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Angel's Review: Movies
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Posted 11/13/12 , edited 14 days ago

Ramayana: The Epic(Oct 15, 2010)
Director: Chetan Desai Producers: Ketan Mehta, Deepa Sahi, Niraj Bhukanwala
Romance, Adventure,
Key Words: Religion, India,
Studio: Maya Digital Media Licensed American Publisher: Warner Bros. India

Time: 100 minutes

Rama was prince of Ayodhya and was brave, wise, and dutiful. He married Sita, a beautiful princess and would one day become King of all Kings until his father’s second wife tricked the aging king to be in exile in the forest for 14 years. A year before he could go back, Sita was kidnapped and he must go on a journey to save her.


My Thoughts: From the first point of this story, we can tell this was an Indian story, more like around India, not America. It’s about their religion as well, a story line that isn’t really easy to understand. As they first come up, they seem to think we already know the story and so give us limited amount of details, its hard for an outsider to understand.

Even though the story was hard to follow, I figured out that it was the story of three wives, one being rather jealous of the other for her child was to be king and so conspires against the child and mother to have them thrown out for a time. It’s a basic story that westerners have except its more like a evil step mother queen who tries to banish the child from the kingdom.

The animation in the beginning only hides the animation within the show. I mean that it’s rather bad CG. Characters have rather flat faces and the world around them feels flat as well with the colors they have. I do not think it was wise to place this movie in CG at all. All the skin tones glow crudely and look rather like no one changed the shine. I guess its not bad coming from India but I would of thought it would be done better.

The voices, they were hard for me I have to admit. They were in Hindi instead of English which makes it rather hard for me to watch. In fact, because of this, it took me longer to review this and actually sit down to watch it then if it was in English. They also sound like they are metallic and not really human. I guess its ok for the gods but not for the people.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana:_The_Epic

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A Charlie Brown Christmas(December 9, 1965)
Director: Charles M. Schulz
Animated TV Special,
Key Words: American Cartoon,
Licensed American Publisher: CBS (1965-2000), ABC (2001-Present)

Time: 25 minutes

Join Charlie Brown as he learns the true meaning of Christmas with his friends.


My Thoughts: This was one of my personal favorites of the season. The story is about Charlie trying to do something right for a change when he has always been told he’s good for nothing. When told to go buy a tree for a pageant at his church, he picks a small tree that is struggling to survive. He doesn’t give up on the tree even when all his friends believe the tree is hopeless until he believes that he has killed it by placing one glass orb on it. The only point that bothers me is that sometimes the story becomes a little slow, and the jokes king of fall a bit flat.

The artwork is actually rather good for when it came out and who it portrays. You can almost never go wrong with the classics most times and this is no exception. It doesn’t have to be fancy to get the point across that all people or things need is a little love to become something special. Sure there may be a couple little parts that seemed low end, but when you put it all together, it just works.

The voices are done really well, and are actually pretty close to what I thought the characters would sound like from reading the comic strips when I was little. From Lucy’s know-it-all attitude to Linus’ philosophical quotes, each one makes the characters really stand out. Peter Robbins does a excellent job of giving Charlie Brown that wishy-washy town to his voice up till the point that everything goes wrong and giving him the all to familiar ‘UGGGGGG’ he’s known for.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Charlie_Brown_Christmas

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving(November 20, 1973)
Director: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman
Animated TV Special,
Key Words: American Cartoon,
Licensed American Publisher: CBS

Time: 27 minutes

Join Charlie Brown as he learns the true meaning of Thanksgiving with his friends.


My Thoughts: It starts out with the oldest gag in the Peanut’s Gang comics, the football kick. Lucy pulls the ball from Charlie when he was about to kick it. I have to say; I have mixed feelings about that. Charlie Brown is always falling for it, but yet I feel sorry for him because Lucy always seems to bring up good points to tell him why she ‘won’t’ pull it this time. I love the fact they pull up that people seem to skip Thanksgiving and go to Christmas in the stores. It also brings into consideration how the whole group gets together and looks at what they are thankful for rather then the large turkeys and dinners. The peanut group always seems to do that sort of thing, pretty much bringing the story to its simplest forms.

The artwork is pretty well done even if some of the images are inconsistent in some areas. The show has its own charm that really made it one of the best things.

Sadly, some jokes seem to go a bit overboard and long for my taste, though the ones with Snoopy normally have a really fun charm to them. I don’t know exactly why but I like his character more then any other.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Charlie_Brown_Thanksgiving

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A Charlie Brown Easter, It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (Apr 9, 1974)
Director: Phil Roman
Animated TV Special,
Key Words: American Cartoon,
Licensed American Publisher: CBS

Time: 30 minutes

As everyone gets ready for Easter, Linus tries to convince them that the Easter Beagle will take care of everything. The only person who believes him though is Sally even if she is somewhat suspicious after what happen during Halloween.On another note, Patty and Marci have problems finding eggs to color after Marci ends up frying the eggs instead of dying them. Will Easter be ruined for all or will the Easter Beagle really save the day?


My Thoughts: What can I say, I really like Charlie Brown Specials most of the time. This one is one of my favorites because I grew up with it as a child. It’s jokes are actually rather good and are pretty much funny. In fact, the very first joke is with Marci and Peppermint Patty where Marci brings eggs over to color at Patty’s house, but then starts frying them up when she gets there and as Patty is making the dye. It’s cute, and though it may be a little off at times, you have to remember these are young kids who don’t seem to have a adult around to help them.

Again, as with almost every holiday in the peanuts world, Snoopy goes overboard and is the spokes character for the holiday. In this case, throwing Easter eggs to the children as he skipped and hoped around. I had to laugh at the ending part. Not going to spoil it for you though. Also, each joke follows the same lines as the first few shows in where we would get a small scene with an end joke and then jump to the next. Sometimes the joke will run for multiple scenes depending on what they can get out of it but nothing really feels as though they stretched it to long.

