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Jose Cruz Reviews Anime Titles. Latest: In this Corner of the Word


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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:52 am Reply with quote
Expelled from Paradise (2014)



This is a very good movie but it also suffers from several problems. In terms of it's Science Fiction themes it is dead on that our present facebook generation is progressively becoming more virtual, living their lives inside the virtual world provided by the internet or at least integrating their real lives more and more with the internet. The society depicted in the movie is the current trend pushed to absurd proportions: 98% of humanity now lives as virtual personalities stored in a virtual world. It brings also one philosophical question: if these electronic minds are just copies of human minds (originally copied from 60 days old babies), not actual human minds.

One of the problems I had with the movie was the extremely fetishistic clothing of the main character. Motoko Kusanagi's costume would look discrete by comparison. The main character even decided to rush the development process of her temporary flesh body to get into the mission more quickly which made her body grow up to the biological age of 16. The movie even makes a joke at itself: as the cowboy character (wearing a poncho like The Man with No Name in Leone's dollars trilogy movies) asking "I though you were some kind of fetishist". Laughing Dingo looks like a manga-style version of Clint Eastwood as well but with brown hair.

Anyway, despite these cosmetic problems, I found the movie very entertaining. Way better than most sci fi hollywood movies of recent years (which is not exactly though competition) but still quite unsatisfactory if compared to great science fiction anime: this is mostly an average run of the mill action movie with a rather standardized plot.

My rating is 7/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:47 pm Reply with quote
Yuki Yuna is a Hero (2014)



I watched this because of the constant barrage of advertising on this website of it. I guess I got a good deal out of it. Featuring very entertaining writing, very well made animation, including a very good combination between a more subtle CGI and hand drawn animation as well as an extremely vibrant colors (that kind of visuals that make you feel almost "diabetic" from the sugary content and overstimulated from the excessive colors). The costume designs are also brilliant IMO, the best magical girl costumes ever. Though I personally dislike transformation sequences (they are just excessive).

I found myself, however, having a bit of deja-vu feeling while watching it. In episode 10, for instance, where we learn Homura's past, I mean, Togo's ( Rolling Eyes ). It's a show clearly "inspired" by what came before it! However, it's not as tragic as one might expect (though I personally felt the ending was a bit cheap: spoiler[WTF? Nobody is dead and everybody is OK?]). Well, but it works in it's own logic, quoting the "The Sci Fi Catholic blog": "If Puella Magi Madoka Magica is the Neon Genesis Evangelion of magical girl anime, then Yuki Yuna Is a Hero is the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann." As it's also about willpower overcoming the apparent boundaries of reality, so the ending makes sense in that regard.

The show also has a lot of "moe". It's a pure otaku delight. Very Happy The writing is pretty mediocre or at least unmemorable in the sense that the show is nothing really that special if we remove the genre elements and the pretty colors, in fact, it's a bit force melodrama in some parts, however, that's it's appeal: It's a new element of the "moe-torture genre". It's not a masterpiece but it's perhaps the most entertaining show I have watched over the past couple of months.

My rating is 9/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:18 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:06 pm Reply with quote
Maria Holic: Alive (2011)



A nice little trashy title like Maria Holic sometimes is a good watch between higher quality titles. It's gross comedy, of the typical highly
"otakuish" kind, indeed, I even watched the first season and now I finished the second one. I love Shimbo's work overall and Maria Holic is perhaps among his weakest titles but still highly entertaining.

Highly fast paced, it's a show like Family Guy in some ways, ideal for those with short attention span or simply looking for instantaneous comedic rewards (unlike, for instance, a show like Hyouge Mono which are a bit more subtle and intellectual shows).

The animation and character designs are good (though I find a bit weird here that they drawn teenager male and female characters with exactly the same faces, at least Mariya looks exactly like a girl without boobs). And the direction of Shimbo stands out in an otherwise mediocre show like this.

