Brotherhood and Kingsglaive together offer a much needed introduction into the world of Final Fantasy XV. Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV’s first episode released back in March, and regularly came out until all 5 episodes were out. Now with the anime completely out, along with the game, let’s take a look at the anime in its entirety.
When we found out that there would be a whole connected universe surrounding Final Fantasy XV, we were all very excited. This meant a lot of content in a very large universe. How it ended up (adversely) affecting the game, though, is a topic for another time. Kingsglaive itself, first and foremost, is an extremely gorgeous film.
For the 10th anniversary of Code Geass, Sunrise had a special announcement: Code Geass will be getting a sequel in 2017, as well as a trilogy of feature-length films which will recap the original 50 episodes of Lelouch of the Rebellion. The sequel, titled Lelouch of the Resurrection, will take place "several years" after the original series.
I had the good fortune of going to Japan recently, during the week of the launch of the brand-new Godzilla film: Shin Godzilla (inconsistently called Godzilla: Resurgence in America). Keep in mind, this short impressions is based on a very limited understanding of the Japanese language. This movie had a lot of technical terms in relation to military and government that I just couldn’t understand at all. In order to commemorate Godzilla’s return, I got to see the film in the Toho Cinema in Shinjuku, a really nice theater that I can recommend if you are in the area.
Now if you’re familiar with Godzilla at all, you know that originally it was a bit more than just a monster movie. It had some political undertones involving the abuse of nuclear weapons and the effect it can have on our surroundings. Since then, the franchise has turned into a very straightforward monster movie franchise that usually involves Godzilla fighting against other huge monsters or humans in fun action-flicks. The recent Hollywood release of the franchise went more to the roots focusing more on the human element, and how people’s lives and relationships would be affected by a monster attack.
Following in this mentality, Shin Godzilla is a sort of return to form of what Godzilla was originally intended to be. The movie kicks off with some scenes showing this odd creature appearing in Tokyo’s bay, which slowly evolves over the course of the film. Most of the movie takes place in meeting rooms, with the occasional scene showing Godzilla’s progression or subsequent carnage. The movie seemed to revolve around how the government would react to a crisis (in the form of a monster attack): how they will deal with evacuating citizens; how they will investigate and research the target; how they will deduce the best method to take it down with the least amount of collateral damage. I really enjoyed this concept, because it’s a huge juxtaposition against what the recent American film focused on (which I enjoyed as well). Don’t get me wrong, when Godzilla does have his moment of wanton destruction, it’s epic. In fact, his new atomic breath was a sight to behold. It sent shivers down my spine when it happened, and we even saw that ability evolve through the course of the movie to become an absolutely obnoxiously powerful force that managed to destroy a good amount of Tokyo.
To no surprise though, this approach to storytelling in a franchise that has established itself as a fun action-packed monster franchise will very likely put off some long-term Godzilla fans. I have no doubt that they’ll go back to the same tried and true formula that the franchise is known for, but I must admit that this change of pace and somewhat thought-provoking approach to the concept of Japan’s most famous monster was a very welcome change.
That being said, you won’t have to wait too long to be able to see the movie in English, since it’ll be showing in select theaters in the States in October for a limited run, which will surely be followed by a home release. Tickets go on sale September 9th. Keep an eye on the English site for how to get tickets. If I enjoyed the movie with my limited understanding, I have now doubt I’ll enjoy it even more when I see it again in October. Stay tuned!
Japanese Site: http://www.shin-godzilla.jp/index.html
English Site: http://www.funimationfilms.com/movie/shingodzilla/
I’m not going to pretty it up even a little: I came to watch this show simply because I found out that Maimi Yajima, leader of idol group °C-ute, was in it. I was pleasantly surprised when I started settling in with the series and didn’t even care about my original reason for checking it out.
Good Morning Call is a Netflix Original Series drama based on the manga of the same name. The story revolves around the antics of an unpopular nobody who ends up being forced into a situation where she’s living with the most popular boy at their high school. This is a romance through and through, and being able to see as Nao and Uehara develop a strong bond and relationship despite coming from quite different worlds and lifestyles.
The actors who play as Nao and Uehara do their roles beautifully, with all the exaggerated and silly actions that we’d see in a manga translating onto the screen in a very fun way. Let’s be real though, a television show is only as good as its supporting cast, since they’re usually the ones who help to develop and accentuate the main characters. Luckily, this show has a phenomenal supporting cast. They each serve a certain archetype and the actors fulfill their roles without a hitch. As the show moves forward, we get to see individual stories about most of the supporting cast, but told in a way so that it still enhances Nao and Uehara. This, to me, is one of the strongest points of the show. What this means is that I ended up caring about every single character and their feelings as I got deeper and deeper into the show.
The one downside of the show is that it follows many tropes of romance dramas as a whole, and as such is somewhat predictable. This is in no way a huge problem though, because the situations these characters are put into give the show a lot of heart. Every episode revolves around some kind of central issue that a couple might face or think about, especially if they are forced to live together. This choice to tell a different story with each episode while still enhancing the core story is a very clever way to keep the viewer invested. I’m not saying that the episode progression is different from a serial format, merely that it doesn’t feel like every episode is heavily tied down by the episode before and after. It’s not exactly a new approach, but it’s something I don’t feel is done enough in the realm of TV these days, and I welcomed it quite gladly.
For better or worse, the cinematography makes the viewer really feel like they’re watching an adaptation of a manga. What I mean is that the framing, sound effects and visual cues feel like a manga…with moving pictures. Some may be turned off by this, but I found it especially charming since it made things a little more amusing.
Not being familiar with the source material, I managed to enjoy Good Morning Call thoroughly. It was cute, funny, silly and endearing. I felt for every character and every character helped to enhance Nao and Uehara. I couldn’t ask for more from a show. Even if Maimi Yajima was the reason I started watching the show, she’s hardly the only reason I love it. If you enjoy romance dramas that make you smile uncontrollably, this is probably the one for you. The best part is that a second season has been confirmed to be in the works, so we have more to come. I can’t wait!
Starring Mayu Watanabe of AKB48, and Sakura Miyawaki of HKT48, the latest in Japanese horror has arrived on Hulu Japan this weekend.
The Spring 2016 anime season is rolling to a close, and it's time once again to take a look at what's coming up next! With such gems as Space Patrol Luluco and Kiznaiver, Spring 2016 was a pretty well-rounded and entertaining season overall. What's in store for Summer? Our top picks are below, presented in alphabetical order.
It's time for a new season of The Animes! This Spring there was really only one thing I was looking forward to: "Bungou Stray Dogs". This is a brand-new anime series by Studio Bones, based on the bestselling manga by Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa. "Bungou Stray Dogs" centers on characters based on real-life authors such as Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Yukito Ayatsuji, Dan Brown, and Agatha Christie. The main characters are part of a group called the Armed Detective Agency. The ADA is made up of private investigators who have supernatural abilities, and as such are called upon to solve cases that the police and military can't solve alone. As each character is named for an author, their abilities are also named for well-known works by their real-life counterpart. The art and animation is great, as to be expected from Bones. The music is great too, having an opening song I INSTANTLY billed as an abingdon boys school song (I learned afterwards that it's actually Granrodeo song, and the groups just have REALLY SIMILAR vocalists).
If you want my opinion without spoilers, skip down to the end. I promise it's well-marked.
If you’ve been keeping up with all the exciting news that’s been dropped regarding Final Fantasy XV recently, then you undoubtedly know that there is an anime being released in parts to expand on the story of the game itself. Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV’s first episode was released via free streaming the same night of the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event. Subsequent episodes will release over time as we approach the September 30th release date of the game, totaling in 5 episodes with a run-time of about ten minutes each (plus a bonus 6th episode to come with the Ultimate Edition of the game). This show is designed to be a prequel to the game, developing the premise behind Noctis and company’s story and relationship with each other. Keep in mind that I’m trying to keep spoilers out of this, so just go and watch the episode!
The first episode begins with a flashback scene of Noctis as a child, then flashes to the ‘present’ time. It shows some bonding time between the guys at a few locales, helping to establish each character’s personality while showing the beginnings of what will surely be an extremely strong bond. I really enjoyed the antics that happen between them, and there is just enough background presented in the short episode that helps set the tone quite effectively. It ends in a fun battle that helps to show off each character’s abilities to an extent. I admit that the amount of variety and fun they were able to pack into ten minutes is actually quite impressive.
Since it’s in Japanese, there are already English subtitles for the episodes. The voice acting is actually pretty good. I really enjoyed the animation quality and style, except for one thing: cgi. There are a couple of things that are clearly CGI rather than hand-drawn, and they stick out like a sore thumb in what’s otherwise a really beautiful show.
Overall, this is a nice taste of what’s to come and it certainly has me excited for the rest of the series. It sets the tone for the quality of the Final Fantasy XV Universe, which means we have plenty to look forward to!
"Before The Storm" - Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV Episode 1
Final Fantasy XV Official Site: http://www.finalfantasyxv.com
This year marks the 40th anniversary for the Super Sentai series. For those of you who have never seen or heard of Super Sentai, it is a show where a group of heroes must come together to defeat a great evil. Usually they transform into brightly colored super heroes and use a multitude of weapons, vehicles, and powers, to stop the evil force from destroying the world or taking over. The show has grown in popularity over the years spawning an American version called Power Rangers. Many fans were wondering what the new series was going to be. After many rumors and leaks we finally got our answer. The Toei company and TV Asahi confirmed Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger.
The story of Zyuohger is centered around the battle between the Zyumans who live in an alternate dimension on earth called Zyuland, and an alien group known as the Deathgaliens. They want to use Earth for their 100th Blood Game. Four of the Zyumans have protected their kind but when a human named Yamato, who is a zoologist, accidentally finds Zyuland by stumbling through the Link Cube joins Sela, Leo, Tusk, and Amu as the fifth member of the Zyuohger team. They must come together to protect Earth from the Deathgaliens and stop the destruction of all the species living on the planet.
Now what’s really interesting about this series is that the Zyumans are humanoids with animal features. Sela has the features of a swift shark. Leo of course is a mighty lion. Tusk has the features of a powerful elephant and last but not least we have Amu who is a fierce tiger. We also have Yamato who, once he transforms, has the powers of an Eagle. The Zyumans also have an ability to disguise themselves as humans. Cubes play an important role in the show’s story. They are used for their henshin device/morpher, the buildings in Zyuland, and their portal between worlds the Link Cube. The megazord is even made out of cubes shaped like animals.
I’ll be 100% honest when I say that I hated the suits the first time I saw them. I thought they were too simple and cheap. However, the more I saw them the more they began to grow on me. I said the same thing with the megazord. This seasons mecha looked like a block or even Minecraft version the Go-Onger/RPM megazord. Go-Onger is a past season also known as RPM in Power Rangers. This too began to grow on me and the use of cubes began to make more sense to me. Now after watching the first episode it is such a core theme that I want my own cube morpher.
In the beginning I didn’t know what to make of the series. The animal theme and the cube gimmick seemed too strange for me but I wanted to wait until the first episode before I judged it. I have to say that I am glad I did. The episode was funny and action packed. The first fight between the Zyuohgers and the Deathgaliens was incredible and brought everything together. The first episode ends with the Zyumans not being able to return home after the link cube ends up being damaged in battle. So far I am looking forward to the rest of this season, which is amazing since I really didn’t like some of the previous seasons like Toqger. The last season, Ninninger, didn’t really hold my attention either even though the story was great. I feel invested in this new season and I want to keep watching to see how the Zyumans will return home. I have high hopes for this new team and I am sure the 40th season will not disappoint. Overall I was very impressed with the show and I recommend everyone who is a fan of super sentai and power rangers to give this show a watch.