The artwork really doesn’t give me much to talk about because it’s the same that we have had from the show, the characters looking as though they came straight from the comic pages. That alone makes it a treasure in my book plus the fact that this it’s pretty much a timeless classic. It’s one that may not get a full 5 stars out of 5, but it will be one that I would encourage people to watch.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_the_Easter_Beagle,_Charlie_Brown

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It's Magic, Charlie Brown(Apr 28, 1981)
Director: Phil Roman
Animated TV Special,
Key Words: American Cartoon,
Licensed American Publisher: CBS

Time: 27 minutes

When Snoopy learns magic, Charlie Brown is the one who suffers after he is turned invisible.


My Thoughts: It starts out when Charlie Brown pretty much tells Snoopy to go learn something useful and Snoopy checks out a book on how to perform magic. It makes me laugh a bit that he was able to do some of the harder magic tricks perfectly, and yet the simple ones have problems. All the time, he is looking threw his book in the backstage. Then suddenly, Charlie Brown turns invisible. It makes things interesting since we get to see the scenery pretty nicely. Charlie also gets to actually kick the football though! There are a couple of interesting things that he gets to do that he doesn’t normally get to because of the others around him.

The title of the book sometimes changes a bit but most everything else is pretty standard fair when it comes to the animation. Beautiful watercolor backgrounds against rather clean characters. Even how they do they show how Charlie Brown is invisible is pretty cool.

Voices again seem to be the same as all the other ones. They gave them the right voices to work for the characters.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Magic,_Charlie_Brown

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Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!(Jan 1, 1986)
Director: Bill Melendez Producers: Charles M. Schulz
Animated TV Special,
Key Words: American Cartoon,
Licensed American Publisher: CBS

Time: 28 minutes

When Charlie Brown was given a homework assignment to read and write a book report about War and Peace, it seems that everyone and every thing gets in the way of him finishing the book.


My Thoughts: You know that feeling you get when you watch Charlie Brown shows? This has that same wonderful feeling. Its that cute warm and fuzzy feeling that we always going.

It starts out when the teacher springs an assignment to be done over the Christmas break, to read War and Peace and write a report. I remember when I was rather young and wasn’t going to school for trimesters that my teachers would give me a little bit of homework but not very much so I could enjoy the break. I have a big feeling I was lucky. And threw all this, he gets distracted like us all of us when we were his age (not sure exactly what that age is) into not doing the report.

There were times in this show that I actually didn’t like Linus in this show. He got very preachy to a point that he was distracting to Charlie Brown. Other little things were a bit odd like Lucy holding a dance class for everyone to learn before the New Years party. I always wonder why they just didn’t do the dancing they did in the Christmas special.

I think one of the funniest moments they had was when Rerun was blowing up balloons with his brother and sister, but yet every time he did, they would turn out square. It actually had me stop and think how the hell that was even possible because the only character that I would normally see doing that would be Snoopy. When everyone else is pretty much normal for a day in the life of a child, Snoopy would be the one that stands out with all the strange things that happen.

There really isn’t much to talk about the artwork because it’s the same as the others before, not really much changed. Same for the voices. The music though is actually fully to the times. They actually sing a bit and use really interesting swing music.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_New_Year,_Charlie_Brown!

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Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales(2002)
Director: Charles M. Schulz
Animated TV Special,
Key Words: American Cartoon,
Licensed American Publisher:ABC

Time: 18 minutes

Join The Peanuts gang as they tell tales of the season for greetings.


My Thoughts: This was actually lumped in with the Charlie Brown Christmas though it was way different then the other. This one had a bunch of little tales that all went with Christmas. They were all very cute no matter what though, and I had to smile at most of the small clips. These were made more like the comics where they could probably fit mostly into a 4 panel strip. My favorite part was when Sally gets Santa Clause’s name wrong and when she hangs up all her socks for Santa to put presents in.

The animation was actually really refreshing since it was made in 2002 but had the same feeling as the old ones though. I love how they didn’t end up leaving that main feeling you get when watching them.

The voices are as close as anyone could get for the characters but it lost a slight bit of the overall feeling. I don’t know but they seem to of lost a little of that flare they had before with the new voices.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Brown%27s_Christmas_Tales

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I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown(Nov 11, 2003)
Director:
Animated TV Special,
Key Words: American Cartoon,
Licensed American Publisher:

Time: 49 minutes

Having seen the rather fun relationship between Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Rerun really wants a dog but every time he asks, his mother says no, along with the rest of his family. Will he ever be able to have that fun relationship with a dog or will he forever be alone?


My Thoughts: It’s interesting how the Peanuts can start out with some random storylines and then go into the larger one like this does. Before we even get a title screen, we have at least two or three stories already showing.

This follows the story of Rerun who desperately wants a dog. It’s rather cute but doesn’t keep following the storyline in the beginning but then as the story kept going, Rerun asks more and more about having a dog. Then when they were talking about Snoopy’s family, we get some insight into his brothers and sisters which I thought was rather fun. Throughout a lot of the shows, we don’t really see his family until then. It doesn’t explain though why Snoopy is rather off most of the time.

The animation is fluid with watercolor backgrounds against hard line characters. It’s the normal style for one of these old Charlie Brown cartoons which surprises me since its such a early one. Each of Snoopy’s brothers and sisters have their own style and are easy to tell apart though sometimes its hard to remember all the names as they only really say them once except for Spike.

