Saturday, August 25, 2007

Long-belated anime roundup

Subject: Noir
There hasn't been an awful lot for me to actually comment on lately, but I figured I'd go ahead and log it now, because I've got family visiting this week and won't get a chance to watch or blog much at all for a while. Not that the absence will be much noticed -- everybody's blogging seems to be in slow-mo lately.

"Shingu - Secret of the Stellar Wars" has been making the rounds of everyone's "gotta see" list, so I gave the first disc a try. Not too bad, but I'm really kind of sick of the schoolroom/school-politics stuff. The animation, characters, and overall story development are intriguing enough to hope that it might rise above it, but I'm kind of wondering if I can escape the setting enough to bring myself to try it. Dunno.

Of course, "Denno Coil" is very much a "schoolroom" show, but it's got a lot more going for it that lets it escape the usual. A number of these later episodes, while still maintaining an all-star animator lineup, have resorted to the occasional "static shot montage", where "time passes" by way of stills depicting whatever minor misadventure happened between key scenes. That's fine, but it kind of stuck out like a sore thumb these few times that it did it. The storyline is kind of meandering to a few sidetrips, but they've been quite fun, so I'm fine with that. It's on a brief hiatus due to baseball right now, so I figure by the time I'm back online, it should be picking up again.

Also very nicely animated was the movie "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time". I think it isn't quite licensed yet, but it's been making the rounds at film festivals worldwide. There's a great natural feel to the character animation, and an excellent attention to detail all around in the setting. The story moves along at a comfortable pace, and the characters are great and fun to watch.

The "who loves who" and the "going out of her way to try and steer a guy's romantic feelings away only to mess things up badly, not to mention changing her mind" (there's probably a one-word description for that sort of thing somewhere, but whatever) -- well, that was on the verge of getting on my nerves. But it managed to do pretty well to keep my interest despite that.

"009-1" disc 1 took me beyond the one episode I managed to see previously, and it continued to be an amusing retro bit of fun. The animation was kind of so-so except in key sequences, but the style and the characterizations kept the mood and atmosphere engaging enough. Enjoyable, not particularly deep, rather kitchsy. Nothing wrong with that.

"Romeo x Juliet" has been subbed a bit sporadically of late, so I'm having a harder time keeping the momentum through this sort of "middle arc" that's really just filling time before the march toward the end. This latest episdoe 18 was particularly spotty in animation quality, too. But it looks like things might start getting back on track, once the silly "play within an anime" bit is over with. I'm in no hurry, I guess.

No comments: