Anime

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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kidc
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:23 pm

Re: Anime

#251 Post by kidc » Fri May 18, 2018 2:37 pm

Has Hellstar been officially published in English, or did you read a fansub?

beamish14
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Re: Anime

#252 Post by beamish14 » Fri May 18, 2018 3:09 pm

No, HELLSTAR has never been published in an official English translation

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colinr0380
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Re: Anime

#253 Post by colinr0380 » Fri May 18, 2018 4:26 pm

A fansub of it, here.

EDIT: (By the way if I were ever to make it into a film, I would score the ending image into the credits to this!)
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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colinr0380
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Re: Anime

#254 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:35 pm

Here's a link to my comments on Season 1 of Attack on Titan

Six episodes into the much shorter Attack on Titan Season 2 (they are continuing to number the episodes from Season 1, so these are episodes 26-37 overall, and there are 12 episodes in this second season compared to the 25 of the first) and despite a bit of a slow start the series has pulled another of those "we are getting this revelation at this early stage? And it is leading into the final big battle that will presumably define the rest of the series already?" moments that was so surprising when the huge battle turned up mid-way through your standard cadet training sequence in Series 1. Here instead of the cadet training getting disrupted it is a search for a presumed breach in of one of the city's walls by the Titans (because that is obviously the only way that they could get in :-k ) and a couple of episode turn into a zombie siege sequence as a number of what has presumably been secondary members of the supporting cast get trapped together inside a tower and have to fight for their lives (in fact that made me think that this is a non-zombie zombie series in some ways, with people fighting against overwhelming odds and characters that we have come to, at least recognise, often getting suddenly dispatched). That is one of the strengths of both seasons of this show so far, that they are adept at juggling action between groups of otherwise isolated characters and because there are a number of groups operating at the same time can pull off a twist like "these were the people you should have been focusing on all along" and make that seem a more organic element of the plot than just being pulled out of nowhere.

The second season has also introduced a flashback element to each episode, where we get current action (usually people in a terrible situation, or about to die), and then a flashback to a quieter moment (sometimes just two hours earlier, as in the tower! But sometimes even further back, such as to the early training in season 1 to emphasise just how long a traitor has been in the midst and the feelings of betrayal that come from that). That initially feels a little gimmicky in the first couple of episodes but once it becomes apparent that this is an actual structural element running through the entire season, and especially once we start getting into more desperate situations where the flashback starts to have current time consequences (such as the "your one mistake was teaching me how to defend myself from your attack!" moment!) it fell well used. I'll spoiler tag the rest:
SpoilerShow
I really like the twist revelation about the identities of the "Armoured" and "Colossal" Titans at the mid-point. We have already been shown that our 'hero' character, Eren, can transform into a Titan back in Season One, and the climax of that first season was an enormous battle with a Female Titan who turns out to have been one of the other members of our group of young trainees. The first season ended with that, and a revelation about Titans actually embedded into the protective walls surrounding the last human cities, which interestingly complicates the purely 'good versus bad' themes of the conflict. At the moment the Titans are pretty much still shown as a bad overwhelming force with almost no free will of their own in the mass, just with an overwhelming desire to eat human beings, but Eren being able to turn, and then turn back (he gets trapped inside the Titan body that organically grows around him when suffering a massive bodily trauma. And we often get shots of him inside the fleshy compartment struggling with 'piloting' his body against overwhelming emotions, a bit like the Eva pilots in Neon Genesis Evangelion) starts to make the humans and Titans equivalent. And this is only compounded by frequent revelations of a number of other characters also being able to transform into Titans as well (so Eren is not particularly 'special' anymore. Except perhaps to the narrative. And to his love interest Mikasa), which really seems to be suggesting a certain human aspect that is being overlooked by the series at the moment in its focus on characters struggling from moment to moment life or death struggles to consider the wider implications.

The series at the moment is mostly about wanting to destroy the inhuman Titans as fully as possible, yet with all of these revelations of having lived with 'traitors' for so long in their midst there is also a building sense of a comment on finding a way to live together. That Titans sent in undercover as saboteurs end up being 'made soft' by interacting with humans and forgetting their acts of terrorism until their hand is (heartbreakingly) forced at the mid point of this season into definitively having to become the 'bad guys'. There is a certain tragic sense of loss to that mid-point twist that is quite upsetting, and weirdly made me feel a lot more sympathetic towards the Armoured and Colossal Titans than the humans banding together to destroy them! Whether any reconcilliation can happen after so many Titans have (graphically) eaten so many people, including Eren's mother, is another question. But I felt a sense of tragedy from Eren not going with those two characters to the Titan homebase, if just to try and understand them better. Instead he transforms into a Titan again himself to have a big battle, that if he succeeds (at this mid-point, we are in the middle of it) will just end up killing the characters who could have offered some sort of bridge, or at least answers, to the situation!

