BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

Archive for November 2005

Hmmm Oshii’s next not completely anime after all then….

leave a comment »

It seems that Oshii’s next, Tachigui, is not just an anime. Instead it would appear that it aims to be a mixture of anime, CG and live action.

Hmmmm, interesting. Would still like to know some meat about the story and characters though =o).

Written by bitsnark

November 29, 2005 at 1:02 pm

Oshii does fast food??

leave a comment »

According to Anime News Network, Mamoru Oshii, the directorial brain behind the Ghost In The Shell and first two Patlabor movies, is to adapt a novel about fast food into an anime sometime in 2006.

The name of the novel and the subsequent anime feature is Tachigui.

Now we can all make a collective ‘HUH?!’.

Written by bitsnark

November 22, 2005 at 12:25 pm

Disgaea anime in production

leave a comment »

Well it seems that the trend for anime videogame adaptations continues unbated, with cult PS2 RPG Disgaea next up for the anime treatment. It’ll be cool to see how this one turns out actually, considering it’s wargaming and strategy gameplay. So going on that we shouldn’t expect some dumb Shonen fighting anime, right?…….RIGHT?!

Ahem well anyways, here is the link to the official Disgaea site.

Better have those Japanese language packs installed or this sucker aint gonna look too good:

http://akaitsuki.net/index.html

Written by bitsnark

November 16, 2005 at 2:12 pm

Angel’s Egg Review

leave a comment »

Time for a nice tall glass of strange. Enjoy ^-^

Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Distributor: Anchor Bay (On Indefinite Hold)
Duration: 66 Minutes Approx.
Production Creation: 1985

Plot Synopsis

In a world thick with twisted shadows, old cities and dark landscapes, a lonely young girl lies asleep cradling a mysterious egg. When she awakens, she begins to walk through a dark forest that leads her into a dank, abandoned city where she meets a man who seemingly wants to acquire the egg for himself….

Directed by Mamoru Oshii and with a screenplay by Oshii himself, Angel’s Egg charts the fantastical journey of a young girl through a surreal world where shadows pervade, illusions are everywhere and trust has to be earned.

The Review

Angel’s Egg is just so different from practically every anime out there, that it really is quite hard to know where to start when reviewing it. One thing is for sure though, if you like your anime loud, fast and action packed then stop reading this review as Angel’s Egg will do nothing for you.

Angel’s Egg is one slow, slow burner.

Obviously this will annoy people who particularly want to see a lot of action in their anime, and even people who just want some decent plot and character development (like me for instance), and as such it’s hard to argue against that. Angel’s egg has no real protagonists as such, no kind of written plot with any real kind of beginning or conclusion and as a result there appears to real point to any of it. There are some revelations toward the end that refer to Noah’s Ark and the fact that the cities are all flooded because of the biblical floods but to be honest it all comes about to late and doesn’t really come together in any kind of semblance of a plot.

There are many ponderous and quiet moments in this film, which the audience will either appreciate or be frustrated by. Most of these moments are times when Angel is just taking in her surroundings while collecting water in different jars, or when she is sat down with the mysterious soldier that follows her throughout the movie. In all seriousness, there are literally about twelve lines of dialogue in the entire film. Total.

Often I got the impression that the lack of speech and action in many scenes was perhaps not laziness on the part of the creator, but instead to try and force the audience to think for themselves just what exactly is happening, rather than having everything laid out in front of them.

It would seem all very minimalist at times and somewhat empty, if it wasn’t that it is, for the breathtaking artwork and animation. Set in a dark world, mired in water and bathed in a melancholy atmosphere, the landscapes and locales in Angel’s Egg range from the downright strange to the darkly classical. No matter the style of background however, the detail is simply stupendous. From cobblestone streets with dusty old shops selling antiquated goods through to a flooded forest garden teeming with natural beauty and serenity, the quality of the artwork on offer here is nothing short of staggering when you think that the movie was made nearly eighteen years ago.

