2011 Spring Cleaning Anime Challenge Review: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Movie the 1st

Takamachi Nanoha is a normal fourth-grader who feels a little useless and out-of-place with no purpose. Then one day, she saves a ferret, who turns out to be a mage from another planet who came to this planet to search for the jewel seeds. Nanoha agrees to help, but this task gets complicated when another girl arrives to steal them.

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(Note: this is a review for a Japanese BD)

Plot:

For those not aware this is an alternate retelling of the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.  The thirteen episodes of the TV series are condensed and redone into a two-hour movie, and by all accounts, it is not a bad retelling at all.  Some aspects from the TV series are given more detail in the movie and it helps to develop some of the cast members like Fate’s mother and gives her more of reason for the way she turned out.  Gone are some of the aspects from the TV series that gives it the paint by numbers feel that it starts with.  Some events from the movie play out differently than the TV series but they work nicely and do not feel rushed or handled poorly.

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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.

A look at the Shin Megami Tensei franchise

Something I like to do fairly often is break out of my old PS2 and play some older games. Well, that’s kind of a lie. I never have to “break out” my PS2, because it’s pretty much always hooked up unless I need to hook something else up to the TV. The reason for this is simply because there are more games I want to play for the PS2 than any of my current generation consoles. One particular franchise that keeps me playing my PS2 is Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei. In fact, Nocturne is the game currently keeping me tethered to my PS2.

The recent news that Atlus USA will be bringing the PSP port of Persona 2 to North America has made me particularly happy. Of any SMT games I’ve played, the Persona series has been my favourite. Since I started with Persona 3, I didn’t really have a chance to play the first two games, but with these PSP ports I can. With this latest announcement, it seems like a good enough time to detail my journey through this franchise.

There will probably be massive spoilers for some of these games.

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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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Pastor Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Apocalypse

 

Credit: Aardvarktees.com

 

Pastor Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Apocalypse

Well “Rapture Day” has come & gone & I haven’t heard of any mass disappearances (Maybe there were so few genuine believers, no one noticed. Uh Oh!). Aside from the usual world chaos, nothing catostrophic has happened …. so far. Of course we have up to a few days before Halloween (Five months.) before Mr. Campings’ prophecy concludes with the worlds’ fiery destruction. Which makes me wonder. Is he trying to pull an “Orson Welles” on us?

Halloween time, 1938: “The Columbia Broadcasting System & The Mercury Theater On the Air presents, The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.” Que the music.

As for me, I am a bit disappointed. In all the time I’ve spent collecting movies, cartoons, & anime, I was looking forward to “The Great Tribulation” (Which isn’t actually mentioned in the Bible, at least not in capitol letters.). I like my special effects & this period of chaos had better deliver when it does arrive.

Hey kid! Ever give a thought about what might be in that stuff!? Yuck! Besides, things go better with Coke! Mari Illustrious Makinami from the Evangelion "Rebuild" series of films. Credit: Studio Khara

 

Aside from the flood/fire/famine/war/pestilence etc., I want more! Godzilla, Mothra, Rhodan, mad scientists, alien invasion, you betcha! Giant robots (Preferably NOT piloted by angsty, liquid breathing adolescents with attitudes!), flesh eating zombies, ….. piranas! Music by Yoko Kanno, Dick Wagner, & Spike Jones. Co-produced/directed by Hayao Miyazaki & Edward D. Wood Jr. A Walt Disney presentation. Oh Yeah!

Article copyright © 5-22-2011 Jay Agan

This article originally posted at Jays TeeVee.

For a little “end of the world” click here. Might as well celebrate Christmas early.

For a slightly more serious take on this past nonevent click here.