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REVIEW: Flag DVD 1


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daedelus



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 743
Location: Texas City, TX (ajd: 6/11/05)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:28 am Reply with quote
I need to watch this ASAP. I was attracted to this show because of how different it seemed to be from everything else I've seen. I bought the artbox combo this past weekend and after reading this glowing review, I'm going to move this to the top of my stack to watch.

The artbox is pretty cool too.
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Unholy_Nny



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 622
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:56 pm Reply with quote
This sounds fairly interesting, but I don't think I could handle 13 episodes of it... If it were a movie I'd stick it on my "to watch" list right away.
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lhernan02



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Posts: 157
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:02 pm Reply with quote
I am sorry, but I found this show unwatchable. I tried to stick with it since adult anime are few and far between, but the "photo lens" style just overwhelmed my annoyance meter and I had to quit on the second ep. Pity, because if they had taken a more traditional visual style it would have been at least a good show and more likely a great show.
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 1669
Location: Columbus, OH
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:57 pm Reply with quote
Another dissenting opinion...

From what I said on AoD's volume one review thread:

HellKorn wrote:
I can only recommend if:

A) You are a Ryosuke Takahashi fanatic.

B) A mecha fanatic. (Seriously, those things have no damn business being in something that is even tries to be remotely realistic.)

C) Sucked in by gimmicks. (The story's told from the photographer's point of view! Oh my!)

I love slow-paced and gritty stuff. I was bored to death by what I saw of Flag.


Flag doesn't offer much that hasn't been done before. I can only believe that the "camera perspective" serves as a gimmick to go along with the emphasized theme, because it doesn't really add anything.

The writing is also eye-roll inducing, and I still can't believe that they had to bother with inserting mecha. They even resorted to "dynamic shots" of the mecha in action.

Just because a story is different from the usual derivative trash doesn't mean it's good.
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Jedi General



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 2485
Location: Tucson, AZ
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:30 pm Reply with quote
I remember watching the first episode of Flag fansubbed a while back. I found it to be quite interesting although I was put off a by its slow pacing and did not continue. I think I'll give it another shot now, after reading Key's review.
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jgreen



Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 1324
Location: St. Louis, MO
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:27 pm Reply with quote
I've gotta agree with Theron on this one: I enjoyed Flag quite a bit. I will say that I thought the photo technique worked wonderfully, but it does start to grate if you try to marathon more than a few episodes in a row, as I did. Unholy_Nny is right in that this may have worked better as a movie than as a 13-episode TV series, but from what I've watched, it's still a compelling show worth checking out.
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JackCox



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 379
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:58 pm Reply with quote
I'm actually glad there is still someone out there that can actually give us something new and something refreshing and not all of this moe and loli crap. Thank god for Mr. Takahashi, thank god that he can use his brain and create something that is original.
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5899
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:00 pm Reply with quote
FINALLY! it's about time they started getting Flag out. in my opinion, it's the most overlooked series of 2006. what makes it work is sheer accuracy of it all. like the environment, and the weapon sounds for instance. hopefully this series will finally get finished.
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hikaru004



Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 2306
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:00 pm Reply with quote
This title has too many plot twists to work as a movie imo. 13 episodes were the right amount of episodes.

That camera angle really is important to the series imo.
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Goodpenguin



Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Hunt Valley, MD
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:24 pm Reply with quote
I've got to throw my hat in with Hellkorn and agree that it's a show that didn't seem to live up to billing/potential. I'm always game for anime that looks to take a break from the the usual teen melodrama fair, but as mentioned best intentions don't always mean a great show. Like a lot of anime, on paper the story and visual style seem appealing, but 'Flag' just lacks the 'chops', so to speak, to really pull things off consistently.

The visuals tend to get gimmicky/wear thin, and the 'political' heart (while happily lacking the over-the-top, ultra nationalistic nonsense of the directors 'Gasaraki') comes across as moldy 'paleo-progressive' fair and seems dated in worldview/message, as if one could check the underside of the story it would say 'best told by 1974'.

The series is still worth a check if one is intrigued by the description, and again hap-tip for looking to be a little more mature in execution, but in my opinion there's more concept then ability for stretches here.

As an off-the-cuff P.S., if Ryousuke Takahashi (or other anime writers) wants credit for serious 'political' soap-boxing, maybe they could turn their attention to a country with a very violent modern military history with a propensity for willful cultural amnesia like, oh........ Japan for instance. Holding one's own country and it's controversial military/martial history up for examination may give one a little more credibility for pulling the 'world-weary finger wagging' routine.
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Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15750
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:30 pm Reply with quote
HellKorn wrote:
Just because a story is different from the usual derivative trash doesn't mean it's good.


