Takemitsu Zamurai : critique


Takemetsu Zamurai counts amongst one of the most beautiful and relaxing series that I’ve ever read, maybe it was the lazy setting of the edo period, maybe it was calm and relax attitude of the protagonist or maybe it was the talking animals. Reading this manga was a joyous experience.

The characters of this manga are simple yet eloquent and contain amazing depth. The interaction of one character with the environment or with another characters is very elegant, warm and natural specially the friendship of Senou and Kankichi in the beginning helps you in settling into the manga. The art, specially the human anatomy, might be considered mediocre by some, but I felt that it was surreal as it provided that folklore like feeling to the manga. It was like looking at some painting from edo period which is telling the story of Senou and his life. The battles were interestingly drawn and were easy to comprehend.Overall, this manga is a work of art, and I feel happy that I read it.

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Serial Experiments Lain


A review by Rahul Ghosh

Lain Iwakura is the sort of ordinary girl who isn’t much tech savvy in the era of computers but a string of events consequently leads her to get devoured by the world of ‘wired’. So much for a plot summary, for the rest Lain lives up to it’s name as a bonafied mindfuck of a series.

Speaking of a theme or central idea, well Lain doesn’t have one… to be precise the theme is not bound by any single strand of interpretation for what i recon Lain throws at us several dimensions of symbolism, at almost every scene. Most of the time you’ll be just blankly staring at the screen going “What the fuck is happening ?”, yes.. Lain is just Incomprehensible at almost every second, and honestly I wouldn’t recommend watching the series to anyone Well here’s my take on the series : Continue reading

Aoi Bungaku (Blue Literature)


bungaku

“The Masterpieces are Blue”

A compilation of literary masterpieces from Japan. In the form of Novels by their respective authors which the directors tried to put forward through this series was actually to upheld the point of whether television or film can match the artistic genius and greatness of Novels or Poetry.

The series adapts 6 different stories by different authors, also each differs from one another in terms of the animation… Which is no doubt wonderful as it is by the Mad House studios. The stories also differ from the social or moral value they impart. It’s Dark and tragic at times then again enlightening values like friendship and trust, also few topsy turvy situations with frequent fluctuations from a moment of warm comedy to cold murders.

I’ll break the review in parts from here on in order respective of the stories.

No Longer Human
written by Dazai Osamu, and later was uncovered/related somehow as the biography of the author himself. The story is a dramatic character study of the troubled protagonist suffering from mental trauma and psychological horrors, at a stretch it is tragic and emits an aura of despair… The valuable part is how it portrays Japan and it’s society from the time of World War, wonderfully handled. ‘No Longer Human’ is personally my favourite from among all the stories in the series.
The story ends abruptly as the author left it incomplete and perhaps talking further might end up in me spitting out some spoilers so will move on to the next one…

Under Cherries in Full Bloom
By Ango Sakaguchi is another story from the series with a whole different aura, it starts off with a comical situations which had me stunned for a moment, but as the story progressed it started showing it’s true nature following through a series of cold murders and. I don’t know how to react in respect of this story… laugh or grief… it is one of the most bizarre ones i’ve ever seen, so will let people to decide on this one. xD

Kokoro 
written by Natsume Soseki who is as considered the Charles Dickens of Japan for good reason. This story was adapted twice times from the perspective of two different characters. Is a romantic tragedy with the moral theme of trust. Each episode reveals two men’s unique perspective on a life-changing event, creating a discrepancy in narration. Whose side of the story is true? Who is the man to blame?……… won’t go any deeper.

Run, Melos! 
Might be one of the most straight forward and touching stories among the lot with a satisfying ending. Once again written by Dazai Osamu, is based on a wonderful theme : ‘friendship’…. The story is about an author in itself writing scripts for plays, dramas and one of which is shown in the story is also intertwined with the theme itself. One of the strongest arcs in the series, I personally quite liked it.

The Spider’s Thread
By Ryunosuke Akutagawa starts off quite brutally with blood and gore following through a series of Heinous crimes and having the main character end up in a death sentence. The story was aimed at entertaining children. My verdict : It would’ve been better if it were a bit longer.

Hell Screen 
By the same author as “The Spider’s Thread” and also set on the same world but unlike ‘Kokoro’ this one doesn’t foretell the same story from the perspective of a different character, rather it’s a whole different one. About an artist who is commissioned by his lord to paint images of burning hell, but is unable to because he cannot draw something he has never seen himself, so is prompted to produce images from scenes of cruel tortures of his country men… and then it goes further into a psyched and twisted ending.

In conclusion I will say it has been a good vacation for me and was glad that I picked up this series although I had once avoided it. Won’t keep it as ‘must recommended’ for all, because it might not be everyone’s cup of tea and I don’t want to exaggerate over my verdict .

