Hotarubi no Mori e

Hotarubi no Mori e

Hotarubi no Mori e is a beautiful anime about a girl named Takegawa Hotaru and a spirit named Gin. They met accidentally when the six-year-old Hotaru got lost in the forest during a vacation in her uncle’s village. Gin helped Hotaru to get out of the forest with a condition that Hotaru won’t touch Gin, as it will make him disappear. After the incident, Hotaru always comes back to the forest every year to meet Gin as they become closer.

Hotarubi no mori e is one of a few anime that really touches me to the point that I cried. Everything is just in the right place. I love the story, I love the designs, I love the music, and I love the characters. This fact makes it hard for me to give you a review without any spoiler, but I’ll try.

The story itself tells us about friendship and romance. This anime really pictures well the excitement to see someone who you can met only a few days in a year (hello people who goes through long distance relationship out there!). Furthermore, it also pictures that no matter how short the time you have, it doesn’t matter as long as you can enjoy it to the fullest.

Before I talk more about the story, I will talk about other aspects first. Start with the character designs that will absolutely remind you of Natsume Yuujinchou, I think that Hotarubi no mori e has a beautiful art. The background maybe not that consistent and not as warming as Natsume Yuujinchou, but they are still beautifully drawn. Of course, the real pleasure for me is to see Gin and how handsome he is (sorry for fangirling).

Another important aspect of the anime is the music. I just love it a lot. It really goes along with the story and build the mood. The music is another important part that stir your emotion while watching it.

All these aspects of the anime are what make the ending of Hotarubi no mori e really touching. I have watched this a few times and I still can’t help but to feel the bittersweet ending. So, I highly recommend that you watch this anime and prepare for an emotional trip.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.58

Personal rating: 9.85

P.S.: Actually, I start to forget what I have written here. So, if you have any tips for me so that I won’t write a review twice, please kindly tell me. Thank you!

Glass Mask (Garasu no Kamen)

Glass no Kamen (2005)

It’s been a while since I last watched an anime with 51 episodes, so it really takes a while for me. I think that most people know Glass Mask, especially the manga, because it is very popular before. Personally, I don’t read the manga, and I don’t know if I will. However, I must say that watch through all 51 episodes is worth it despite of the old style of art which is not my favorite.

Glass Mask is an anime about theater. Centered around Maya Kitajima, a poor girl whose talent got discovered by a legendary actress, Chigusa Tsukikage. At the same time, there is Ayumi Himekawa, a daughter of successful parents whose longing to be acknowledged by her own talent. Both Maya and Ayumi then start to compete for a legendary role, the Scarlet Angel by showing their talent in act. However, the world of acting is not always be nice to people.

As I said before, it is worth it to watch through all 51 episodes as the story really draws you in. The plot is great and I enjoy how the story goes toward the end. The characters are growing and none of them are left out. Even the supporting characters have just the right portion. Still, Glass Mask is not a perfect anime. I think that my biggest disappointment is the ending. It is not the kind of ending that you expect and I actually hate it.

Other aspects are the art and the musics. They are those typical classic anime (if you don’t want to say old) that are not my favorite. Maybe they are good, but right now I have seen a lot of better quality of musics and arts, so it is a bit hard to be objective. However, these aspects really portray the life of theater that is the main point of the story, so they really fit in.

In final, I will absolutely recommend this anime, even though Glass Mask will take a lot of your time, but it is really one addicting anime.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.20

Personal rating: 8.75

Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied

In this world, there is a special breed known as “Diclonius”. Born with special power, the diclonius are secretly used by the government as weapon and subject for inhumane experiment. One day, one of the diclonius, Lucy, finally able to escape from the facility. However, she was badly injured in the head and makes her suffer from a split personality disorder. She was then saved by a college student, Kouta. However, Kouta didn’t realize that his decision would lead him to a fearsome truth.

Actually, Elfen Lied is one of my favorite anime. Though some people choose to overlook it because of the gore and nudity. For some, Elfen Lied is a masterpiece, while for the others, it just sells the gore and nudity points. While I actually enjoy gore and don’t really care with nudity, I think that Elfen Lied has a dark yet sad story.

