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Akira

Akira was a revolutionary film which was made in 1988 directed by Katsuhiro Otomo based on the original manga. Akira was the first anime film to be properly recognized in the western society opening the road for future Japanese animation.

The film is based in 2019 after the third world war which happened in 1988 within this film. The opening scene involves a biker gang fight which introduces the main characters quickly and effectively. This quickly leads on to an event where one of the main characters is injured in an accident after coming in to contact with an unknown supernatural entity. This concludes with his friends discovering him in this state. While the characters are panicking they are surprised by an army helicopter blinding them. While this happens the injured character is abducted by the government. Once being abducted the character is found to have potential psychic abilities, thus being forced in to a secret program by the government.

This leads to a psychological thrill ride with a complex accompanying story. Some of the main points of this that makes the film great is the films ability to make you think. This film created questions in the mind of the viewer of how they would react if they were in the same situation. The main character is given such an immense power within the film he struggles to control this emotionally and physically. This allows the viewer to show empathy towards the main character allowing them to put themselves in the protagonist’s shoes asking the question ‘would I be able to control this power?’

Another major positive of this film is it does not force you to see the scenario this film presents from one characters view. It allows you to see parts of the film through the protagonist’s eyes as well as the main hero’s. This allows you to take a more analytical view upon the film sparking off an unbiased debate of your morality. This does have a negative aspect to itself as well. It stops the viewer forming a good emotional connection with one specific character but in the end allows a general overview of every character.

The film’s scenes are greatly complimented with its unique music. The music varies scene to scene appropriately sparking off emotion within the viewer allowing a greater connection to the plot, characters and the scenes. The film even in present age has dated very well being visual stunning still in this day and age.

To conclude this film it is a very enjoyable film allowing you to spark of debate within yourself about your own morality as well as pleasing visuals and music. The only main negative I can express is due to its presentation of characters it prevents the viewer from forming any emotional bond with an individual character. Well worth a watch if you get the chance.

Written by

Richard Broadhead (with input from Anthony Ball and Ben Leonard)

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Yu-Gi-Oh 10th Anniversary Bonds Beyond Time

Well as some of you more hardcore anime fans will know, Yu-Gi-Oh defined an era of anime similar to how Pokemon did in the 1990’s within western society. As the title says, Yu-Gi-Oh has been around for about ten years and has become the best-selling TCG card game in the world. The anime is based on the original manga, which translates to ‘Game King’ or ‘King of Games’, written by Kazuki Takahashi. Personally myself, I have only watched the original anime that launched the phenomena it is today played by adults and children alike across the world. Since then, there has been two more adaptations of Yu-Gi-Oh with new characters and new story lines, but it still revolved around the card game. Most people see these as poor adaptations that never recaptured the magic and charm of the original, both on story line and character development.

Well, getting on to the review of the film, I am personally a huge fan of the card game playing for many years, and due to this I have been looking forward to this film for a long time; but my God how it disappointed me. Personally, by my belief, this film was lazy more than anything; it dives straight into the film with absolutely no plot development. This is bad, due to new viewers who have no insight to the Yu-Gi-Oh world getting lost in the plot (or lack thereof) as soon as the film starts.  The film throws you straight into an action-packed sequence, giving you a false sense of hope for the film as well as a poor representation of the TV show. The first character seen is introduced with no introduction or name, just assuming you will know who this character is; and this goes for all characters throughout the film.

Well I have given a fair description of the film but if I really wanted to go in to the negatives there are many, with few positives. So let’s go into some of these, in my personal opinion, positives of this film. This film was made in 3D and high-definition, making it very pleasing on the eye as well as some clear crisp animation. The music fluctuates throughout the film, being appropriate for most scenes with some epic music to fit action scenes. But in the odd occasion throughout the film the music was harsh on the ears as well as not fitting the scene itself.  The major action scene in the film is a card game or ‘duel’ which Yu-Gi-Oh is based upon, basically consisting of monsters called ‘duel monsters’ with power ups and traps. Within the anime, these monsters can be summoned through cards, and these monsters are projected on a field using a VR system. But in some scenarios, these monsters will be real, summoned from another world.

More information on the rules of the game can be found here: ‘http://yugiohmagic.tripod.com/id4.html’. The positives of this duel are that it’s very pleasing to someone who is familiar with the rules as well as the nostalgia of the anime. The downside of this, though is it throws newcomers to the anime right in the deep end; this is due to having no explanation of some of the monsters/card effects, as well as not explaining the rules of the game.

This film is highly unbelievable; yes, I know, magic monsters and ‘card games on motorcycles’ are highly unbelievable. But at least these are explained in the anime and follow some logic. But in several occasions across this film, the major characters just accept that time travel is both possible and logical, totally accepting it as well as showing no fear to this phenomena. One character goes as far to say ‘I am pumped about time travel’ after seeing a guy miraculously appear in front of him on a motorcycle, claiming to be from the future, and is there to save the world but needs his help. This guy jumps at the opportunity, showing complete trust and devotion to this cause with no explanation or convincing.