I rate it 6/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:44 am Reply with quote
Minami Ke (2007)



This is just another mediocre slice of life title, for a fan of the genre like me it's a good watch. There is not much to review: it's the depiction of mundane slice of life occurrences in the lives of these three sisters with the focus being on the two younger ones as they are the main comedic source of the show, the third older sister is a mother figure for this family, as the parents do not apparently exist. Well, these slice of life seinen titles featuring high school girls are essentially a representation of the lives and sensibilities of single young adult males who live alone hence I guess the characters represented also live alone. These cute girls doing cute things shows are made with girls because the target audience likes girls and because girls can show more easily their vulnerabilities and emotions, specially in a male dominated culture like Japan where males need to be stoic and cannot show their emotions.

I also liked the very "generic manga" look of the character designs but the show suffers from a lack of consistency as characters go out of design very frequently. This problem bothered me a bit. Also the fact that the show lacks any attempt at visual creative direction (unlike other slice of life shows such as Nichijou and Hidamari Sketch). Overall though I found the writing to be superior to other similar shows overall, at least for this first season, so I rate it 7/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:20 am Reply with quote
Kemonozume (2006)



One of Yuasa's TV series, Kemonozume is an horror/experimental series that is actually very hard to describe. It's a series with an art style typical of Yuasa, but still quite distinct from his other works. The most similar in terms of art style would be perhaps the movie Mind Game (2004). It's also very similar to that film in terms of atmosphere. It's a fantasy but a type of fantasy that feels more like an artistic animated short rather than the typical atmosphere of animated fantasy (for instance, that you get from a movie like Children who Chase Lost Voices).

The plot is pretty brutal, to be blunt, it's strictly adult but not without those elements that make something specially attractive to teenager and young adult males: lots of blood, a bit of gore. The fanservice, as western animation fans call the use of erotic imagery, is pretty controlled and the art style doesn't particularly favor it and the character designs are not very "pretty" to begin with: Yuasa's style can be even called "anti-otaku" because it is diametrically opposed to otaku art style, even when they became increasingly popular among manga artists during the 2000's.

The universe of the series is pretty "weird", since it's a fantasy where there are creatures that look like humans most of the time but have those clawns and feed on humans. There exists a school/clan of samurai in Japan (apparently those creatures might only exist in Japan) which is trained in the arts of how to kill those creatures. So, as it's possible to guess, the plot is, at the beginning, based on a forbidden romance between one of the main members of that samurai clan and one of the flesh eating monsters, which happens to be a woman. Then the plot evolves into something more ambitious as conspiracies involving these two groups (samurai and monsters) are orchestrated by a third party.

It's not one of Yuasa's best works, those are IMO Kaiba (2008) and Ping Pong (2014), but still has the flavor of Yuasa and it is another piece that shows how great an animator Yuasa is, perhaps the greatest animation director of the 21st century so far.

8/10


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:37 am Reply with quote
Ghost in the Shell: Arise (2013)



Featuring state of the art animation (both CGI and hand drawn) and art,Ghost in the Shell: Arise is the newest iteration of animated adaptations of the famous manga series written by Masamune Shirow (original creator) and Junichi Fujisaku (among others).

It's very similar to other adaptations of the manga and all those adaptations preserve the style of the original manga by Shirow (I haven't read the other manga's yet), which consists of police procedural/investigation at the surface and science fiction dealing with the nature of humanity at it's core. It envisions a perhaps very realistic future where the ultimate technology has become the artificialization of the human body: the capability to manufacture prosthetic bodies to replace the original one, the capability to manufacture prosthetic brains as well. And the creation of artificial intelligence that is perhaps identical to human intelligence. In this world the difference between human and machine is not clear black and white but gradations in grey scale. It's something very disturbing that scared me a lot when I first watched the first GitS movie when I was 14.

While GitS is a very interesting franchise I think that all it's iterations suffer from lack of emotional engagement. At least very explicit emotional development if compared to other mangas (and their adaptations) about the same science fiction theme, such as Gunnm, which is superior to GitS in that aspect even though it's not as explicit in its philosophical content. Here though it's more explicit than in Oshii's films.

