Inuyasha Movie 1 – Affections Touching Across Time Review

Plot: After Kagome broke the Shikon Jewel, one of the shards was embedded in the resting place of Menomaru, the son of Hyoga, one of Inuyasha’s father’s, Inutaisho’s, greatest enemies. Menomaru sends out his henchmen to find the fang that sealed his father’s power away so that he can inherit it and rule the world. Oh and kill Inuyasha as trickled down revenge for his father, but for some reason not Sesshomaru.

Breakdown: Channeling my inner Inuyasha fan, this movie was pretty good. Most anime movies feel like an extended episode of the TV series, but this at least felt like a condensed arc of the series. It does seem weird to me that Inuyasha’s father only seems to be put into the series when a movie comes around.

Menomaru is a moth demon and he’s…a villain. He’s pretty boring, to be honest. He has no real personality beyond the typical revenge/rule the world chestnut. And I really would like an explanation as to why he never targeted Sesshomaru during this little crusade. He’s Inutaisho’s son too. The only reason he was even in this movie was because his minions mistook the Tenseiga for the Tetsusaiga as the fang that was needed to unseal Hyoga’s power.

In regards to the title of the movie, Menomaru has the power to control people through half taijitu jewels placed on the forehead. He controlled Kirara through one and Kagome with another. After attacking Kaede, Kagome targets Inuyasha while wearing priestess robes, making her look like Kikyo. Obviously, this is so they could make the replay of Kikyo shooting Inuyasha 50 years ago again. Because that scene needs to be shown over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

She chases him down right in front of the sacred tree, how convenient, and shoots him with an arrow. I think this is a mirror of something, but I can’t quite remember. If only I saw the scene a few thousand more times.

Kikyo happens upon the scene and sternly tells Kagome that she needs to go home and leave Inuyasha forever because she doesn’t belong in their era and she ended up injuring Inuyasha…I guess because of that fact? How does that make sense? Kikyo knows she was being controlled. She also tells her to take the Shikon Jewel shard with her….well, that certainly doesn’t belong in her era. The only point in leaving her with those shards is to allow her to come back later.

She tells her that, since Menomaru has awakened the Tree of Ages and that the bone-eaters’ well is made of wood from the Tree of Ages, that it will soon overgrow and she’ll no longer be able to go back to her world. Also, because of that, her era is now frozen over in an eternal winter….Ya know, usually when people say that an era is frozen in time they mean that time has stopped not that perpetual winter has struck.

Kagome doesn’t want to leave Inuyasha, but Kikyo’s mighty voice of yelling somehow pushes her into the well.

She finds that, indeed, her era is prematurely plunged into winter as snow comes down from the sky.

Fast forward, yada yada, she puts her hand to the sacred tree that Inuyasha’s still laying in front of in the feudal era and she talks to him through the trees because THE POWER OF LOVE! ❤ Or Shikon Jewel shards, they never make it clear. He….hugs her through some sort of weird purgatory world, I dunno, and she uses her sacred arrow to get rid of the branches and come back to him.

In my opinion, the storyline with Kirara and Sango was much more emotionally impacting. Sango refuses to fight Kirara and ends up getting hit by her and thrown through the air. As a tear from Sango hits Kirara’s taijitu thing, she snaps out of it and starts bashing her head against a tree to break the jewel. She does, exhausting herself in the process, and, together, they kick Menomaru’s minion’s ass. It is, by far, the best scene in the movie and it makes me want to cry.

For people who have never seen Inuyasha, it holds up okay. They pretty much explain everyone and the entirety of the plot, though I don’t think that they mention Naraku, which is odd. Kikyo seems a bit out of character in this movie, and Sesshomaru’s there for fanservice and not even the fun kind.

Art and Animation: The art actually seems like a step down from the usual fare. The animation’s a step up, though, so that’s something. There is some rather bad CGI in there too.

Music: Inuyasha‘s soundtrack has always been wonderful, and it’s just as great here. The big climax is scored amazingly, and it still sends shivers up my spine. The ending theme is also memorable and great.

Voice Acting: English – Same as the TV series. There’s some lameness in the dub script, but it’s all good.

Bottom Line: It’s a pretty good movie. Nothing fantastic, but still a great ride for Inuyasha lovers and a decent watch for anyone who’s never seen the show.

