Isekai Shokudou (a.k.a. Restaurant to Another World) is one of the more unique premises for this anime season. It centers on the titular restaurant, a perfectly average place by most standards. However, every Saturday the restaurant is accessed by demons, elves, dragons, and all sorts of beings from another dimension. They aren't here to destroy the world, though - they just want to enjoy some of that tasty exotic human food!
What happens when you cross elements of dark fantasy, mystery, supernatural, and give it all a healthy serving of the David Lynch treatment? The latest series from Gonzo and Funimation, 18if, centers around a young boy named Haruto who inexplicably is trapped inside a dream world. With the help of an anthropomorphic cat (he swears he's not really a cat) and a mysterious girl who only Haruto can see, Haruto is tasked with outsmarting or defeating the enigmatic witches in control of the dream world.
With so many releases happening this year for the franchise, I’ve been on a sort of Danganronpa high. There have been a lot of negative reviews of the show, but I decided to judge Danganronpa: The Animation on my own. After finishing it, I have a sort of love-hate relationship with the anime.
Of all video game adaptations to get announced, Castlevania was the last property I thought would get it. To make things even more interesting, it got turned into an animated series exclusive to Netflix. I had a chance to sit down and watch the entire season, and I’m here to tell you if it was worth seeing!
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.