Tsumiki no Ie / La Maison en Petits Cubes

Tsumiki no Ie

It is a small town that is hit by a never-ending flood. In this town where the water level is always rising, lived an old man who must constantly build his house in order to survive. One day, when his favorite smoking pipe falls into the deepest level of his house, he must dive to take it back. This diving is not just about taking his pipe back as he remembering his memories by looking through each floor of the house.

You don’t need 12 episodes, an hour, or 24 minutes. You only need 12 minutes to watch this beautiful anime and enjoy as it fills your heart with a melancholic, bittersweet moments in life. I did not know about this anime if I wasn’t looking through MyAnimeList top anime, but after I watched it, I understand why this anime is awarded with the Academy Award in the category Best Animated Short Film in 2009. At first, I am a bit confused because usually the alternative title is in English, but this one is in French. After I watched it, I think that this anime has many French influences and I think that is why the creator chose to use French as its other title. These influences and the title were also said to be a strategy of the Japanese to win the Oscar, but no matter what the reason is, Tsumiki no Ie is still a great anime.

Another great thing from this anime is that you don’t even need a dialogue to know what’s going on. Instead, the background soft music will help you to feel the warmth of this anime even more. Through this unique, simple, yet beautiful idea, Tsumiki no Ie has become one of the best movies that I’ve ever watched. Even the graphic is not of that futuristic art, but it is perfectly designed that you can understand the main character well through the character design. Because of the short duration, you can watch it during your break, but I will recommend you to watch it when you really have the time and you will be able to think about the moral of the story even deeper.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.29

Personal rating: 10.00

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Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

Saijaku Muhai no BahamutSaijaku Muhai no Bahamut takes place in a world ruled by some kingdoms. In this world, you will see mechanical weapons called “Drag-Rides” while the users called ”
Drag-Knight“. The main character of the story is Lux Arcadia, a former prince whom empire was overthrown five years ago after a coup d’état. He lived a normal life while doing any errands from people as his job. One day, he accidentally fell from the roof to a female-only academy’s dormitory and ends up challenged by the princess of the new kingdom, Lisesharte. Known as the “undefeated weakest”, Lux was enrolled to the academy after the battle and serve as one of the Drag-Knights.

I don’t really know why I started watch the series, but from the first look, I already have low expectation on this anime. At first, there is some pretty cool mecha battle, but the story is just disappointing. Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut is your typical harem anime where all the girls with hot body fall for the main character, and what is the worst of all from the story is the ending. To be honest, I pretty like the concept of the story and it can be way deeper with some twists, but 12 episodes is just not enough to tell all that. What we got then is an anime where the supposed-to-be final battle is too easy and just way too simple.

With only 12 episodes and much character, you can’t really see the development of each character, including the main character. It isn’t very clear too about how the romance going in the end because our main character is too busy as a good-doer. Other than the story, the graphic is pretty good. Nothing special, but it’s not bad either and since I’m not that big fan of mecha, I can say that the mecha design is pretty well made (don’t compare it to Sunrise’ anime). Some BGMs caught my attention but again, nothing special. As for the OP and ED, you can say that they are standard but decorated with good visual. In a wrap, it’s a so-so anime for me but maybe for people who enjoy harem genre anime more than I am, this one is pretty good.

MyAnimeList rating: 6.87

Personal rating: 6.50

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is an 1995-1996 anime that tells us about the future. The setting takes place in 2015 (back then, 2015 is the future while actually it’s a year ago), where the world is pictured as in the brink of destruction because of the existence of unknown creature called the Angels. The only hope to defeat angels are large machines called Evangelions, made by NERV, a special agents of the UN and can be piloted only by teenagers who are around 14 years old.

The story revolves around Ikari Shinji, a 14-year-old boy who is the son of the head of NERV. All of a sudden he has to pilot one of the Evangelions and fight the Angels along with other childrenAyanami Rei and Souryuu Asuka Langley. However, there are more than defeating the Angels because there are some people who don’t like NERV while NERV also has its own internal conflict.