Voices are the same as the other shows, and I believe were done by the same voice actors. Sometimes they break the forth wall in the script as Rerun is ontop of his mother’s bike or during the end which is actually rather fun.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Want_a_Dog_for_Christmas,_Charlie_Brown

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Lupin the Third: The Secret of Mamo(Dec 16, 1978)
Director: Soji Yoshikawa Producers: Yutaka Fujioka
Action, Adventure,
Key Words: Thief,
Studio: TMS Entertainment Licensed American Publisher: Geneon, Streamline Pictures

Time: 102 minutes

Lupin was captured and hung, so why is Lupin in Egypt searching for a stone? Mysteries await this master thief and his friends as a dastardly man seems to go after them for eternal life.


My Thoughts: It starts out with Lupin dieing… I kid you not; this is really how it starts. The guy had the same fingerprints, DNA, and even looked the same as him. And yet, after a while, you see him rather fine and alive moments later. It’s rather creepy in a way. Then when we get to the story with Mamo, it gets even creepier and action packed with one chase scene after another.

Lupin is none to bright, though he is a rather lucky guy. His addiction to women even breaks the trio up for a time when he picks Fujiko over his partners. He’s irrational at times when not seeing the full picture and so it tends to get him into a lot of trouble that the others have to bail him out of. Fujiko is actually a rather good counterpart, using her sex appeal to make him do as she wants, and yet in this movie, it appears she actually does care for him a lot. It’s rather interesting and changes a couple things, giving insight into why she pulls him around. In the end though, it seems that she is just a little to greedy.

One thing that is actually rather interesting is that they did a rather good job at mimicking the idea of a Samurai in Goemon. I know people are going to go ‘well hey! It’s Japan and they know about samurai’ but really, all the other times I see samurai in anime, they are actually not as well done. If you look at the long line of anime samurai, name one person that is the very idea of a true samurai from history. Can’t get many, right? With one strike, he tries to take down an enemy, which is much closer to the original idea.

I cannot believe that Zenigata is still alive after all he’s gone threw. That guy gets into more problems then ever including surviving bombs being dropped on him.

The opening starts with something rather odd, a women’s egg being used for what I would think of as a cloning experiment. A good way to start if I must say for something that seems to be a cloning experiment story line. The artwork is rather lacking in detail and the characters become rather exaggerated with arms stretching out or legs turning into something close to stick figures threw parts of the shot. Still, it’s not actually a bad thing. It gives the show character and comedy which works well with how the script is created. This is one of those shows that I’m actually saying the script is better with the somewhat cheap animation they have. It fits! Now another part of the show was a bit interesting as Lupin has a chase scene threw famous pieces of artwork and then runs into clones of both Hitler and Napoleon.

The English voices are rather interesting, and I can’t believe they really used Lupin’s voice the way they did. I don’t know exactly which version I watched on Hulu but I believe it’s the Geneon version which has him played by Tony Oliver with a rather weasel like voice. He’s cocky and annoying in most cases, not sounding like he was the majestic thief although, as you keep watching it, it does tend to grow on you. Inspector Zenigata has a rather good voice for a bumbling detective though he has a bit of a Texan accent. The script is pretty cheesy, though I heard it’s like this for the Japanese dub too. I had to rather laugh when one of the American characters actually calls Jigen a democrat when he stands up to them about their politics.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_of_Mamo

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Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike(Oct 3, 2009)
Director:Kenta Kamei Producers:Hidekazu Terakawa, Shin Yoshizumi, Jun Yukawa
Action,
Key Words: Video Game Base, magic, swordsmen, knights, monsters,
Studio: Production I.G. Licensed American Publisher: Funimation Entertainment

Time: 110 minutes (1 hour 50 mins)

Shortly before the tenth anniversary of the end of the Great War (and before the video games) the Emperor died and his position remained vacant for no heir was appointed. Although this has happened, the land is still at a state of piece except for the monsters that have been showing up. Yuri and Flynn are two knights who have been sent with their group to protect a small town though it seems there are a lot of battles in their future.


My Thoughts: This show starts out rather heavy, asking what people should protect. Then we are thrown into a large action packed fight and chase that feels really over the top. We aren’t introduced to the characters or understand what the hell they are doing. We just know a fight is going on. Although this show looks rather nice, the storyline doesn’t fit the look of the show and makes things confusing including the fact that this was supposed to have 4 video games before it to help with the story line and sadly, only two were dubbed and brought over. Sadly, I am probably in the select few who have never played the games at all and am left going ‘what the fuck are they even talking about’ with the small bits of dialogue the writers happened to put into the show.

It should have been a great opening for a great movie, but sadly, It feels like its small pieces of what would have been a good show. Lots of dialogue seems cut and the scenes don’t make a whole lot of sense. I know I may be coming in without watching the anime Tales of Vesperia (or actually in this sense the games) but when I watch something, I don’t want to see a action packed show, then go from that to a traveling opening where the main characters are going somewhere, then cut to them fighting about some mission I have no clue about and being scolded, all the way into the two ‘main characters’ arguing about how the room is a mess. I haven’t even been able to catch the two characters names yet and already I can probably give them nicknames, play-by-the-books and lazy-ass-long haired-guy. Not to mention we also get to strange twins who seem to be friends of the two.

The show feels like a number of clips pushed together into one long movie like they were the cut scenes to the video game without any real continuity at all. Not even an explanation on what they are really doing in the town or where these said monsters came from up. Most of the fights seem like they were thrown into the show just to put more action into it. I kid you not, even reading the plot summary on the Wiki was confusing to the point I struggled to give this show a description.

The animation is actually pretty well done, though the slight CG that they do seems a little off. I mean, it works alright and has the same feeling as the drawn animation but when you get close to it, it feels slightly off. When we get to the magic using though, it looks extremely well done. Characters seem really stiff in action and attitude even when they are supposed to be relaxed characters and not of military or governmental power. The twins also seem to grow in cup size once in a while. Even so, I give props for Production I.G. on getting this well done in the art department at least except for the hiccup when it came to the memories part. When we go into the dubbed version of the show, the animation can get a bit off with the voices. The mouth movements are a bit to realistic to the point that parts seem forced as they try to match them and fail. It may be standard when things like that happen and I give Funimation props for trying as best they can but still.

