REEL Anime film festival (update x2)

****KING OF THORN UPDATED NOW TOOO! ONLY SUMMER WARS TO GO!

Just earlier this month, our REEL anime film festival begun in theatres around Australia and New Zealand. I was largely quite impressed with the selection brought down to us deprived otakus here in Australia. After a quick look and talk, several of my friends along with myself decided to watch a few of these…

http://www.madman.com.au/reelanime/

Read on for my opinions on Evangelion 2.0, Redline, King of Thorn and Summer Wars!

Evangelion 2.0

Without a doubt, everybody has heard of this film remake quadrilogy of the all-time fan favourite series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Personally, I found the film Evangelion 1 quite disappointing. I had not seen the original series, but I’m sure fans of that would have enjoyed the first movie a lot more than myself. I found it rather slow and boring, mainly because I rented the DVD at Blockbuster based on the assumption that it would be a fast paced film full of killing stuff. The second reason I was disappointed was the sheer amount of whinging from the lead character, Shinji. How angsty can you get?

Thankfully, Evangelion 2.0 exceeded any expectations I could have developed based on the first film and actually becomes one of my favourite anime. Heck, I can even say

it’s one of my favourite films of any sort. It’s beautiful, with amazing art style and production values. The soundtrack is also outstanding, suiting each mood well and helping immerse the viewer for the full length of its journey. Especially the song Tsubasa wo Kudasai, which is now one of the songs I keep going back to while studying…maths or something T__T I think that song is also a K-ON! song (did K-ON cover it?), which is pretty cool!

The action keeps you on the edge of your seat; intense, violent and gorgeous. Aesthetics aside, the plot is well paced and developed (yet at times may be complex to non-fanboys) and the characters are well developed, feeding the fanboys (along with creating new fans) of characters such as Rei and Asuka.

The other aspect of the film that grasped me was the fact that it was quite funny at times, very serious at times and even sad at times. The transitions are not noticeable, and it flows perfectly. So do not fear, it’s not pure action, not pure fanservice…this anime has depth.

I don’t really have much more to say…this is just one of those MUST WATCH films/anime.

Audience: EVERYBODY. Be prepared for blood&guts, fanservice/Shinji-is-so-lucky-to-be-in-that-position moments, whinging and messing with emotions.

Rating: 10/10


Redline

After seeing the trailer for this anime, I had expectations. I expected a very different style than that of conventional anime. The trailer (and even these pictures) show a different art-style and overall feel for the film. Somewhat simplistic, yet outrageously complicated.

So, where do I begin? I guess the plot comes first…and it’s actually very simple. The whole film is based around a single event: the Redline intergalactic death race which puts racers of all different kinds on Roboworld…and the main character is that guy in the lower picture with massive sideburns, a goatee and some strange Elvis cross sharkfin haircut (if that has a name, please tell me) called JP. The chick is the trademark ‘hottie’, she’s pretty cool. That’s basically it. Taking things into a bit more depth, the setting, Roboworld, is a location where the inhabitants don’t want the race to be held. What does this mean? It means that they will prove hostile and try to stop the event, plus they have something to hide. Oooooh, how sinister!

Simple, but often simple is good. Thankfully, in this case it is.

You’ve probably guessed that this anime is kinda weird (not as weird as Cat Soup though), and yeah, it sort of a strange mix of F-zero, Star Wars, steroids, LSD and even Tarantino. Here’s what to expect:

  • Clichés
  • Colourfulness
  • Things that don’t make sense
  • Badassery

You’ll enjoy this movie a lot if those tickle your fancy. It tickled mine, and I laughed and had a good time (even though for the majority of the film I was gaping wide-mouthed).

Audience: Mature teens, predominantly male. Be prepared for randomness, mild sexual stuff, blood and explosions.

Rating: 8.5/10


King of Thorn

King of Thorn was an anime that I had set my sights on since it was announced, so having this come join our Reel Anime festivities made me more than pleased.

The anime feature film is based on a manga of the same name, which is apparently quite popular. Not having read it (I rarely read, even if it has pretty pictures like manga) I was looking forward to some sci-fi fantasy thriller epic, which is what I had pictured KoT as from the synopsis, and images like the one above. The premise is quite simple: a fatal disease called the ‘Medusa’ is leading to a worldwide pandemic. So a corporation opens a program to a select few to hold them in some sort of cryostasis, awaiting to be awoken the day a cure is discovered. The story then fast forwards to the time when they are awoken, to find the world isn’t what it used to be…

It sounds pretty good for a fantasy anime, and mostly, it is. It starts off quite well: quality animation, excellent mood setting, etc. However it seemed to me that about halfway through, it was on a constant downwards spiral. It kept getting worse. Issues popped up, ranging from disappointing character development to ‘outstanding’ CGI (as in it literally stands out, very obvious and distracting). Nearing the end, I had almost completely lost the plot. That being said, some of the animation was truly amazing, and I found myself enjoying the soundtrack. They say a good soundtrack is one you don’t even know is there, but one that sticks out to you is either terrible, or amazing. Though this isn’t quite Joe Hisaishi or Yoko Kanno, some of the tracks were pretty good.

Characters were largely alright, albeit quite stereotypical. The main is the girl who seems physically and emotionally weak, but has immense determination and is manage to pull through in every situation (the one with the glasses in the lower pic, and one of the chicks on the upper). Speaking of which, she has a twin who she seems to be very close with, but she doesn’t get accepted into the cryostasis program. Finding her sister becomes her source of inhuman determination. Other characters include a badass secondary character with tattoos/otherworldly fighting ability, innocent little child who loves video games, the nurturing woman and randoms who die easily.

If you’ve read the manga, you’ll probably be watching this movie anyway, but don’t expect too much. Being a fan of it might be beneficial to your enjoyment, or it might heighten your disappointment. I might’ve made this out to be terrible, but it’s not exactly painful to watch. It’s just not as good as other anime available!

Audience: Somewhere around 15 years of age or older. Males will probably like it more than females. It has blood and violence.

Rating: 6/10


Summer Wars

Rating: 10/10

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