Tag Archives: Last Exile

Bridging The Gap: Fall 2011 At A Tweet

 

Being that post-quake industry has chosen to stagger out a number of titles over the course of several weeks, and because a bigger post is still in the works, I figured it time to actually strap in and share some blurbs regarding the Fall 2011 season.

 

Now as basis for what comes is largely based on what I shared via my Twitter feed(Here).

 

First off is what came to mind when watching Persona 4 The Animation

 

Synopsis: Newly moved from the city to the country town of Inaba, Yu Narukami quickly adjusts to living with his uncle and six year old cousin. But it is once after he makes friends at school that he begins to fall deep into a surreal mystery involving local murders, alternate dimensions within television space, and a troubling power that begins to appear within him.

Initial Tweet:

Upon being initially unsure of how much I was actually ready to watch this, as I had never seen any of the anime made for this franchise prior, along with having a mild interest in the Digital Devil Saga game series oh so many years ago, there was more than a bit of hesitance on my part. And sure enough, after viewing these first few episodes, it is clearly not a show designed for me. And by that,  we are speaking from nearly every approach, what we have here is a show so modeled after the often choppy, broken up nature of the games, that it becomes much more like watching a game, rather than experiencing a story unfold. Hence..

 

It’s true. Characters instigate beats with little reason, layers are planted in an almost random, inconsistent fashion, and dialogue comes from the way a game triggers them.(Things that simply do not work in regards to how a mystery tale functions) Overall, it’s a garish, headache-inducing ball of nonsense that will likely be more interesting to those invested in games of this style than not.

Persona 4 can be watched via Crunchyroll.

 

 


Next came the much-anticipated follow-up to one of my favorite realized worlds in anime history, Last Exile-Fam, The Silver Wing.

Synopsis: Once again, in an alternate world where flight is achieved by way of alien technology, and yet alliances remain unstable, a cadre of neutral-leaning sky pirates are pitted between two core powers; the peaceful Turan, and the traitorous Ades Federation. After an audacious assault on Turan, young harpoon-master, Fam & her partner Giselle task themselves with bringing the nation’s princesses to safety, with Ades in close pursuit.

Initial Tweet:

All things being honest, as much as I lament Gonzo for their shows that start strong, and often crumble over time, I was more than happy to see more stories take place in this world that first appeared in 2003, featuring stunning concepts and character work by the one Range Murata. Even when the story delved into archetypal territory, the style was the star of the show, and much in the way Gainax inspired fans with its unique vision with Royal Space Force, there was a certain amount of history and mystery that made this such an ideal world to explore further. And now that we finally have another chance to drink it all in, there is still a deeper need for story and character to rise beyond what has already been established. Which isn’t to say that Fam suffers in this department, but it does feel like a leaner, more fun tale than the previous. THAT SAID- There are elements early on that border on hurting the show as it goes on. Most notably, the return of Junko Noda as a character that in many ways, doesn’t need to be there. Even if it carries some familiarity for fans, it’s simply grating to witness. There is also the element of “service” that invades the initial episode, something that runs heavily counter to the world presented. All in all, a decent start to what is at least to me, a welcome return to a potential-packed creation. Could this become Gonzo’s Blue Uru? We can only wait and see.

Fam, can be seen via Funimation.

 

Next up, is Studio BONES’s big entry for the noitaminA block, featuring the direction of Seiji Mizushima, and words of the legendary anime writer Shou Aikawa, Un-Go!

Synopsis: In a post-war future Japan, the reconstruction moves ahead, but not without it’s share of cover-ups, and deepening mysteries. Shunjuro Yuki, and his assistant, Inga, are often called into investigating many of these cases, but often at the cost of their very reputations. Yuki is more often known as The Defeated Detective, his and his partner’s unique insight often help crack difficult cases, but are often in the shadow of computer-bound Rinroku Kaisho, a legendary detective with a penchant for secrets.

 

Initial Tweet:

I understand that much of this show is aimed at a certain audience, but it does require a certain amount of suspension of disbelief before any of the mystery established begins to see like our hero is the only one who could figure it out. It also doesn’t help that having a secret weapon in your assistant that can squeeze the truth out of suspects with little problem at all. In many ways, these rarely seem like mysteries so much as another onslaught of messages by way of the author, who BY THE WAY…

 

….Oh Boy…

 

For those unfamiliar with the inimitable Shou Aikawa, he is a writer best known for his work on Fullmetal Alchemist, but for many of us older fans, he is also known for helping with some of the medium’s most infamous works including the anime versions of Urotsukidoji, and the unforgettable (although not for reasons expected)  ANGEL COP. A man with no qualms about his politics, or emotionally hysterical screeds against certain ideas, his works can range from modestly entertaining to appallingly bad without a second thought.

