Monday, February 15, 2010

Anime Review - Kimi-kiss ~ Pure Rouge Special

Director: Kasai Kenichi
Length: 1 episode
Year 2007-08

So, clearly not content with torturing myself by watching an entire series that I didn't like, I decided I had to watch the special episode as well. I expected more of the same, in other words, crap. But I was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was to watch. Compared to the main series anyway.

The plot revolves around a minor character of the main series, and I was damn happy about that. I was interested in this character, unlike any from the main series, and although she wasn't expanded on in any significant way, I was still far more interested than I had been for the previous 5 or so hours of watching the rest of the anime. Love is still the main plot point, but it's handled much better. It's about a girl looking for love, not about a few school kids who happen across it because they feel like it. But even then, it's not just about a girl looking for love, it has some twists that make it interesting. Really, it's still not great, but after watching the main series I was happy for it to be better than that, and that was certainly good enough for me.The animation is essentially the same as the main series. A few mistakes in mouth animation, but nothing else significant. However, it felt better since I liked what I was seeing, rather than being bored of it. Nothing else to say about that. In fact, since it's so short, I'll say the same about the music. Same as the main series.Now, onto the fun part. I enjoyed this! well, compared to the series I did. If I watched it as a standalone I'd enjoy it less since it still isn't great in most compartments, but after watching the series this was a huge step up in enjoyment. I almost found myself caring! I'm still not advising that you watch this, but if you liked the series, you should love this.

Score
Plot 6/10
Animation 7/10
Sound 4/10
Enjoyment 6/10
Overall 23/40
Grade C

Pros
- Kind of cared about the character
Cons
- Still didn't care about anyone else

Anime Review - Kimi-kiss ~ Pure Rouge

Director: Kasai Kenichi
Length: 24 episodes
Year 2007-08

I'm not quite sure why I suffered through this. Well, that's a bad thing to say, I know why. I had to. The worst thing about this anime is the reason I watched it fully, it only gets really bad after episode 10. The further along the plot went, the less I cared about the characters, and the easier I could predict exactly what was going to happen, down to facial expressions and body movements. In the last few episodes I was barely paying attention anymore, choosing to talk to people on MSN and check my facebook and twitter. It was getting that boring.

Anyway, enough of me hating on the anime...Well, it's not actually; I'll be doing it for almost the whole review. Especially this part. The plot and, more importantly, the characters of this show were horrible. There were two characters I cared for, sort of. Well, more like one, and she doesn't even get to be with the person she loves which irritated me. There were a few minor characters I liked, but they got screen time so negligible I honestly can't remember their names. Actually, I can't remember many of the names of any of the characters. That's not a good sign really. This anime is generic. So very, very generic. Such a standard childhood friend love triangle that I was angry at anyone who approved of this anime. That being said, the love triangle doesn't show up until after episode 10 or so. That's what annoyed me most. You could almost see it coming, but you dearly hope it doesn't. When it does, you just have to vent rage at the nearest wall, or the internet. However, that's only half the story since there are two love triangles in this show. Thank god. The other is far more interesting, and surprisingly I felt it to be more realistic even if the main focus of it wasn't. I can't empathise with hyper geniuses, but I sure as hell liked Futami as a character more than almost anyone else in the show. The only problem about this second love triangle...Well, there are a few actually. The guy involved in it reminded me far too much of the lead from Fate/Stay Night, Shiro Emiya. I found myself making multiple cracks at this fact, even going so far as to renaming his two love interests to match other characters from Fate/Stay Night just so I had more fun while watching. The other problem with this triangle is that he ends up with the wrong girl. I know this is subjective, but it really annoyed me for some reason. He ends up with the far shallower character in terms of exposition, in my opinion, and I just felt sorry for him. I'm also surprised at how generic I found this anime to be. I mean, I don't even watch romance animes often, or read any romance novels. I'm not knowledgeable in them at all, but this still felt boring and predictable to no end.
I've probably insulted the plot enough. Well, I haven't, but I'll leave it alone for now. The animation was pretty good. That's all there is to say really. Nothing spectacular, nothing horrible. Actually, that's a lie. The mouth movements are pretty bad, a lot of the time sounds are heard but no movement of the mouth. But that's all that was bad really. Crying, something rarely handled well in anime was quite good in this though. I suppose that's a plus. Overall, there really isn't anything to talk about here.
Moving along, the music. Oh dear god the music. Why? Just...Why? I've mentioned generic a few times in this review haven't I? Well, I'm doing it again. Normally when I'm watching an anime, or a tv show, or anything, I'll notice the music and think 'hey, that's a nice tune, maybe I should download the soundtrack.’ Not so here. I didn't notice the music, I can't remember any of the music. I lie actually. The opening song is stuck in my head...All the first line of it that I can't skip quickly enough to get to the show. The closing song is horrible too. An extremely weak effort by anyone involved here. I'm pretty disappointed really. In my pretty unknowledgeable opinion (but still clearly correct one) music makes a scene a lot of the time, even more so in dramatic scenes or the like. So for a romance, which relies heavily on drama and caring about the characters, the music for this series just failed. It failed so very hard.So, you'd think with all these scathing comments and bad words for the series I'd have hated watching it? You're right actually. This is one of the least enjoyable animes I've ever watched. Only surpassed by another romance story called Zero no Tsukaima, but only the second and third seasons (don't ever expect reviews of them, I am not watching them a second time. Ever.) As I've already stated, this series was boring me by the end, or from halfway through really. The biggest problem is that it starts out so well, with seemingly interesting characters and what could become a great romance story, but it falls prey to bad clich├ęs and fails to expand characters properly or in a satisfying fashion. I really can't recommend this to anyone.
Scores
Plot 3/10
Animation 6/10
Sound 4/10
Enjoyment 1/10
Overall 14/40
Grade E+