English voices seem expertly done and feel good with the characters though even with the characters that are supposed to be relaxed, they feel stiff. The script feels like it was cut up into little pieces where a lot of dialogue that is supposed to explain what the hell is happening falls away. Again, lip sinking is not that great though I don’t blame them to badly.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_of_Vesperia:_The_First_Strike

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Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis(May 26, 2001)
Director: Rintaro
Scifi, Drama, Adventure,
Key Words: Robots,
Studio: Madhouse Licensed American Publisher: TriStar Pictures

Time: 1 hr 45 mins

When Kenichi and his detective Uncle end up finding themselves separated in Metropolis, Kenichi meets a strange young robot girl named Tima and must protect her from Duke Red and his adopted son, Rock. Together, can they find the mystery behind Tima and why she was created?


My Thoughts: After a long intro, we get a interesting little piece like a dictator and then a futuristic looking town I could only believe was based on New York. Something about this show makes me feel that he was trying to comment on the social structure and where it’s going. It’s the natural thing of people in high power pushing down the lower class as they head to the top.

Each of the characters that actually have a big part to play in this show actually has nice personalities even though they sometimes fall into a norm. Tezuka always had an interesting way of mixing robots and human characteristics. His robot creations are unlike anything you really ever seen before this time for the most part. They have a playfulness even if the story is supposed to get rather dark. Tezuka always had a reason behind his stories and this is no exception. The story talks about what separates man and machine, what it really means to be human, and all that wonderful stuff.

The Artwork is definitely Osamu’s style with its large noses and hair that mostly falls over the eyes. Everything about it is rather fun looking and interesting. A lot of characters are strange proportions with rather thick legs, hands about the same size as gloved hands and so on. The colors are mostly bright and colorful even in the darker parts, of the show, the rust pretty much showing up brightly. There is a small feeling that we are looking threw an antic lens at times with some of the grainy feelings it gives off. Sometimes as well, we get a rather panted look for the still images like the face where the hair actually moves about it on a cell. At least, that’s what it looks like.

The English voices aren’t bad for how odd the show is though they play it off sort of like a radio drama. It works perfectly with the feel of the show since it looks like it’s from the time of ‘War of the Worlds’. The music also plays into that with the 1950’s New York attitude. It makes the show a bit more relatable in a sense because it brings the old charms we know and love about a actually city with this new futuristic world that may come soon to us.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_%28anime%29

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The Secret of the Hunchback(Feb 28, 1996)
Director: Mike Joens, Ken C. Johnson
Action, Comedy, Family,
Key Words: Fables,
Licensed American Publisher: UAV Entertainment

Time: 50 minutes

In Paris, France, there is a large church called Notre-Dame. This beautiful place holds a dark secret. Hidden within the bell tower is a man rather disfigured since birth. People call him a monster, but he is only a boy who wishes to be accepted by the world. When the Sheriff tries to take the money from the church, Quasimodo and his friends must help stop him.


My Thoughts: This is another one of those stupid shows that UAV Entertainment decided to put out that really seems to close to the Disney version. Of course, they tweaked the story so that it would be their own thing but it feels like they were pushing it way to hard. Despite these changes, they still fall into having the odd talking gargoyles even if they made them a dream.

Now, what’s the point of always making the fat guy stupid in these shows? I’m sorry but there is a lot of stereotypical cartoon characters to the point that I wish they gave us at least a little bit of a different feel. Even the sheriff is similar to Jafar in a sense, how he talks and how he schemes with his advisor.

The animation is poor at best with many things felt rushed and/or deformed even when they shouldn’t be. I’m not sure why but in the first moments of Quasimodo being outside, he places a mask over his face and the lips move as though it is his real face. It bothers me because this show does have at least some realistic qualities, so when they throw a curve ball in like that, it changes the whole story. Another thing bug me like how incredibly thin some characters are where their waist is so small, it would break.

The vocals are worse. Where this was set in a French time, but when everyone around Quasi speaks normal English, Quasi seems to have a British accent. And why does the gargoyle have to sing almost a Louisiana feeling swing song? This was also historically based during a time when the world wasn’t as open as it is now but yet the sheriff seems to know a African song that wasn’t known till a long time later. A lot of jokes are placed within the show to try and make it seem entertaining but they are just rather bad jokes that feel forced for the most part.

Rating:

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Sword of the Stranger(Sep 29, 2007)
Director: Masahiro Ando Producers: Masahiko Minami
Action, Drama,
Key Words: Samurai,
Studio: Bones Licensed American Publisher:

Time: 102 minutes

Follow Kotoro and Nanashi as they travel around Japan. For some reason, the Ming Dynasty wishes to have Kotaro for unnamed reasons. Nanashi must protect him at all cost, or lose what could be a good friend.


My Thoughts: This is a beautifully interesting show, though its animation lacks slightly. But this only happens when there isn’t much action going on. Its one that even though is not a normal pick for me, I do like it.

The story follows a Ronin by the name of ‘Nameless’ and no, that’s a joke. His name really means Nameless, but for this review, we will call him by his Japanese name, Nanashi. Nanashi travels with a young boy whose only companion is Tobimaru, his dog who he would do anything for. You would be surprised to know that the dog is actually a really important part of the show. He is what keeps Nanashi and the boy Kotaro. The story his heartwarming, and could bring a tear to your eye.

