Koe No Katachi- Review

While Koe No Katachi officially got an anime adaption last year, the manga has been around far longer. I remember getting multiple recommendation from various people, and never quite managed to touch it.

I’m not a fan of bullying stories, especially stories where bullies get off the hook or suddenly turn into good people- something the synopsis of the manga suggests.

To my utter relief, Koe No Katachi understands the importance of punishment and forgiveness. It doesn’t make a villain or a saint out of anyone. In fact, it goes as far as to suggest being  too good of a person isn’t a good idea, not if you are being insincere.

Koe No Katachi present the story of a deaf girl Nishimiya, and Ishida who bullied her in elementary school, and gets this idea to make amends  year later.

It tackles on a very sensitive subject and does a good job of it, though it might be lacking at some point. There is a huge amount of character growth especially with the main character Nishimiya and Ishida, though I felt Nishimiya, as a person wasn’t explored enough.

The side characters on the other hand, felt more like plot devices. It is clear something is going on with them, and they all have their individual troubles, but it’s never fully explored- disappointing but understandable since the whole series is compressed into a movie of two hours.

There are also multiple themes running throughout the series, starting with bullying, detachment, suicidal thoughts and even a bit of romance, but none of them get the chance to have proper focus on.

My only actual complain is the transition of scenes. It always felt as if some cuts are missing.

The animation quality and sound is extremely well done and pleasing.

Despite it’s shortcomings, Koe no Katachi is extremely well done, and one of the few anime out there that actually bothers making a point.

Anyway, the DVD is finally out so I hope you all enjoy.

 

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Fangirl Life Or My Slow Descent Into BTS Hell

The weird part of being a fan girl is, how quickly you can go from not knowing anything about a medium to obsessing over them, all in the span of a few hours.

One Wednesday night you watched Goblin, and thought it was amazing. It is by no means your first brush with K-Drama, but it strikes something in your heart a little more forcefully. You wonder about Goblin’s OST, and then you remember another part of South Korean culture, K-Pop.

Now, you know K-Pop, you have seen all the popular senior groups and you loved them, but never to that point.  A year ago, your friend also tried to introduce you to then currntly rising groups, and yes, you love it, you found your jamming anthem, and every once in a while you play those songs but you still aren’t quite there yet. So, you decide to check out your friend’s most love Boy Group, Bangtan Soneynodan, or BTS, their international name.

 

You go through the songs you already knew, Dope, Fire, and then you watch their latest “Blood, Sweat and Tears”, “Not Today”, “Spring Day”, and before you know it, you are going through all of their old songs, starting from their Debut album “2 Cool 4 Skool” to all the songs they ever released, “Lost”, “House of Cards” “Awake” “N.O.” to even songs they released before their debut. You love the music, but you love the lyrics even more. Here are a group of boys, trying to educate and relate with the world through their music. What makes it even more special is the knowledge that are involved in the process of producing, composing, and writing those lyrics.

Then you get this desire, you want to know more, you want to learn more. So, you watch their Bangtan Bombs- most of which are subbed thanks to some kind fans, and realize how funny, genuinely nice, sometimes awkward, sometimes incorrigible pranksters and dorky the boys are, and you just love them a little more. You find out their is this site called Vlive, where the boys Vlog on real time, and you find yourself there.

All of this happens in the span of three days, and when you come up for air from that place in the bed you have dug for yourself over the weekend, you are a newly awakened fan.

Two months ago, I was re-introduced to BTS, and I don’t see myself ever going back. BTS also encouraged me to try out more, both Boy Groups and Girl Groups, and immerse myself deeper into the K-Pop world.

It’s pretty akin to how I discovered anime years ago. There is no going back.

 

 

The Other Side of Fandom Life

Recently, I saw a Facebook post from an artist on why she was dead scared of fandom life. The comic depicts fire, destruction, fan girls fighting and someone flying around in a rope- something I found hilarious as hell.

As a voyeur of multi fandom, I can attest this to be true.

Fandom life is scary.

It sucks you in, makes you go through pages of fanfiction, makes you click reblog, retweet on a post faster than you thought possible.

It also makes you defensive.

What you say might be taken in a way completely unlike your original intention, people might come after you with virtual pitcforks, try to educate you on things in which they are the ones who need more knowledge on. Fandom has also made way for more cyber bullying then I can manage to keep track of.

But, fandom can also be a beautiful place. The joy of watching the trailer of the second season of an upcoming TV show? Who else are you gonna get it with? Of sharing stuff, and gushing about how excited you are? Where else can you get that?

Sometimes, you come across new things, get your mind broadened by people or learn to agree to disagree with them.

If you can find the safe, happy place in the fandom, that one corner where everyone is happy, and no one is engaging in fan war?

It is an amazing life.

Yojohan Shinwai Taikei- The study on Upgradation

Ever thought you could be doing something else? Maybe the people you know, the education you are taking at the moment or the activities you are joining could have been replaced with something better? Ever wanted to upgrade?

Based on Tomihiko Morimi’s novel, The Tatami Galaxy is a story about choices, the what if’s in your life.

The Tatami Galaxy is a eleven episode story of the “Protagonist”- who has not been named and shall be referred as such- going through various choices to achieve his rose coloured campus life.

Except, does the rose coloured campus life really exist?

What’s absolutely fascinating about the series is it’s slow unveiling of the characters, bits and pieces that are found every episode to get the bigger picture of who they really are until everything comes full circle. The Tatami galaxy approves and disapproves of the Butterfly Effect, mixes it with some ridiculousness that is only found in anime, and it manages to give us a really important message.

The art style is seriously one of the best I have ever seen, the colour palate changing according to the mood of the episode, and personally, I loved the way they went about the last two episodes.