All of this is what makes me think (though this might just be over-analysing it) that this is a big allegory for fears over invasion, terrorism and assimilation. There are undercover conspiracies everywhere; characters are coming into the human enclaves in order to perform terrorist actions; and our main group of characters are members of the only line of defence against the threat, which lends a certain militaristic air to the proceedings. But also there is an interesting generational thing going on too, as our main group of characters are all youngsters being trained up to be soldiers - they are where the hope for the future lies rather than in the older generations (Levi, Erwin etc) who control the state, mentor and order the troops but also are the most horribly dispatched of any characters in the series (as if they are illustrating an older generation skilled in war and the use of blunt force, which results in at best just a stalemate of winning an individual battle, postponing humanity's defeat for one more day, and at worse nothing more than an inevitable horrible death sooner or later down the line). But will the younger generation be able to build a better future or succumb to the need for vengeance? And this younger generation are where you find the 'terrorists' and 'radicals' within the ranks (or at least those who are conflicted about their identities and place in society), as well as those still dealing with raw childhood traumas, and it is quite interesting that one of the main motifs of this second season is that all of our younger characters (at least until the major conflict starts at the mid-point) have been stripped of their uniforms and weapons because of suspicion falling on all of them after a couple of them have literally converted into the enemy!

I have a feeling that this whole narrative is moving towards something about trying to understand what caused the Titans to appear (presumably something environmental, given that the opening sequence for the second season emphasises a glowing life force powering every animal) and how they can be co-existed with, or even assimilated with (because I am presuming at this point that everyone may have a 'Titan form' within them, and vice versa!) rather than being entirely wiped out. Especially because apparently the walls of the city are actually built from the Titans themselves, so they cannot have entirely been aggressors in the distant past!

And at this stage they still have not gotten Eren to that darn locked basement yet, to find out what revelations his father left him! Though granted in the context of the show there have been a number of other things to be concerned about!
I also really like the various opening credits for the series, which are really well done to be bombastic and a little operatic at the same time, trying to emphasise the visceral nature of both the horror but also in some ways the gung-ho militarism as well. They all have an almost Queen-like Bohemian Rhapsody-vibe in their swift musical tonal shifts and emphatic frantic-ness!
SpoilerShow
I also like the obvious in retrospect clue hidden in that second opening that briefly cycles through the entire cast, with the 'hero' characters shown looking right to left and the final three characters (all three of whom turn out to be the 'traitors', though only the final character focused on, Annie, is revealed to be so during that section of the series) completing the move to look left to right, as if in opposition!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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colinr0380
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Re: Anime

#255 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:24 am

And the last six episodes of that second season of Attack on Titan basically deal with all of the above issues, as the post-battle flight and fight sequence ends up covering the entirety of the second half of the series. It weirdly felt as if it definitively distances the audience from our main characters as Eren, Mikasa and Armin all commit some atrocious, blindly violent acts that almost match those of the Titans themselves during this. The show devotes the majority of attention towards the plucky tenaciousness against all odds of the human characters but in their driven beyond all reason rants (or Armin's rather cruelly relishing in making comments about the other captured traitor character being tortured back inside the city, that momentarily distracts the Titan's from their escape plan), it makes them seem single minded to the point of being insanely blinkered. While the Titan double-agents are tormented by their conflicting loyalties to both sides, knowing that they cannot belong in either place (the character of Ymir moves from fringe supporting character to single most important focal point of the entire season in this sense) and they suffer the most from having had a foot in both camps. I was more moved by their plight in this series than the human one, and hopefully that ambivalence was intentional!
SpoilerShow
Interestingly Eren, despite being the main hero of the narrative, becomes the most irrelevant he has ever been here (never having encountered at that point the seemingly sentient ape Titan, he is reduced to shouting "what are you talking about" in the discussions between Ymir and Reiner), and I find it really interesting that we get really what should be the 'conclusion' of his narrative arc in this series, as suddenly he and Mikasa come face to face with the original Titan who ate his mother (and who then proceeds to eat the older mentor who had originally saved him from death as a child! Another example of the older generation finding that their previous tactics do not work a second time!) and eventually he kills it. So he has gotten vengeance? Nope, he is immediately back to ranting that he will destroy all Titans and make Reiner and Bertholdt pay for their betrayals with their lives. (Reminding me a bit of Memento, in that it raises the question of what happens when you have gotten your vengeance but still have to keep going anyway. How do you keep the fires of anger that drive you burning when you have almost accidentally achieved your main goal in life?)