Additional Information and Notes: Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time was directed by Toshiya Shinohara, who actually went on to direct all of the future Inuyasha movies.

It was produced by Sunrise, but, oddly enough, the production was not done by the same studio sub-division as the original series was.

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Year: 2001

Recommended Audience: No real blood, no nudity, no sex, Miroku’s usually lechery, some violence….10+?

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Gakkatsu! Review

Plot: In this Middle School, homeroom has no lessons. Homeroom is left up for open debate and discussion. Chiho, the class president, is the one to choose the day’s topics.

Breakdown: This is a series of incredibly short Flash animations (running at under five minutes per episode, including a 30 second intro.) Chiho picks a completely random topic (though sometimes it does have something vaguely to do with an opening scene. For example, when the school gets vandalized her topic for the day is “What do you call your mother?”….Watch and see.) and the class discusses it. Randomness and craziness ensue.

…..And….that’s it. There’s no real running storyline or character development, it’s just random shorts. The shorts, however, are very crazy and funny. The art style really adds a cartoon-y tone and is pretty unique.

The anime really only has one song to its name and it repeats in every episode. It’s fun to listen to and never got on my nerves, but some people may get annoyed by it.

Bottom Line: If you have a few minutes to spare, you can always watch one of these shorts. it’s a funny and quick watch. At five minutes per episode with 25 episodes available, you can easily crack this out in two hours. Fans of the Zetsubou Sensei series would definitely like it.

Additional Information and Notes: Gakkatsu! was directed by Rareko, written by Kouta Fukihara, who seems to only have Gakkatsu! and its second season as his only credits, and was produced by Fanworks. It currently has no English license.

Episodes: 25

Year: 2012

Recommended Audience: I never saw anything really questionable. E for everyone!

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Why I Avoid Harem Anime

If you know me, you know I’m willing to review pretty much anything that I watch or read, and that I’m usually up for giving everything, no matter the genre, a try. But there’s one genre that I generally avoid in my searchings for new things to watch and read and for new stuff to review, and that is harem anime.

Now, I am fully aware that I am not the target demographic for harem anime. I am heterosexual female in her mid twenties, so anime that is basically nothing but blatant fanservice centered around girls in their mid-teens who constantly have their panties on display and have breasts that NASA should study due to constantly breaking the laws of gravity doesn’t really appeal to me. And I have done my hardest to give it a chance. I have watched various harem anime over the years, and my stance has just gotten worse.

The thing is I really don’t have a problem with the fanservice. It’s exploitation of hormones for the sake of sales, but I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say I don’t enjoy fanservice made for women. It’s not like it’s anything new. Watch any action movie and you’re likely to see an unnecessary sex scene or pointless nudity. Romantic movies also commonly have porn-y shots of shirtless guys. My problem with the genre of harems in particular is the fact that the story, plot and usually character development take a backseat to the fanservice, if there is any story, plot or character development or note in the first place.

Unless you’re making a hentai, I see no reason why fanservice has to be the main focal point of your anime. I mean, is it just for those kids out there who can’t figure out the parental blocks on their computers and need something to get their jollies off somehow? Is it for people who enjoy the mystery over the reveal? Or do people really find the same fanservice slapstick gags funny after seeing them 10,000 times?

That’s really not the only issue I have with it, either. Harem anime are some of the most predictable anime I’ve ever seen, even in story. 99% of the time you not only know who the main guy is going to go with by the time the first act of episode 1 is over with, but you also know pretty much exactly what’s going to happen in the series. It also holds some of the most common tropes in anime such as the hotsprings episode (probably coupled with the girls in the bath together comparing breast sizes), the ‘main love interest is in danger, gotta save her’ episode, the ‘serious misunderstanding’ episode (as opposed to the regular everyday misunderstanding moments, also known as the Three’s Company effect..) etc. And considering that harem anime usually only really focus on the whole ‘who will he really go with’ plot point and you know there’s no chance in hell it will be anyone else but the first girl he sees or the one who is obviously closest to him, it’s basically a moot point.