This series of 5 movies of 50 minutes each consists of five self contained movies that involve major Motoko Kusanagi and depict her transition from a soldier to an officer of a intelligence section of the civilian government and her daily work in that organization. It's very faithful in translating into animation the feel of the manga, more so than Mamoru Oshii's films which are more of Oshii's own auteur cinema: Oshii only uses the manga he adapted as settings for his own style.

The narratives are also quite complex and the presentation is such that not easy to understand precisely the plots of each. Although formulaic investigative crime fiction it's pretty demanding of the attention of the viewer. Well, the characters are detectives anyway. Though detectives that fight a lot and lose their prosthetic limbs as part of their daily routine. Still, it was an entertaining watch and I guess anybody interested in science fiction would benefit from watching it but those who are not heavily interested in science fiction will probably not enjoy it as much.

7/10
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Key
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:53 pm Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:
The show also has a lot of moe and fanservice.

You are correct that it has a lot of moe content but incorrect that it has a lot of fan service. It's actually very minimal in that respect.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:17 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Jose Cruz wrote:
The show also has a lot of moe and fanservice.

You are correct that it has a lot of moe content but incorrect that it has a lot of fan service. It's actually very minimal in that respect.


Well, you are right there is very little explicit erotic content. I don't remember why I wrote that on the review.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:44 pm Reply with quote
After a year I decided to resurrect my review thread.

YuruYuri: San☆Hai! (2015)



YuruYuri is a comedy slice of life manga series featuring cute girls doing cute things and is actually written by a cute girl who was also around 20-25 when she wrote most of the material adapted into this show, so it's actually a "autobiographical" experience of sorts and it does indeed feel very authentic if compared to some other slice of life series like "Is the order a Rabbit?" or "Hidamari Sketch" as the kawaii elements in YuruYuri does not feel forced if compared to those two. Also, distinctly from other slice of life CGDCTs mangas, YuruYuri is published in a magazine that has 70% female readership which I think it's related to it's authenticity.

Also, YuruYuri is also a distinct experience from other slice of life stuff because its characters are (explicitly) lesbian: the show is about friendship involving girls and besides being friends once in a while they suffer bursts of sexual attraction for each other. Still that sexual element remains only a source of comedy and has no bearing on the actual plot (although there is no plot to be seem). Like Seinfeld, it's a show about nothing: nothing happens of substance and by the end of 3 seasons of YuruYuri the whole cast is in the same way as it was at the beginning: we have the hyperactive funny one (Kyoko), the delicate and feminine one, whose presence is almost inexistant (Akari), the "straight girl" (serious and mature Yui), etc. The characters never truly grow and change (at least not very perceptively). Still the show has been very satisfying in doing what it does which is a relaxing comedic experience.

In this third edition of the TV adaption (hence the name "San Hai"), the animation studio in charge of adapting the manga changed so now we got a different studio with vast experience in the slice of life genre: TYO Animations, which actually resulted in a substantial improvement in the quality of the series. Now the series incorporated more creative direction (including a whole section of an episode done in silent film mode without dialogue or sound besides the music soundtrack) which made for a more memorable experience than the first two seasons.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:38 pm Reply with quote
Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2013)



Captain Harlock is a popular figure of Japanese pop culture. A creation of Leiji Matsumoto, one of Japan's greatest creators of pop culture, Harlock shares it's universe with Galaxy Express 999 (at least they show up in the same movie) and it's a universe endowed with a vast and diverse mythology. And the universe was the most interesting thing about the movie.

The direction was pretty standard, in fact, the film felt it was directed like a Game of Thrones episode but with more dramatic takes. It's also an example of a serious CGI movie: American CGI movies are nearly always very light family friendly comedies, this movie, in contrast, features a lot of violence and deaths, although nothing that makes it a R rated movie.

Still the movie tried to look more realistic than typical CGI, it's not quite Final Fantasy levels of photo realism but the CGI looks very similar to that previous movie and in terms of quality is also on a similar level of detail. Still, I would rather have 2D animation than this extremely detailed but not very "natural looking" 3D computer generated dolls who look pretty weird.