The main evil character in this film who himself, is trying to save the world with a flawed theory. His theory is that if he destroys the past the future may be saved. Flawed concept? I think so. This story plot is poorly conceived and poorly explained to the viewer. The generic evil guy, A ‘paradox’ being his actual name, has absolutely no character development, with no feeling evoked from him towards the viewer. All this character shows to the viewer is that he likes big motorcycles and has a clear dragon fetish with an appetite for destruction.

Now this section is going to talk about one of my little nick picks about this film and the anime as a whole, but seriously, do all these kids wake up on a morning and style their hair with multi coloured lead paint? You watch this film and are utterly blinded by the colourfulness and pointiness of their hair. These kids need a risk assessment doing for lead paint poisoning and having the ability to stab each other with their hair. I am not naive enough to think this is the only anime that has mad hair, but really, this anime takes it to the extreme.

Overall the film is extremely lazy and has no value for money with it only being 45 minutes long, with it being labelled as a ‘feature length film’. The ‘film’ has very little plot and NO character development whatsoever. This film maybe enjoyable for children who are hardcore fans of the anime; except for that, I would not recommend watching. As one of the characters said in this film as a building was collapsing on top of him,  ‘OH NO’!

By Richard Broadhead (with some input from a friend of mine, Anthony Ball)


Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.11 You Are (not) Alone and Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22 You Cannot Advance: Review

Well thanks for taking the time to pay interest in this post and as you can see, this area of the site is new and so as you guessed, I am a new writer; so maybe a little rusty straight off the bat, but I look forward to writing many more Anime reviews in the future. Well, I’m going to be writing about Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.11 you are (not) alone, and Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22 you cannot advance. As most of you hardcore anime fans know, Neon Genesis was one of the first Anime’s to westernise the anime franchise with the original series being brought out by the studio Gainax in 1995. Well, Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.11 and 2.22 are reimagining theatrical versions of the anime made into feature length films that in my opinion, are something astonishing. As you know, when you usually hear an anime is being remade or remade into a series of films, you hear it in dread, believing it should just be left alone in its original glory. But this time that is not the case; they have really given this series the glory it deserves.

Well enough of an intro, let’s actually review the films. Evangelion Neon Genesis 1.11 is an apocalyptic mecha story, for those of you who don’t not know what mecha means it’s a term basically meaning giant battle robot; sounds cheesy yes, I know. Within the story, Earth has been affected to the point of most life being destroyed and leaving the environment in such a state that most life cannot be sustained, as well as two thirds of human life having been destroyed. This was due to a race, code named ‘Angels’. The first ‘Angel ‘ was a biological life form, gigantic in form that was to put in simple terms, a giant bomb destroying most life and poisoning the environment to the point life struggles to go on. This is not the end though. These ‘Angels’ will not give in, and keep coming back, attacking the Earth in different ways, all with only one aim that you can see, which is to wipe out life. The ‘Angels’ all share one thing in common – they tend to be gigantic in form and can generate something called an AT field, which conventional weapons cannot penetrate. Later, ‘Angels in the original anime take different forms, such as viruses and even humans, but the films have not really explored this yet. Due to this alien threat of the ‘Angels’, an organization called Nerv have developed a weapon, half biological, half mechanical. Created from studying the remains of the first ‘angel’, these weapons are mechas called Eva’s.

The main character in this series is a boy called Shinji Ikari, who is the son of the leader of Nerv. Let’s basically say Shinji has father issues that play on his mental health, leading to a lot of psychological breakdowns and other stresses that I will explain in a bit. Shinji is chosen to pilot one of the Eva’s that has been created. The Eva connects to him when piloting through the nervous system, meaning Shinji can freely move the Eva like his own body, but with the downside of being able to feel all the pain inflicted on the Eva. These weapons are used to fight the ‘Angels’, due to them being the only weapon that can break an AT field. Now, you have probably been wondering what the ‘Angels’ are through reading this review but the thing is no one really knows what they are, except they usually enter Earth by travelling through space. Many theories have been written, but none of them are definite. Some people hate this plot device, but personally I love it, as it brings a new fear to these ‘Angels’, not knowing where they are from, what they are and what there ultimate aim is. In this film as well, a lot of religious quotes are mentioned, sparking off philosophical discussions between main characters.

Within the films there are more Eva’s pilots with all one thing in common – they are all children aged 14-16 years of age. Due to this, because they are pushed into battle at such a young age, the things they see and experience affect their mental health. This leads to many psychological break downs, which can cause the Eva’s to go berserk due to being connected to the child’s nervous system as well leading to new strengths, harming the pilot or even harming allies giving a whole new outlook on the story. The two films have a very deep plot, with many twists and more to come in the later films if it follows the same story as the original, which it has already changed a fair bit. The films are also very action-based, leaving me and friends with shivers after some of the fight scenes, with the powerful explosions and dramatic conflicts. The animation of the films are just beautiful really, showing what gifted modern animators can do. The two films so far have won multiple awards as well as being some of the most talked about anime films over the net. Personally, I think these two films are well worth a buy that will lead you to watching them many times over and looking forward to the next film. The only negative I can really express about it is that it can kind of throw you straight in to the story line, expecting you to have watched the original anime. But this is only in some parts and can easily be resolved with a quick look on Wikipedia.  I hope you have enjoyed this review and look forward to writing more in the future.

By Richard Broadhead, a new addition to the iHartMovies team, sharing his opinions on a wide variety of Anime.