Josee, the Tiger, and the Fish

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Poster

So, this is another Japanese movie that I watched recently and accidentally. The story tells us about a university student named Tsuneo. He worked at a casino where he heard a story about a weird old lady who always takes a stroll with a baby cart. After that, Tsuneo finds that lady and found out that she takes her grandchild to a walk everyday with the baby cart because her grandchild can’t walk.

One of the things that I like from a Japanese movie is the comedy part, and this movie has it. It makes me laugh, however, it doesn’t last long. With the length takes almost 2 hours, I got bored through half the movie. The idea of the story itself is great and it can be a one touching movie even with some silly parts. But, it turns out to be that boring romance movie.

The worse thing is that I decided to finish it, because the worst part of the movie is the ending. I don’t want to spoil it here, but I just asked myself like “really? That’s it?” because I just can’t understand what the ending really wants to tell us. Also, the length is too long that there are so many unimportant parts that actually can be used more to build the plot of the story.

Apart from the story, it also has the thing that I also like from a Japanese movie, the color hue. With that calm color that gives you a soothing feeling and definitely doesn’t hurt your eyes, the movie is pleasing to be seen. Unfortunately, the taste of the music isn’t really fit my taste. It gives you that kind of old movie feeling, though the movie is not really that old.

I don’t really suggest this movie, but you can watch it if you have the time. Because even if the ending is disappointing, I like how the characters are very unique here and I think all the actors done their job very well.

IMDb rating: 7.6

Personal rating: 6.5

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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!

Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru

Tomorrow I Will Date with Yesterday's You Poster

Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru is a 2016 movie. There are also two alternative titles in English, ‘My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday’ or ‘Tomorrow I will Date with Yesterday’s You’. This movie itself tells us a story about Takatoshi Minamiyama, an art student in university who falls in love at the first sight with a girl named Emi Fukuju. He then decided to try to talk to Fukuju. They don’t need a long time to date each other and enjoy their happy days. What Minamiyama doesn’t know is that Fukuju has a secret that changes their life.

I actually found this one accidentally and just watched it right away (like, just now). I really like the idea of the story, though I can’t say it here because it will be a big spoiler and ruin the fun. Just like other Japanese romance movie, this one also pictures how a happy couple in their ordinary days when suddenly they have to face a difficult problem. That’s the twist, and I think that this one has a great one. However, the ending might be a bit annoying for some, while for me, I think that it’s a melting happy sad ending.

One of the best things about Japanese romance movie that I prefer than Western drama is the music. It also goes the same for My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday. I think that the music really plays a great role in building the heart-felt atmosphere, and when you hear them again, you can easily reminiscing the scenes from the drama. However, the ending song is not really in my favor.

Apart from the story, I think that choosing Komatsu Nana is the right choice. She has the name, she has the talent, and she has that innocent face that really fits the story as well. Without her, I don’t think that this movie will be recognizable enough, especially abroad. That said, you could see how much I recommended this movie. Not that tear jerking, but it has a really good story.

IMDb rating: 7.8

Personal rating: 9.75

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

Ghost in the Shell (2017 Movie)

Ghost in the Shell Poster

Ghost in the Shell takes place in the future where the robot has become a part of human’s life. At the beginning, we will shown a project to transplant human’s brain to a synthetic body. The aim of the project is to create an ultimate weapon. From the project, come our main character, the first succeed result called Major Mira Killian who is tasked to fight cyber crime and terrorism. Left with only a few trace of her memory, Mira must fight the world’s most wanted criminal.

To be honest, I didn’t have any plan to watch this movie in the cinema just because action is not really my kind of genre. However, since I have some points that will expire soon, I decided to give this movie a try. The plus point for me is that I haven’t watched the anime, which this movie is based on, so I can watch it more objectively.

Personally, I pretty much enjoyed watching this movie. What makes me enjoy the most is the effect that is so smooth and futuristic, yet not overdone. I really love the shoots of the city views in this movie that portrays a modern city with all the flashy technology and its underground movement.

Other thing that I pretty much enjoy is the music. They are good and they really fit into the story. Though I don’t know why they put this creepy Japanese song on the credit theme. As for the story itself, I’m not really that impressed. Personally I think that most people can figure out the flow of the story, even from the trailer (also one of the main reason I don’t really enjoy action movies). Still, it doesn’t really disappointing.