It is really hard to explain what is so good about this anime, and I suspect a lot of people were put off by the Narrator’s maniac way of describing events, but it is seriously one of the best anime I have come across.

 

Onihei Review- Demons Are Mere Humans

The blade arts of the “Devil” tasked with striking down evils threatening a peaceful Edo! Heizou Hasegawa, upholding the role of chief officer protecting against crime and arson! In 1783, the heart of the Tenmei era, Hasegawa held the office of chief director of the department charged with sustaining safety in the region, suppressing the most vile of thieves and criminals, an individual largely feared, renowned as Devil Heizou…- Copied from MAL

Onihei   is that series of Winter 2017,  the one that went grossly ignored among the hustle bustle of  loud, dominant, crazy music Anime. It happens every season, and the key to is looking hard enough for that one anime that strikes your interest out of nowhere.

I am one of those people who found Onihei after almost flinging my laptop off when Spring 2017 came up with Natsume Yuujinchou and arguably, Attack on Titan as the only good lot. To start off, Onihei is a mixture of mystery and action, and while I certainly lean more towards the mystery in any show, who doesn’t love the good old days  of kick ass sword fighting in anime?

Onihei thrives on the concept of good criminals and bad criminals. Thieves, and their three golden rule that must never be broken. That even a officer can respect a criminal if he follows his moral code. The concept that there are such thing as “True Thieves”. The series gets the memo that while there are plenty of bad people around, here are also a large group of people who are nothing but product of their circumstances.

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While the titular character, Heizou Hasagawa, is a well made character, there are times when he is a little too perfect. Or should I say, he is a character that’s been around forever, that one detective that gets thrill out of mystery’s and has little to no regard for his own life. A remarkably kind character, there were times I didn’t agree with Hei’s method or found them harsh, mainly the main episode. Other than that, he is more of the plot point that introduces us to a delightful range of characters. The supporting cast are a bundle of delight, with their stories and various characteristics. In all honesty, I felt and sympathized with the supporting cast more than I did with Heizou, and I believe that was the intention from the start.

Onihei is also an undoubtedly dark anime, it delves into some nasty corner of humanity and there are a lot of scenes that is hard to watch, thankfully the art style is well made with the concept in mind and gives off that midst between soothing and painful. I won’t say much about the music, except they suit the theme.

Onihei isn’t all dark, there are light scenes and clear reminder there is happiness between all the pain out there. That not all sad stories have to end that way, however sometimes the episodes swing from too dark too light.

All in all, we need more stuff like Onihei.

 

 

Grave Of The Fireflies- A rant

As World War II reaches its conclusion in 1945, Japan faces widespread destruction in the form of American bombings, devastating city after city. Hotaru no Haka, also known as Grave of the Fireflies, is the story of Seita and his sister Setsuko, two Japanese children whose lives are ravaged by the brutal war. They have lost their mother, their father, their home, and the prospect of a bright future—all tragic consequences of the war.

Now orphaned and homeless, Seita and Setsuko have no choice but to drift across the countryside, beset by starvation and disease. Met with the apathy of adults along the way, they find that desperate circumstances can turn even the kindest of people cruel yet their youthful hope shines brightly in the face of unrelenting hardship, preventing the siblings from swiftly succumbing to an inevitable fate.

On a sweaty, disgusting summer night, I decided to watch the anime I had been warned would  bring me to tears. The anime that received critical acclaim and is hailed as a masterpiece even by Non-anime fans. A sense of doom combined with anticipation enveloped me as I began, only to be annoyed and angry at the end.

I am talking about Grave of the fireflies.

Let me say this, I could look at the movie in two ways, and while one way appeals more to me than the other, most people seem to hail the movie for exactly the reasons I found flawed in it.

I will start with the good part. Hotaru No Haka is Studio Ghibli’s child, and even in 1988, they had the capability of producing quality animation. One thing about Studio Ghibli is their ability to portray day to day life actions, simple actions that makes you think, “Oh, I do that.”  Set in war time, it also does a scarily real job of portraying Japan during 1945, burnt bodies and lost childhoods.

At the beginning, I was actually enjoying it. Setai, the older brother came across as responsible and even headed, taking care of his sister, finding them a place to stay with their relative after their Mother died, and immediately writing a letter to his father who works in the navy.  However, after that, it all goes downhill.

This relative of their mom, despite feeding them, and letting them have a place to live, sometimes lets her temper get the better of her, and nag at Setai about not doing anything to help out during the war time. Which she isn’t completely wrong about? All Setai literally does is laze about and play with his little sister, and I think it’s general knowledge, young kid, even fourteen year old used to help out with war efforts during that time. It isn’t a question of whether it’s wrong or right, it just how the world was, and how their mentality was. But let’s say, the aunt is wrong here. So, Setai takes her scolding to his pride, and sets about to create a makeshift home in a shelter for him and his sister.

And that’s it, that’s the story. They play, hunt for food, have three thousand yen left in bank but forget to use it until the last day when Setsuko is literally dying from starvation, when she is beyond help. Not only that, Setai refuses to listen to a farmer’s advice for them to apologies to their aunt, but steals food from the very same farmer that day, as if apologizing to someone is more degrading then stealing.

And you know what, if Setai really loved Setsuko so much, couldn’t he just swallow up his pride? It doesn’t matter whether their opponent was wrong or right, when you love someone and they are suffering, you do anything for them. If it was Setai alone I would have understand, but with his sister’s life on the line, saying sorry should have been a peace of cake.

If Hotaru No Haka, was a testament on ego can lead to someone’s downfall, and can be harmful for everyone around you, I can call it a good movie. But it is known as that movie, the one with the sad story about siblings struggling through life- which wasn’t done realistically at all.

Well, everyone should see the movie once, and decide for themselves.