Baccano! : critique


To summarize my experience in one word
CRAZY!
The craziest anime I’ve seen till now.

Before I start, an advice to potential viewers who want to start seeing this show.
Do not judge the genre of this anime based on the opening you see (its not about gambling or Halloween for that matter) as I was one of them. The first time I stopped watching the series after watching the opening.

Lets start by taking a look at the story..
One of the best stories told in non-linear fashion that I have ever seen. The best part is the non-linear story-telling doesn’t bog the story or the viewer down. The story concentrates on what mostly happened during three years – 1930, 1931 and 1932. It connects seemingly unrelated events to build a story that is larger than anything you would’ve imagined in the beginning. So much so that you begin anticipating as to how things reached to the point of where they are in the future from where it was in the past.
The editing done on this series is also one of the best – gives nothing way and carries the sense of mystery throughout.
Also there is humor which always left me grinning (especially scenes which had Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent; Isaac and Miria continue to spread happiness unconsciously wherever they go) and some scenes really make you laugh out loud.
That’s all I can say about the story without giving out any spoilers.

Characters
Has the craziest cast of characters I’ve seen. And the number of characters is pretty large too. Again this doesn’t bog the story down. In fact by the end of the series you will remember the name of all significant characters and their quirks. Also the characters remain etched in your memories long after you’ve finished watching the show.

Animation and Music
Neither is the animation lacking in any way nor is it over the top. It is enough to tell the story, with nothing remarkable standing out.
The action scenes are executed very well. The violence is plenty and all of it had a realistic and raw feeling to it.
The background music is combination of jazz and sometimes the high pitch from the symphony which stands out as the theme music of Baccano!(usually comes around the half-way break and the ending of the episodes)
Overall the background music for scenes never felt misplaced and always felt right – which is all you need. I almost never skipped through the opening sequence as the tempo of the jazz just seemed to fit the craziness of Baccano!

Overall I rate it 9.5/10
A masterpiece which I would whole-heartedly recommend anyone who has already watched some anime.


a critique by Prashanth Sunder

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.

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

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

Witches


459197_10152222710603484_151208750_oGenres: Fantasy, Supernatural, Seinen

This small series of 7 chapters is a mixture of few stories that revolves around the concept of “witches” as you may have already guessed from the title itself.

The art is a pure eye candy which totally compliments the treatment of story telling.

“More must be explored by thyself for better understanding than to just listen and heed the words of a thousand men” – said by a great man

All in all, I’d say it’s a gem of a manga that doesn’t shy out to dive into philosophical, cultural and religious contexts and do proper justice with them.

A MUST read in my opinion. 😀

Originally article by Vishal Gaur

 

FLAG Director’s Edition: Issenman no Kufura no Kiroku


FLAG cover

The camera has been watching. Watching countless acts of human folly and utter brutality on countless battlefields. The camera has been watching. Watching the everyday routine of humanity.The little joys, the secret hopes. The camera has seen them all and recorded them as numerous fragments of time. In each of these moments frozen in time forever, we are treated to a glimpse of the unvarnished truth. As time marches on, it fades into memory. But those voices from the past, those moments frozen in time, those individual photographs have been known to change the course of history…and they have also been known to determine the course of a single person’s life. Now once again, a photograph, a moment frozen in time is about to change the world.

Continue reading