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Hakumei and Mikochi Anime Review


Title: Hakumei and Mikochi, Tiny little life in the woods ; Complete Collection

Director: Masaomi Ando

Hakumei and Mikochi Bluray

U.S. Publisher: Sentai Filmworks

Format: Blu-ray / 10 Episodes plus OVA/ 325 Minutes

Audio: English dub or Japanese with English sub

Genre: Slice of Life, Fantasy and Travel

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Synopsis:

Hakumei and Mikochi share a house in the woods. They may be 3.5 inches tall, but their life is typical for living outside a village in a wooded rural area. The time period could be the 1800s (without electricity), but with an 2000s mindset.

We get to know the pair throughout the series. Hakumei is energetic, enthusiastic, a bit of an adventurer and has a talent for carpentry. She had been homeless and joined up with a traveling caravan for a while, before coming to the village, meeting Mikochi, whose talents range from sewing to cooking.

Their friendship is central to the series as they live out their daily lives, meet new people (or animals, or bugs), and go on some little adventures.

Commentary:

Hakumei and Mikochi is a quiet little fantasy with its miniature people, talking animals and some pseudo-science magic. In the American entertainment market, it is difficult to figure out who the target audience would be. It has an overall feel good kid’s cartoon vibe, but there is smoking and alcohol consumption, which doesn’t fit with that identity in here. True, I’m chronologically not a kid, and at first I wasn’t too interested in the anime. There didn’t seem to be a reason for them to be tiny people, which is annoying ( like in The Life of Budori Gusuko, there is no reason for them to be cats). I mean, if you look at the Borrowers or the anime take on that literary series, Ariettty, then you see how their size impacts their life and how they adapt to their surroundings and in turn adapt items into their little piece of the world. Here in Hakumei and Midochi, most of what they have and how they live is just like being a regular sized person. They have real houses and towns with regular doors, regular teapots, nearly every thing is regular. The big exception seems to be food in its natural state, berries are the size of their head, a fish is the size of a truck, and a daikon radish is the size of a mini cooper. Transportation seems to involve a rodent, whether they hop on the back of a raccoon or ride in the bus pulled by a guinea pig.

Size issues aside, I did get settled into the anime routine and this is what I liked about Hakumei and Midochi: I did choose this one by the cover for the pretty background art, which it continues throughout and didn’t disappoint there. All the animation was good, the colors bright and saturated. The dub was good, not annoying, and I thought it worked well. The characters were likable, positive and upbeat and their friendship was nice to be a part of. I think that is what we often appreciate in anime, the friendship connection.

I think if you like Aria or Tamako Markert, you would also enjoy the series Hakumei and Mikochi.

Overall Grade: B- With all the cuteness of a beetle with a bow on her antenna, Hakumei and Mikochi is also available in a manga series.

Just Because Anime Review

Just Because!


Title: Just Because; Complete Collection

U. S. Publisher: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date: 2-26-19

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Director: Atsushi Kobayashi

Genre: Romance Drama

Age Rating: 14+

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

The end of high school is near. The third years are going to be moving on, whether to college or entering into the work force. Most of them are preoccupied with studying for their entrance exams.

If that isn’t enough to worry about, Eitu Izumi has just moved back in the area for the final semester. He moved away during middle school and time moved on. With a lack of energy or interest, he visits his new high school, finds out that some of his childhood classmates attend this school. His old friend Haruto Soma is surprised, but they connect quickly over baseball.

Eitu learns his middle school crush, Mio Natsume, also goes there. This is where things lie hidden and complicated. Eitu likes Mio, Mio likes Soma, Soma likes Morikawa, she doesn’t seem interested in anyone and finally, Ena Komiya likes Eitu.

The classmates and friends move cautiously as they are about to crash into their adult lives. It is time to savor their youth, and they know they will be losing the life they are comfortable with. They need to say what is in their hearts before the oppertunities are lost. However, with everything about to change, does it really matter.

Commentary:

I enjoyed watching Just Because!. And not just because I happened to watch the Valentine’s Day episode on February 14th. It is a high school drama, which most of us have probably seen many over the years, but it didn’t feel like an old story. We meet this new group of teens as Eitu moves back to his former town. As he is reacquainted with the people his friends became, we are introduced to the school and students along side him.

