The short film format is perhaps the most difficult. To create a world, convey a story and to leave the user wanting more while at the same time giving them a sense of the story being resolved is a difficult proposition in 90 minutes, much less 8 minutes (the run time of Muramasa.) That is precisely what Muramasa does. Story: 10 There isn't much story you can fit in 8 minutes. Fortuneately the samurai genre is well suited to this, there is no need to explain a story as old as time. Motivations are simple for warriors; power. The protagonist, an unnamed... read more
Let me preface this by saying that Urusei Yatsura is one of my favorite anime of all time. The long running series was immensely popular in Japan and brought anime to new audiences. Urusei was one of the first series to use pop music, as well as references to both Western and Japanese pop culture. Lum, the female protagonist, became one of the first animated idols and inspired a whole genre of alien girlfriend/harem anime. Urusei was well received critically and won two Animage Grand Prix awards. Manga author Rumiko Takahashi is a household name in Japan and is responsible for... read more
Story:4 After planet Kiba is invaded by a poorly defined "Kingdom," a crew of teenage cadets rebels against their nations surrender by stealing a state of the art battleship and forming a government in exile. After selling themselves to a reality TV network in episode 1 the premise is complete and doesn't progress much farther. After that, much of the series is split between character backstory, romantic interactions, and political posturing. There isn't much time to go around and most of this development is superficial. Animation:3 Starship Operators delivers very little... read more
Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a classic space opera set many centuries in the distant future. Story 9 While LOTGH contains many sci-fi elements, it is primarily a political story. There are countless twists and turns that will keep you guessing, but the core story is entirely predictable as it is one that has been repeated for centuries - that is the constant struggle between the radicals and the reactionaries. History fans will be able to draw parallels with everything from the French Revolution to the rise of Fascism in the 20th century. LOTGH should be rewarding to sci-fi... read more
It is easy to see the connections between Eve no Jikan and this early work by Studio Rikka. It is very similar in theme, set, and setting. While it shows the potential that later Studio Rikka films have, Mizu no Kotoba is still pretty rough around the edges. Watch Eve no Jikan first, if you like that then give this one a try.
For those of you not familiar with the GitS franchise, it was created as a manga in 1989. It was adapted to film in 1995 and became a ground breaking and critically acclaimed movie. A sequel, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, was released in 2004. The TV series Stand Alone Complex first aired in 2002, and follows an alternate plot from the manga and films. The primary story arc of SAC and its sequel the 2nd Gig were rereleased in 2 compilation OVAs called The Laughing Man and Individual Eleven. Finally a movie sequel to the 2 series, Solid State Society, was released in 2006. ... read more
While Mei-chan is playing in the backyard one day, she befriends a baby neko-bus with a piece of caramel. The Konekobus repays the favour that night by taking Mei to a clandestine meeting of forest spirits. Things get scary when the Konekobus disappears like the Chesire Cat, but it's not long before Totoro shows up and new friends are made. It's a shame Studio Ghibli never released this original short, because it should be required watching for anyone whom enjoyed My Neighbour Totoro. Obviously there's not much story to develop in 15 minutes, but Mei To Konekubasu delivers more... read more
Patema Inverted delivers an original and thought provoking premise (something sorely needed in anime right now.) Ideally something as cool as a universe with gravity gone awry could be used as a mechanism to facilitate action and some serious hard sci-fi. Patema however uses it as a vehicle to create a stark contrast between the world perspectives of the protagonists. I don't mean to say that's wrong, in fact it does this exceedingly well. However it does so while ignoreing the physical realities of such a situation and adds one bungled detail on top of another right up to the... read more
Line drawings of clouds. Maybe that sounds like your idea of entertainment, but you'll probably find it as dry as it sounds. There's no plot, no events, just clouds. This seemed like a rough animation school project. Maybe the experimentation provided some valuable insight to the creator, but this is one of the most boring things I've ever watched.