Posts from October 2017


A review of the Kizumonogatari anime films

It’s finally finished. It feels like I’ve been hearing about the Kizumonogatari movie since I finished watching the first TV anime, Bakemonogatari. In my reviews of past entries in its tangled timeline I was a lot more glowing in my praise than I remembered; but somewhere along the way I didn’t so much lose patience so much as lose interest in continuing with the franchise. I think it was somewhere around the first tranche of episodes for Owarimonogatari.

Kizumonogatari (Scarstory or Woundstory depending on your translator) however is narratively the first story in the now 23 light novel saga so its adaptation holds the potential for newcomers to be introduced to the franchise without its eight years of baggage. A trilogy of movies then, each around an hour long, telling the story of eternal straight man Koyomi Araragi’s first meeting with the mercurial vampire Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, class president Tsubasa Hanekawa and oddity specialist Meme Oshino.

Read the rest of this entry

Scotland Loves Anime 2017 - Day 3

Maulings, minds, monsters and megacities

The Sundays of prior Scotland Loves Anime events are typically slower paced affairs: the competition films have been aired, the jury has deliberated and now it’s time for films and shorts that may not always be premieres, but definitely warrant your attention.

a stronger than average showing with this now being the 8th SLA

Kicking off the day with the third and final instalment of Kizumonogatari certainly bucks that trend, excluded from competition for being a franchise film but no less visceral for it. Ostensibly Akiyuki Shinbo’s second film in the festival, Jonathan Clements’ introduction shed some light on the “Chief Director” position that many productions now have, effectively big names attached to a project, often without the onerous burden of working on it. Suffice it to say, a lot of the directorial duties may have fallen to Tatsuya Oishi, though you wouldn’t know it once Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu started. If you’ve made it to this last entry in the film series, you know what you’re getting yourself into: hard colour cuts, circuitous point making and slapstick dismemberments.

Read the rest of this entry

Scotland Loves Anime 2017 - Day 2

Wars, water and walls

Starting the second day with the now twenty eight year old anime film Venus Wars is still a little baffling to me. Perhaps there’s a hidden theme hiding somewhere in its staff. Perhaps Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s (Dirty Pair et. al.) designs… Maybe animation director Toshihiro Kawamoto who also worked on Cowboy Bebop… Or maybe it’s like Jonathan Clements mentioned in his opening notes about Joe Hisaishi who went on to score for Studio Ghibli… Whatever the connection with the rest of the festival, the cinema was full and evidently ready for a dose of lovingly animated 80’s science fiction.

Read the rest of this entry

Under my umbrella

A review of the Lu Over The Wall movie

Gyo, Tokyo Fish Attack was not the film I thought that would spring to mind while watching Masaaki Yuasa’s Lu Over The Wall. This is a family friendly film after all about a small mermaid who befriends a sullen boy in a sunless town, bringing joy and music to all she meets.

Hinashi (lit. sunless), the setting for the film, has a literal shadow cast over it by an imposing cliff that separates the town’s waters from the bay, populated by mermen and ship wrecks alike. From these waters springs the titular Lu who is attracted by the music that flows from an unlikely trio, one lost in his own malaise, another struggling with the responsibility of inheriting an empire, and another who just wants to go with the flow.

Read the rest of this entry


A review of the Fireworks anime movie

What if? It’s a question that innumerable other films have explored from Sliding Doors to Groundhog Day and now SHAFT have taken their pop at it with Fireworks. A remake of of a 1993 TV film by Shunji Iwai - best known recently for The Murder Case of Hana and Alice - and not to be mistaken for the 1997 Beat Takeshi film, especially so as this film directed by Akiyuki Shinbo.

Perhaps it’s my cynical heart not believing in the power of love

The setup is that a group of school children including friends Norimichi and Yuusuke argue over the absurd question of whether fireworks are round like a globe or disc shaped. Amidst this is Nazuna, a quiet but beautiful girl that becomes entangled with both Norimichi and Yuusuke over the winner of a swimming race.

Read the rest of this entry