Elfen Lied offers a story with a great plot twist that left me enjoy it more. Sure there are some plot holes as this anime only comes with 13 episodes. Yet, because of the dark and sad plot, this anime succeed in making me wish for a happy ending, which I rarely do. I think what makes Elfen Lied can be easily ignored is because of the first episode. It already shows gore and nude scenes. However, it will turn way better after that.

I personally like how Elfen Lied goes in a fast pace, yet not that fast so you can really grab everything that is told. The characters are also deep with their own pasts and it really help in understanding what happened. However, sometimes they are too naive to the point that makes me bored.

One of Elfen Lied’s signatures is the opening song that will give you a creepy yet calming feeling. Personally, I really like the song, not just the opening but also the ending. However, with a plot like that, I think that the ending doesn’t fit the story because it is too cheerful. Also, I think that they overuse the opening song a bit because you can hear it a lot of times in different versions in the anime.

As for the graphic, I don’t really have much to say. The character designs can be better, but I think it’s still fine. The colors and the style are also consistent so they don’t bother me much.

Overall, I highly recommend this anime. Just forget what they say about the explicit content and give it a try.

MyAnimeList rating: 7.81

Personal rating: 9.25

Vividred Operation

Vividred Operation

In the world where science has solved everything, Akane Isshiki live peacefully with her little sister and her grandfather, a genius behind the “Manifestation Engine”, a machine that solved the problem of energy. However, the peaceful days end when suddenly unknown enemy called “Alone” try to destroy the Manifestation Engine. Akane has to fight Alone with her friends in order to protect the Manifestation Engine and the world.

It doesn’t take long for me to realize what type of anime it is. Simply said, it is a mahou shoujo anime where friendship can beat everything. Unfortunately, the story is not the one that will leave you in awe. It is very predictable just after you watched a few episodes. What makes it worse is that there are some fan services here and there that make this anime is not very suitable for children, though I’m pretty convinced that children will like this kind of anime.

Though I must say that the story is not impressive, the animation is very well designed. There is a sci-fi element in the anime and it is drawn with great detail. The animation is also consistent that I rarely see any minus point from the art.

 

The other part that I also like are the character designs, they are clean and beautiful. However, I won’t say the same about the characters. You won’t see any development and there’s nothing special. You can find so many anime with similar characters. If you speak or understand Japanese, you will possibly notice that they are named based on their hair colors.

Move to the last part is the music. I like the Opening and ending songs, but they are also not very special. As for the BGM, I have nothing much to say. It fits but, again, not special. So, overall I don’t really recommend this anime. Except if you are out of anime to watch, but let me tell you that there are plenty better anime out there.

MyAnimeList rating: 6.55

Personal rating: 6.00

Kimi no Iru Machi

Kimi no Iru Machi

Haruto Kirishima lives an ordinary peaceful life in the countryside before a girl from Tokyo named Yuzuki Eba suddenly moves to his house. Just as he begins to enjoy her companion, Eba suddenly left to Tokyo, leaving a lot of questions in Kirishima’s mind. Pursuing for an answer, Kirishima decided to move to Tokyo and look for Eba.

Drama. That’s all this anime is about. With only 12 episodes, the story moves along in a too fast pace.  What’s worse from an anime like Kimi no Iru Machi is that the story is too predictable. I don’t read the manga so I won’t compare them. But, I read reviews that say how the anime skips a lot of part that is in the manga. I think that explains how there are some plot holes that for me should have been told as well. Maybe more episodes will make it better actually.

There is also two episodes of OVA, one is the prequel and the other is the sequel. I don’t have much to say about the prequel, but I’m kind of disappointed as well with the sequel because they really skip a lot of things, like how suddenly Kirishima “disappears” until near the end of the story.

As for the character, Kirishima is a rather silent type while Eba is more social, though Eba has her own issue as well. Actually the characters are good, even for the supporting characters, they have just the right portion. Their characteristics are not my favorite, but they are fit for the story even with the plot holes.

Related to the characters, I thought that Kimi no Iru Machi is a pretty old anime because of the drawing. The character design is what you will find in older anime, like in early 2000s. I’m not saying that it’s bad; instead I think that it’s pretty good. They use a lot of pale color that gives a nice atmosphere to the anime, though I found some inconsistencies for the background.