I realized that one of the main highlights of the movie is the main actress Scarlett Johansson. I am not really a fan of her, but I have watched some of her movies so I can say that she did a good job in Ghost in the Shell. She shows a good expression of an “enhanced human” that has its own task yet is not lack of emotion.

p.s.: I watched it in 4DX theatre that really enhance my experience in watching the movie, so I really recommend it.

IMDB rating: 6.8

Personal rating: 7.5

Kotonoha no Niwa

Kotonoha no Niwa

So, I decided to have Makoto Shinkai’s anime as my last 2016 review. Now, I decided to begin my 2017 reviews with another one from Makoto Shinkai also, and this one is my favorite of all his anime so far.

Kotonoha no Niwa or Garden of Words is a beautiful anime about two people. Takao Akizuki, a student who skips his class on rainy morning to live his dream in designing shoes, and Yukari Yukino, a mysterious woman whom he met in Shinjuku Garden. Throughout the rainy season, they keep on meeting each other, and somehow, simply being together has become their escape from their own problems. However, does their relationship will end once the rainy season ends?

I personally don’t know why I love this anime so much that I watched it for more than 10 times already. The story is simple, two people with each own problem and struggle, meet accidentally in a rainy morning and being in a good relationship. Yet, throughout the anime, there isn’t something magical like most Makoto Shinkai’s works. This anime is way simpler than that. This anime is about passion, something that people often forgets as they grow up. This anime also doesn’t need those romantic things yet you can feel the romance through the dialogues and how they act. Maybe that simplicity is what caught me in awe, apart from the beautiful sceneries.

As known of Makoto Shinkai, the sceneries are superb that you can find a comparison between the anime and real picture and there aren’t many differences between the two. The character designs are simple yet so fit the characters, a high school man in his rebellious stage and a calm lady who like to read classics. You can see the characters are growing as well, even only through a 45 minutes anime movie.

Last one that has also become my favorite is the OSTs. They are calming and beautiful and the OSTs are really helpful in building the mood of the anime. As for the ending song is “Rain” by Motohiro Hata. Also a good song even though not that impressive for me. Maybe if I have to point out my biggest concern from Kotonoha no Niwa, it will be that the ending could have been better if things don’t really rush and Makoto Shinkai just keep it simple. But, even with that ending, all it still beautiful.

Look at those details! sc: google
Both are sooo beautiful. sc: google

MyAnimeList rating: 8.34

Personal rating: 9.90

Hoshi no Koe

Hoshi no Koe

My last review of the year 2016 and it goes for one of Makoto Shinkai’s early work. So, Hoshi no Koe or Voices of a Distant Star is one of my first animes and I still rewatch it again sometime. I guess this anime is also made when Makoto Shinkai hasn’t really been well known like now. But even then, I knew how talented he is because of the story of this anime.

Hoshi no Koe is a 25-minutes OVA that tells us about a long distance relationship (yeah, we know how hard it can be) between a boy and a girl. Set in 2046 when mankind has discovered ruins of alien civilization in Mars and has developed the technology to go through galaxies, they have decided to send an expedition into space. One of the chosen pilot for the expedition is Nagamine Mikako, a junior high school students, whom because of this will be separated from her bestfriend, Terao Noboru who is entering senior high school.

If I only have one word to describe this anime, then I will surely go with “touching”. Both in heartwarming and heartbreaking ways. I was so little when I watched this for the first time and back then I thought “what kind of experts send a junior high school student to space?”, and actually I’m still thinking about it now. However, as you’ve read the summary, now we know that this is not your ordinary long distance relationship because we are talking about relationship through space. Maybe relationship is not the very right word because both characters are friends, not lovers. But away with the fact, you will see how they are hanging on the thin line with the distance and the time difference. I cannot say much about the story because I will spoil too much so just watch it for yourself.

Aside from the story, I will totally praise the music. The BGMs and theme song are great and I still put some on my phone and listen to them sometime. I even sing it along while I write this. But, you may have to be disappointed a little with the character design, though the art is great even though it is not as great as what Makoto Shinkai can do now. That is why somehow I think that if you are a fan of Shinkai’s works, you have to watch this anime and see how he isn’t that great from the beginning. He is learning and being better through all the process and that is how he become who he is now.

P.S.: If you are not that satisfied with the ending of this anime, you can read the manga with the same title because it has the continuation of the story.

MyAnimeList rating: 7.53

Personal rating: 9.75