Winter of Anime 2013 |OT -4| It's not my fault!

Community's choice! What should the next numbering of the |OT| format be?


Results are only viewable after voting.
Status
Not open for further replies.

BGBW

Maturity, bitches.
Jan 19, 2007
54,033
0
1,020
Of course you do! Know what's nice? Yuri cake docking :> There's no squish, but the close-up where the nipples touch >___>
I clearly have a different definition for docking than you do. Because the definition I have according to a copy of the lewd dictionary (which unfortunately I don't have on hand at the moment because it is lost amongst the thousands of books here); docking would be impossible for two girls.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
Castle in the Sky (spoilers and such)

Y'all need to get away from your yuri and your girls doing cute things in high school once in a while and watch beautiful stuff like this. Yes, I realize I'm probably the only one in this thread who hasn't seen this yet, but I don't care. Watch this again sometime soon. Or Spirited Away.
Not at all. There are others.
They know who they are.
The opening credits say this film is from 1986, and the animation kind of shows its age. But I like the charm of it. There were a handful of gorgeous scenes, most namely the etherium rocks glowing in the cave and the first time they arrive at Laputa when they're in the garden. Though I thought the scene where the robot was blowing the fuck out of the fortress was beautiful in a dark sort of way, basically with Sheeta's shock and horror of it all.
Well yes, the animation certainly shows it age in that you can easily tell that it's an 80's property. What I believe you're implying is that it's showing it's age by looking worse than, say, a modern movie - this is sheer nonsense.
 

Envelope

sealed with a kiss
Feb 1, 2012
15,831
0
0
They know who they are.


Well yes, the animation certainly shows it age in that you can easily tell that it's an 80's property. What I believe you're implying is that it's showing it's age by looking worse than, say, a modern movie - this is sheer nonsense.
Perhaps he is referring to the more simplistic style of Studio Ghibli's character designs, which of course is also unrelated to the time when the property was made but does reflect an unfortunately common opinion.

If Castle in the Sky was made today it would be full of terrible CGI.
Does Studio Ghibli really use lots of terrible CGI these days? Granted, I haven't watched one of their films for several years, but I don't think that would really be true.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
Shinsekai Yori 16

It was a fairly redundant episode and felt pointless overall. However, I do think the last couple of minutes were very important. Other than that, looking forward to the next episode a lot.
I don't feel like it was. Things we learnt:

- Maria's feelings, in her own words, for Saki.

- Maria's feelings about the village and the structure of society in general which will surely prove very important later on.

- More about Saki and Maria's childhood.

- More about ever-conniving Squealer.

- Important information about Queerat physiology.

- Important set up for the next arc.
 
Jul 8, 2012
15,436
0
0
They know who they are.


Well yes, the animation certainly shows it age in that you can easily tell that it's an 80's property. What I believe you're implying is that it's showing it's age by looking worse than, say, a modern movie - this is sheer nonsense.
I think I meant that (and this may be due to the blu-ray re-release) the animation sometimes seemed kinda...choppy, I guess? The framerate seemed a bit off at times, seemingly mostly at the beginning. It didn't seem as fluid as Spirited Away, though I may be misremembering. Though I suppose most hand-drawn animation suffers from this to some degree.

I loved the designs; I have absolutely no problem with those, though I didn't love them quite as much as Spirited Away.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
If Castle in the Sky was made today it would be full of terrible CGI.
I don't think Ghibli really understands how to do that. I think it makes more sense to say that Castle in the Sky would never be made today because all Miyazaki seems to be making in films for babies.
Perhaps he is referring to the more simplistic style of Studio Ghibli's character designs, which of course is also unrelated to the time when the property was made but does reflect an unfortunately common opinion.
Well that's possible but he did specifically say animation.
 

Haly

One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
Oct 10, 2006
58,526
0
0
- Important information about Queerat physiology.
Well this is redundant at this point because, thanks to anime detectives here and elsewhere, everyone knows the origin of queerats or at least have some credible suspicions.
 

kayos90

Tragic victim of fan death
Mar 17, 2010
26,953
0
0
www.kayos90.blogspot.com
CGI robots and Muska voiced by Gackt.
Gackt is cool. sort of. lol?

I don't feel like it was. Things we learnt:

- Maria's feelings, in her own words, for Saki.

- Maria's feelings about the village and the structure of society in general which will surely prove very important later on.

- More about Saki and Maria's childhood.

- More about ever-conniving Squealer.

- Important information about Queerat physiology.

- Important set up for the next arc.
Maybe I just feel differently but some of those things are stuff I could gleam implicitly from previous episodes. Perhaps I didn't know that's exactly how Maria thought but the points she made about the village and stuff and Saki were stuff I already knew. It felt like the show went out of its way to say it explicitly and label it "Maria's POV and feelings." that's just me though.
 
