Spring Cleaning Anime Challenge Poll 3

While my third writer’s choice review is not up yet, I decided to start the third poll.  Pick a choice below and I will review what ever gets the most votes.  Being that today is a holiday I am going to extend the time that the poll is open.  The poll will close at 9:00 EST on Wednesday June 1st so to give people more time to vote.

2011 Spring Cleaning Anime Challenge Review: Summer Wars BD

When timid eleventh-grader and math genius Kenji Koiso is asked by older student and secret crush Natsuki to come with her to her family’s Nagano home for a summer job, he agrees without hesitation. Natsuki’s family, the Jinnouchi clan, dates back to the Muromachi era, and they’ve all come together to celebrate the 90th birthday of the spunky matriarch of the family, Sakae. That’s when Kenji discovers his “summer job” is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiancé and dance with her at the birthday celebration. As Kenji attempts to keep up with Natsuki’s act around her family, he receives a strange math problem on his cell phone which, being a math genius, he can’t resist solving. As it turns out, the solution to the mysterious equation causes a hijacking of the social networking site through which most of the world’s social and business traffic flows.

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Plot:

Summer Wars brings us a world that is similar to own, but more connected the internet than ever.  The world of OZ is similar to the internet now, but what life would be like if Facebook, online shopping, IM, video games, and mobile apps where assimilated into one giant object that connects our lives like never before.  Of course, Summer Wars is more than just a sci-fi film, there are some romantic comedy/drama aspects to the film as well.  The rom-com aspects are nothing new and are not developed to the extent that they could have been.  If Summer Wars was, just a rom-com film it would be nothing special and just a pretty looking movie with a generic plot.  Of course it is much more than that and what makes Summer Wars a great film is that both aspects the rom-com and the sci-fi aspects get intertwined and bring out most of the potential that the film has.

Even with generic rom-com aspects of the movie, that is not the only flaw that the film has.  Natsuki the main female lead just exists in the film.  She is not developed as a character and most of the time she must rely on either Kenji or another member of the supporting cast for be emotional responses.  The blame is two-fold for this, Mamoru Hosoda the director and Nanami Sakuraba (her Japanese VA that will be discussed later on in this review).

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2011 Spring Cleaning Anime Challenge Review: Dragon Ball Movie 1 Curse of the Blood Rubies

A retelling of Dragon Ball’s origins, this is a different version of the meeting of Goku, Bulma, Oolong, and Yamucha. They are all looking for the dragon balls for different reasons when they cross paths with an evil king named Gourmeth, who is also looking for the dragon balls.

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Plot:

So what is the first movie about might you ask?  Well this is a retelling of the first thirteen episodes of Dragon Ball.  Think something along the lines of the compilation movies from the Gundam franchise.  While some aspects of the original thirteen episodes have been retained, a lot what happens during those episodes has either been reworked and streamlined or removed completely.  The aspects that were removed did not progress the story and their inclusion in the movie would have been pointless.  Not all of the aspects of the streamlining work correctly such as Oolong’s introduction, but considering that this is a fifty-minute movie (less if you do not count the OP and ED) this can be expected.  Also considering that, this is a 50-minute movie the movie as a whole feels too short.  It feels like another fifteen to twenty minutes should have been added to the movie to flesh things out better and give some character development.

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2011 Spring Anime Challenge Poll # 2

Okay everyone, since I am done with my previous people’s pick it is time to start the second poll.  The rules will be the same as last time . Five choices will be listed below and you have to pick what I should watch and review next.  The poll will be open for 24 hours starting at 9:00 PM EST on Monday May 23rd 2011, and will close on Tuesday May 24th 2011 at 9:00 Pm EST.  So that is twenty four hours for you to decide what I should watch and review next  Below are the choices that you have to choose from

2011 Spring Cleaning Anime Challenge Review: Spice and Wolf

Kraft Lawrence, a 25 year old peddler, travells from town to town selling and buying various things to make a living during a period much like Europe in the Middle Ages. One night when stopped at the town of Pasroe, he finds in his wagon a centuries old pagan wolf deity girl named Holo. She has the appearance of a 15 year old girl, except for a wolf tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town’s goddess of harvest who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Despite having the responsibility to watch over the town, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu, she believes the people have already forsaken her anyway and that she has fulfilled her promise to maintain the good harvests. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church.

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Plot:

So a show about economics, that does not sound like it would be enjoyable right?  Well, you would be wrong to make that assumption.  Yes economic topics are discussed (like buying devalued currencies, and dealing with market forces that change out of nowhere), yet these do not feel like a High School or college economic class way you would learn about it.  Even simple conversations about simple things seem enjoyable and do not feel terribly boring to watch.  I will admit I am not a big fan of economics nor do I study up on it.  I was not bored at all while watching the show, even though the show does move a slower pace than some people might prefer.

The two main characters are deep, complex and eventually learn how to play off each other.  Lawrence does not always look at everything from the money aspect, but how the flow of trade works.  Holo, while a deity who likes human pleasures and walks around in a human form, has a temper and is still at heart an animal.  While Holo is also smart and sly, she is also quite lonely from being isolated for so long and she just wants to be around Lawrence and others.  Over the course of the show the relationship between Holo and Lawrence develops to the point of not quite being lovers, but there is some chemistry between the two and some hints are pointed that they do want to be with each other.

There are two arcs in the first season of Spice and Wolf.  Episodes 1-6 are arc 1, and episodes 8-13 is the second arc.  Episode 7 is an OVA that does not add to the story but explains why Holo has new clothes starting in the next arc.  The second arc sadly is similar to the first to the first arc by following a similar path to how it plays out.  This is a issue, but it is a minor one to overall look as the second arc is still based on source material (the second light novel).

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