Patema Inverted Review

patema invertedStory:
Patema lives in a world years after an experimental failure at controlling gravity caused much of the earth to float away into the sky, never to return. Wishing to explore more of her small underground world, Patema ignores the advice of her elders and ventures deeper into the tunnels where gravity seems to be reversed…

Violence:
A few characters are injured and some killed. Near the end we see quite a lot of blood from a few gun and knife wounds. Not quite as bad as FMA, but still not for younger audiences.

Language:
Some d-mns and one or two b-words, but nothing excessive.

Nudity:
There is a villain who makes some rather suggestive remarks towards the lead, but nothing is shown or occurs (besides being creepy).

Theology/mythology:
The people in one of the “worlds” consider those who’s gravity is reversed to be “sinners” and that they deserve to float into the sky and die as it is divine punishment from God. This belief keeps many people in line with the government and is a plot point, so it can’t be easily ignored.

Personal impression:
I really liked this film. It’s one of the better science fiction films I’ve seen in awhile, not just in the realm of anime but in general. While the story itself isn’t overly complex, the way it is presented cinematically is amazing (although, the switching of the camera angle between gravitational pulls can be very disorienting so be warned on that).
The characters are well crafted and although we only have one film to get to know them, we are given enough context and dialog to get a sense of what drives them and what they fear. The two leads also have a pretty organic relationship, which is nice amidst all the rushed ones rampant in more recent films.
The plot twists are pretty solid as well and make for a pretty impactful ending.
If you want to take a break from TV series for a bit, I recommend looking into your local library or digging around Amazon for this one. Even if science fiction isn’t your usual go-to, this is well worth a watch.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: Movie
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Action, fantasy, science fiction, drama
Studio: Studio Rikka
Company: Cinedigm, GKids
Official streaming: n/a

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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

Wolf Children Review

a13862-791722162-1323905458Story:
Hana is a single mother of two… well, wolf children. After losing her husband in an accident, she must learn how to care for these mythical children of hers all on her own, despite being a normal human herself.

Violence:
There are some scenes showing both death and injury. Blood isn’t avoided. This said, the movie’s point isn’t fighting so it only occurs once or twice and isn’t focused on too much. Still, those scenes would likely scare very young viewers…

Language:
Pretty tame stuff. Only a few sh-ts and whatnot here and there.

Nudity:
We don’t really see much in the way of outright nudity, but we do have one scene where it’s very clear that two adults are going to have sex. Nothing is shown and the scene blacks out, but it’s no mystery what’s going to happen.

Theology/mythology:
This show focuses around a family born from a wolf/human. If the idea of creatures (or humans) shifting forms disturbs you, this movie isn’t for you. Especially as one of the major themes for this show is the differences and similarities between man and beast.

Personal impression: 
This is an amazing animation. From the facial expressions to the dialog, the settings and music… all of it was extremely well handled. There’s good reason why this show has been up for so many awards.
That being said, if I had to nit-pick, there were a few instances that were frustrating to watch as someone who deals with children herself. Japan has very different views on discipline than I tend to and thus it can be irritating to see these kids grow up so… well, selfish. We don’t really see them disciplined at all and it shows by the end.
Even so, the main point of this movie for me was the mother, Hana, and her fight to come to terms with both the world she must live in and the duality of her children.
So long as you aren’t allergic to bittersweet endings (or lack of constant action), this is a wonderful film and I quite recommend it.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 1 (movie)
Languages: sub and dub
Offical rating: PG13
Genres: Fantasy, drama
Production: Madhouse
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: n/a

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Review

the_girl_who_leapt_through_time_posterStory:
Makoto Konno loves nothing more than playing some baseball with her two guy friends and generally lazing about. One day she has a near death experience with a train and discovers she can jump from one time period to another. At first she uses her new power to do silly things here and there for fun, such as 10 hours of karaoke and going back and forth to days when her family made her favorite meal for dinner. But after awhile she begins to notice that her actions have painful consequences for those around her…

Violence:
While few people get into fist fights or anything, there are quite a few violent scenes. Mainly when our MC falls and rolls down a steep road, breaking her arm and cutting herself badly. It’s disturbing to see and hear, so be warned.

Language:
Usually kept to a few d-mns. Other than that, I didn’t really hear anything too objectionable in this one (I’ve only viewed the subtitled version).

Nudity:
Nothing much in this one. We have one or two bath scenes, but it’s vary covered and we see nothing of note.

Theology/mythology:
If the idea of what appears to be magic, or those who are considered witches, bugs you, go ahead and skip this (though later it is revealed that technology might be more of a cause than actual magic). We also have a shrine and prayer scene, but as usual no doctrine is discussed.