Harems also paint by numbers a lot in terms of who their token girls will be. Token glasses girl, tough girl, shy girl (who likely has the biggest chest balloons if that honor hasn’t been given to glasses girl), lolicon fodder (Who we swear is totally 16-18! Honest!), stoic one, whore, and of course the main love interest who varies somewhat, but is commonly the most ‘normal’ (and likely has a penchant for physically abusing the main lead through comic punches and slaps)

One could say similar things about other genres, perhaps gaming, fighting and magical girl anime, and I’m not sticking up for the titles in those genres who also just stick to the regular formula and do little to change it, but the fact of the matter is that the harem genre is basically saturated with titles like that whereas the other genres don’t succumb to that quite as much and usually have more going for them in some way. And not in a way that makes it seem like it’s just tacked on to make it different.

To be completely fair, I’m not saying that all harem anime are bad. Some, thankfully, try to break the mold and give us something fresh and interesting. I happen to really enjoy Zero no Tsukaima (though I think the following seasons were lackluster at best), Campione! (Though I do find the fanservice aspects to be the worst parts of that series), Ah! My Goddess! (Though the main couple was basically set in stone from episode 1 with really no other valid candidates), Ai Yori Aoshi (Though that suffers from the same thing as Ah! My Goddess!) Uhh….C3 was pretty decent,…White Album 2 was more of a love triangle….Golden Boy was more ecchi with characters of the day than harem……………………..

….The point is that harem anime can be good and fanservice can be both fitting and funny, but the fact is that so many, so so so many, in the genre just do it poorly—Actually let me rephrase that. They do it so generically to the point where I actually consciously avoid titles in the genre now unless I’ve particularly heard great things about it…or if it’s particularly awful, so I can watch it for fun. 😛



Air TV Review


Plot: A boy named Yukito is on a journey to find the mysterious girl with wings who flies in the sky from the stories his mother used to tell him when he was a child. During his travels, he meets a girl named Misuzu and quickly befriends her. She even invites him to live at her house with her aunt. As Yukito searches for the winged girl, he realizes that there is far more behind this town and Misuzu than meets the eye, leading him to friendship, love and tragedy.

Breakdown: One of the hazards of taking my old reviews and revamping them is seeing anime that I’ve long since completed and reevaluating my opinions on them. Some anime I’ve actually pulled a complete 180 on in opinion, but this wasn’t as drastic.

I first gave this series a firm middleground reating, mostly for the bad-ish art, the fact that a good chunk of the series was confusing, and that it gets overly dramatic sometimes. Air, at its core, is a very beautiful and warm story with many fleshed out and likeable characters each with their own interesting and usually supernatural in some way storyline. The problem I was so preoccupied with was that it seemed like this whole town was filled with people who in some way had mental problems that all seemingly linked back to a supernatural origin, somehow, intertwining with an even bigger supernatural plot that I just didn’t understand very well.

I don’t really understand much better now, to be honest, especially in terms of the ending. I don’t understand what happened to Yukito near the end, I don’t understand a bulk of what the various characters’ mental issues actually mean even with the supernatural explanations for some of them, I don’t really understand Misuzu’s situation with her father, unless he’s just a jerk. However, the stories for the characters, like I said, were very interesting. While I think tying them off together in a nice little bow like they intended just didn’t happen at all, they were nice standalone stories.

I do have to give this series props for being one of the few anime that has actually made me cry not once but twice. Since this show is so highly regarded by so many people, maybe I’m just missing something that is causing me to not understand. It’s by no means a bad show, but it’s also not a masterpiece in my eyes. Still a very enjoyable, heartwarming and tragic show that I’d recommend anyone to watch at least once.

Additional Information and Notes: Air TV was based on a visual novel of the same name (Though, be warned that the original game was an erotic visual novel. The game was later changed to remove the erotic content, but I imagine the h-game version is still out there.)

It was directed by Tatsuya Ishihara who is also known for directing Clannad, Kanon, Fushigi Yuugi and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Hell of a track record, if I do say.) and it was written by Fumishiko Shimo. It was produced by Kyoto Animation and the English Dub is currently licensed under Funimation.

There was also a movie of the same name made along with a spinoff series called Air in Summer, both of which I may review in the future.

Episodes: 13

Year: 2005

Recommended Audience: There’s some degree of violence and a couple deaths in the series. There’s also a scene that involves suicide sorta. In addition, the subject matter itself is pretty heavy and the show is really dialogue heavy. 13+

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