Another thing that I enjoy is the opening song. Just the song btw, not those fan services shown. This is the only music that I find enjoyable, while the BGMs and the ending song is standard.

In summary, I don’t really enjoy this anime, probably because I’m not a big fan of drama and because the story is easy to predict. Still, I think that for a big fan of romance drama, this can be a good choice.

MyAnimeList rating: 7.15

Personal rating: 5.50

HaruChika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru

HaruChika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun suru

Chika Homura was a top volleyball player during her junior high. However, she chose to leave it and join the Wind Instrument Club in her high school where she decides to play flute even though the club isn’t so popular. There, she reunited with her childhood friend, Haruta Kamijou, who has an opposite personality. Together, they solve mysteries around them while trying to recruit more members to compete in musical competitions.

First of all, don’t expect to have a musical anime like Hibike Euphonium. HaruChika is more focused on the ‘mystery’ part that it forgets about the ‘music’ part in my opinion. I’m not saying that HaruChika is a bad anime. I enjoy it, really. Still, what I enjoy is the mystery part, and in the end I’m not satisfied with how the music only play a small portion here.

The idea of HaruChika is actually promising: Chika wanted to start a new life by joining Wind Instrument Club instead of the Volleyball Club that she joined in her junior high and how she tries her best to recruit more members for the club so that they can join and win the musical competition.  However, her journey is not that easy because of the events revolving in her high school.

Along the way, HaruChika has too many to serve only in 12 episodes. I guess that’s the main reason of why HaruChika ended up pretty disappointing. There is music, mystery, and also a love triangle. As for the last element, I don’t have much to say because it also not the main point of the anime. Yes, it is interesting to see Haruta and Chika love the same person and show it in a different way, but that’s it.

When I see it as a mystery anime, I can enjoy most of the component of HaruChika, including the BGM that fits the atmosphere built with the story, though they are not that memorable. But, I do like the OP and ED a lot.

Image result for chika homura
That eyes tho

As for the art, it is not that stunning but it is done great. Maybe it is a bit too childish, especially for Chika’s character design, yet it pictures the personality well.

Overall, I actually do enjoy this anime, but I’m still disappointed with the story, especially the ending.

MyAnimeList rating: 6.47

Personal rating: 6.50

Koe no Katachi

Koe no Katachi

Ishida Shouya must face a punishment to become a target of bully after he bullied a deaf girl named Nishimiya Shouko that resulted her to transfer school during elementary school. Now, Shouya is given a chance to redeem his mistake and make friends again.

At first, I am not that interested in Koe no Katachi because I thought it would be another romance anime (nope, I didn’t read the synopsis either). It also runs for 2h10m, which is pretty long for anime movie. However, after I watched it, I think that this anime is really good and I doubt that I’ll just watch it once.

Koe no Katachi is still a romance anime, and bullying is not a new theme either. But, one of the main point that makes this anime become different in my opinion is that the main character is a deaf girl. It really elevates the level of this anime and the story becomes deeper.

Koe no Katachi reminds us that bully is a serious matter. We never knew how badly people would hurt because he/she is getting bullied until we become the target. Here, we also learn that bully doesn’t affect only the target but also people around him/her.

The story is really heart warming though I didn’t cry, but I heard that many cries after watching the movie. I like how the plot of the story really brings an emotional roller coaster. I felt so many emotions during watching the movie, sadness, happiness, anger, etc.

Those who have read the manga may feel a bit disappointed because some of the supporting characters are not explained well in the movie. I haven’t read the manga and I do think that characters like Yuzuru and Nagatsuka should be explained more because they left some questions within me. Still, they only have a limited time to explain many things, and I don’t really mind with how it is done. One thing that bothers me more is the ending. I feel like it could have been done a lot better because after the ending I was sitting there like “that’s it?” after how the movie really carry me along its story.

Because it is mostly centered around Shouya, it is easy to see how he develops and changes during the movie. I think that other characters are really great in supporting the story too. The character design and the art are beautiful also with soft colors that are very touching. As for the music, I’m not very satisfied. They are good, but not the one that leave any special impression, including the ending music.

Overall, I highly recommend this movie because it is really enjoyable and I will watch it again for sure.

MyAnimeList rating: 9.15

Personal rating: 9.25