Hollywood Live-Action Adaptations of Manga & Anime

I always ask why do anime fans hate hollywood adaptations of anime titles so much? I ask that question to myself too since I also hate that idea. Although eventually I realized that I simply hate it because everybody else hates it too. It’s not reasonable for me to hate it then. So I tried to be open about it until I watched the trailer of Dragon Ball Evolution and then I got a real reason to hate it! However, I still kept an open mind.

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Miyazaki and My Vision of Anime

I’ve been an anime fans for more than a decade. I only realized recently that I never watched many of the anime classics. Among them is the bulk of Ghibli movies and mainly Hayao Miyazaki’s. I’ve seen one or two years ago but that was a long time ago when I wasn’t mature enough to realize the genius of his works.

So I decided to watch all of them and I started this week with My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Kiki’s Delivery Service.

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My Summer 2016 Anime Line-up (Part 2)

read PART ONE 

Here comes the second batch of titles I have checked in the past few days. these are just quick first impression notes.

Tales of Zestiria the X: (fantasy based on a game). never played the game before. this first episode is in fact a prologue to the actual series. (that’s how Ufotable does it!) I picked this, because of the studio animating it which brought to life one of my favorite series before: Fate/Zero. way too much CGI in this. I don’t think it’s working well this time. we’re looking at an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story with a company that’ll save the world… i guess. I can’t get anything out of a prologue. I’ll update this in part 2 after watching episode 1.

I watched the first ep and it was great! I hear that they filled in some gaps from the game. the CGI in this ep improved from the prologue. for people who don’t know the game/story, it’s early to judge but I personally like the slow pace of story telling alongside balanced attention to everything including SFX, BGM, animation, plot etc… If the series is at least 25 eps (which is most likely the case here) then that type of story telling is perfect for building the world and the characters too. I’m looking forward to more episodes.

Mob Psycho 100: (shounen, action, supernatural, comedy) by the creator of Onepunch-man (manga). brought to us by Bones not Madhouse though but a lot of my favorites came from Bones and I think this is carrying OPM’s momentum and hype so I wouldn’t be surprised if this title is backed by a huge budget (like OPM from what I’ve heard. it WAS an incredibly well-animated series after all.)

OOH YEEAAAAHHH!!! this is friggin’ awesome! I haven’t seen animation this good in a while! It’s screams sakuga from beginning to finish! I’m glad they kept ONE’s art style and morphed it into a great animation style. I haven’t enjoyed an OP this much since Ranpo Kitan’s.

ReLIFE: (supernatural, school life, slife of life, romance) This series is already available in its entirety. I watched it back to back last night. that’s enough to say that I really liked it. In fact, I’m going to resume reading the manga.

Tenkyou no Alderamin: (shounen, adventure, fantasy) not expecting much from this. I’ll check it out anyways.

as expected! which is not much, like i said. but it’s got potential to be a decent adventure story.

Battery: (shounen, sports (baseball)) I’m a fan of Diamond no Ace so i’m hoping this would fill the void DnA left recently. but based on the synopsis, I think this is going to be very different.

I’m disappointed that this has 11 episodes only. Based on the first ep, it’s really slow. I wonder if we really get to see character development and enjoy some intense matches. I think this’ll focus more on the drama and slice of life part than on the sports.

Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu: Second season of Arslan Senki. I got nothing to say about this other than it’s guaranteed to be good.

Bananya: a very sweet and cute anime about a cat in a banana. I love this cute genre. it’s a nice breather from the serious anime I usually watch.

There are many prospects this season but only one title that got me excited, Mob Psycho 100. I love the visuals in Orange and the light-hearted story of Amaama to Inazuma and Bananya. I’ll be watching the following titles but they’re at the bottom of my priority list so it might happen that I’ll never finish them. Tales of Zestiria the X, DAYS, Battery, and D.Gray-man Hallow.

 

 

My Summer 2016 Anime Line-up (Part 1)

You can read the synopsis of each anime in its respective page on MAL. they are already linked. I’m not going to bother and write them here.  

Before I get to my watchlist for this season, first, I should mention that I’ll only be covering the titles that seemed interesting to me based on my own genre preferences. Second, I must express my disappointment at some titles from the previous season namely, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and Twin-Star Exorcist. I didn’t expect much from the latter so let’s keep it at that.

Kabaneri, however, showed promise at first (well, at least the premise and the technical aspect (drawing, animation etc) and that was all. The story didn’t move much. It was contained within the mainstream generic structure of ‘mankind almost wiped out by an evil party then comes the protagonist, with the help of anti-evil party weaponry and some comrades, to save humanity.’