It was interesting how Eitu’s moving really highlighted the change they all had being going though over the years and that this is the finale of their childhood. It was really pivotal to the telling of their story, the changes of life and who you become as you deal with it all.

Just Because!  does take place in a high school, so there are plenty of common, comfortable elements. Besides the exams, there are the issues of liking someone. What do you do with that? I liked the way the characters could develop different views on love and not be stuck in a childish idealistic view. It was interesting how their personalities contributed to the way they dealt with things, it could be moving on, persistence, or changing the circumstances. Do you speak up, confess, or stay back?

I enjoyed the animation, it looks like rotoscoping was used. The animators paid attention to details, back grounds, keeping the camaera angles interesting an adding in visual interests through out. I think it makes it all more immersive and interesting than live action. You can see things differently. There were several instances where they really made a point to emphasizes the animation, like a tear rolling down Komiya’s face, when Eitu was throwing a ball or Soma was swinging a bat. An especially cool moment was when Soma was riding a bike and we see ahead of him from his point of view, the way the shadows change as he passes lights.

Just Because! is both subbed and dubbed. I mostly watch the dubbed, because I prefer it, but then I get used to the charters voices one way, so the Japanese voices seemed like they belong to someone else, but still it was good.

All in all, I liked the characters. The only issue I had there was Eitu’s seemingly indifference. His expressions and emotions were too subdued, but oddly enough, I still like his character. There was something deep within him, but his life circumstances seemed to weigh down on him.

The ending was satisfactory. I want to let you know to watch past when the credits start. They still include story content.

Overall Grade: A- If you like Say I Love You or Tamako’s Market, I think you will like Just Because!

Kino’s Journey (anime review)

Title: Kino’s Journey: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Ryūtarō Nakamura

Studio: A. C. G. T.

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: Feb. 26th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Adventure, Sci Fi, Philosophical

Age Rating: PG

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

Three days. Two nights. That’s how much time Kino and Hermes allot to each new place they visit before drifting off again, crossing a mysterious land filled with mystical sights and strange customs. Kino’s an enigmatic loner, skilled with weapons and always anticipating what might lie around the next hill or bend of the river. Hermes is Kino’s friend, companion, and motorcycle, gifted with the ability to think and speak, seldom as bold as Kino, but always there when speed is required.

What is their goal, their ultimate destination? Like life itself, it’s all a mystery that one can only solve by taking the journey. All Kino and Hermes know is that adventure, danger, and new wonders lie on the horizon, waiting to be encountered at each passing stop. Join the odyssey and drift along for the ride!

Commentary:

Kino’s Journey is a rather different series that takes a hard look at humanity in a sometimes harsh reality. It does something that I have only managed to come across a few times in anime or any series for that matter, which is to get to the hard realism of our own brutal nature. Of course there is plenty of optimism interlaced, in fact Kino is a shinning beacon for our tortured species. Although Kino managed to remain rather detached or appears to be separated there are moments that you realize that Kino cares much more than is apparent.

Overall Grade: A-

Kino’s Journey reminds of another series that looks at our species though a rather odd lens, that series was Mushi Shi. Both are somewhat reflective but the quiet nature of the main characters manage to provide a grounding for the disturbing qualities in the ones that surround them and the environments they discover.

The only detractor for Kino’s Journey has to be the age of the series and the animation production quality. It is clear that Kino’s Journey was produced for television and the overall production quality is on the low side, but that is where the deficiencies end. The writing, voice acting and overall concepts are well above average which make Kino’s Journey a real treasure.

Looking for a series that will make you think then Kino’s Journey should be place at the top of your list.

My Girlfriend is Shobitch (Anime Review)

Title: My Girlfriend is Shobitch; Complete Collection

Director: Nobuyoshi Nagayama

U. S. Publisher: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date: 2-12-19

Format: Blu-ray / 10 Episodes plus OVA/ 275 Minutes

Genre: Comedy (Fan Service)

Age Rating: MA

Overall Personal Rating: A- For Episodes 1-10, D if you include the OVA See commentary for explaination.