Pros
- Crying looks nice
Cons
- Don't care about the characters crying
- Or anything else for that matter

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cinema Review - Law Abiding Citizen

"Well, justice should be harsh...Especially for those who denied it to others."

Law Abiding Citizen. Plot holes, gore, and good acting galore. Well, I'm a bit generous on the acting, and overstating the plot holes a bit, but they're there. This movie will be hit and miss for a lot of people, I loved it, but I know that quite a few of the friends I saw it with didn't enjoy it that much.

As I've already mentioned, Law Abiding Citizen has a few plot holes. The biggest one is why Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) is always first onto the scene...He's a lawyer. I know that it's needed in the context of the movie, and I didn't mind it too much, but it's fairly distracting if you stop to think about it. Both myself and the person sitting next to me commented on it more than once. Aside from that, and the slightly farfetched reasoning of Gerard Butler's character, the movie flowed very well. There are some very powerful scenes, both emotionally and physically, and the themes portrayed throughout the movie are valid. Gerard Butler is the star of this movie, in more ways than one. Aside from being the main character, he plays his role spectacularly, from seemingly deranged psychotic to concerned/loving father. Every moment that he's on screen is what makes this film so good.
Where the plot is sometimes lacking in this movie, what's shown on the screen more than makes up for it. This movie is beautiful, albeit in its own special way, but that doesn't change how good it looks. Camera movement and angles are done superbly, although the use of shaky cam does obviously prelude any and all action or explosions, taking away some of the excitement. There's a beautiful explosion in one of the closing scenes that employs some great angles and slow motion. I'm looking forward to getting this on blu-ray immensely.
The music and sound in this movie are also brilliant. The soundtrack is extremely haunting, using some very strange techniques to creep you out. The fairly standard classical score is sometimes pitch changed for a second or two which really jars you, but thinking back on it, it adds a lot to the tension of the movie. In some scenes there are some dubbing issues since what's being played and what's being heard is clearly different (at least from a musicians perspective), but it won't bother many people. Aside from that, nothing stands out, but there's nothing bad about it either. Definitely a solid effort.While all of the above doesn't make for that great a movie, it was surprisingly good. I know I won't be seeing it again until it comes out on blu-ray and dvd, but that's only because of how the plot works. It's good for one use, but upon more viewings it pretty much sucks because you know what's going to happen. I was enjoying myself so much when I was watching this in the cinema, and bad plot be damned. This movie is amazingly fun to watch if you can overlook the plot holes (not really hard at all) and just love it for what it is.

Score
Plot 6/10
Visuals 9/10
Sound 8/10
Enjoyment 8/10
Overall 31/40
Grade B

Pros
- Gerard Butler.
- Hauntingly good music and camera work
Cons
- Decent sized plot holes