Miss Hokusai Review

Miss Hokusai is a 2015 anime film about the life and works of Japanese artist Ukiyo-e and painter Katsushika Hokusai. The movie is as seen from the eyes of his daughter, Katushika O-Ei. The origin of this anime is based off of a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura.  The manga is a collection of short stories that are not connected. The original run of the mange was from 1983 to 1987. The anime movie was released on May 9, 2015 with critical acclaimed reviews. It won the Jury Award the 39th Annecy International Animated Film Festival.  It received its North American premier at the Fantasia International Film Festival between July 12 and August 5, 2015.Which it won the Gold Audience Award for best animated feature film. It also won Best Animated Film Award at the Mainichi Film Awards.
G KIDS expanded the movie in over 85 theaters  over weekend in the month of October . The movie runs around 90 minutes and was directed by Keiichi Hara. Keiichi Hara is known for his work on Crayon Shin-Chan, Doraemon and 21 emon. The story was written by Miho Maruo and produced by Production I.G. The movie is rated Pg 13 for some sexual tension.
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I probably would have enjoyed this movie a lot more if I invested some time in reading the manga. After seeing this movie I already am trying to get a copy of the manga series. Going into this movie I expected a long story about the artist and his life. What I did not expect was a collection of short stories from these artist and what they experienced. The story is linear but there are many stories intertwined to get a feel of the characters and their backgrounds. I absolutely loved the traditional art and with studying art history in the past I enjoyed the many  mediums they used. I also enjoyed the references of Hokusaias, Great Wave off Kanagawa  and a few other prints he did.  I would have liked to see more story background about the father, Hokusai. I thought the ending was a little abrupt but I enjoyed the short stories and illustration of the movie. The illustration was certainly not a disappointed and it kept the story interesting. I do expect this movie to make the top 10 finalist for best animation at the Academy Awards but I don’t think I expect to see this movie make the top five at the Academy Awards for best animation. Overall I give this movies story a 3 out of 5 woodblock prints.

2016: “Parade” De Satie

This film made its world premier at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. “Parade” De Satie is a parade of three managers and four performers. Mixing quotes from French composer Erik Satie’s essays with the ballet music “Parade” in 1916, this film is an animated re-creation of the “realist ballet images going beyond reality.”The music is composted by Breuker Willem and the the film was produced January 2016 in Japan.


2016: Kagerou Daze, In a Day’s

Shintarou Kisaragi—a NEET who shut himself inside his room for 2 years—has been living his life normally until he met a cyber girl named Ene, who appeared in his computer screen when someone anonymously sent him a mysterious e-mail one year ago. One day, Ene had been messing with Shintaro’s PC, which causes him have to go to the outside world for first time in two years. Ultracreep Inc and Aniplex claim will be the first “short movie” in Japan to be produced with MX4D. Sidu who is a 23 year old illustrator of the Kagerou Daze novels will make her anime debit. The film is expected to open in winter of 2016 at TOHO cinemas.
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With the 4DX and MX4D systems the theaters have motion seats that move in sync with certain action sequences onscreen. Effects such as scents and wind will operate as well to create a dramatic feel to the watcher. The Kagerou project began as a vocaloid song series in 2011. You won’t be seeing any Miku Hatsune though. The light novel series came out in 2012 and manga adaptation was released in June. The series inspired a 12 episode television adaptation titled Mekakucity Actors in 2014.

2016: Zegapain Adaptation

Zegapain is a Japanese anime series created by Sunrise. The series premiered in Japan on April 6, 2006. In 2007 Bandai Entertainment released the first region 1 volume with the last volume released in 2008. As part of the 10th anniversary of the series, a new theatrical film was released on October 15, 2016. The movie will also include new scenes not present in the the TV anime. The film was directed by Masami Shimoda and music was produced by Ayao Otsuka. The cast includes Kaminagi Ryouko, Sogoru Kyou and Misaki Shizuno who are present in the TV adaptation.
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Kyo Sogoru, a high school boy living in a city called Maihama, leads a normal life of school, romance, and the swim club. Kyo’s life changes when he sees a beautiful girl, Shizuno Misaki, at the pool one day and discovers he is initially the only person who can see her. In order to keep his high school’s swimming club open by recruiting more members, Kyo hopes to enlist Shizuno to appear in a promo video shot by Kyo’s close friend, Ryoko. Shizuno agrees, but on the condition that he does something for her in exchange – pilot a mecha for an organization known as Celebrum.

Kubo And The Two Strings Review

“If you must blink, do it now.” This is one of the first lines of the movie, Kubo and the two strings. I’ve been waiting a few years for this film to come out and it certainly reached my expectations. I honestly can say that this movie is probably one of the better, or even best Laika films I have seen. The storytelling was fantastic and kept the plot interesting and concise. While watching this film I was always at the edge of my seat. The animation or in this case stop motion was impeccable and had me wonder how they were able to capture certain moments from the monkeys hair, origami and fighting techniques. The voice acting was very well done and the plot in itself is something that really grabbed my attention. Kubo_and_the_Two_Strings_wallpapers_1600x1010-1I will not spoil anything but this movie has many messages of culture, acceptance and bravery all entwined into one. This movie can be enjoyed by children and adults and appreciated from both sides from the art style, soundtrack and plot. By the end of the movie I tried to hold back tears from the captivating message of the film and could relate to the individual characters shown throughout the film. Instead of having a movie focus solely on the hero you are shown the perspectives of the other characters and what they’ve experienced. The movie is a tale in itself and certainly tied at my heartstrings. I believe this movie will be nominated for an Academy Award this year. It will certainly earn a few awards at the Annie’s year. I’m hoping it makes the list and even is recognized as best animation this year compared to the other American films I’ve seen this year. I give this movie 5 strings out of 5. If you want more information on the plot please visit my previous blog post.

 

When Marnie Was There, US Trailer


1. Story and background of When Marnie was there.
2. GKIDS and Studio Ghibli Article