The Yoshitaka Amano character designs also deserve a worthy mention, as they provide the characters with a downbeat disposition and appearance that fits in perfectly with this melancholy world that they find themselves in. The animation is also very impressive with carefully animated and articulate character movements that again defy the age of the production.

It’s truly hard to understand whether or not Angel’s Egg is simply an exercise in wonderful aesthetics and style with no substance or if the director is trying to get at something deeper in the movie’s duration. If there are hidden meanings or a deeper message it certainly escaped the attention of this reviewer. Or perhaps I’m looking for things that aren’t there, but there are echoes, almost traces of something elusive beneath the surreal aesthetically accomplished surface that I can’t quite put my finger on. It certainly comes across as an ‘artsy’ film but one that is enjoyable to watch as an experience, rather than a movie since it doesn’t really have a fully fledged story and cast of characters.

Angel’s Egg then is certainly an oddity among both it’s contemporaries and the anime that’s around today. It’s slow, pondering and static with no story or character development to speak of, yet it stands out simply because it is different and also because it’s just so darn surreal.

Go on give it a try, you might just lose yourself.

Ratings Summary

Animation: B+
Art: A
Music: A-
Content: B+

Overall: B+

Review by: JP Jones

Suitability for children

There is no violence, profanity (there’s practically no dialogue) or nudity at all in this film. But the rather introspective and pondering nature of the film will probably bore younger audiences. In terms of maturity of content though, this material is good for anybody aged 3+.

If you liked this why not try…

Currently, there is nothing like Angel’s Egg available. (Really there isn’t!)

Written by bitsnark

November 12, 2005 at 7:34 pm

Blood + First Impressions (Mild Spoiler Alert!)

leave a comment »

Four episodes. Yup four episodes, thats how much of Blood + I have seen this week and I have to say that if the early episodes are any kind of indication, we’re all in for a treat next year when it gets licensed.

As befitting it’s OVA and manga heritage, Blood + is full of great, highly kinteic and not to mention gory fight sequences. But its the story and the characters are the things that this time provide the hook.

Adopted into a family living in Okinawa, Saya has no memory of anything that happened more than one year ago. Living the life of a normal school girl she goes to school with her friends, enjoys time with her family and so generally just lives a normal life. This comes to a screeching stop however as it appears that after a massacre in Vietnam that she perpretrated, her new ‘family’ are no more than caretakers for her while more sinister groups wait for her to ‘awaken’.

Of course she is needed to awaken so that she might fight the chiropteans, the same blood drinking shape shifiting creatures that appear in the manga and OVA. It isnt until the appearance a mysterious stranger who has a deep, forgotten link to Saya’s past, that Saya begins to slowly rediscover herself as a cold blooded and detatched killer.

Another aspect of the characterisation that is keeping me hooked, is simply how her regular down to earth foster family, find themselves eneveloped in all the horror and violence that Saya beings with her. This is further compounded by the juxtaposition of Saya’s relatively calm ‘normal’ life, with that of her inner self and all the misery and death that comes with that.

Purely on production values alone, Blood + Excels here too. Featuring character designs that are completely removed from the OVA and in fact sport similar traits to the designs found in Bleach, they are nonetheless detailed extremely well and are animated to a high standard. The high standard of art animation also extends to the fight scenes which are extremely visceral. One such example is when we see Saya awaken for a short time, and she slices her sword into one of the chiropteans her blade gets stuck in it’s gut and as she begins to push the blade through, massive jets of blood spray across her face and all around the room. A bit Kill Bill(ish) maybe, but damn impressive to behold all the same.

The Hans Zimmer scored music is absolutely fantastic, bringing something more epic and grand than the typical J-Rock stuff that we might have otherwise been laundered with. You simply have to listen to the soundtrack yourself, it is really THAT good.

But in conclusion I think that everybody should give the series a go and watch a couple episodes and see if they like it. Most will I believe and if the series lives up to it’s early promise, we all have a lot to look forward to in 2006.

*Clears space on his shelves for the inevitable first volume art box release*

Written by bitsnark

November 3, 2005 at 2:33 pm

%d bloggers like this: