jueves, 10 de enero de 2008
viernes, 30 de noviembre de 2007
Let me begin by saying this: Whatever I say, whatever my opinion, there's really no way I'll be able to make justice to this masterpiece with this review. It's just that good. And it may overall be the best anime to come out this year. You owe yourself a favour to see it.
Seirei no Moribito, or Guardian of the sacred spirit; Is a book franchise now turned series about the mystical world of Nayug and the earthly world of sagu. Two worlds endlessly entwined in peaceful coexistence.
Balsa is a female spearwielder from a far away land, and a traveler in a voyage of redemption. Early in her life, lives were sacrificed for her sake; And to atone for her sins she will save lives of equal number to ease her concience. Even if this feat pits her against the royal court.
With only one life left to satisfy her debt, she's charged to protect the youngest heir to the royal throne. She's to guard him from his own father.
Inside him lays the seed of a demon that will bring drought and poverty to the kingdom if left to grow. But the pain of a mother and a duty of honor are all it takes to defy destiny and begin a journey that will shake the foundations of a nation to it's core.
What I love about this series is the human factor. Really, all characters act human, and all have good qualities. All of them are honor-bound, all exhibit maturity or growth and all of them are well developed withouth the need of silly quirks or gimmicks. Seirei no Moribito is based on a book, and it shows. There's nothing over the top, nothing excessive and certainly, nothing lacking here.
Hell, The series even doesn't go to the lenghts of "we're saving the world". Not at all; this is the life story of a woman of character and the boy she's been charged to protect. A tale of responsibility and growing up, a tale of faith and virtue. The world "epic" gets thrown here and there wherever there's strife shown in fiction, but I can tell you this: The word is well worth it's four letters to describe Seirei no Moribito.
And oh boy! The characters are great. Balsa herself is the hottest warrior character ever. She's got more balls than all wannabee spiky haired anime heroes together. Yet they managed to write her feminine and down-to-earth without taking away the fact that she's strong as nails. She is in short, a true woman of character; Something you rarely see in anime.
And you're in luck. Scholastic has a contract to publish the books in english. I myself will start saving for them. Give yourself the treat of the year and get Seirei No Moribito. It's an excellent product that will leave you wanting for more, yet satisfied with a well rounded series that is to be remembered.
And the production was handled by Production I.G. So you know you're getting quality.
Seirei No moribito gets 5 out of 5 stars of Seriously hot spearwielders.
You get a trailer:
And an opening with a funny engrish song:
I'm a sucker for stories that take place during the prohibition era. Don't know why, But I love the historical period. Heck, I would have loved to live during that age of turmoil and well-dressed people. And that's why Baccano! was one of my most anticipated series of 2007.
I could say Baccano is about 2 retard lovers that cause unsuspecting troubles everywhere they go. I could say it's about a dominance war between the most influential mafia families of New york. I could say it's a murder story set during a train hijacking. I could say it's the unfortunate story of a no-good man and his compassionate sister. Or that it's about Immortal alchemists and a ragtag band of thieves led by a crybaby.
Guess what? Baccano is about ALL of those last topics. Like a tropical smoothie, the mix actually manages to blend so many genres into one hell of a story that deserves a second go to be understood fully (as the narrative is presented in a non-linear way that is bound to confuse many).
Ok. And since there's not really a way for me to present a good story synopsys without spoiling the hell out of it, I'm going to tell you that you should get your rear in gear and download/torrent/import (whatever floats your boat) this 13 episode rollercoaster. You won't regret it.
Those that don't care about spoilers, Proceed.
------SPOILERS AHEAD ------
The story really begins a long time ago. A group of Alchemists and scientists, looking for eternal life, Summon the devil to grant their wish aboard a ship in the middle of the sea. And their wish is granted, albeit with certain rules.
1-When you wish to die, allow one of your immortal companions to "eat" you. And give him your knowledge.
2-You will not use false names in front of your brethen.
3-One of you will remain with the knowledge to create more of the eternal life drink.
But looks like life unending is unfit for humans. After treason, murder and strife storm the once peaceful ship, a covenant between immortals is achieved. They are to separate trough the world to ensure their survival.
And During the prohibition era in the United States, Immortals converge, Immortals die and Immortals are born. All in a series of entwined stories that have only one thing in common: Survival.
One last warning about this series; It's bloody. And we're not talking about "wow! That's a lot of red paint" bloody. No, We're talking about gibs, headshots, brains, torture, masochism, sadism, bloodbaths, gore, and a million ways to die while riding a train.
If you can look beyond the gory bits, this series is a definite favorite for anyone seeking an interesting anime. The amount of characters is staggering, yet all of them get good development and screen time. And even if some of them start as bothersome (like the two retards and the crybaby), they all end up having a good place in the story.
Baccano! gets 5 out of 5 stars of bloody immortal cammorristas.
And you get a spiffy opening:
viernes, 5 de octubre de 2007
One of the first full series I watched when introduced to anime was Witch Hunter Robin. And since you never can have enough of the good things in life, and the fact that I'm prone to nostalgia... Here's another review of a good series.
WHR is goodness all around. From the mysterious stories to the supreme characterizations, the series distills originality and entertainment. The story goes something like this:
In the near future there exists a secret international organization called "Solomon". It's purpose is to track the Witch gene. A genetic/paranormal strain that will give dangerous powers to the one being awakened by it. Solomon tracks, finds and terminates witches, protecting society from magic and supernatural threats.
STN-J, a branch of Solomon is welcoming today a new member. Robin Sena is the one to fill the vacancy left by a former hunter killed in action. A special kind of hunter, she's master in the witchcraft art of the "Craft". And as the saying goes: Fight fire with fire.
Amon, a prodigious hunter now partnered with the newcomer Robin hunt witches and solve cases together while we get to know all the members of the strange and secretive STN-J brand. In contrast to the main branch, STN-J does not kill the witches they hunt. Instead, they neutralize their powers with strange vial/crucifixes filled with a substance named "Orbo". A strange liquid Robin takes a disliking to.
Work is hard. Work is good. For 13 good episodes we are treated to a sort of "X-files format" paranormal thriller of hunters and the hunted, getting to know the cast and their quirks. Like Robin's strange firestarter powers, and her disliking of much needed spectacles. And her growing (if a bit cold) attraction towards Amon. But soon, things go wrong. Very wrong.
Soon, things take a turn to the worse and a game of cat and mouse sends Robin into a quest for truth into a world where not even oneself is what it seems. And before long, Robin will begin to discover anew her powers, her destiny, her legacy and her faith.
WHR is a wild ride of thrillers and mysteries into a world of paranormal deceit and those that fight for or against the supernatural. It's a wonderful ride filled to the brim with questions and answers and characters that may not look what they are, but are nevertheless a riddle and deceit. For Robin's world is a world of deceit against faith. Of good against evil, and the proverbial gray shades between them.
Really, if you're into supernatural/religious thrillers or just want one hell of a good, quality series to watch. Witch Hunter Robin might just be the thing for you. Enjoy the first calm episodes, wait, and be surprised.
Witch Hunter robin receives 5 Inquisitorial star out of five.
And you get the magic of Youtube:
viernes, 28 de septiembre de 2007
When I first started liking Japanese animation (Like a year and a half after I finished High school) I had the good fortune to be treated to unusual/mostly obscure series and movies. So, instead of the usual shit like Evangelion or the sort that first gets shoved into an anime newbie, I ended up seeing some others like Macross plus, Miyazaki's movies and others.
This was by no means one of the first I saw, but came shortly afterwards. I have fond memories of it, and would hate this series to be forgotten. I've always been a fan of Steampunk and Jules Verne inspired works, I myself am trying to get that adventury-feeling for the Videogame I'm producing. Secret of the Cerulean Sand manages to nail it and keep to it while pumping sweet doses of awesome adventure antics.
The story is as follows: Jane, a young lady of the buxton family is a jolly lassie whose biggest dream is to build a machine to fly trough the sky (as most steampunk characters). She's got a great family, lives in comfort and makes a haven out of his blissful existence.
But not for long. The arrival of a terrible letter informs her that George, her eldest and most beloved brother was executed for high treason to the crown. His stepbrother William leaves the family in anger and her father is charged for embezzling. The family suddenly is wrecked and left to wither.
But one day, Jane receives an envelope sent anonymously with a tiny piece of cerulean stone inside, that shows very mysterious proprieties.
Convinced that his brother might be alive, Jane embarks on a quest to find his missing brothers. A quest that will lead her to the far ends of the earth and the dark places below it.
The whole series is inspired by two of Jules Verne´s stories: "Facing the flag" and "City in the Sahara". The style is reminiscent of old series like Future boy conan and the character designs have the exact and healty combination of traditional anime and american flavour.
And It's a great series, it takes off slowly but the tiny details from the beginning (like the tempestous relationship between brothers and the strange complexes William exhibits) add to the outcome of an epic series that spans travels around a mythical 19th century world.
I really recommend this series. The old styled drawings and clumsy 3d might turn some away. The lack of distribution (both electronic and on DVD) will turn away most. But the series is a truly heartwarming epic that'll always stay in my heart. It's an endearing story for everyone.
Secret of the Cerulean Sand gets 4 out of 5 stars of adventuring girls with disobedience issues.
And you get the youtube previews:
An upcoming Stop-Motion film based in the novella by Neil Gaiman.
Coraline is a young, bored girl who discovers that a bricked-up wall behind a door in her flat leads to another world, with another mother, and another father. When she tries to go back, she realizes that her other mother has kidknapped her real parents and she must fight to get them back.
The whole production of this movie sounds quite interesting. It's being shot stereoscopically in 3d for digital exhibition, and many new tools are being created for it.
Too bad we're gonna have to wait till January 2009 for it.