Granted, but just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it's bad, either. Based on the first four episodes alone I've found the writing to be wonderful (certainly not "eye-rolling") and think the camera gimmicks works, although I will agree that the story probably would have been better without the insertion of the mecha component. I can certainly understand why some would not like this approach, however, which is why I chose the negative that I did.

Goodpenguin wrote:
As an off-the-cuff P.S., if Ryousuke Takahashi (or other anime writers) wants credit for serious 'political' soap-boxing, maybe they could turn their attention to a country with a very violent modern military history with a propensity for willful cultural amnesia like, oh........ Japan for instance. Holding one's own country and it's controversial military/martial history up for examination may give one a little more credibility for pulling the 'world-weary finger wagging' routine.


That would, basically, be Zipang.
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Randall Miyashiro



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2451
Location: A block away from Golden Gate Park
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:00 am Reply with quote
I watched this DVD last night and was completely blown away. I was rather dubious about the extremely low ranking on ANN since Takahashi's amazing Gasaraki and Blue Gender are amongst the lower rated shows here. This is definitely a must see if you are a fan of his works, but sadly most people here are not.

I love the use of grain in many of the shots which gives this series a nice texture. The DVD is a clear pressing, and I think I will use the various small text (some of which make no sense) from this series to compare my various players and configurations to each other. Based off of the quality I'm pretty sure that this is yet another series (in a growing number) that was mastered in HD.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6431
Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:34 am Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
What makes [Flag] work is sheer accuracy of it all...
Except for the presence of the mecha, apparently.

Even so, Flag looks interesting enough...even though I do like "teen melodrama fare", I'm always on the lookout for some quality "mature" anime. And if Randall's recommending it as such, then I almost can't go wrong. At least it sounds better than that other camera-based series that Funimation recently released. I never gave Flag a look on fansubs (which, interestingly enough, were never completed), mainly because of my "Avoid any series subbed by this group" bias, which has helped me steer clear of many series that don't interest me. But perhaps this will be an exception. Unfortunately I can't commit to collecting a new series at the moment, but I'll keep this one in mind for the future.
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jel123



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 108
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:36 am Reply with quote
lhernan02 wrote:
I am sorry, but I found this show unwatchable... ...I had to quit on the second ep... ...if they had taken a more traditional visual style it would have been at least a good show and more likely a great show.
Same here - too much "art". Flag could have been enjoyable if they had switched back and forth between voyeur and normal mode for the filming. Or as I wrote in a recent Answerfan response; "Flag is a perfect example of the presentation getting in the way of the telling of the story."
Key wrote:
Granted, but just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it's bad, either.
Absolutely! I didn't like it but at the moment eight people have rated it as a masterpiece on the ANN Flagpage so there are some who will love it. It's just not for everyone. Hopefully Bandai will follow the recent trend of putting first episodes online for free so people can decide for themselves without having to invest in the DVD.
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Goodpenguin



Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Hunt Valley, MD
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:31 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:

Quote:
That would, basically, be Zipang.


You can find the occasional historically self-critical series, however, I think their number absolutely pales in comparison to the amount of titles with ideological/political messages of a curios/historically amnesiac nature. This goes triple for the 'mecha' genre that Ryousuke Takahashi dabbles heavily in, and was more or less what I was alluding to. Though to be fair heavy Japanese right-wing subtext may be a feature, and not a bug for parts of the Japanese mecha 'otaku' set.

Zalis wrote:

Quote:
Even so, Flag looks interesting enough...even though I do like "teen melodrama fare"


D'oh. When will Microsoft come up with a 'grammatical intent' check to go with spell check.

Just to add personally because you've made mention of it before, I've got no problem with the heavy drama material though it's not my cup o' tea, and recognize it's what huge portions of the audience want. When I express displeasure with 'teen melodrama' it's not stemming from series that make no bones thats what it's made to deliver ('Air'), more to the point dissatisfaction from shows that suddenly turn into emotional sop's because the writers run out of conceptual steam, and use heavy melodrama as a cobbled-on crutch to attract drama-inclined viewers. (IE. 009-1, which starts with a machinegun-bust endowed femme-fatale and her slinky cohorts, but then curiously becomes an extremely angsty, wooden story affair)
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