I have a small feeling that this show was either done on a small budget, or this was before Bones got good. I’m thinking the budget because this show’s animation is actually rather low quality when the action isn’t happening. Most of the characters have really large chins that seem to be more like tumors hanging there rather then actual things that connect to the rest of the face. Most of the unimportant characters have white eyes or are rather small. Other then that, the faces and scenes most of the time are really well detailed in that you can see almost every little line that is in their faces. The animation does get better as the story goes on, and started to grow on me. I believe they looked at old Live action movies in order to get the look and feel because the movements are pretty spot-on. You can tell that’s where the budget went mostly.

The English dub is actually really well done. They decided to change things around a little, like when someone is translating for other characters, they use a more Japanese or Chinese language rather then just using actual English (I believe Chinese for the enemy’s names). This helps distinguish between the native people and the outsiders a bit.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_the_Stranger

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As Angel sat in the bar one evening, a group of men nearby were telling the worst jokes imaginable. Well, to be far, some of them were somewhat funny but others were all together gross. As she sipped her Irish Coffee and tried to concentrate more on the manuscript of a book she had been trying to write instead of hearing the rather gross talk, someone came up behind her and gently tapped her on the shoulder. She was trying so hard to blot out what the other men were saying that she didn't notice until she was touched, making her swing around and smack Kurai hard in the stomach, "Oh! I'm sorr..... Oh its you..." she said in a rather dark voice, "Then forget what I was about to say and get lost, stupid Lynx!" she turned back to the bar.
Kurai chuckled as he sat down right next to her, nursing his small bruise she just gave him and ordered a beer, "Now now.... you shouldn't act like that to me, doll," he said in a rather twisted way, giving her a awkward smile, "I see you been rather busy. Have you been ease dropping on the boys conversations?"
"For your information, its just gross humor most boys don't seem to grow out of..."
"Says the girl who actually liked things like FLCL and Panty and Stocking..." he interupted, chuckling, "Come now sweetheart, we know your just as perverted as them."
"Shut it, devil hound...." she growled.
"Lynx actually," he corrected her, "With hands on your contract if you remember correctly. And it does say you have to review whatever is asked of you or..."
"Don't fucken remind me of that damn contract! I know what it says and why I have it...." she snapped at him, trying to keep him quiet.
"So, your going to review what I have planned today," he smiled, "Dead Leaves...."
She blinked, glancing at him, "With pleasure....." she said trying to throw him off but it didn't work.



Dead Leaves(Jan 17, 2004)
Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi Producers: Katsuji Morishita, Kaoru Mfaume
Black Comedy, Psychological, Sci-fi, Action,
Key Words: Sex, gore, nudity,
Studio: Production I.G. Licensed American Publisher: Manga Entertainment

Time: 52 minutes

Pandy and Retro wake up naked and together on earth. They have no recollection of their pass so they embark on a crime spree that lands them both in prison. While there, they learn about the strange project called Dead Leaves.


My Thoughts: This is a kind of rather wacky and out of control, kind of like FLCL and SuperJail. I will not have you watch this without a warning, this show is really over the top, packed with sex, poop, gore, and pretty much any type of joke around. Those who take offence to any of this or are young children should leave the room, as I will probably be talking about stuff like that in this review. Are they gone? Alright, back to the review.

This show is, hard to actually review as it’s that type of humor that you either get it or you don’t. Its not something you can actually explain well or have a large discussion about because then it loses its humor. We all know (or at least any Otaku out there who watches anime can tell you) how strange and odd Japan is. Frankly, I believe it’s partly because of how strict their country was on honor, morals, and codes of conduct. Those who did not have these standards had to hid or be killed. With that little bit of history, I can see why they have something like this. It’s out of control including many scenes of sex and gore. Many different… should I really call them ‘fetishes’ are pronounced in here like tubes up the ass and all manner of gross images I can never unsee.

The story has an interesting storyline, and YES, it does have one. They actually didn’t just throw crap into it and try to make a show off of something that doesn’t have consistency. It follows two main characters, Pandy and Retro as they call themselves, who one day wake up without any idea who they are or what they are doing naked near a futuristic Tokyo. They start on a crime spree and it takes no time for them to be caught and sent to the moon prison where they find that they and so many others are rejected clones. They try to free themselves and that’s as far as I can go without spoiling anything more. If I read into it, and I have to review such a thing, I would consider this more of the dangers of mass cloning and those trying to figure out their place in life. I can only guess that because there is very little to work with. We got a bunch of rejected clones fighting to have their own life.

The animation, lets face it, its god awful, not looking like the banner or cover at all. But yet, I have to say this is one of those shows that I really didn’t care much. Similar to Panty and Stocking, it has its own interesting spin, although creepy. All the shadows are done in black, leaving rather jagged edges to even more jagged characters. Sometimes it’s hard to pick out what are backgrounds and what’s a character because the bodies elongate and squash depending on the scene, sometimes filling the whole screen to the point that they look more like a strange deformed background. It doesn’t help that everything is a mass of oddly shaped colors pieced together like a puzzle. A lot of times when Pandy is pregnant, her belly changes shape, growing and shrinking from scene to scene.The aliens are actually rather creative, including an alien that has a dick that’s a drill (Although I really freaken don’t want to know more about him!).

The English voices are actually pretty good, being dubbed to each character. Jaxon Lee and Amanda Winn-Lee do pretty good jobs as Retro and Pandy, playing off each others personalities as well as keep the characters interesting. Pandy is almost always in monotone, while Retro seems not able to hold himself back and has a tone of energy (think sort of like Naruto from Naruto and Haruko from FLCL had a kid). The music is pretty fast paced and retro sounding, almost like some old action adventure game, but with a lot of techno after tones that make it more sci-fi feeling.

It’s not something I would really watch again, but it was interesting none the less.

