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Short Reviews: Part 11

August 3, 2009

blog review4

So I’m now into the very early reviews and half of them need to be rewritten before I can post them here as they’re either craptastic or written based on a handful of episodes.  So updates for this Short Review series will now be slowing down until I rework enough of them.

Today though I have; Windy Tales, Bottle Fairy, Interlude, Tokyo Marble Chocolate and Tokyo Godfathers.

Windy Tales: Unusual animation style and an odd premise makes for relaxed viewing – 3/5

PLOT: A slow paced show, firmly in the slice of life genre with not a whole lot of plot. The show reminds me of ARIA to some extent as it is soothing to watch but not a lot happens! As with most short shows there isn’t really a great deal of character development, but what there is makes the characters likable and easy to identify. The wind is a central element of all the stories – it’s almost like it’s another character. And it has flying cats – which was fun. 😛 Basically Windy Tales presents you with a snapshot of life in each episode and explores the feelings of the characters involved – don’t expect much drama from this concept though.

ANIMATION: This is what sets Windy Tales apart from other similar shows. The animation style is among the oddest I’ve seen – angular, sketchy drawing with lots of block colour – its almost like its animated with paper cut-outs, and the wind is animated with stretchy coloured lines – but somehow its works quite well for this show. This is quite a different style than I’m used to from Production I.G. but it works for this show.

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: This probably the least remarkable aspect of the series – the voice acting is passable but nothing special and the same goes for the music – although the background score does a good job at maintaining the slightly whimsical atmosphere.

Overall a unique show visually, not a heap of plot but somehow enjoyable to watch. I’m not the biggest fan of slice of life so this kind of show isn’t really my kind of thing so my opinion may be quite biased.

Bottle Fairy: ………I watched 4 episodes and I cant watch anymore of it – I find it creepy and as such can only give it 1/5

*The following review is incredibly biased*

PLOT: Well apart from there being no explanation for these fairies and the fact the live in a random fella’s room, the fact that each episode explores an aspect of Japanese culture is quite cute and interesting. Its just the manner in which its done that puts me off……..I cant handle that much moe sugary sweetness without feeling violently ill!

ANIMATION: Decent animation, nothing groundbreaking. Character designs are incredibly cute – you develop cavities just being exposed to the Fairies 😦

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: Dear god the OP! Tis creepy incarnate!! >.<………ED isn’t just as bad. Voice acting is as cutesy and squeaky as you would expect but they are undeniably talented seiyuu.

Overall this isn’t my genre – I actively and passionately avoid this kind of anime as it makes my skin crawl from overexposure to cute, so I have scored Bottle Fairy very low because of my inherent dislike of its genre. It’s not for me (understatement of the century).

Interlude: Decent OVA but slightly confusing and has pacing issues – 3.5/5

PLOT: Ah the plot. Well its pretty decent actually – interesting concept, good dose of mystery, the random flashes of ‘dreams’ keep things intriguing and I quite liked the ending. The only thing is there are a few things that are left unanswered and not everything about the plot is crystal clear to me. This anime reminds me vaguely of the last few episodes of EVA; you know the bits were everything goes all weird, but Interlude does not quite reach the same levels of weirdness as EVA .:P I would have liked more on the side characters stories as I’m sure what they went through was incredibly distressing, but since this is such a short series its understandable that their plotlines are neglected. I personally could have done without a lot of the random fanservice & dayto scenes though.

ANIMATION: Animation is good; everything is done to a high standard and consistent. Lots of lighting effects and good background detailing kept things interesting. Character designs were a bit plain though.

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: I did not like Tama’s seiyuu in the slightest – I would love to rip her vocal cords out – twas the most awful voice! Everyone else was grand – only she grated on my nerves. I also hated the ED, but the background score was fine.

Overall I quite liked this wee series, it was intelligently written and interesting to watch, and it also demonstrated a surprising amount of depth considering the series was only 3 episodes long.

Tokyo Marble Chocolate: This is a really sweet little OVA, the structure is that each of the 2 episodes are told from either the boy’s perspective or the girls perspective (its better to watch the boy one 1st) – 4/5

PLOT: The plot is very basic – both protagonists have been unlucky in love in the past and are having trouble getting their acts together and telling each other how they really feel. What follows is an amusing day of misunderstandings and lots of running about, thanks to a mix up at a pet store! There is no explanation for the presence of this mini-donkey and it is better to just go with it! 😛 All in all I liked the randomness of it all, and was left smiling at the end – its nice to have a bit of romance every now and then. 🙂

ANIMATION: The show has unusual animation – its all light kind of watercolours, but this works really well. The softness of the animation adds to the wintry setting and lets the voice acting really do the storytelling. The detailing is really rich on the backgrounds and the character designs are different but pleasing. I have a soft spot for Production I.G. and generally like their work – this is no exception.

VOICE ACTING & MUSIC: The 2 seiyuu are exceptional here – both Takahiro Sakurai (Kanda D.Gray-Man, Suzaku Code Geass) and Nana Mizuki (Hinata Naruto, Misaki Kirihara Darker than BLACK) really capture the feeling of their characters. The insert songs and background music is also top-notch here.

Overall a very nice, short, romantic OVA – I really enjoyed it. Loses a point for the weirdness of the mini-donkey (who on earth bred that thing – it has green hair and its wearing a nappy!?!) and the fact the show is really short – it could have worked better as a film like 5cm per Second (which is what this kept reminding me of).

Tokyo Godfathers: A lovely, heart-warming film and very enjoyable to watch – 5/5

PLOT: The plot is straightforward. Unlikely homeless trio find abandoned baby, attempt to find childs parents and go though numerous comedic dramas in order to do so. 😀 The execution is flawless, even though this piece is quite different to Satoshi Kon’s other works it is just as captivating to watch. This is a character piece, its the characters & excellent script that make this such a great film.

ANIMATION: Madhouse were behind the animation, and it’s of a high quality as you would expect from a movie. The character designs are more on the realistic end of the spectrum, so aren’t the prettiest in the world. But it adds to the gritty feeling of the backdrop. As a seasonal piece, there is lots of snow and most of the action takes place at night – it’s all very well done.

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: The voice acting is excellent – I’m not familiar with any of the seiyuu, but they all did an excellent job bringing their characters to life. The music is very good too, helping to build the atmosphere and enhancing the comedic moments well.

Overall an excellent, very accessible film recommended to all!

More when I have time to fix them! 🙂

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