Synopsis:

My Girl Friend is Shobitch  (better translated as a “slutty teen”, but she actually wasn’t) is a sexual comedy. It is all about the jokes, puns, slapstick and fan service. So, the plot isn’t that important, but it does actually have one. So, here it is:

A typical high school boy in Japan, Haruka, confesses his feelings for fellow classmate Akiho. He has been admiring her (fantasizing) for a while. However, those images where not anywhere near the relationship that he has suddenly entered. Akiho is serious and studious by nature (Wait until you meet her mom, you’ll see where it all comes from.), yet she has no natural sense of human interactions, especially between a romantic couple. So what to do? Study of course. In her matter of fact, monotone and nearly emotionless voice, she succinctly asks for his preferred fetishes and more. She is a top student, and she will put the same study skills into being the ideal girlfriend. Unfortunately for Haruka, her informational sources are above and beyond what he had in mind.

Commentary:

First and foremost, it needs to be said that this is an anime for adults. It is a comedy completely about sex, using dating as the platform for nearly nonstop innuendos, cliches, puns, sight gags and fan service. Again, it is a cartoon but it is made for actual adults.

The second thing I thought that was very important, was that the episodes 1-10 were very funny (especially the earlier ones before too much character development) but the OVA was not funny, not one bit. It was awful. I don’t think unwanted nonconsensual bondage and unwanted forced participation in sexual type “activity” is humourous in anyway at all. Really, I have no comprehension as to why this final piece was put on the Blu-ray. Okay, sure I do, to make sales, unfortunately. It was perfectly fine to end it at episode 10, at that point it appears they were already having trouble with keeping up the comedy and resorted to obvious food/anatomy comparison. Still fine enough, and a good place to end. Unfortunately, the OVA kind of soured me on the series which is a shame. So my recommendation is to skip the OVA and enjoy the adult comedy for what it is and should be

The elements of the show seems to all work together. The characters were either ones you could connect with or necessary for the comedic element. Most of the situations were good set ups for the comedy routines. Visually it is bright and well animated. The scenery and props added to the whole. It is another layer to check out things that might be lurking in the background.

I watched some in Japanese and some English audio. I found it funnier in English, although the guy, Haruka’s verbal expressions for the situations he finds himself in are better in Japanese.

So, it is a comedy, fan service and more. The humor is for adults and it works. It was funny, even funnier to watch with a date. Plenty of laugh out loud moments. So, hey, that is what a comedy should be.

Overall Grade: A- For Episodes 1-10, D if you include the OVA See commentary for explaination.

Space Runaway Ideon (anime review)

Review provided By Luther

Title: Space Runaway Ideon on Blu-ray

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Maiden Japan

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 5th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 39 Episodes and 2 Movies / 1158 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Drama

Age Rating: MA

Overall Personal Rating: C+

Synopsis:

Space Runaway Ideon contains anime episodes 1-39 and movies The Ideon: A Contact a movie compilation and The Ideon: Be Invoked the sequel all directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino

When Earth archaeologists on the planet Solo dig up a set of strange vehicles, they have no idea that they’ve unearthed something that will change the course of mankind. Even more shocking is the discovery that a SECOND human race called the Buff Clan is also seeking the mechs! A deadly competition ensues as the two races battle to secure the secrets of what the Buff Clan calls the “Ide”. While the fight initially favors the Buff Clan, everything changes when young Cosmo Yuki and his friends accidentally power up the ancient machines that form the most powerful robot the universe has ever seen! But even with the Ideon defending them, the return to Earth won’t be easy, and there’s a long hard journey filled with combat and sacrifice ahead!

Commentary:

Space Runaway Ideon aired in 1980, as such while watching the show I indulged in some of the 80’s culture surrounding the show, that being building a model kit. 80’s animated television being a vehicle for merchandise sales, especially toys, is a fairly well known phenomenon. In the United States the toys based on shows were typically action figures or dolls, but in Japan a common thing to see was model kits, especially models of giant robots or mecha. Mobile Suit Gundam is the most well known example of these model kits, but Space Runaway Ideon was no stranger to model kits. The titular mech, Ideon, received several model kits, as well as some of the space ships and the enemy mechs. The model I built was one of the enemy’s crafts, a blue saucer with three long flimsy legs it barely manages to stand on. The design of which is reminiscent of the alien crafts in H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds. My experience building the wild looking model kit was rather similar to building Gundam models of the same age, just cut out the pieces and glue them together, only when finished the model from Ideon had difficulties standing. As such building the model was rather analogous to my experience watching Space Runaway Ideon, both were basically the same as Gundam, just not as good.