9/10

Reviewed by Rahul Ghosh

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou


“Today will be tomorrow’s yesterday”

The time is set in future where rising sea level has flooded most of the costal areas. The story of Alpha Hatseno, an Alpha 7 M2 series robot left by her owner at a countryside coffee shop, she acts fully like a human being running the coffee shop named ‘Cafe Alpha‘. The story surrounds as Alpha is getting in with behind the backdrop of a futuristic country-side Japan. The story begins with Alpha making a shopping trip to Yokohama. Marionette but yet like an elegant woman Alpha’s character is able to captivate the heart of most of the male readers. 

ykkAbout the manga in General, YKK is a ‘mono no aware’, a Japanese concept that awares us of the transience of things and describes beauty. The fragrance of the country side and it’s transcending charm, sober warmth of long scooter ride through desolate streets, a coffee shop in the country side with entertaining customers, the sober country people, scenes like the setting sun and mysterious essence of the ocean gives it a color blooming atmosphere evoking overwhelming feelings of nostalgia, reminding us how time is fleeting.
Ashinano is one of those few mangakas who can make you feel the warmth through his pages, the warmth as if a blurry reminiscence to those days when you were light headed and comfortably numb, those days you still long for, a nostalgia drive. Very much unlike the usual mangas where you find string of events with cliches and other elements to stew it up. This in fact exhibits more the traits of a country novel and short stories, with simple events and colloquial monologues. It is a piece that syncs with readers of all ages though only for people with a certain desire for this warmth. Most amusing part is the characters, how natural they are and able to blend through progressing events with just simple acts and that again captivates the readers, it’s as if the readers can relate them to their daily lives. To say it is as simple as amazing it is.

Recommending it to fans of series like : Wandering Emanon, Yotsubato

9.8/10

Reviewed by Rahul Ghosh

Spring and Chaos


spring and chaos cover

This is the tragic story of one of Japan’s most beloved poets, ‘Kenji Miyazawa’. Born at the end of the 19th Century. Kenji, like many artists, did not receive recognition for his tremendous literary contributions until after his death at the tragically early age of 37. The movie portrays people as cats, a homage to the stories Miyazawa wrote. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know about Kenji Miyazawa, or for the matter of fact anything about Japanese Literature, as director Shoji Kawamori does an admirable job of giving the viewer a sense of who Kenji Miyazawa was by attempting to show the world as he might have seen it, his own perspectives and perceptions. Miyazawa loved the beauty of the world and the science behind it. When something in nature catches his eye, Kenji freezes and intensely writes about what he sees in a notebook while seemingly entranced. At the same time we learn he could be captivated by modern technology as he stares hypnotically at a light bulb as it burns out, Kawamori carefully provides these scenes with the proper stipulations of cinematic artistry. The visuals in conjunction with the narrative are also to be cited. Scenes of starry or cloud-filled skies give way to amazing sequences that explore a sense of something greater in the world and the possibility that Kenji was closer than many of us ever have or ever will be to understanding it. Also, at times the visuals can give way to violent and disturbing images as Kenji wrestles with his inner torment. Spring and Chaos may not be able to turn you into a poetry connoisseur but it will definitely make you lean from the window and view the world a bit differently.

All said, I would recommend people not to look up at Kenji Miyazawa’s biography as of yet before watching this piece, for what I felt that this movie is more entrancing if one is oblivious about the author.

Reviewed by Rahul Ghosh

Shigurui: Death Frenzy


shigurui

“The unstopping bitter wail is the final show of the genius swordsman. No. This is the sound of childbirth. The birth of a new monster. On this day, there were two monsters that were born.”

Some shows come into your life and turn it around. Then there are shows that possess you for life. They possess you, they breathe down on your neck and cripple your ability to emote. They pierce right through your heart and freeze you in your place. Shigurui is one such anime. Watched it 2 years back and since some of us were discussing this masterpiece yesterday and today in the evening, I just started reminiscing my unforgettable experience with the show all over again . A review is the best way I can express myself when I’m talking about Shigurui, so here goes nothing. Continue reading

Annarasumanara


Annarasumanara cover

[Reviewed by Srinivas Akundi]

When I first read the name, the first word that reflected in my mind was “Abracadabra”..maybe that is what it means in Korean…

Kindly note, my views usually contain spoilers, and are definitely not poised to form a review’s. They are more like what people discuss while coming out from movie theater.

Annarasumunara is what I see as a coming-of-age Korean drama which is depicted in a webcomic format. The author, lemme check, Ha-Il_won or Hailgwon, got this idea while returning from a circus. He used the magic as a motif for portraying passive , behind the surface , intuitive feelings which people seem to forget as their life becomes more rule based with time, money, prestige, pride and most importantly ..people, involved.

Imagine yourself taking the same route to your destination, lets say by Bus. One day you wish to travel by your own automobile, you will feel the travelling experience totally different , maybe you will remember for times that come. One of the many plot devices of Annarasumunara teaches you that.

With just 3 Volumes (27 Chapters) long, neither you would feel the pace being too fast, nor the plot being too small to enjoy. Ah-yee mesmerizes you by constantly breaking the fourth wall with her letters to her Mom (Us!) as she narrates her feelings silently in words (with a neat handwriting, the typesetter was good!) Continue reading