I personally have no problem with this structure because what is most important is the actual story and the execution among other aspects. I’m always fine with good characterization and characters’ development and interaction even if the premise is a cliché. That is what I expect from any shounen anime that comes out at this day and age. Anime fans get bored watching the same thing over the years. maybe they can tolerate the typical mainstream template but they won’t tolerate its same execution over and over again. In the end, Kabaneri had only its above average action scenes to survive, the rest crumbled and wasted away as the show headed to its demise.

Now, to my watchlist. I choose a bunch of titles based on genres and themes then pick the most interesting. this season I doubt I’ll be picking more than 3 because so far, there aren’t any great titles. What’s happening to the anime industry, guys?! >_<

I’ve watched the first episodes of the following titles:

Taboo Tattoo: (seinen, action, supernatural, super powers) good action scenes but nothing interesting [I’ll give it few more eps]

Orange: (shoujo, supernatural, slice of life, romance) despite the familiar theme (read the synopsis on MAL), I have a feeling i’m gonna get a lot of feels from the story later on. it’s manga-based. the manga is highly-rated and got a live-action drama too. I love the drawing style and the beautiful vibrant backgrounds. [definitely watching this]

Amaama to Inazuma: slice of life. this reminds me of Usagi Drop which was one of my favorites back in (year). lighthearted and sweet story, it seems.

DAYS: (shounen, sports (soccer)). the protagonist is introduced to the sport by a friend. He’s not a good athlete at all. in that respect, I’m hoping it is similar to Baby Steps which requires patient audience but it satisfyingly delivers further into the story. I’ll be patient and watch this.

D.gray-man Hallow: (shounen, supernatural, action) a continuation of the first d.gray-man anime with different cast and staff. I don’t like the character design much. maybe it’s just me but it looked kinda shoujo-like. I think the highlight of the series will be the story which comes from the manga. nothing interesting about the anime as an adaptation of the manga. nevertheless, I’m watching it.

Berserk: (seinen, fantasy, action) oh where do I begin with this one?! it’s just so damn good and so damn bad! anyone reading Berserk (manga) knows that it’s epic. so that’s the ‘so damn good’ part of any Berserk anime, the story which comes from the manga but the rest, in this case, is the perfect disgrace to a manga with a great story and meticulously elaborate art. the anime’s main problem is CGI. Berserk’s CGI is mixed with 2D of course (I think they call it, 2.5D) but it looks like watching a poor cinematic sequence from a video game. Ajin’s CG animation sucks, right? well Berserk is way worse! a total disappointment. keep away from this anime. read the manga, if you don’t mind extreme gore and violence.

So far, those are the anime I’ve checked and I’m not excited at all about any of them. Orange and Amaami to Inazuma seem good light-hearted stories and I haven’t watched slice of life in a while so I’m watching them and I do recommend them to anyone who’s interested in the genre. Since I have watched the first D.Gray-man series and also have read the manga to some extent, I’ll be watching its continuation. I’ll give DAYS a few more episodes. (I just love sports anime!)

You know what! I think I’ll put a hold on my verdict after watching a couple of more eps of every title here except Berserk!

Titles I haven’t seen yet. (reserved for part 2.)

I’ll try and watch these as soon as I can so I can write the second part.

Tales of Zestiria the X: (fantasy based on a game). never played the game before. this first episode is in fact a prologue to the actual series. (that’s how Ufotable does it!) I picked this, because of the studio animating it which brought to life one of my favorite series before: Fate/Zero. way too much CGI in this. I don’t think it’s working well this time. we’re looking at an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story with a company that’ll save the world… i guess. I can’t get anything out of a prologue. I’ll update this in part 2 after watching episode 1.

Mob Psycho 100: (shounen, action, supernatural, comedy) by the creator of Onepunch-man (manga). brought to us by Bones not Madhouse though but a lot of my favorites came from Bones and I think this is carrying OPM’s momentum and hype so I wouldn’t be surprised if this title is backed by a huge budget (like OPM from what I’ve heard. it WAS an incredibly well-animated series after all.)

ReLIFE

Tenkyou no Alderamin: (shounen, adventure, fantasy) not expecting much from this. I’ll check it out anyways.

Battery: (shounen, sports (baseball)) I’m a fan of Diamond no Ace so i’m hoping this would fill the void DnA left recently. but based on the synopsis, I think this is going to be very different.

91 Days

Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu:

Saiki Kusuo no ψ-nan

Time Travel Shoujo

The New Shounen: Human Connection at the Center

I just completed Noragami Aragato. and a thought crossed my mind about shounen anime.