The movie suffers a lot in terms of execution and that's its main problem and not the art style. It tries to be big and dramatic at every moment but without moments of more peaceful character development the big moments don't feel authentic and so the movie as a whole suffers. Overall it's decently executed but has nothing great besides Matsumoto's world building.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:30 pm Reply with quote
The Boy and the Beast (2015)



Mamoru Hosoda is already a well established name among the finest animation directors in the world. Given that I had high expectations regarding this film (much higher than regarding The Space Pirate Harlock's film). However, these expectations did not materialize with this film.

Instead I got an expertly well animated film and also very well directed film but lacking in the writing department: the characters felt really one dimensional and I meant in the sense that they acted in a way such that they did not feel like people but just puppets in a show. The vast majority of TV anime, even the really mediocre stuff, had much more interesting characters than this film.

Hence, the movie's 2 hour duration dragged quite a bit since I wasn't invested in the plot: a boy with a dysfunctional family is "adopted" by a monster who lives in the monster world and grows to adulthood while being raised by "the beast", and that was the best part of the film: the side plots such as the one involving the "evil" boy also raised by beasts were pretty bland. However, both the boy and the beast felt really flat as characters and in that sense this film reminded me quite a bit of Anglo American animation whose writing is generally very simple, although this film is much longer and more complex (plot-wise but not character-wise) than any Anglo American animated film I recall watching.

Still, I appreciated the art and animation of this film even though the plot and characters felt really uninspired. So far this is by far the weakest film Hosoda directed and the sense of disappointment overwhelmed me after watching it: it was about as weak as Harlock but made by a much superior and well regarded creator. A true disappointment.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:05 am Reply with quote
Magical Girl Raising Project (2016)



It is my impression that TV anime tends to be superior to theatrical titles. The reason is that in TV budgets are smaller and that allows for greater creative freedom since the number of clients that needs to be pleased is smaller: only a small number of otaku need to buy it's merchandise to make it profitable. An expensive movie like the ones I reviewed above need to appeal to a wider audience which tends to restrict the degree of artistic freedom.

This series essentially is in the tradition of horror manga. It it's also perhaps one of the shows that appear to have been heavily influenced by Madoka, while Yuki Yuna is a Hero also appears to be directly influenced this one is much closer in look and feel: a brutal action horror show that borrows the aesthetic elements of a genre of children's manga: magical girls.

Even the way it's executed reminded me of Madoka with a "feminine and inactive main character", more "masculine" side characters (Homura in Madoka, here the role is played by characters like La Pucelle and Hardgore Alice). I also found it closer to Madoka in atmosphere than Daybreak Illusion which I found to be pretty mediocre (I didn't like it's art style as well, reminded me too much of a Nickelodeon show). Still, this show, despite being very good, is not remotely on the same league as Madoka (which is expected since Madoka is one of those masterpieces that show up once every 1,000 shows). Anyway, I should stop comparing it to Madoka now and talk about it on it's own terms.

The art and animation were very good in my opinion. It shows how refined the graphic quality of TV animation has reached in Japan. I also liked the character designs: consciously chosen to reflect a self awareness of shoujo manga aesthetics. In effect they can be said to represent the so called "men's shoujo manga" in style: consciously borrowing shoujo manga stylizations but modifying them to fit the tastes of adult male manga and animation fans.

The plot is pretty straightforward: after a couple of episodes introducing the setting, it's shown to be a situation of Battle Royale where each girl must try to kill the others in order to survive. To me the plot started to feel a bit forced when it was becoming more obvious where this was going as supposedly they were supposed to allow for half of the magical girls to die for some "mana scarcity reason" however after they killed half of the mahou shoujo population them it just changed to "need to kill half of the remaining".

Also, the 12 episode format was just too short to allow for ideal character development regarding the dozen or so important characters of the show. Still there was a lot of information about each character compressed and transmitted to the audience but it was done in a very obvious way (because there was not room for natural development of the characters they had to "do a briefing of each character's personality and back story in 5 minutes").

Still the show was a moderately memorable experience and succeeded very well in entertaining me for it's duration. One thing I liked about it was the "post modern" feeling of the show, since it's very feministic since it is essentially about women (and some children) doing what's traditionally regarded as men's stuff: fighting, killing and dying violent deaths.