Comparisons between Space Runaway Ideon and Mobile Suit Gundam are going to be inevitable, in part because Ideon aired a little over one year after Gundam, but the main reason for the comparison is that both were done by the same studio, Sunrise, and directed by the same person, Yoshiyuki Tomino. Furthermore, Tomino included a number of references or easter eggs to Gundam, with the mascot character Haro showing up in the background of some scenes as well the protagonists and mechs from Gundam making brief caminos.

Overall Grade:

Brief cameo characters are not the only thing Space Runaway Ideon shares in common with Gundam, for both stories share some rather similar story beats. In both series a young man, who’s father is working on a project relating to mecha, winds up in the middle of an unexpected battle were he accidentally ends up piloting a powerful mecha he used to fight a space faring people. Of course both series do their own twist on this narrative set up but, especially for the beginning of the series, Space Runaway Ideon just feels like a rehash of Gundam.

Gundam as a franchise has made a history of roughly duplicating the narrative of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, to some success. Thus the problem Space Runaway Ideon has is that it uses these narrative elements in a setting that is less engaging and with characters that aren’t as sympathetic. The central conflict of the battle between the two main factions is sparked from misunderstandings and both group’s militaries shooting first before trying to understand what is going on. Compare that to the complex political drama Mobile Suit Gundam takes place in and Space Runaway Ideon presents a far less intriguing story. The story of Space Runaway Ideon is further dragged down by an overabundance of uninteresting characters. At the start of the series far too many characters are introduced in a short amount of time, as such none of them are able to be portrayed as unique or complex characters. Both the issues with the story and characters are eventually overcome as the narrative deepens and as the characters get more and more screen time, but the first 10 episodes or so feel like a slog to get through, and the overall narrative does not take the series in a particularly unique direction.

Yet, despite any shortcomings with the characters or narrative, Ideon’s biggest flaw is the age of the show. Not to say that old anime are fundamentally flawed but rather compared to some of its contemporaries, Space Runaway Ideon has aged rather poorly. In its time Ideon was a fairly unique in many ways. The use multiple vehicles to form a single mech was not common in mecha anime, nor was ancient technology being advanced as established of a narrative device. Additionally, Ideon’s depiction mecha as tools of war and the suffering such conflicts can cause was fairly unseen, with Mobile Suit Gundam being the series that started the such trends only a year prior. While it is neither the fault of the series or the creator that Space Runaway Ideon struggles to compete with the anime that came after it, the show is still difficult to recommend to a general audience. However, Space Runaway Ideon is still a solid classic science fiction anime and can easily be enjoyed by fans of such anime. Space Runaway Ideon would also be a curiosity for fans of the Gundam franchise, for the series is deeply entangled with Gundam. Fortunately, for those curious about the Space Runaway Ideon but don’t wish to sit through a 39 episode series, the first movie included in the blu-ray set is a recap of the series, making it a good jumping in point. Thus for anyone looking for some classic giant mecha action or who enjoys exploring the mecha grene’s history, then Space Runaway Ideon a great title to check out.  

Gundam Shipment Just In 1.29.19:

Here is the list of the small Gundam shipment we just received:

#22 Gundam Shining Break “Build Divers”, Bandai HGBD 1/144

#11 Gun-EZ “Victory Gundam”, Bandai RE/100

SSGSS Goku (Special Color Ver.) “Dragon Ball Super”, Bandai Figure-rise Standard

SSGSS Vegeta (Special Color Ver.) “Dragon Ball Super”, Bandai Figure-rise Standard

#23 Build Doll Sarah “Build Divers”, Bandai HGBD 1/144

#19 Gundam Astray Red Frame “Gundam SEED Astray”, Bandai RG 1/144

#28 Try Burning Gundam “Gundam Build Fighters Try”, Bandai HGBF

Go-Saurer “Go-Saurer”, Bandai HG Eldoran 1/300

01 Nemesis Prime (Attack Mode) (Exclusive Variant) “Transformers”, Flame Toys Furai Model

Mr. Basic Tool Set, Mr. Hobby

GM01  Black Fine Line (Box/10), GSI

GM02  Gray Fine Line, GSI

Gundam Pouring Market Inking Set, GSI, Gundam Marker

Girls Last Tour (anime review)

Title: Girls Last Tour; Complete Collection

Director: Takaharu Ozaki

Writer: Tsukumizu

Screen Play: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu

Music: Kenichiro Suehiro

Studio: White Fox

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 29th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Sci Fi, Post Apocalyptic

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A

Synopsis:

The world we knew is gone. The massive cities, once filled with people, lie silent, empty and decaying. There are no more forests filled with animals; no more birds in the sky. But life hasn’t disappeared completely; not just yet.

