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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? February 2015

March 2, 2015

(This article will be spoiler-free!)

冬は最悪! I hope those reading this have been keeping warm, because I have not. February was a month in excess of both stuffiness and coldness, and did very little to encourage a good mood throughout the better portion of it. I hope Spring hits sooner rather than later.
A common feeling among the anime-watching community I’ve encountered is the complaint that an anime series based on a light novel or manga can’t properly live up to the expectations raised by those who were familiar with the story and the characters prior to the anime adaptation’s viewing.
This is a perfectly valid problem. Much of the same way films based on books rarely live up to the original, the transition of a story from one medium to another can be most unkind to those consuming the finished product.
Anime adaptations can be a bit more kind compared to other transitions though I’ve noticed, with slice-of-life comedy series making the jump much more intact than other genres. A lot of it just rests in the hands of those doing the adaptation in question.
I do my best to treat each different version of a story as just that though. While an especially horrid adaptation might sully your love for the original in a way, I’m of the mind that if you found a certain amount of joy out of something, all you need to do to rekindle that joy is to revisit it in the form you originally fell in love with. New versions may come out that could suck, but the good ones will (just about) always be there for you to return to.
I won’t lie, February was rough. Here’s what I finished:

 

1852Hidamari Sketch-
Hidamari Sketch tells the everyday tales of art school student Yuno and her small group of friendly neighbors. Whether it’s lazing about the Hidamari Apartments in which Yuno and her friends reside, sharing a meal over the faint chatter of the television, or attending Yamabuki Art School and honing their artistic talents, there are fun, memorable times to be had, and bright, energetic cheer in excess.

What I thought- “An irresistibly
charming slice-of-life series.”
It was interesting watching this series after many other recent Shaft series, Madoka Magica in particular, as Hidamari Sketch is a slightly older Shaft series, because you can see some of the same style found within the production, while the studio hadn’t quite reached its full potential just yet. The trademark head tilt is nowhere to be seen, but the abstract backdrops and odd transitions are in full swing. Yuno and her friends are a likable bunch, and they are presented with adorable performances by their voice cast, notably Mizuhashi Kaori’s, the voice of Tomoe Mami in Madoka, who gives a shockingly unidentifiable performance here. Also worth noting is the appearance of Aoki Ume herself, who plays a very minor role in each episode.
Hidamari is a rather typical slice-of-life comedy series, with lovable characters and lighthearted antics in abundance, which alone would make it a success as far as I’m concerned, but the visual style sets it apart a bit, and left me wholeheartedly charmed throughout almost every episode. I am avidly looking forward to the other seasons.
There is plenty to like found in Hidamari Sketch, from its lovable characters to its effective comedy involving them. If you enjoy slice-of-life comedy, or are a fan of Shaft’s production style, you can’t lose here.

 

56279The Idolmaster Movie: Kagayaki no Mukougawa e!-
While the road has been long, and the girls of 765 Production have seen the highs and lows of being Idols, the stories of their individual hopes and dreams do not need to end at the mere sight of success.
There is always a new stage, always a new crowd of avid fans cheering them along, as well as those looking up to them for guidance in realizing their own lofty dreams.

What I thought- “A cheerful, wonderfully produced, if at times, slowly paced follow-up.”
This film succeeds through the viewer’s enjoyment of The Idolmaster’s legion of lovable characters. If you weren’t a fan of the tv anime, which this film directly follows up, you likely won’t get a whole lot out of it, as the character interactions are the primary draw here.
It’s a rather slow movie, clocking in right at two hours, and there is a fair amount of throw-away dialogue to be found within the narrative. This is only frustrating because a handful of new characters are introduced who, save for one in particular, don’t get a lot of time to breathe in the going-ons of the plot.
It’s difficult to say things like “the character interactions are throw-away” and “the plot is sort of irrelevant” without it giving the impression that this film is soulless. I don’t think that is the case at all. Segments of it are very well done, and overall I enjoyed it quite a bit, but this is not a anime movie without flaws, and it will likely be up to your appreciation for the Idolmaster series that will be the deciding factor of whether it will be worth your time or not.
The heightened production quality afforded by this being a feature film allows for you to be sucked into the excellent visuals and sound design, and while it could have used a plot that was a little busier, what’s there was enjoyable for what it was.
 I wouldn’t call The Idolmaster: Kagayaki no Mukougawa e! an absolute must-see for any old fan of the series, but it is a perfectly competent film with its share of idle moments as well as triumphant ones.

 

I have earned some time off of work, and plan to spend the next week and a half catching up on Winter season series, as well as cramming as much language study as I can into this stuffy head of mine, as I have been especially lacking in diligence when it comes to planning out study time lately. Wish me luck!
Resident Evil Revelations 2, which is a weekly episodic entry in the series, released recently, with the second episode hitting this Tues (3rd), and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. So far, my plan to focus less on big titles and more on smaller ones has produced a far more appealing dollar to fun ratio.
I’m thinking of a few articles/reviews I would really like to do, so we will see how those pan out.
Thanks for reading!
次回までね。
(Winter’s grip will falter soon! Keep those stories unspoiled!)

From → Anime

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  1. Spitz’s Year End Wrap Up 2015 | Spitz's Soapbox

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