Also, these otaku magical girl shows are essentially an inversion of gender roles in cinema: in most movies women are supposed to watch movies with male protagonists and try to see the movie's world from their (male) perspective, here males are supposed to watch something that (almost, considering that it's revealed that one of the magical girls is actually a boy) only features female protagonists and see the fictional world from this female perspective.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:51 am Reply with quote
I really dug the character designs for this show, too. I super hope more of the source material gets animated, assuming it is as compelling as this season was.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:43 pm Reply with quote
Little Witch Academia (2017)



Before talking about Little Witch Academia, when talking about the twin mediums of manga and animation I am considering the following classification based on six different target demographics:

1) Kids: Shows/manga primarily aimed at children up to the age of 12. Example: Pokemon, Yo-kai Watch.

2) Teenagers: Shows/manga primarily aimed at teenagers. Traditionally most anime and the most popular manga is mainly made up of these titles, thanks to perhaps their accessibility combined with mass appeal. Examples: Boku no Hero Academia, Food Wars, Mob Psycho 100, Attack on Titan, Assassination Classroom, Konosuba, Sword of art Online, Seven Deadly Sins and Your Name.

3) Young adults: Shows/manga primarily aimed at young adults. Traditionally most adult manga is of this type and also a large fraction of anime. I am including here the titles aimed at the general public and are not typical otaku material but aimed at the general proletariat, they might be distinguished from otaku titles by it's less radical art style, less meta-fictional and reduced requirements of pop culture background to be enjoyed. Examples: One Punch Man, Tokyo Ghoul, Parasyte the Maxim, Ajin: Demi-Human, March Comes Like a Lion, Re-Life, Ping Pong.

4) Mature adults: Shows/manga primarily aimed at mature adults (over the age of 30). Stuff that appeals to typical Japanese salaryman and it's usually devoid of "animeisms". It's very common in manga but it's rare in anime. Stuff like: Space Brothers, Hyouge Mono, Only Yesterday, Monster, Planetes.

5) Otaku: Shows/manga primarily aimed at the special group of otaku, who are the Japanese nerds and are usually between the ages of 18 and 40. Titles are usually more sophisticated and more meta-fiction being self aware of their use of genre tropes, as a result they often requires deeper knowledge of Japan's pop culture to be fully enjoyed. They commonly deals with the typical social problems faced by otaku as well. In many cases inexperienced anime fans might think they are for children or teenagers (i.e. groups 1-2). It's the fastest growing segment in the anime medium and consists of a very large fraction of modern anime and it's also over represented in anime relative to manga as anime is more otaku dominated medium than manga is. Moe shows in general, anime originals and light novel adaptions also commonly fall in this group. Examples of shows are very numerous these days as they consist perhaps of the bulk of late night shows: Madoka, Bakemonogatari, Flip Flappers, Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Saga of Tanya the Evil, New Game, Bakuon, K-On!, Hidamari Sketch, Strike Witches, Highschool Fleet, etc.

6) Universal: defies any demographic classification and have universal appeal. Extremely rare in anime and I think it's pretty much nonexistent in manga (the manga magazine's demographic classification system actually acts as a barrier against it in that medium). I also think that Miyazaki pretty much invented this type of anime and very few other directors managed to pull it off. Although they are universal, knowledge of anime genre tropes might help for it's enjoyment. Examples: most Miyazaki's movies and Little Witch Academia.

Why I am talking about this? Well, because I think that Little Witch Academia is a very special and one of the very few products of the twin anime/manga mediums that manages to transcend it's manga roots and become something more universal, both in terms of demographic appeal but also in transcending the use of genre tropes. It's like Miyazaki's movies in that regard.

Miyazaki himself has criticized the enormous influence of manga over Japan's animation and very few animations produced in Japan manage to actually escape from that influence as most anime are basically manga commercials or their style is heavily inspired by it. Even though animation is a different medium from manga and so to have it's potential maximized it requires the use of techniques distinct from manga. Little Witch Academia is one of the very few of such animations that fully transcends manga.

