle school relationship, then this is another episode to be savoured.

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If I had one Trenni silver coin for every time you said that… – a review of Spice and Wolf season 1

I’ll come and out and say it. My knowledge of anime pre-2010 is pretty awful. Despite my age, I only started watching anime in 2014 so while I’m pretty good on seasonal stuff since then along with big hits, my general knowledge is pretty poor. My lack of knowledge isn’t helped by the fact that I tend to dismiss a lot of shows as ‘probably not my thing’ because let’s face it, there’s a lot out there to see.

Spice and Wolf is one such pre-2010 anime (Winter 2008) that, despite countless great reviews, I had decided to push to the bottom of my plan to watch list because of the curious focus upon economics. What’s more I’d been led to believe that once I’d finished watching Spice and Wolf, I’d be perpetually disappointed as I came to terms with never being able to find out how the story ends.

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While I can’t yet comment on this second point as I haven’t seen the second season, I will soon join the hordes of people in debunking the ‘economics is boring’ excuse for not watching the show.

Continue reading If I had one Trenni silver coin for every time you said that… – a review of Spice and Wolf season 1