Archive for category Other Languages

Tsubasa- The Reservoir Chronicles (Season 1)

This is an anime (for those of you who don’t know “anime” just means a type of cartoon from Japan aimed at a teen-range audience), so it’s kind of hard to review with the normal formatting…

Plot: 2/5
Just as young archaeologist Syaoran is on the brink of telling his childhood friend Princess Sakura that he loves her, a magical occurrence causes Sakura’s memories to scatter. Now, Syaoran must travel from the Kingdom of Clow and across worlds seeking the shattered pieces of Sakura’s soul.

Eh~ that’s an OK description of the show, I guess. Here is another, a little more thorough: Princess Sakura (sah-koo-rah) of the Kingdom of Clow is in love with the mysterious Syaoran (show-rhon) who was adopted by a traveling archaeologist when he was just a child with no memories of his previous life and a missing eye. Syaoran’s adopted father taught him to be kind and asked the Princess to be his friend. The two grew up close to each other and became inseparable, much to the dismay of Sakura’s brother, who eventually became a beloved young King. Syaoran is working in his father’s image to unearth some ancient ruins outside of the capitol of Clow when he is ready to confess his love for Sakura, and her for him. However, one night strange warriors appear in Clow and Sakura is drawn mysteriously into the ruins.

Syaoran follows her in, worried she will be hurt, and sees her being lifted into an engraving on the wall, pulled by translucent pink wings. He knocks her away before she is pulled in and the wings shatter. The princess does not regain consciousness and the head magician sends Syaoran and Sakura to Yuko, the time and space witch in another dimension.

Meanwhile, Kurgi (it’s not his name, I just forgot it and this is the nickname they call him to piss him off) is a violent warrior obsessed with becoming stronger. To protect her kingdom from him and in hopes of helping him, the princess he fights for imprisons him and sends him to Yuko. Fye, a powerful sorcerer, seals away his former master in a magical prison, knowing it isn’t strong enough and that he must flee his dimension in hopes of surviving. Fye, Kurgi, Sakura and Syaoran all arrive at Yuko’s door at the same time.

The witch offers to help send them to different dimensions, the idea being that in each one Syaoran must recover one of Sakura’s memories, which took the form of the feathers from the wings. Fye and Kurgi join on to protect him, Kurgi hoping it will lead him back to his own world. Without the memories Sakura will eventually die. Each person must give up something precious in payment, and Syaoran is forced to trade Sakura’s love, meaning any memory she has of him is altered so that she cannot remember who she was talking to or anything about him, and he can’t tell her. If she starts to remember their love that memory is taken from her mind.

As the group continues on their journey you learn more about what drove each of them down their respected paths, and also more about the strange duo who is watching Sakura and Syaoran through time and space, the ones behind the attack on Clow who are obsessed with seeing Sakura’s secret powers emerge.

Execution: 5/5
It really isn’t too dull of a series. The reason I gave it low plot ratings was because basically you get a 4-5 episode mini story that ends with them finding a feather. It isn’t a very fast-paced series, and it’s kind of repetitive sometimes, but it’s not terrible. It’s more of a time-kill show.

Acting: 4/5
I’m rating voice acting here. Most of the characters are OK, but especially with the characters in the mini stories there isn’t much variation. After a while all the guys sound the exact same and same with most of the girls. It’s kind of 2D in the voice department.

Other Things
I’d recommend this to anyone 13-17, because I think that was the original target audience. The stories are simple, but not totally void of interest, and I think that age range will appreciate it more.

1 Comment

Zeni Geba (Japanese)

I *just* finished watching this (10 minutes ago). It’s a very short drama (9 Episodes) and it makes some really interesting points. Realistically speaking it’s kind of preachy, but you can ignore all that and just see how the story developes.

Plot: 4/5
Gamagori Futaro has been poor since the day he was born. As a child his recklessly wasteful and abusive father sunk the family into debt and disappeared, leaving Futaro and his sick mother to fend for themselves. With no money to pay for medical treatment for his ailing mother she eventually died. After her death Futaro became obsessed with money and willing to do anything for it. Several years pass and Futaro finds himself working at “Mikuni Shipbuilding” where he meets the company president’s daughters Midori, who was his former classmate, and her younger sister Akane, who is wheel-chair bound, and like Futaro, has a scarred face. In a plot to acquire their fathers company, Futaro begins to get close to the sisters.

That’s really only a good description of the first episode. The series is about just how far Futaro goes in order to attain money, what he has grown up believing will bring him every happiness in the world. He learns though that it isn’t all it was cracked up to be, and seeks to prove his old beliefs by playing with the lives of those around him until he eventually goes insane.

Acting: ∞/5

One name: Kenichi Matsuyama. Hands down he is, in my opinion, the single best actor in the world. He plays the lead role of Futaro, but you might also recognize him from the “Death Note” series (he starred as “L”). In places the writing is awkward, completely awkward, but Kenichi Matsuyama pulls it all through masterfully. It’s impossible not to be awed while watching this. After this ended I literally bounced to my friend down the hall and could only say “Kenichi Matsuyama is amazing~~~”.

The other actors are great too, don’t get me wrong. I could write a whole rant about how amazing Kenichi Matsuyama was in this show though. His character is hard, there is no scene that would have been easy to film, and he covers everything perfectly. He’s going on my list of flawless actors. Hum… To put it so those of you who have followed my “Rant” section can understand: Kenichi Matsuyama is an actor I respect just as much as I hate Hayden Christensen (so pretty damn wholeheartedly!).

Directing: wha?/5

Oh, yeah, that. The directing is fine, JUST GO BACK TO KENICHI MATSUYAMA! But no, really, the directing was pretty brilliant. The shots were well angled and I think this director should definitely get some award for his work here (or should have gotten it, it came out a year or so ago).

Like I said it’s a little preachy. You can kind of predict their angle- money doesn’t buy happiness damnit! But it’s still a good watch. And it’s only 9 episodes long, so honestly what do you have to loose? 9 hours? What were you going to do with it anyways? Don’t watch it all at once, as amazing as it is I didn’t let myself watch more than 2 eps a day. If you watch more than that, I’ve noticed, you start to get kind of tired of the drama.

Show Link (with subtitles): http://www.mysoju.com/zeni-geba/

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