Wolf Children- Movie Review

There is a certain feeling that watching Wolf Children gives you. I have only had this feeling twice in recent memory. The first was when I read the novel Looking for Alaska in the summer of 2013. The second was when I watched the anime Gurren Lagann in January of this year. This feeling is one that is unexplainable, but clearly obtainable. It appears only when you consume a piece of fiction that connects with you more strongly than anything in reality can. I won’t declare it as my favorite film of all time just yet, but Wolf Children is, without a doubt, one of the greatest movies ever made.

Mamoru Hosoda has been slowly rising up in the anime industry over the past decade. Some of his most iconic works include Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. However, Wolf Children is the first film in his repertoire that truly places him right next to the legendary anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.

Wolf Children, on the surface, is about a young woman trying to raise two children all on her own. However, these children are half human, half wolf; they can transform into either at any given time. What makes this seemingly basic plot so remarkable is its hidden depth. Upon analysis of the film, you begin to realize that the lycanism of the children is just a mere metaphor. This metaphor portrays the struggles of anyone raising children with disabilities, mental illnesses, or other various characteristics that society deems abnormal.

The characters, though seemingly basic on the surface level, are much more than that. The purpose of the simplicity of the characters in both design and writing is to allow the audience to seamlessly fall into their shoes. You feel every emotion they feel with intensity, and begin to form extreme empathy for these people who do not actually exist. Therefore, the happiness and sadness that these characters feel becomes all the more potent. It took all my strength to hold back tears in front of the anime club that I watched this movie with. However, I guarantee that if I watched this alone, I would have been bawling.

Without a doubt, the best part of this movie is the animation. While the character designs are purposely simplistic (see point above), the backgrounds and environments are anything but that. This movie has the hands down best animation in an anime ever. Every single setting is extremely colorful, detailed, and enticing. This becomes extremely prevalent when the characters move from the city to the countryside.

The final factor that makes this movie outstanding to me is the minimal use of dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, there are a multitude of heavy conversations throughout the movie, as well as a narrator. However, if you compare this to other movies, particularly anime films, you would find that there is probably half the amount of conversation. The soundtrack, character expressions, and environment animation tell the story much better than any dialogue would have done.

To conclude, you can tell I loved Wolf Children. I would recommend it not only to anime fans, but to literally anyone. Some of it may be a little too dark for younger children, but it would be a great film to show them when they are a bit older. However, this movie was clearly not made with a certain demographic in mind. Anyone from any walk of life can watch it and identify with it. Wolf Children is a timeless masterpiece that breaks the boundaries of what film can do, and is the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time.

Advertisements

Attack on Titan: Junior High- Trailer Review

Well, who’s ready for Eren’s Declassified Titan Survival Guide? The first trailer for the unexpected anime adaptation of the comedic Attack on Titan spinoff manga, Attack on Titan: Junior High, has just been officially released by Production I.G. Long story short, it looks ridiculous.

I can tell hardcore fans, as well as haters of the franchise, are definitely going to be ranting about this. However, I can also tell this show is not meant to be taken seriously, simply by the hilarious animation and soundtrack juxtaposition. The trailer gives off a zany, chaotic school vibe similar to shows like Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. I’m just hoping that Production I.G. is able to handle over the top comedy as well as they are action drama.

I also found it hilarious to see some of our favorite characters in these middle school roles. Its looking to me like Hanji and Levi are going to be teachers, and Erwin is going to be the principle; but again, nothing is confirmed.

Nothing more can be judged until the series is upon us sometime in October. If this is something to tide us over until the long awaited second season of Attack on Titan, thats fine by me. I just hope its somewhat decent entertainment, and not rushed out, poorly written garbage.

Rick and Morty: S2 E1- Review

Rick and Morty is finally back for its second season; officially that is. In all honesty, I did watch this episode when it leaked a few weeks back. However, I watched it again this morning for the purposes of supporting Dan and Justin, as well as refreshing myself for this review. In my opinion, based solely on the first season, Rick and Morty is one of, if not the most cleverly written animated comedy on television. I am happy to say it looks like it wont be loosing any of that quality with season 2.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the premiere was a direct continuation to the season 1 finale. In the past, there has been clever continuity woven into the series, but no direct continuations. However, rather than simply extending the story in a contrived manner, the writers decided to dive into the consequences of Rick’s disastrous party at the end of last season.

What I really give this episode props for is both the animation and clever writing. As I said earlier, Rick and Morty is an extremely well written show. This is evident especially in this episode, when Rick, Morty, and Summer accidentally split reality into multiple timelines. These timelines are almost identical, but have slight dialogue or animation nuances that make them distinct from one another. This ties into the animation of the episode. In a sense, the animators had to create not one, but a plethora of slightly distinct episodes for about 50% to 75% of the 22 minute run time. I give any animation studio that can pull this off successfully major props. However, this would have collapsed into anarchy if it weren’t for Dan and Justin’s phenomenal writing.

The only problem I really had with this episode was the B plot. Not only was it pointless, it was boring. Every time it came up, I was almost begging to return to the A plot. The episode could have been greatly improved if the B plot was either written better, or eliminated all together.

To rap things up, this episode was overall very strong, and definitely has me looking forward to a great second season. As I wasn’t able to catch episode 2 during the leaks, I am hyped to see if it can live up to or surpass the high standard that this premiere set.