The quality of the art and animation is also very special for a TV show. Character designs are each different, very memorable, elegant and yet very simple. The whole art style of the show is one of the best in the medium as it allows for deep atmosphere and yet it's simple enough to be well animated. In fact, in terms of TV animation I think Little Witch Academia represents the absolute best of the best in terms of animation quality combined with artistic consistency: it's how anime is "supposed to be" ideally as it contributes to the genuinely magical atmosphere of LWA.

I also found the show to transition very well from being light comedy to heavier drama over it's run. It reminded me again of Miyazaki's work in that regard. Overall, I think it's Trigger's best title yet and quite possibly one of the best animations of the decade. However, I had some minor issues with it's last episode (spoiler[the missile intrigue] to me felt a bit forced on to the overall plot even though it reminded me of the ad hoc endings of Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away). But as a whole show it does really succeeds on virtually all levels being the first such example in animation that I am aware off since Ping Pong in 2014 and my favorite animation since Madoka in 2011. LWA IS anime at it's absolute best game: it's an universal and timeless work of art IMO.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:06 pm Reply with quote
Key the Metal Idol (1994-1997)



This is perhaps one of those classic OVAs that only the hardcore fans know about. I watched this based on the fact that it is among the favorites of one of the reviewers of ANN and indeed its a great OVA, a representantive from the OVA era which is an important piece of animation history. As a large fraction, if not the majority, of the animated films made in history are OVAs. And these direct to video movies also represented the birth of adult animation produced in substantial scale: from 1983, the time of the first OVA up to 1998, when late night anime began to be made in large scale, OVAs were the only substantial source of animation not made for children. And OVAs could be produced in numerous forms/lengths not being restricted to any form of editing rules of TV or the movie theater: this one would consist of 13 episodes of 25 minutes plus two movie length episodes.

So, how good is Key? Well, its an impressive achievement given its super low budget and the high level of complexity in it's writing. Which also imply the existence of numerous hidden gems for fans, as among the thousands of existing OVAs while most are really bad some might be masterpieces. Key is a psychological thriller and a science fiction drama centered around the very Japanese concept of idols. In Japan they have this cultural institution of "the idols" which are essentially young performers and singers that are purposefully manufactured by talent promotion agencies/firms. Although regarded as a Japanese thing, one might guess someone like Britney Spears during her years of popularity could be regarded as an American equivalent to a Japanese idol. This OVA is a criticism of this industry. In fact it portrays idols as being "transformed" into robotized puppets by the promotion companies, clearly a direct criticism of

Key is a girl that believes to be a robot although the show is not completely clear if she is or not a robot only well over three quarters of the show and in the beginning that was one of the mysteries that I was watching it for. But she certainly though she was a robot that desired to become human, which according to her "creator/grandfather" could be accomplished by acquiring 30,000 friends. Which instantly meant to the audience: oh, she needs to became an Idol now so she could get 30,000 fans. Hence, it's a show that plays with the contradiction of a robot that desires to become human by getting into the idol business, which is ironically a business that functions by dehumanizing humans.

Although I was surprised by the innovative way in which the plot evolved: I expected the main character to become an idol all the time and to start touring and stuff but like in Madoka, the plot never actually unfolded in the way I would have first expected. And other mysteries emerge constantly during the shows duration.

The art and animation are certainly dated but I liked the more realistic style of 1990's OVAs, reminiscent of 1990's seinen manga (with the exception of the girl's character designs) if compared to the more stylized look of most contemporary anime. The lack of CGI is also a plus (I never like when they mix CGI with hand drawn animation, well, actually I dislike CGI in general, except for Blizzard's videogame's cinematics).

Up to the end of the 13 episodes this OVA was almost perfect, however my the main issue is also the one that has been pointed out by many people before: that the whole background story is exposed in the first movie in the form of a long dialogue between two supporting characters plus a monologue of a new character that is introduced just to feed information into the audience, a rather stupid way to do exposition. Despite this issue, however, this OVA remains a powerful testament to the power of animation.
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