I personally think that this is an old but gold anime because aside from the actions, the story is really deep. There are so many conflicts it’s not the type that will make your head explode. NGE talked a lot about human’s psychological condition through its characters. However, of course I won’t say NGE is perfect. While Ikari Shinji is not your typical hero, it could have been a great story to see him developing through each episode. Yet, until the end, he is still that desperate young boy who wants to be pitied while the others keep on pushing him to move forward. I also thought that the other children would be on the focus too. But the story is just too much focused on Shinji and left the others as “side characters”.

If you watch this anime now, then of course you won’t be amazed by the graphic. But remembering that this one was made more than a decade ago, the graphic is actually pretty cool. I also very like the design of EVA unit 01. The music and BGMs are pretty good and even now the opening song “Zankoku na Tenshi no Tensei” is still in my playlist. Overall, if you are looking at NGE on its era, then it is a very good anime and I believe that most anime lovers have watched it. But if you compare it to many anime nowadays, there are a lot of anime that have better score in everything including the story. That is why some people can like it a lot while the other will think of this anime as a complete fail.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.32

Personal rating: 8.00

Nana

Nana

This anime tells us a story about two very different girls who share the same name, NanaKomatsu Nana is a naive and easy to fall in love girl that wants to go to Tokyo to chase her boyfriend. On the other side, Oosaki Nana is a strong girl with punk style who wants to go to Tokyo to chase her dream as a musician. The two met each other during their way to Tokyo. After separated ways, the two suddenly meet again on their search of a place to stay and ended up with staying together as roommates. Through thick and thins, these two girls become best friends while going through uneasy life filled with friendship, romance, and music.

Before, I keep telling myself to watch this anime later because it has 47 episodes. However, I only needed two days to finish them all after I started. Nana is an interesting anime that shows how life is not always as we want it to be. One of the best things is the character. Through each episode, they develop very well. At first, I don’t like Komatsu Nana at all. Yet, later on, I can relate a bit to her. She is just a simple girl who wants everything to go well. Of course, we all do want the same thing. The plot won’t get you bored and things are told well about each character that you know why and how they become like that. One thing that is not very satisfying from the plot is the ending, or to be more exact, the last episode. Somehow it all seems that they just want to end it already even without giving a clear happy ending. However, apart from that, you will see the struggle through everyday life and the importance of friendship portrayed very well.

Other than the plot, of course the other best thing is the music. You may be getting bored because they only sing some same songs for the entire anime. But, if we think about it, actually it is pretty realistic since “practice makes perfect” and this anime is also about a band chasing their dream to be a great musician. The opening and ending songs are great that I still listen to them sometime now and they are also pictured the story of the anime. The art is presented in a shoujo comic style and I think that it is good enough though you won’t see much eye candy except if you are a fan of that tall and very thin characters. Overall, this anime is enjoyable though maybe for some of you, there are just too many episodes.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.56

Personal rating: 8.50

 

Pupa

Pupa

Pupa is a very short anime where it only has 12 episodes with 4 minutes each. Pupa tells us about the abandoned siblings Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa. They live their pretty happy normal life until one day they found a group of red butterflies and followed them around.  What they didn’t know is that the butterflies are sign of the spread of a mysterious virus called “Pupa” that will change people to cannibal.

Luckily for Utsutsu is that he only partially affected, and instead of changing him, the virus gives him regeneration ability. However, things are not very pretty for his beloved sister who then changed into a monstrous creature with unstoppable desires for human flesh, though it was found out later that she can return into her human form. Utsutsu who can’t stand to watch the condition of his little sister then willingly sacrifice himself to be eaten by his little sister and protecting the world from her at the same time.

If you are the type that skips the opening and ending song (like me, except if I really like the song), than you can finish this anime for 40 minutes. Yet, even if you happen to have that spare time I will still suggest you to sleep or just randomly browsing things than to watch this anime. To be honest, I watched this anime just because I was curious when a friend said this anime has nothing good in it. Where the idea can actually be pretty interesting, the execution is just a fail. As a horror anime, Pupa will not give you any chill, but for you who can’t stand gore you will feel disturbed instead. There are so many things that can be explained and make this anime worth watching, yet due to the very short time, you will just wondering what actually happen.

