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REVIEW: Star Wars: Visions




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Ryuji-Dono



Joined: 26 Apr 2018
Posts: 761
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:33 am Reply with quote
" It seems that when given the opportunity to create a Star Wars story, many of the studios took it as a chance to once again smash Jedi and Sith against each other with varying degrees of success, but by the end I was begging to see anything willing to deviate from this formula."

I mean, this is just the first attempt of doing what Anime can be like in Star Wars, not to mention how the fights were originally influenced by the Jidai Geki shows that George watched, so it makes sense that the Japanese includes that storyline as well. Originality shouldn't be what usually matters, it's the execution.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 597
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:43 am Reply with quote
Excited to check this out but yeah, the review kinda makes me disappointed that there isn't quite as much variety as I hoped for (outside of visual style at least).

And yeah, I figured we'd get dubtitles for sure. Even like half of Disney's Ghibli blu-rays had dubtitle scripts (including some films that added extra lines, so you'd occasionally get subs when literally no one was speaking in Japanese).

ETA - Yeah after finishing it tonight this review was pretty on the mark for me, from the underwhelming lack of variety story-wise to the hit or miss dub work. Heck, I know I'm probably more of a dub watcher than Lynzee is and I probably had more issues with the dubs than mentioned here. The celebrity casting was definitely all over the place from "natural-sounding" to cringe-inducing and The Twins specifically might be one of my least favorite dubs put out by NYAV Post in a good while. Definitely gave me new appreciation for past Imaishi work dubs like Promare & Kill la Kill, and their ability to really sell some over the top/so dumb its great dialogue.

I will say I did at least enjoy a handful of episodes, and really only found Ep 7 (The Elder) actively terrible on multiple levels.


Last edited by KitKat1721 on Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ryuji-Dono



Joined: 26 Apr 2018
Posts: 761
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:47 am Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:
Excited to check this out but yeah, the review kinda makes me disappointed that there isn't quite as much variety as I hoped for (outside of visual style at least).

And yeah, I figured we'd get dubtitles for sure. Even like half of Disney's Ghibli blu-rays had dubtitle scripts (including some films that added extra lines, so you'd occasionally get subs when literally no one was speaking in Japanese).


To be fair, this is potentially the first of many Anime style Star Wars IPs that could come out, so I think it makes sense they could start out with the classical conflict first.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14197
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:01 am Reply with quote
Seems the studios haven't seen the animated TV series


As Waugh told it:
Quote:
Tatooine Rhapsody was one of the first pitches Lucasfilm received. Though the far-out concept initially caused some trepidation, that feeling soon changed. “It allowed us to go, ‘You know what. That’s what Visions is going to be about,'” Waugh said. “We’re gonna roll the dice, we’re gonna tell stories that we couldn’t tell anywhere else.”

While all the shorts have original scores, there’s something extra special about the music for The Ninth Jedi. The score was recorded at the Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, an acclaimed, modern venue.
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SpiritSmoocher



Joined: 06 Mar 2021
Posts: 52
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:00 am Reply with quote
Next to animated series like the Clone Wars, bad batch, and rebels. Visions is like impossible to recommend, even towards anime fans. I cannot see mainstream outlets are calling it the best Star Wars ever, when you look towards the comments, many people saying it kinda sucks.
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andramus



Joined: 19 Apr 2020
Posts: 85
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:21 pm Reply with quote
I read something saying that almost all these episodes were set during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi I suppose.

Some of them felt like they might have been set in the distant past though. The 9th Jedi was the short I found the most intriguing and was curious to see a continuation of. It seemed like it was set in the distant past at a time when the Sith ruled the galaxy. Not the Galactic Empire of Palpatine. It could also have been set in the distant future. Of all the shorts the 9th Jedi was one where I most wanted to find out more about the setting.
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db999



Joined: 23 Dec 2017
Posts: 118
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:56 pm Reply with quote
I decided not to watch this all in one sitting, so far I’ve only watched 4 of them, and I’m also not watching it in the order that they’re displayed. I decided to start with the ones I was least looking forward to and then go in order of how much they interest me before I finish with The Duel which is the first episode in the collection. Also after each episode, I also went into the extra’s and looked at the filmmaker's focus on each one before moving to the next short.

TO-B1 was the first one I didn’t think I’d like all that much but I actually found it pretty charming. The story was cute and the relationship between him and Mitaka was really well done. The animation was also really inventive and fluid throughout the entire thing. All of the characters were extremely expressive. However, a few parts of this, specifically where he’s searching for the Kyber Crystal and exploring the force for the first time, felt a bit shorter than I would like and I kind of wish this was a full 30-40 minute movie so some those parts could breathe a bit more. However, it did tell a complete story and I was pretty satisfied after watching it.

Lop and Ocho was a real flop for me. I wasn’t that excited about it, because of the main character being a bunny girl, but that actually wasn’t much of a problem. The biggest issue with this one is that it feels really incomplete. None of the characters are well developed and I think Ocho is pretty poorly developed. It also ends pretty abruptly and doesn’t have much of a conclusion. It feels like it got cut off way too soon like this was the beginning of a much longer story. It wasn’t until I watched the behind the scene feature about this one that I fully understood what the studio was going for. I got some of it from watching the short, but that I needed to go look at the behind-the-scenes video for me to feel that is a failure of the short. It’s a real shame because I feel like if we got to fully explore Ocho’s character it could have worked better. I also think if we’re able to get a full movie or another 2-3 episodes to fully explore or conclude the story this would be really strong, but without those, the short just isn't all that good.

Tattooine Rhapsody was probably the most fun of these shorts so far. The idea of making a rock opera in Star Wars was pretty unique and in the wrong hands it could have ended up just feeling embarrassing, but the confidence the staff had in this project really shone through. It’s also the only one that features established characters from the franchise in the plot. It was also interesting to see the main character be a Jedi who turned away from fighting and became the lead singer in a band. All of the band members are well defined and the middle portion of the episode really sells that bond that all of them share with each other. It also doesn’t hurt that the music is really good. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays the main character and it turns out he’s a pretty good singer, Galactic Dreamer is a banger that’ll be playing on loop in my head over the next few days. Anyway, this episode was really enjoyable and I can defiantly see myself coming back to this one.

Akakari was fantastic. It really felt like a samurai movie. It was probably the most stylish one so far, with the absolutely gorgeous animation, and the minimalistic soundtrack. This one actually reminded me quite a bit of Akira Kurosawa which makes sense as in the Filmmaker's Focus feature his films are mentioned as the main inspiration for this piece. It’s also probably one of the darker series in this collection. The tone is pretty bleak throughout. The music has a heavy focus on percussion and the whole piece feels very dreamlike. The ending is pretty dark and the way the color red drowns out all of the other colors was fantastic. This is probably the strongest one so far and it’s the only one where I have no complaints. Also, spoiler[I really want a sequel that focuses on Masago and Tsubaki conquering the galaxy while Misa trains as a Jedi in order to put a stop to them.] This is the one that I most want to see expanded on later down the line, but unlike with Lop and Ocho, it’s because it was so good that I want more. It’s pretty much the perfect short and I don’t know if any of these will be able to top it.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14197
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:59 am Reply with quote
andramus wrote:

I read something saying that almost all these episodes were set during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi I suppose.


Star Wars: Visions storytelling didn’t have to fit in the timeline.
Quote:
In developing the series, Lucasfilm made the decision to let creators tell the stories they wanted to tell — whether they featured established or original characters — without a need to tie into the larger chronology. “We really wanted to give these creators a wide creative berth to explore all the imaginative potential of the Star Wars galaxy through the unique lens of anime,” James Waugh said. “We realized we wanted these to be as authentic as possible to the studios and creators who are making them, made through their unique process, in a medium they’re such experts at.
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Varkias



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:04 pm Reply with quote
To me, most of these were pretty much Star Wars themed samurai stories. Trying to act like any of them would ACTUALLY fit into Star Wars would be too much of a stretch. Some of them I wouldn't mind if they were pilots for a full season of episodes, though - especially The Ninth Jedi.

I actually managed to figure out watching them all in Japanese (although early on, the app kept trying to change to Italian in between episodes). For one episode, the subtitles were pretty badly timed - poorly enough that I don't think it was just due to dubtitling.
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Thatguy3331



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 1685
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:43 am Reply with quote
Having basically 0 attachment to star wars and assuming from the start that this would mostly just be an excuse for a bunch of anime studios and directors to have a bunch of light Saber battles I think I walked away from it mostly satisfied. The only ones I didn't really care for were Lop and Ocho (visuals aside cuase dang that short absolutely looks good) and The elder which despite *some* ideas being kinda ok was mostly kinda boring and lifeless.

Village bride and Akakiri were my favorite ones narratively and visually they all impressed on some level
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invalidname
Contributor



Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 2227
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:06 am Reply with quote
SpiritSmoocher wrote:
I cannot see mainstream outlets are calling it the best Star Wars ever, when you look towards the comments, many people saying it kinda sucks.

AV Club review: Star Wars: Visions overflows with unique stories and gorgeous animation, A-.
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immblueversion



Joined: 02 May 2010
Posts: 401
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:30 am Reply with quote
db999 wrote:
I decided not to watch this all in one sitting, so far I’ve only watched 4 of them, and I’m also not watching it in the order that they’re displayed. I decided to start with the ones I was least looking forward to and then go in order of how much they interest me before I finish with The Duel which is the first episode in the collection. Also after each episode, I also went into the extra’s and looked at the filmmaker's focus on each one before moving to the next short.

TO-B1 was the first one I didn’t think I’d like all that much but I actually found it pretty charming. The story was cute and the relationship between him and Mitaka was really well done. The animation was also really inventive and fluid throughout the entire thing. All of the characters were extremely expressive. However, a few parts of this, specifically where he’s searching for the Kyber Crystal and exploring the force for the first time, felt a bit shorter than I would like and I kind of wish this was a full 30-40 minute movie so some those parts could breathe a bit more. However, it did tell a complete story and I was pretty satisfied after watching it.

Lop and Ocho was a real flop for me. I wasn’t that excited about it, because of the main character being a bunny girl, but that actually wasn’t much of a problem. The biggest issue with this one is that it feels really incomplete. None of the characters are well developed and I think Ocho is pretty poorly developed. It also ends pretty abruptly and doesn’t have much of a conclusion. It feels like it got cut off way too soon like this was the beginning of a much longer story. It wasn’t until I watched the behind the scene feature about this one that I fully understood what the studio was going for. I got some of it from watching the short, but that I needed to go look at the behind-the-scenes video for me to feel that is a failure of the short. It’s a real shame because I feel like if we got to fully explore Ocho’s character it could have worked better. I also think if we’re able to get a full movie or another 2-3 episodes to fully explore or conclude the story this would be really strong, but without those, the short just isn't all that good.

Tattooine Rhapsody was probably the most fun of these shorts so far. The idea of making a rock opera in Star Wars was pretty unique and in the wrong hands it could have ended up just feeling embarrassing, but the confidence the staff had in this project really shone through. It’s also the only one that features established characters from the franchise in the plot. It was also interesting to see the main character be a Jedi who turned away from fighting and became the lead singer in a band. All of the band members are well defined and the middle portion of the episode really sells that bond that all of them share with each other. It also doesn’t hurt that the music is really good. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays the main character and it turns out he’s a pretty good singer, Galactic Dreamer is a banger that’ll be playing on loop in my head over the next few days. Anyway, this episode was really enjoyable and I can defiantly see myself coming back to this one.

Akakari was fantastic. It really felt like a samurai movie. It was probably the most stylish one so far, with the absolutely gorgeous animation, and the minimalistic soundtrack. This one actually reminded me quite a bit of Akira Kurosawa which makes sense as in the Filmmaker's Focus feature his films are mentioned as the main inspiration for this piece. It’s also probably one of the darker series in this collection. The tone is pretty bleak throughout. The music has a heavy focus on percussion and the whole piece feels very dreamlike. The ending is pretty dark and the way the color red drowns out all of the other colors was fantastic. This is probably the strongest one so far and it’s the only one where I have no complaints. Also, spoiler[I really want a sequel that focuses on Masago and Tsubaki conquering the galaxy while Misa trains as a Jedi in order to put a stop to them.] This is the one that I most want to see expanded on later down the line, but unlike with Lop and Ocho, it’s because it was so good that I want more. It’s pretty much the perfect short and I don’t know if any of these will be able to top it.


Personally I was saving "The Ninth Jedi" for last, because I knew it was set in a post-TROS world and figured it would only be fitting. spoiler[Probably the best decision I made with this, because it and "The Duel" were among my favorites.]
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