Rating:

Link To Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Leaves

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May Also Like: FLCL, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Abenobashi Magical Shopping District
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Van Helsing: The London Assignment(Apr 17, 2004)
Director: Sharon Bridgeman Producers: John Kafka
Action, Comedy, Supernatural,
Key Words: Hyde, Murders,
Studio: Universal Cartoon Studios Licensed American Publisher: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Time: 30 mins

Before his time in Transylvania to fight Dracula, he was in London on a case to investigate a series of killings committed by a mad scientist named Dr. Jekyll and his alter-ego, Mr. Hyde. It turns into an interesting mystery involving Queen Victoria and a spell that may change her.


My Thoughts: This was actually a really interesting storyline, acting similar to a prequel for the live action movie. (And if you have not seen the live action show, then go and see it!) Yet, if you haven’t seen the actual live action show, you will not miss anything in this one. Helsing is sent on assignment by the Vatican to find a killer in London who was using dark arts. I love how they created the story, making some things seem as though they lumped Jack the Ripper and Hyde together.

There are some problems I have with the cartoon vs. Live action though. In the cartoon, they give Hyde a reason for killing the people he did, he killed only women and took their souls to make the Queen young. In the Live action, he has killed numerous people including men and animals along with the women. In fact, he had killed more men then women. They do not explain why he did so, so naturally it gives him more of a monstrous thought to our heads. Also, when they do meet, Hyde seems to have not much understanding of who Helsing is although in the Cartoon, they do meet and get rather close to each other. I do like the little intention that they did meet at one time in London vive the bullet wound in Hyde’s arm, but other then that, its as though they have not met. Also, Carl had already been following Helsing in London so why did he not go to Paris with him to follow after Hyde. When we do see Carl, he seems to not know anything about going out with Helsing to fight.

The artwork looks a lot like a comic book rendition of the characters in the show, giving it the same air as another that I looked at called Mosaic (from Stan Lee). Even though its pretty good, there are some problems where most of the backgrounds are really well detailed making the characters seem to fall flat at times. There are also some really strange lines that come from under the eyes and down the cheek on most of the characters, and sadly, it looks as though they have been cut there. It’s odd because no piece of the human body would make that line on the face. When there is some slight CG to the show, it does look pretty good though stands out. It doesn’t ‘fit’ as it were. The last few clips are actually done way to fast, like the frames were placed in a little wrong.

The voices are the same as the movie and so of course match the fun and laughter that you get within the movie as well as the deep drama. Hugh Jackman has one of the most epic voices along with the small witty nature that works well with Helsing, David Wenham has the perfect witty counter voice to Jackman even if he can get a bit whinny, and Robbie Coltrane has a rather strong voice for Hyde. Now for the voices only in this cartoon version, I wasn’t that keen on Tara Strong’s rendition of Young Queen Victoria. She just seemed rather stupid and more childish then she should of.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Helsing:_The_London_Assignment

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May Also Like: Stan Lee Presents: Mosaic,
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Puss in Boots(July 6, 1999)
Director: Phil Nibbelink Producers: Margit Friesacher, Eric Parkinson,
Fantasy, Children,
Key Words: Cats, Still Animation,
Studio: Phil Nibbelink Productions Licensed American Publisher: Allumination, Plaza Entertainment

Time: 1 hr 4 mins

Join Puss and Gunther as they try to save the princess from a shape shifting pig ogre.


My Thoughts: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? You take a look at it and tell me that this doesn’t look like the stupidest thing in the world! The animation is poor, the story is messed up, and the script is pissing me the hell off! THIS IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE AN ANIMATION! THIS IS HOW YOU GO UNDER FAST!

It circles around one rather whinny boy and his rather strange talking cat. The characters are rather flat characters with no depth to them. They say what they think and nothing more to their character. Just… There is nothing much to say of this!

Alright, who really thought that this was actually good animation to have realistic images and almost still like animation? It’s like it was created in flash instead of being made in an actual studio. The mouth movements are overly exaggerated and the face seems to bounce awkwardly. Characters seem to squash and stretch without reason. They just look like flat planes that bend in and out of frame when walking. This is not how to make an animation! This is the laziest show I have ever seen now! Not to mention that most of the characters don’t have any shading too. I can’t tell where the hell the lighting is to this show.

The singing and voice acting is pretty lack luster, the characters feel like they are forcing the emotions and/or act as though there is no emotion to them. I mean so much of this feels unrealistic in the writing. There are way to many jokes that make no sense at all and are way to pushed in that I can’t take any of this seriously. Just… no… Don’t watch this show.

Rating: NOPE! No Stars

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puss_in_Boots_%281999_film%29

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Grave of the Fireflies(Apr 16 1988)
Director: Isao Takahata Producers: Toru Hara
Drama, Military,
Key Words: Melancholy, World War 2, Children,
Studio: Studio Ghibli Licensed American Publisher: Central Park Media, Sentai Filmworks (Redub)

Time: 89 Minutes

When 2 siblings are left alone by there father during World War II, life isn’t easy as it can be. Between the sickness, cruel treatment, and homelessness coupled with starvation, would they be able to survive?


My Thoughts: *Sob Sob Sob* J….just a moment…. *Blows nose hard* Alright… I’m ready for this.
As you can see, this show is sad. I don’t mean boo hoo sad, I mean full blown cry your eyes out sad. We are talking about a movie that has two young children trying to live at a time where bombs would destroy your home quickly and fear was in everyone’s thoughts.

The film starts on Sept 21, 1945 in a train station. World War II had just about ended and our main protagonist, Seita, is sitting against a poll. A Janitor digs through his possessions because Seita is dead and finds a small candy tin with some ash in it. As he throws it away, the spirit of a young girl comes from it and Seita. It is here that our story really begins as we are taken through the life of these two little characters during the final months of World War II. The strange thing about this is that Seita and his sister Setsuko rarely speak at all. It’s as though we are watching it from both someone else’s eyes and through there own. It’s hard to explain except though the stereotypical life flashing through ones eyes when they die. We are placed in the part of the spiritual Seita and Setsuko watching our life go past our eyes.