Amidst the rubble two small figures, young girls, travel together, scavenging what they need to survive as they explore the remnants of a world that they are too young to remember. It’s a strange journey, but one that’s filled with wonder as each new day brings another discovery, another echo of the devastated past or moment of unexpected beauty. And as long as Chito and Yuuri have each other, they have a reason to keep pressing forward. As long as there’s still life, there’s still hope for a future.

Commentary:

Sometimes you read a synopsis and ask yourself “am I ready for this?”. I asked myself if I was ready for a sad depressing series and with all of those expectations I started watching Girl’s Last Tour. I have to admit I was somewhat surprised. The first few episodes really made me think and then as things progressed I began to see the sweet optimism that is infused in the entire series. There is a complex story being told by a simplistic vision and cadence.

These two girls represent two different worlds and both also prove why they need each other. Chito is the cerebral and Yuuri is the physical and together they manage to make a true team that is doing the only thing they can do, keep moving forward. In a world of mystery and possible starvation they find ways to stay naive and strong.

Overall Grade: A

I have always loved series that make me think and ones that take a simple structure to tell a complicated story. Girl’s Last Tour won my heart and soul within minutes and keep working on my brain. It took some time before my head joined the team, and it rejoiced with the realization found in the story. Of course each person will have to find their own reality in the series. Who knows what they will find.

Girl’s Last Tour is wonderful in much the same way I found Mushi Shi wonderful. That is the quiet way the story is told. there doesn’t need to be any great monsters to defeat or a hero’s saga to work through to gain the meaningful message being told. Anime and the eastern philosophies tend to lend themselves to a quiet simplistic story telling nature that is rarely seen in the west and most notably in North America. A young culture often looses itself in its own power where as older cultures can look back and be thoughtful in the things they have to say. Girls’ Last Tour could have easily been a warriors last battle type of story where these girls have to fight their way past the crazed remnants of humanity just to survive.

Girl’s Last Tour is a wonderful anime and for those fans of simple approaches to complexity this one will hit a high note and prove to be more than just wonderful.

Rocket Girls: Complete Collection (anime review)

Title: Rocket Girls: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Hiroshi Aoyama

Studio: Mook Animation

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 15th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Comedy, Adventure

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

When Yukari Morita decided to look for her missing father who disappeared in the South Seas, she had no idea how far her journey would take her. Just traveling to the Solomon Islands is a long way for a high school girl to go on her own, but then Yukari runs into an astronaut from the Solomon Space Association, which has been trying to build a rocket powerful enough launch a man into space. Upon meeting the petite Yukari, however, SSA director Nasuda realizes that she’s small enough to go up in a less powerful rocket the SSA has already built! So he offers her a deal: if Yukari agrees to become their astronaut, the SSA will help find her missing father! Will Yukari have the right stuff to blast off in the wildest space quest ever? Find out in Rocket Girls!

Commentary:

Any time a series is adapted from a popular light novel the anime is often flawed. In the case of Rocket Girls the story manages to stand on its own. Of course there has to be plenty of great stuff left behind. To its credit this series does manage to get to the point of the story.

I feel as thought there was a reasonable attempt to provide solid character development for the girls and with the tight constraints of 12 episodes there is plenty of development along with plot focus that is provided.

As the series progressed it becomes clear that this anime really wants to be taken seriously and because of its real life help from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Rocket Girls does manage just fine.

Overall Grade: B+

I really love these type of anime. I was particular fond of Space Brothers and all 99 episodes that were produced. With Rocket Girls the shortness of the series did have an impact on the overall enjoyment. I do wish much of the everyday issues, trials and tribulations could have been played out a little better.