But he destroyed that Titan by 'somehow' causing all the other Titans to swarm and cannibalise it, zombie-fashion. Which is apparently why Reiner and Bertholdt were wanting to kidnap Eren, because he is the 'co-ordinate', or one person who is able to command all other Titans into doing his bidding, with Reiner understandably despairing about the way that such table-turning power has been put into the hands of the absolute worst possible person to wield it! Hopefully Eren is going to develop some sort of emphathy at some point, but at this stage he even has trouble caring for his best friend and girlfriend's welfare!

That is where the second season leaves off, with the humans having realised Eren's powers and the final revelation (though it was obvious six or seven episodes earlier on) that the human townspeople have not been eaten by the Titans but have actually become them, which (cross-breeding?) is probably why lots of our younger generation of protagonists have 'dual nationalities', that it appears that many were not even aware of before it became a major issue in defining their identities! Whether that complicates the 'kill 'em all before they do the same to us' idea or simply increases calls for an even greater push to wiping all the Titans out, is probably going to be the theme of any future third season. But at this point I am not certain that I need the 'what is the big mystery inside the locked basement of Eren's family home' mystery to be answered any more, since I think that we have already been primed with answers to the most important elements of it!

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Anime

#256 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:17 am

Finally saw Yonebayashi's Mary and the Witch's Flower -- which I found disappointing. Definitely a step down from his 2 Ghibli films Arietty and When Marnie Was There, while (perhaps) paradoxically far more derivative of Miyazaki than his actual Ghibli films. Characterization was pretty blah - and the story was a mess (never read Mary Stewart's The Little Broomstick, so don't know if any of this is due to the source or not).

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colinr0380
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Re: Anime

#257 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:46 pm

By the way, today is the 30th anniversary of the release of Akira into cinemas. The Japan Times has been doing a week of articles dedicated to it.

Its original trailer is fantastic too, and of course inevitably got a fan made re-creation featuring Simpsons characters!

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Boosmahn
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Re: Anime

#258 Post by Boosmahn » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:15 am

Looks like Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue is getting a Fathom Events screening... from GKIDS! The long-awaited U.S. Blu-ray may finally make its debut!

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Murdoch
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Re: Anime

#259 Post by Murdoch » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:19 pm

Great news! The US DVD release is pretty awful and desperately in need of an upgrade.

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Boosmahn
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Re: Anime

#260 Post by Boosmahn » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:38 pm

I've had the (un)fortunate chance to revisit the Flowers of Evil anime recently, and, wow, what a ride. It's quite possibly the most un-anime-like anime out there: scenes are slow and rarely feature music, the opening themes are nothing more than slideshows, and the presented world is anything but escapist. Reactions from anime fans are very polarizing, with some praising it as the best in recent memory, others calling it boring and its rotoscoped animation flawed. I belong to the former group, and believe many other members on this forum would as well.

The plot: a boy returns to his empty classroom to retrieve his copy of Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil. Suddenly, he’s presented with the opportunity to steal his crush’s gym uniform; after a moment of hesitation, he succumbs to temptation. Nakamura, the ominously quiet girl who sits behind him in class, witnesses him and they proceed to enter a twisted "contract" together.

I know that this synopsis could very well act as some third-rate porno script, but the sexual content is actually pretty suppressed. The nudity -- whenever it is present -- is far more disturbing than "sexual." It's hard to describe from a secondhand point-of-view.

I implore everyone on here to watch it. Flowers of Evil is the perfect deconstruction of every bubbly teen romance story. The unsettling tone never lets up and each fade to black will only leave you wanting (or dreading) to watch the next episode. There's also the original manga, but you'd be missing out on the soundtrack and uncomfortable sense of angst, although it does take the story in far better places. It's a shame we didn't get a second season.

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