The artwork is old fashioned and not as clean cut as normal Studio Ghibli films but I feel this one doesn’t have to be. This show is about the ugly truth of war, not a happy little fantasy world full of small magical creatures (I don’t count the fireflies). It’s the whole reality of the show that’s the big shocker. Colors are mostly diluted tones and only really kick up on the color scale slightly when the two share something happy. It helps us feel the emotions of the characters as they too watch.

There is rarely any talking but again, the show doesn’t have to be as it has one of the saddest musical scores I have heard for a show. The little bit of dialoged only feels slightly forced because of how close it is to the translation. You would have to wonder how anyone could write this story without crying their eyes out.

In the end, it’s a really good show and you should really watch it if you want to feel something sad.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grave_of_the_Fireflies

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Posted 8/19/13 , edited 14 days ago

American Pop (Feb 13, 1981)
Director: Ralph Bakshi Producers:
Drama, Animation,
Key Words: Music, History,
Studio: Columbia Studios Licensed American Publisher:

Time: 1 hrs 35 mins (96 mins)

The story of one family and his decedent’s journey through America’s popular music of the 20th century.


My Thoughts: The show was rather hard to figure out. We seem to follow a Russian boy who came to America and was introduced to music. He ends up going into the business and we follow his life as he grows up into it, then his son and so on through four generations of this Russian Jewish family. When one story ends, another one begins to show the 20th century’s popular songs and history.

Sadly, the show didn’t really capture my attention because of how sort of… bland, the storyline was plus the mixture in styles of art that didn’t seem like they worked. The characters speak way to low to be heard and always slur their speech. I know that it might have been the times that had that smooth, slick way of talking but it just comes out slightly slopped.

The artwork is rather interesting, mixing old styles of drawing, black and white pictures of the time, and a really American style of characters. The characters look extremely bland considering the backgrounds look like they were drawn by an oil painter. They seem like they were drawn to be slightly chubby and not hold there shape at all when they move. If you ever seen Gonzo on a bad day, this is pretty much like it without shading. They seem to mix in many little black and white paintings and clips into the mix as well which can throw you off at many times. The movement is mostly fluid

Well, I have to say the voices seemed dead on for the stereotypical ideas of people. We have the high class musical agent talking with a slang style and we have others who have a rather gangster voice and so on. Behind this though is a rather beautiful songs that we know and love from that time frame that it corresponds to.

In the end, it just wasn’t my style of show. The voices were low and hard to understand, the artwork was slightly bland, the storyline was something I couldn’t get into and the only thing that seemed interesting was just how they placed together old clips to the animation.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pop

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Gulliver's Travels (Dec 22, 1939)
Director: Dave Fleischer, Seymour Kneitel, Willard Bowsky, Tom Palmer, Grim Natwick, William Henning, Roland Crandall, Thomas Johnson, Robert Leffingwell, Frank Kelling, Winfield Hoskins, Orestes Calpini Producers: Max Fleischer
Adventure, Drama, Comedy,
Key Words: Love Story, Giant,
Studio: Fleischer Studios Licensed American Publisher: Paramount Pictures

Time: 1 hrs 16 mins

When a sailor washes up on the beach of a magical island where the little people live, what will these people think?


My Thoughts: This is an old classic movie I grew up watching. There is a little bit of nostalgia about this show and the comedic way they play some of the characters. Seriously, how they make some of them feels a lot like a joke on society. A war starting just because of a song that would be played at a lovely little wedding. It seems similar to why friends may bicker about little things and then not talk to each other for a rather long time. Anyway, back to the review. The comedy is really slap stick with characters getting hurt or having exaggerated expressions as their main gimmick. In other parts of the show, they tug at your heart and in some cases, we even see what is going through Gulliver’s mind and his homesickness.

The artwork is rather pretty (Comparing it to other shows around this time) and each character moves smoothly and consistently. It’s interesting how much detail they placed on Gulliver and how really simple the little people are. Most little people look rather fat and/or out of proportion except for the princess and prince. Well, them and Gulliver. Colors are rather saturated and yet you can see pretty much everything. I say it’s close to the old version of Disney’s movies. Now Gulliver seems like a really cheerful man and is always smiling or having an over exaggerated movement to show his pleasure or feelings. It feels odd but I believe that is what they were actually going for.

The voices are classic fun with Pinto Colvig (Who was the voice of the original Goofy and Grumpy from ‘Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’) playing Gabby, Jessica Dragonette (famous singer) playing Princess Glory, and Sam Parker as Gulliver. I’m not really sure about Sam Parker’s play on Gulliver thought because he seems to be rather bland of a character. Nothing seems to startle him as he wakes up to find tiny men all around him and a war starting up. When someone or something surprises him, all he really says is ‘My My…’ and leaves it at that.

So what do I like about this show? Well, it’s not as stupid as many of the new stuff and is rather nostalgic for me even with its faults. Even if you don’t really like animated shows, you should really take a look at this one. If you do like animated shows, its something I consider part of history.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulliver%27s_Travels_%281939_film%29

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Posted 10/13/13 , edited 14 days ago

Ghost in the Shell 2.0(Jul 12, 2008)
Director: Mamoru Oshii Producers: Yashimasa Mizuo, Ken Matsumoto, Ken Iyadomi, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa
Sci-fi, Action,
Key Words: Mature, Cyborgs, Military, Futuristic,
Studio: Production I.G. Licensed American Publisher: Manga Entertainment

Time: 1 hr 23 min

As the world becomes interconnected by electronic networks, people have begun to have direct access through cybernetic bodies, also known as ‘shells.’ Within, their minds and memories are considered Ghosts. In the government is a special security section, lead by Major Motoko Kusanagi, who are given the assignment to find a master hacker known as the ‘Puppet Master.’ What will they find as they dive deeper into the case and what will become of the Major as she learns about herself and her body?