Rocket Girls is very good at what it does. There are plenty of smiles and a few solid laughs, but the place it shines is in the real life science and some of the drama that comes out in the story.

If you are looking for a light hearted Science / Fiction story that just might inspire a young lady to look at space as an option for a career then Rocket Girls is for you.

Human Crossing (anime review)

Title: Human Crossing on Blu-ray

Directors: Akira Kumeich, Kazunari Kumi

Studio: A.C.G.T.

U. S. Distributor: Maiden Japan, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 8th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Slice of Life, Drama

Age Rating: MA

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

There are over 120 million people living in modern Japan, and over 38 million live in the greater Tokyo area alone. Some live in incredible luxury, while others to struggle to survive. But from the high to the low, all are connected through the complex web that binds us all, the bonds of family and relationships. Yet there are times when the isolating nature of urban life tears and tatters that fragile safety net to the breaking point. At times like this, each person can only do the best they can. To meet the challenge or fail. To rise or to fall. Eventually, all of us must make that transition from one part of life to another. From the award-winning manga by Masao Yajima and Kenshi Hirokane, these are the interweaving stories of the Human Crossing.

Commentary:

I am not sure that the anime community is ready to have Human Crossing re-released, but I must commend Maiden Japan for taking the chance to provide this one of a kind true Slice of Life anime back to the western audience. There are plenty of Slice of Life anime that give us the typical day to day high school life but almost none that look at what it means to be an adult who discovers things about their past that have had real impact on their lives.

Human Crossing is a very specific anime designed and created for an audience who has lived long enough to understand the different stories in a meaningful way. I for one see the connection between all of us but many younger fans may find this boring and overly silly. It is true that there is a sentimentality about the series that can be a bit heavy handed at times, but life is that way and we often discover meaningful aspects of our being by just moving through our day to day world.

Overall Grade: B+

Human Crossing is a little dated and most of the stories are a tad simplistic, but the concept behind all of the stories is very eastern in philosophical in nature. That in itself makes Human Crossing worth watching. You just don’t find wester culture interested in discovery of our being or wishing to understand ourselves at a deeper level. I for one find Human Crossing to be a wonderful mirror to humanity and think everyone should take the time to watch it and think about the deeper message it is trying to present.

The real drawback is going to be the age of the series and the overall production quality. It looks dated, but the stories are timeless.

Princess Tutu (anime review)

Title: Princess Tutu on Blu-ray

Director: Junichi Sato (Chief), Shogo Koumoto

Studio: Hal Film Maker

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Dec. 11th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray/ 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Magical Girl

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

Princess Tutu contains episodes 1-26 of the anime directed by Junichi Sato and Shougo Kawamoto.

Once there was a writer, a creator of tales, who was blessed with the ability to bring his stories to life. But when the writer dies before his story is finished, what becomes of the characters left behind? For the girl known as Duck, the world changed when an old man gave her a pendant that transformed the duck that she was into a young girl. Now she must gather the shards of a shattered Prince’s heart and finish the story of the Prince and the Raven. But will that require Duck to make a sacrifice of her own? Enter a world of dance and wonder as ballet, myth and romance come together in the anime hailed as a modern classic, at least by some.

Commentary:

In a world of strange anime it may be possible that Princess Tutu manages to reach its way up the list to a modest place of oddity. There is so much going on here that it is hard to put your finger on how Princess Tutu fits into any mold. Lets just say that Magical Girls and Ballet makes for an almost interesting concept. For me I found it to be a mix of Pinocchio, Cardcaptor Sakura and D Gray-man. Although, it is possible that D Gray-man pulled from Princess Tutu. I still felt the imagery was very familiar.

The thing about Princess Tutu that kept my attention was the sheer strangeness of the story. I wasn’t interested in the dance or the plot, but rather how very odd everything was.

Overall Grade: B

Princess Tutu does something that is often tried and failed at and that is pull off a truly absurd plot line. The weird overlay of genre and confusion at the begging of what is going on keeps you a bit off balance, but the art style manages to work for the concept. The only real failing I have is the weakness of writing. I found the plot lacking conviction and several of the characters were just a little too stiff.

I think that anime fans of the absurd anime genre should take the time to check this one out. It doesn’t matter if you are into ballet or not Princess Tutu is just weird. I am not ready to call it a modern classic, but it is fun to watch.