Reviews and random thoughts brought about by various movies, series, music, books, travels, social behavior and what not...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo

In the "Mondaiji" universe, 3 troubled teens from various parallel planes of time and existence are summoned into the world of the "Garden" to join in various "Gift Games" being held. But beneath this story that the trio was told to believe is a defeated community that needs their help to reestablish themselves again as a relevant part of their society, and reclaim their honor and dignity.

Making the character development within the series interesting is the different "abilities" each teen possessed that sets them apart from the other. Asuka is an aristocratic beauty that has the gift of "Authority", which gives her reign over the mind of those of weaker persuasion than her. Yoh is a quiet, yet very strong girl, that can talk to animals and use their abilities in her attacks and defenses. Izayoi is a smart guy but easily resorts to violence, has immense attack strength, and has an unknown ability that seems to nullify other gifts.

Seeing this anime much later this year, it seems to posses many fantasy anime tropes within itself. It has the "summoned into the fantasy world" premise like "KonoSuba" and "Re:Zero", the eclectic mix of of folklore and mythology like "Danmachi", with the same mind game attitude displayed in "No Game No Life".

It doesn't mean this title derived its plot from them (evident in earlier release date of this light novel than the others). The story of the series does makes it stand on its own. And their interactions either in light moments and the tense moments does balance out the situation, making the whole series amusing. There's not much twists in the plot, but it does give interesting points throughout the series making it a good selection for casual viewers and anime fans alike.

Production-wise, nothing is ground breaking, average at best, but it does serve the theme and the mood of the story well.  I am not too fond of the opening and ending theme, though.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Kimi no Na wa

"Kimi no Na wa", the latest opus by Makoto Shikai, is a story of two strangers whose lives were intertwined, through some mysterious circumstance, and made such an imprint on each other which left them with a sense of longing for the other... whose name they cannot remember.

I've been a fan of a few of Makoto Shinkai's works which moved me in a lot of ways. His art and production style were simple back then, but the emotion of the voices and the depth of the story did more than enough to make up for it... it gave the movie a "soul".

This time, the production style is more extravagant, but everything gave the story more depth. From the background, to the mood set by the lights. And even the songs by "Radwimps" included in the movie added more emotion and set a crescendo leading up to the twist in the story.

The premise of the story was a bit humorous and amusing at the beginning. The lives that they changed both in their own selves and in their immediate surroundings. But the development of the story about a third into the movie left me in awe.

I am used to seeing some form of a twist in the story in Makoto Shinkai's previous works, but this movie gave the most interesting plot yet.

I hope the would release a DVD with English subtitles soon.