It looks like the mainstream action shounen genre is finally starting to morph into a deeper and smarter popular genre that doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence.

In Noragami Aragato, human connection and character development (as opposed to mindless action and fan-service) are set on the foreground of the story. There are full and nearly uneventful episodes exploring only the characters’ feelings and their interactions. When it is time for the action, the characters’ relationships have a strong influence on the outcome of the fights.

noragami aragato

Ushio to Tora and Haikyuu! are good examples of such an approach to the shounen genre. The characters develop thanks to their interaction with one another. It’s a psychological portrayal  without the complicated rendition of the psychological genre itself. We’re still in a mainstream shounen circle, after all. That’s why it’s smart and as real as it can get for a shounen (as opposed to seinen and more mature genres).

Almost all shounen stories emphasize friendship. It’s the formula, i guess! but the way they go about it is what’s important to me. They can make it a mere launchpad to throw at us their 2 to 3 episode-long fights like in Bleach or make it the core of the story and keep the action aspect at the rim like in Noragami Aragato. I most certainly prefer the latter.

This new shounen is still rare but it’s getting there. Maybe I’m being harsh on the shounen shows but that’s probably because I’m a seinen fan. (I’m in my late twenties too so..!) Still, I enjoy a good shounen when it’s not too childish and entirely action-oriented.

I think the only title that encompassed all those elements and I still tolerate and even consider one of the best animes out there is One Piece. Whoever you are, I’m sure you agree! 🙂

My Anime Preferences & Spring Season Line-up 2016

Since this is my first post about anime, I need to lay out the grounds before moving on. It’s going to be a long post so bear with it. All titles are linked to their respective pages on myanimelist.com. 

I’ve been a fan of anime for quite some time. I used to watch all that I could find –  everything. However, free time and free mind aren’t and won’t always be free. There are priorities. Now I no longer watch everything that every season has to offer.

What I do now is select a line-up of three or four anime on every season based on my favorite genres and preferences. (To be honest, I haven’t been able to be up-to-date even with the titles I chose. I always end up marathoning them months later!)

Well, my preferences  are many but also strict and unique: Science fiction (preferably, with great animation and post-apocalyptic themes), action/martial arts/supernatural (with a unique story and story-telling), slice of life (no school-life crap, the darker, more tragic the better) and sports (realistic and smart). It’s also important that any anime I watch focuses on character’s psychological developments. I also like the philosophical type; great examples of that are two of my all time favorites: Ergo Proxy and Wolf’s Rain. I like mystery too. not the detective type but the enigmatic and arcane.

Having listed my preferences, an outlook on the current spring season clearly shows that it offers very few interesting titles for my taste. But there bound to be at least one title that surprises (very much like Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi and Ajin in Winter Season 2016). We’ll see.

This season is full of mainstream shounen series which are not my go-to shows but I don’t particularly hate them when they’re done intelligently. I think Boku no Hero Academia is great within shounen parameters. Sousei no Onmyouji is a also okay. It’s got good action scenes and good animation so at least, I’m watching it for that.

My favorite shounen this season is the continuation of Ushio to Tora. First season gave me some serious feels! so I’m sticking to it this season too. Besides, I like stories that are inspired by Japanese folklore such as Youkai.

The previous titles are manga-based. There are also a few decent original anime this season. Bungou Stray Dogs and Kiznaiver are good examples. Bungou Stray Dogs is brought to us by my favorite studio, Bones (Darker than BLACK, Wolf’s Rain, Cowboy Bebop, FMA: Brotherhood). I’m definitely watching that!

The only anime that really drew me in though is Koutetsujou no Kabaneri! Awesome animation and story!  I hate zombie shows but this one got me hooked and I don’t think it’s going to let me go! That coming from someone like me should tell you something. Zombie-like creatures in a steampunk/industrial/feudal Japan is a unique premise to say the least. The protagonist is really likeable. After just one episode, his potential as a character is already radiating.

kabaneri

I haven’t been able to watch Joker Game but it seems like it’s right up my alley. I’ll check it as soon as possible.

My Line-up: (I just hope I’ll have the time and mood to keep up!)

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

Ushio to Tora (2nd Season)

Bungou Stray Dogs

Boku no Hero Academia

and possibly Joker Game.

I skipped a lot of titles based on genres and themes that are just not for me. but If you want to check everything here’s a Spring Season 2016 Anime Chart and a link to MAL’s Seasonal Anime page.

This was my introduction post into my anime preferences and the titles I have chosen to watch this season. It was also my intention to highlight a few titles that perhaps people with similar taste might enjoy too.

until the next anime post! 🙂