My Thoughts: This story was… well confusing. The problem was that they had a ‘puppeteer’ who was changing people’s thoughts and memories in order to use it for his own purpose to hack into official’s heads. I won’t lie, I don’t normally understand all that political stuff. The fact that this was so heavy in that made it more of a chore to try and figure stuff out. If I missed something that someone said, to bad, I couldn’t really go back and check it out because I wouldn’t know where to find it again.

When we get to the characters, the only ones we really get to understand slightly are Batou and Kusanagi. The others just seem like background characters compared to them. Even then, we don’t get much about the two although you can tell that Batou really cares greatly for Kusanagi. When we do get near the end, it does get into a rather interesting and deep. It really dives into physiological problems and aspects to life. It might of still been a rather confusing show but I did enjoy it.

The art style starts out with a lot of CG stuff in the beginning of the show and then going deeper into the normal animation after. I have to say they really took me off guard when they showed the naked body of the major in CG while she was working. Of course then they had to have an opening that expanded on showing a women’s naked body being created through electronic means. There were little scenes where they would do a bit more of the CG and half of it is rather pretty. Some of the characters designs seem a bit off from how they looked in the anime that I had watched part of before, namely the major. Still, the camera angles and some of the ways they showed the world felt very classic to the anime style of the late 1990s.

Some of the sounds are a bit off and the English voices sometimes don’t match lip movements but the voice actors really tried their best to make such a serious show work. You can tell just how they read their lines that they were trying really hard to keep it interesting but sadly, I keep feeling that they do a whole lot of talking and sometimes not all that much action or just a lot of shooting. When we do get action, its mostly slow movement, looped or over almost as fast as it starts. Now there are also some talks that feel more like a lecture about the problems with the cyber technology and a philosophy of having your own identity. These small parts were the only things that kept my attention as the others talks seemed a bit more complicated and I had no way of understanding the political problems.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_Shell_%28film%29

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xxxHOLiC The Movie – A Midsummer Night’s Dream(July 20, 2005)
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima Producers:
Supernatural, Horror, Psychological, Comedy,
Key Words: Spirits,
Studio: Production I.G. Licensed American Publisher: Funimation Entertainment

Time: 1 hr 14 mins

Watanuki’s life is always having strange things happen, and when a woman comes with a request for Yuuko, things seemed to be the same old story. Who knew that for this summer, Watanuki would learn some of life’s odd addictions?


My Thoughts: Addictions… they are something that you can put your whole life and wellbeing into, not caring who you harm and sometimes even forgetting why you started it to begin with. No, this is not a two step ‘drug addiction’ seminar; it’s the start of a strange twist of fate for Watanuki and his friends. The movie starts out like any other episode of the anime really, with Watanuki being loaded down with a mass of spirits who all seem to want his attention up till he finally reaches the place that he works at, Yuuko’s wish granting house where he works like a slave for her. I can understand why they started it out with this as there is a need to explain who the characters are within the movie, but for people like me who know the story from both the anime and manga, it feels like a cop out. The reason why Watanuki is working at Yuuko’s place is so he would not have this trouble with spirits hanging on him all the time, but here we see that even though he has been working there a little while, the spirits do bother him. I can feel a little bit of annoyance when Yuuko talks about how he doesn’t see them that much but that’s because he is working at her place. Outside of that, nothing has changed at all (At least that’s how it feels).

Surprisingly, most of my problems with this Movie were only in the first few minutes of it, up till we have them going to a mansion that a woman had asked Yuuko to help get into (besides some animation hiccups I guess). The storyline was very well thought out and the characters were as loveable and funny as in the anime. Some minor problems of the show were pushed off to the side because of the rest of it being rather good. I felt like I was watching part of the anime without the cuts from it having to go into the next episode. I know some people get mad when a movie doesn’t feel like a movie but to me, I was happy to see this. Since I loved the anime already so it was nice seeing they had not changed anything.

The mansion was pretty creepy and was a lot like the Winchester mansion with doors and staircases leading no where and the ‘room within a room’ aspect but I had to wonder slightly why it was like that. I felt like we were going threw a ton of dimensions, rooms that felt like the outside, rooms so small you could hardly walk into, and even a really strange tiny tunnel that Watanuki had to crawl through to get to the restroom (and make himself look like a walking stick the whole way with his strange limbs). Then we have a strange feeling of a murder mystery where everyone was given an invitation to be there and then people start disappearing starting with one person and then going on to more. All of them had a common intrest; all of them collected things like an addiction. Now you can understand why I brought up the addiction part in the beginning of this review. And even in the end of the movie, I felt that I had still questions that were left unanswered and no closer to them. I’m not against not having all the answers, but there was one that bothered me and sadly, I can’t say it or it will be a large spoiler.

The artwork is really strange, and sometimes goes overboard compared to the anime. We do have the long limbs and over exaggerated faces that Watanuki is known for, the overly Slenderman look-a-likes of all the characters and the sometimes overly barbaric proportions of head to body ratios everybody whines about. But then we have some creepier looking things in the movie then just how the characters look. There are times when we are given CG rendered rooms that look almost perfect to the cartoon aspects and then they are placed next to rather low detailed objects like the characters for example. Sometimes it didn’t work but I found that most of the time it did as it would give you a very chilling feeling and add to what I believe the creators wanted.

I was not disappointed in the slightest of the movie and that’s surprising as my expectations were pretty high seeing as I liked the anime and manga both. If you are in the same book as me, I think you would really enjoy it as well.

Rating:

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XxxHolic:_A_Midsummer_Night%27s_Dream

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