Personal impression:
I rarely get a chance to review anime films, but I was able to watch this one and let me tell you, it was oddly… good. It’s definitely a slow starter, so be warned on that. The art is also a bit sketchy here and there until you get used to it. The background music is totally forgettable, but overall the script makes up for it. The characters are all believable and the dialog is steady (no sudden personality changes for this one’s cast). I did feel as if the plot twist at the end was a bit… forced, but even so this film closes down leaving a strong message about time behind.
So long as a more melancholy ending is your cup of tea, I think you’ll really enjoy this show. Though you’ll have to get it through Netflix or FUNimation seeing as it’s not streaming at the moment.

Personal rating: young adult

Episodes: Movie
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, slice of life, drama
Company: Kadokawa/FUNimation (previously Bandai)
Production: Madhouse
Official streaming: na

I’ve Always Liked You Review

screen-shot-2015-07-14-at-15-58-59Story:
Natsuki Enomoto has a huge crush on her childhood friend, Yu Setoguchi. When she manages to confess her feelings towards him, she chickens out halfway through, claiming the whole thing was just “practice” so she’d be ready to confess to the one she really loves later. Believing her, Yu keeps his own feeling for her hidden as day after day she continues to “practice” confessing her love.

Violence:
Pretty non-existent besides some characters staring each other down (dem angry gazes tho).

Language:
Super light. Besides a few d-mns, it’s not really there.

Nudity:
Aside from a few shower/bath scenes where no details are shown at all, nothing here to report either, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
The usual shrines and charms for good luck are here and there, but no discourse on religion or theology take place.

Personal impression:
This whole mini-movie has no point or substance to it beyond getting two characters together. And maybe seeing her friends get together too. That’s… really it. Nothing else is going on. There are no points being made outside of that. Now, if you’re chill with that, you might like this one. It does a good job of portraying friendship and early love which is really the whole goal of this title so there’s nothing really to gripe about. I suppose if you like more comedy alongside your romance, this might not do it for ya, but other than that, there’s little to fault this show for.
Even the music and art are… fine. Not great, not bad, just fine. Which is overall how I feel about this whole production. It wasn’t something that blew me away or made me super happy to watch (like Kimi ni Todoke or My LOVE story!), but it didn’t made me angry and want to slit my wrists (like Say “I love you” or Wolf Girl). So if all you want is a sweet romance that doesn’t try to be or do anything else, give this one a go. I think you’ll find nothing too objectionable in it (besides perhaps finding the leads to be a bit less interesting than the side characters).

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 1 (movie)
Languages: sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genres: Romance, slice of life
Company: Aniplex
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Fuse: Memoirs of the Hunter Girl Review

fusetitleStory:
A young huntress from the mountain journeys to the city to find herself unwillingly roped into chasing and killing the Fuse, supernatural creatures that can look human and suck the life out of others. But the Fuse might not be nearly as different from humans as they are said to be.

Violence:
The worse part of this show is probably sitting right in this section. The hunt of a wolf at the very beginning of the movie is pretty graphic for a PG13 title, but it’s a good indication of the violence levels for the rest of the show. The Fuse are often beheaded, the heads displayed for all to see, complete with flies buzzing around them. If the violence levels of Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex really put you off, this is a title to skip for sure. Also, there’s a bit of a trigger warning concerning the mention of babies and female prostitutes being killed in a ditch in the red light district, often as suicides.

Languages:
The classics are all here, the d-mns, sh-ts and b-words. Not every word, but not non-existent either.

Nudity:
Another trigger here is the red light district, where prostitutes sell themselves. We don’t see too much actual nudity, but a lot is implied (for obvious reasons). We see shadows of two people coupling for a few seconds and the presence of children in these places is very unsettling.

Theology/mythology:
Gods aren’t discussed much in the show, but the Fuse are indeed supernatural and human hybrids. There are implications that they were born of a super wolf and human coupling. This isn’t confirmed, however. Also, the Fuse seem to live off the souls of humans. Take from that what you will, but if these things bug you, this movie isn’t for you.

Personal impression:
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, oddly enough. The violence is a bit much, even for me, however, which keeps this show from the top anime slots in my mind. Also, as some reviewers have mentioned, this show is pretty blunt on the idea of not killing animals for sport and such. The agenda to show how human animals are (and how animalistic humans can be) is pretty blunt.
Even so, the ending isn’t cliche, though I feared more than once that it would be. The characters are interesting enough to hold interest and you honestly root for the heroes to win out in the end.
The art is a bit odd in places, but fits the show well. As does the music. My only serious critique being that the characters aren’t really explored as well as they might. But considering this is all crammed into a single movie, I’m willing to give quite a bit of leeway there.
If you like fantasy and action, with quite a bit of social commentary drama along the way, this movie is a great watch. Just don’t expect a perfect ending here. Or too much historical accuracy, come to think of it (feudal Japan didn’t have hand cannons for hunters).

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: Movie
Languages: Sub
Official rating: PG13
Genre(s): Fantasy, drama
Company: TMS Entertainment
Legal streaming: Hulu
Screenshots:
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