As for the art, well, from the very beginning you can spot the main character very easily because of this tattoo or something that he has in his face. I don’t know how they allow that in high school, as much as I don’t know why would a man wears a very catchy hairpin. However, the art can pretty much picture the gloominess of the story. While for the music, the op and ed is okay, but the BGMs are very standard. If there is a thing that I like from this anime, it is the teddy bear scenes, simply because I like teddy bear and they didn’t draw it awfully.

MyAnimeList rating: 3.88

Personal rating: 1.00

Shinsekai Yori

Shinsekai yori

Actually I find it hard to review about this anime without spoiling things up because personally I think that there are so many things to be told in this 25-episodes anime. Yet, I will try to review it anyway.

The story takes place in the town of Kamisu 66 in the far future where people are granted psychics ability after they became teenagers. Once their power awaken, they will go to the Sage Academy to learn to control about their power, and of course, about so many things in this new world. At the surface, the place looks like a utopia with so many strict rules for the people. Yet, it is not as nice as it is because even the students are afraid of the rumored tainted cat that is said to prey the students.

This anime focus on a group of five students who have known each other since their childhood. Things are normal until Watanabe Saki, the main character, and her friends learn the truth about the world they live in. How there are so many mysteries only known by the adults, how things seem wrong yet nobody bothers it, and how their life is not as peaceful as they thought it is.

Shinsekai Yori follows this group’s members since their childhood until they become adults and it shows the development of each character perfectly. Yet, even though the timeline took years, it is delivered very nicely and not in a fast pace where this anime really explains everything in details so you won’t be lost in a completely new world. Another interesting thing from the story that even though it is full of explanations, it is not boring, yet it gives many twists from the plot, apart from some surprises from the development of the plot. There are so many lessons that you can take from this anime too because there are political problems going on.

Other than that, the BGMs not really pique my interest, though I must say that both the BGMs and effects are really fit in supporting the story. The art is enjoyable where it is clear and pictures the rather traditional society very well. Probably if there is any minus point is that at the very beginning, like three first episodes, you won’t really understand what is happening. Especially in the beginning of the first episode, though it will all be explained in the later episodes.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.54

Personal rating: 9.75

 

Shirobako

Shirobako

It has been almost a month since I wrote my last review, where I spent most of my time to watch many anime. The most recent one is Shirobako that refers to the white box contains a finalized tape of a film. I actually have no idea about this anime at first, but now I think that this one is pretty underrated for not getting much spotlight.

Shirobako is a 24-episodes anime that tells us a story about five girls who just stepped into the working world, with each other chasing their dream to be a part of anime industry. Aoi Miyamori as the producer, Yasuhara Ema as the animator, Imai Midori as the script writer, Sakaki Shizuka as the seiyuu (voice actor), and Misa Toudou as the 3D artist. Overall Shirobako also tells us about how an anime is made. On the first half, it tells about the problem of each main characters related to how hard it is for them to chase their dream, while the second half, we are more introduced to the production process as the story is more focused on Miyamori.

I think that Shirobako is an anime that tells us what anime makers want to say to their viewers. We only see, while some also do reviews, an anime as its output. Yet, there are a lot more to see behind it. How every anime is the result of so many people’s hard work and most of the time hard work is not all that is needed because you will find various people with different characters and how each people understand hard work and even ideal can be different. From how the idea and the concept is made, how the storyboard plays the important role to keep it going, how the animation, sound, and effect are time-consuming and mistakes are intolerable most of the time. Even until the working life lesson that someone won’t be a junior forever. There will be a time that we will become a senior and trusted with bigger and greater responsibility, including teaching your juniors.

However, Shirobako not just portrays how anime making can be really stressful, it also portrays that as long as we are doing what we like, then we won’t feel so burdened by our works, and that in the end our hard works can be paid by the satisfaction of those enjoying them. If there is anything to be criticized about this anime, I think it will be how the first episode were pretty misleading because it will give us the impression that this anime is about high school life of an anime production club or something. Otherwise, it is an anime very worth watching without any cheesy love story, drama, or even fan service.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.50

Personal rating: 9.80