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This Week in Anime - Does Shoji Kawamori's Last Hope Make Any Sense?




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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 880
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:20 pm Reply with quote
I'm a big Kawamori fan, too, but while there are some really cool ideas and visuals in the show, I felt most of the characterizations were one-note, and Chloe quoting the "family contract" over and over got old pretty fast. Also, the animation quality rarely impresses, and it doesn't quite do justice to Risa Ebata's character designs.

The first story that really clicked with me was the two-parter focused on Doug, which had a twisty, genuinely surprising plot. I wish there were more Hiroshi Ohnogi-written episodes like those two, but sadly the head writer was Macross Delta's Toshizo Nemoto.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 546
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:15 pm Reply with quote
I do wonder how much Kawamori is actually involved with the show, and how much of a window dressing he. The show is a Chinese coproduction leaning heavily on the Chinese side (considering the character names/etc.), which tend not to do well outside China. I'd been wondering if they just recruited Kawamori as a Big Name to give the show legitimacy, so to speak, with a non-Chinese audience.
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SkerllyFC07



Joined: 08 Jul 2017
Posts: 100
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:55 pm Reply with quote
Until I watch Escaflowne, this is the best Kawamori series I´ve watched, given that SDF Macross for me is pretty dated in some aspects and it was a mediocre series, especially after the 2nd half. And the Macross franchise seems to get worse with each new entry because Kawamori wants to turn it more into commercials for idol groups that happen to be mecha series instead of the other way around(I don´t even care that the franchise doesn´t have a legal distributor because of Harmony Gold. Is it worth to wait for the franchise to be avaiable legall when the newer entries are bad?).

Anyway, this series works because it´s simple but with some nuances. For all the weird stuff it introduces, I root for Leon Lau to fix the apocalyptic mess he helped to create, and his chemistry with Chloe is bittersweet. The cyborg animals are and look interesting, the series is definetely inmersive in its post-apocalyptic depiction, and the action scenes have some impact. Oh. and the Power Rangers-esque mechs? Enjoyable.

Of course, there are some flaws, like osme characters needing more development, the series sometimes looks way too dark, there´s some shaky cam here and there and some jumps in logic. But in no way I´d call this series 'simple popcorn entertainment' when its plotting and mech designs are far more interesting and compelling than Darling in The Franxx´s messy and underdeveloped story and worldbuilding, and boring mech and creature designs.
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 346
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:12 pm Reply with quote
Sometimes I get the feeling that Kawamori doesn’t care too much for characterization or compelling stories. He’s more about concepts, ideas, machines and the characters job is to present these to the audience. I cannot remember anything of his from the last decade or so we’re I felt much attention was given to the screenplay. And the older I care, the more I care about that.
He did some kickass stuff when he was younger, and his mecha designs are the stuff of legend.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 537
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:16 am Reply with quote
Kawamori is one of those creative types that every once in a blue moon will make something good again otherwise he most treads on his reputation with SDF Macross. This does not look to be one of those times.
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 346
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:57 am Reply with quote
Zeino wrote:
Kawamori is one of those creative types that every once in a blue moon will make something good again otherwise he most treads on his reputation with SDF Macross. This does not look to be one of those times.


I agree. When he gets it right (Macross Do You Remember Love, Escaflowne, Plus) he really gets it right but otherwise...

One thing to remember and keep in mind is that Kawamori keeps on getting credited for the original Macross series, but he was not the director or primary creative force for that one. the great Noboru Ishiguro was the head man there.
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 980
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:35 pm Reply with quote
Last Hope has a lot of silly elements but it was an entertaining show with plenty of action, comedy, and drama. It is the equivalent of a Hollywood action movie where logic occasionally gets thrown out the window but it is a lot of fun to watch. Also Last Hope has one of the best dubs I have heard from a Netflix show which was a nice surprise.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3099
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:00 pm Reply with quote
I was going to watch this, but the CG Mechs made it hard for me to even watch a few minutes on YouTube, so I doubt I could sit through an entire episode.
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manapear



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 1304
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:56 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised at how much people credit Escaflowne to Kawamori. I feel like it's a perfect example of him being about concepts and not delivering everywhere else. Heck, I think Akane helped make Escaflowne a much better series. (As did the rest of the final production team.)

I can't even say Kawamori is good at picking out talent to handle projects. That Nobunaga one was a mess, this a mess, and Basquash ended up being a mess. His original concepts are fine, but these shows. . . don't do justice to anything besides their music, and usually the mecha.

It would be great if Kawamori had another cool concept and the right talent (and circumstances) came together for it, but who knows when that'll happen again.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3539
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:30 am Reply with quote
Chrono1000 wrote:
Last Hope has a lot of silly elements but it was an entertaining show with plenty of action, comedy, and drama. It is the equivalent of a Hollywood action movie where logic occasionally gets thrown out the window but it is a lot of fun to watch. Also Last Hope has one of the best dubs I have heard from a Netflix show which was a nice surprise.


Nice, I'm currently making my way through enjoying this quite a bit. You're right, the mix of content is fun so far and I'm really digging the dub cast. Entertaining show so far.

Hope the music keeps this up too.

SkerllyFC07 wrote:
Anyway, this series works because it´s simple but with some nuances. For all the weird stuff it introduces, I root for Leon Lau to fix the apocalyptic mess he helped to create, and his chemistry with Chloe is bittersweet. The cyborg animals are and look interesting, the series is definetely inmersive in its post-apocalyptic depiction, and the action scenes have some impact.

Yeah.
Really nicely rendered art design adding to that too.

SkerllyFC07 wrote:
Oh. and the Power Rangers-esque mechs? Enjoyable.

Yup Smile
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