Either way, while mildly entertaining, it still remains a little puzzling that this show wound up on this block. There is little in the way of the material presented to be anything more than another alternate future vision complete with fantasy technology, character types, and a weird kid wearing animal ears and paws. Take that away, and Aikawa’s horns start to show. While there is definitely something interesting brewing here, there is also a silly approach being made here regarding characters that are poised to take the fall for the peace of a nation’s ideology- Methinks someone’s been watching The Dark Knight a bit too much.

Un-Go comes via Crunchyroll.

 

 

Lastly..

Thoughts regarding the anime version of Yuki Suetsugu’s Chihayafuru!

 

Synopsis: After entering high school, Chihaya Ayase’s life has reached something of an impasse. Growing up deeply supportive of her older sister’s success as a model, her longing for her own dream has hit a roadblock as she was once inspired by a classmate to become a world class karuta player. Not long after this, do her old friends come out of the woodwork, and old friendships and rivalries(as well as new ones) resurface.

 

Initial Tweet:

Seriously, I didn’t see this one coming. So far, Chihayafuru is a handsomely produced hybrid of shoujo romance & almost sports drama regarding a love of traditional japanese amidst a world increasingly mired in the superficial. With the  reliable hands of Madhouse, and stalwart Morio Asaka ( Card Captor Sakura, etc) at the helm, this is a truly sweet, earnest, albeit unsubtle little show. And when I say little, I mean it in the best, most stealth manner possible. Featuring a likeable heroine, a unique visual palette, and some great insight, this may very well become my show to watch this season.

Chihayafuru comes via Crunchyroll.

So, should there be more that I may be missing out on, by all means suggest, but I must stress that it isn’t easy to hook me. Try if you wish, though.


Into the Blue

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu Minna-san! I’m Fred, and I’m proud to be a brand new addition to the Anime Diet team. I’ll be throwing out updates here and there, talking about some older series, and basically filling in the gaps wherever I’m needed. Pleased to meet you.

Last Exile

As an introduction of sorts, I’d like to talk about a series most near and dear to my heart, Last Exile. A tale of airships, fantastic battles between ancient kingdoms, and all the little people caught in between. Our hero, Claus, a vanship courier and his best friend and navigator, Lavie, fly errands for wealthy clients. One such errand finds them escorting a young girl named Alvis, as she is pursued by the mysterious and all-powerful Guild. While a large scale war is waged between the nations Anatole and Disith they must get her to the rogue battleship Silvana, whose air pirate captain Alex Rowe and crew may be the only ones who can protect her.

What really draws me to the series is the steampunk/fantasy world and the epic story. I grew up on Final Fantasy and Dragonlance novels, so something like this is right up my alley. You watch Claus and Lavie go from mere couriers scraping by to getting caught up in a desperate war between nations, and the operatic heights of drama it reaches. Giant fleet battles between nations, full-throttle vanship races and dogfighting, and the cat-and-mouse airship-to-airship battles reminiscent of old naval combat. You’re really watching an epic conflict unfold.

Airship BattleVanship

I often see series that try to go large miss out on the relationships between characters and the “small drama”. Lost Exile does a spends a lot time on the little people caught in these massive conflicts. Claus and Lavie meet a apoplectic footsoldier Mullen Shepard, who is tired of his comrades fighting and dying in a war in which they had no say. Tatania and her navigator, Alister, are the hot shot pilots on the Silvana that eventually warm up to the “amateurish” Claus and Lavie. We even see hints of a relationship between the cold, distant captain Alex Rowe and his first mate Sophia. While you’re paying attention to the explosions and the massive fleets of airships broadsiding each other, there’s all these little plots that play out between the main characters.Claus and LavieAlex Rowe

If all that isn’t enough to entice you, the character designs are by Range Murata, whose work on Blue Submarine No. 6 was superb. And it’s airships, people! Airships! If you haven’t seen Last Exile yet give it a shot!