This Boy is a Professional Wizard Review

thisboyStory:
Chiharu is a wizard who works himself near to death, unable to trust those around him to help and believing he isn’t worth anything without his abilities in magic. When he runs into a traveler named Toyohi at a local bar, he begins to finally smile and even fall in love. If only his insecurity would allow him to trust…

Violence:
Pretty low stuff. We hear about things going wrong off screen, requiring wizards to interfere and save others, but we never see any actual violence occur.

Language:
A bit of negative self-talk and maybe a d-amn, but tame overall.

Nudity:
There is an almost implication of two characters sleeping together, but it turns into nothing and we don’t really see much besides a bit of bare chest. No details.

Theology/mythology:
If the idea of a world where magic exists bugs you, this isn’t a show for you. But if you’re chill with that, there’s really nothing deeper going on in this section.

Personal impression:
This is a wonderful, although sadly short, series. The animation style is very odd, moving more like a visual novel with swirling backgrounds. The story, tone and colors are nice enough to make up for it and it was refreshing to see one more healthy and somewhat natural relationship on screen.
The only downside? This is more of a mini-series, likely meant to promo a manga run. It’s a shame more of this won’t be seen on screen, or in a more fully animated format. Even so, it’s a great little story, sweet, to the point and lovely to look at.

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 4
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Romance, fantasy
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Company: CoMix Wave Films
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Advertisements

The Place Promised In Our Early Days Reviews

565f866da841c21e33f400259b3f5f7a1267231176_fullStory:
Three friends in middle school make a promise to fly a plane towards the mysterious tower looming over the city. But before they even graduate, one falls into a sleep she never awakens from. The boys split up and take different directions in life…

Violence:
The violence in this movie doesn’t really hit until the very last part, when war gets declared and, well, something… bloody… hits the plane. Blood gets all over the windshield and it’s pretty sudden and disturbing. Though it thankfully doesn’t last long. Still… that alone bunked this movie to a YA rating.

Language:
Nothing worse than some d-mns. Pretty light stuff, actually.

Nudity:
Our lead heroine is naked in her hospital bed, but we never see anything. A few shots of her sitting in her uniform are a bit revealing. Nothing too concerning though.

Theology/mythology:
Ideas of parallel universes, subconscious communication and such get bunked around, but everything remains as theory and no one really comes to much of a conclusion or explanation.

Personal impression:
I had watched this movie years back when ADV films was still a thing and anime was booming here in the states. This movie was one of the more literary fiction approaches to storytelling, aka character based, much like 5 Centimeters per Second and Voices of a Distant Star. While all these films have some science fiction/fantasy elements to them, overall these movies are based on the relationships of the characters to one another, rather than the settings themselves. And, overall, this works great. The worlds are richer for their stronger characters and the stories leave a bigger impression too. I was surprised when I re-watched this movie only to find I recalled almost everything. Considering how long it’s been and how much anime I watch, it’s pretty amazing that such a strong impression was left.
Of course, if there is one flaw in this show, it’s right where its strength is: show don’t tell. This show is committed to not explaining itself. Which is great! …If you’re fine leaving this movie with a few questions that will never be answered. I kinda enjoyed that part myself, sick as I am of being spoon fed plot by most shows these days. Still, I can see how this aspect might be frustrating for those that enjoy getting all their threads tied up nicely at the end. Because that won’t happen with this show.
If you enjoy more realistic characters and are chill not getting every question answered, I recommend this film. But be warned! This is the kind of world you’ll get tossed in rather unceremoniously. So be prepared to pay close attention, especially to the “news” stations playing in the background of many scenes…

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: movie (4 episode parts)
Language: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Fantasy, literary fiction, romance, science fiction
Studio: CoMix Wave Inc
Company: ADV Films
Official streaming: Crunchyroll 

Voices of a Distant Star Review

hoshinokoe_8597_7851Story:
Mikako is only fifteen years old when she joins the UN’s attempts to keep a new alien species from invading and annihilating the solar system. She tries to keep her childhood friend, whom she loves, updated on her progress through the galaxy, but with each warp deeper into space, the time between when she sends her messages to him and he receives them get longer and longer. Years pass for him, but it is only a matter of hours for her…

Violence:
The alien creatures bleed red and we see this when they are shot and killed by the human robots. It’s not something that lingers on screen for long and because the aliens are giant glob things, it’s not as graphic as it sounds… I will still tag this for YA, to be on the safe side, however.

Language:
Nothing to report here!

Nudity: 
Aside from some shots where Mikako’s skirt is rather short, nothing to report here either.

Theology/mythology:
Aliens are the only things to speak of here and I really don’t think that fully counts…

Personal impression:
I had actually seen this short film years ago, but catching it again on Crunchyroll, I decided it would be a good idea to re-watch it and review it. It was just as powerful the second time.
I’ll be honest here, the art in this is VERY rough. But when you realize every scene was handled by a single guy on his computer, the show becomes outright amazing. Shinkai pretty much single handedly crafted every aspect of this science fiction drama, from the tears floating in zero gravity to the slow, but powerful change in scenes between our lead’s fight against the alien invaders and her old classmate’s ageing life back on earth. This is definitely one of those rare cases where I believe the story is so strong that it’s worth bearing with the odd and very off artwork.
If you’re looking for a watertight science fiction, this won’t be it. But if you want some feels alongside your space fantasy work? This has it in spades. And, yes, this guy got hired after making this and, yes, his other films improved. This one is still worth the time to watch it, however, and I do recommend it for anyone who loves science fiction.

Personal raring: Young adult

Episodes: 1 (25 min)
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Drama, action, science fiction
Company: CoMix Wave Films
Production: Makoto Shinkai
Official streaming: Crunchyroll