Aug 14, 2010
24,259
0
0
kininarima.su
[Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water] - 15

God damn. Anno you delightful bastard. Talking about the correct use of in-universe time, the amount of time that we lingered on Jean was just long enough to make you feel uncomfortable without actually boring you. Few directors use such deliberately long-takes to such effect, but anyone who is familiar with Evangelion will recognise that this is a technique that Anno likes to deploy. Also, just when
you think the scene is ending we hear Fait screaming at just the right time to really disturb us. Good job. I was also fairly impressed about the restraint involved in not actually showing us what was going on behind the door. That's neat.

http://i835.photobucket.com/albums/zz278/Jexhius/Album 2/Nadia151.jpghttp://i835.photobucket.com/albums/zz278/Jexhius/Album 2/Nadia152.jpg

Hey, remember that this is a kids show?
This was a fantastic episode. Impressive how they managed to make us care about the door scene when the characters involved were only introduced on that episode. Anno's later re-edit of the series seems to omit the starting part of the episode however which is a damn shame as it increses the impact tremendously.

They know who they are.
Well yes, the animation certainly shows it age in that you can easily tell that it's an 80's property. What I believe you're implying is that it's showing it's age by looking worse than, say, a modern movie - this is sheer nonsense.
I heard this reasoning before. People seem to think old anime = ugly which is simply untrue. When I showed someone Wings of Honneamise earlier this month he remarked that the movie definitely didn't look to be an 80s film citing the detailed mechanical animation as a reasoning. Baffling I say!

Does Studio Ghibli really use lots of terrible CGI these days? Granted, I haven't watched one of their films for several years, but I don't think that would really be true.
On their movies not that much but mostly due to the fact that Miyazaki has a big pull on those but they do on their shorts. Then again On your Mark uses CGI in some scenes and that's a Miyazaki short!
 
Feb 22, 2011
3,515
0
480
On their movies not that much but mostly due to the fact that Miyazaki has a big pull on those but they do on their shorts. Then again On your Mark uses CGI in some scenes and that's a Miyazaki short!
As with practically every production nowadays, digital composition and other computer-generated work is important for Studio Ghibli, but My Neighbors the Yamadas and specially Ghiblies' second episode were already exponents of what could be achieved on using additional techniques and model work within their time. Sadly it didn't fructify further than that...
 
Aug 14, 2010
24,259
0
0
kininarima.su
As with practically every production nowadays, digital composition and other computer-generated work is important for Studio Ghibli, but My Neighbors the Yamadas and specially Ghiblies' second episode were already exponents of what could be achieved on using additional techniques and model work within their time. Sadly it didn't fructify further than that...
Oh yeah they've been doing digital composition and utilising similar techniques as early as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. I was specifically talking about CGI though, which isn't common for Ghibli feature films thankfully.
 
Apr 20, 2010
23,664
0
0
earth planet
Ignore is for the weak (and I'm like a broken record). Experience all that GAF has to offer (by sticking to this one thread)

Using ignore is the same as those who said to watch the first and last episodes of School Days. You're losing out on the whole experience.
i have to agree with this.reading opinions ( even if i don't agree with them ) is what make communities exciting .
 
Jul 8, 2012
15,436
0
0
Gah, this weekend I was supposed to finish AMG and DTB, but stupid K-ON!! latched its claws into me. Oh well. I'm finishing all three of these shows before I move on, though. Not too hard, considering I only have three or so episodes of the former two shows to watch anyway.
 
Feb 18, 2008
3,453
0
765
Tamako Market - 2

Not feeling this one nearly as much as most other KyoAni shows (especially Hyouka), but I guess it's enjoyable. It looks good, but that's to be expected.
 
Feb 22, 2011
3,515
0
480
Oh yeah they've been doing digital composition and utilising similar techniques as early as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. I was specifically talking about CGI though, which isn't common for Ghibli feature films thankfully.
I was talking about CGI models too! I'm positive about what they could have done on future movies without the need of only using them as an aid for painting backgrounds over and such.

Early on, they did good demonstrations of expertise... on their commercials for House Foods Corp., as an example (extracted from the Ghibli Ga Ippai Collection SPECIAL Short Shorts):

Publicite House Shokuhin "O-uchi de Tabeyou" (version été) - Vidéo Dailymotion
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5i3hs_publicite-house-shokuhin-o-uchi-de_shortfilms

House Shokuhin "O-uchi de Tabeyou" (version hiver) - Vidéo Dailymotion
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5i3m9_house-shokuhin-o-uchi-de-tabeyou-ve_shortfilms
 
Jan 19, 2012
26,618
2
540
I was talking about CGI models too! I'm positive about what they could have done on future movies without the need of only using them as an aid for painting backgrounds over and such.

Early on, they did good demonstrations of expertise... on their commercials for House Foods Corp., as an example (extracted from the Ghibli Ga Ippai Collection SPECIAL Short Shorts):

Publicite House Shokuhin "O-uchi de Tabeyou" (version été) - Vidéo Dailymotion
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5i3hs_publicite-house-shokuhin-o-uchi-de_shortfilms

House Shokuhin "O-uchi de Tabeyou" (version hiver) - Vidéo Dailymotion
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5i3m9_house-shokuhin-o-uchi-de-tabeyou-ve_shortfilms
I should look out for more "big name" animation studio commercials.
Between the ones from Kyoto Animation and now Ghibli, I find myself liking them quite a bit.
 

Extollere

Sucks at poetry
Jul 12, 2007
8,350
0
0
I clearly have a different definition for docking than you do. Because the definition I have according to a copy of the lewd dictionary (which unfortunately I don't have on hand at the moment because it is lost amongst the thousands of books here); docking would be impossible for two girls.
Uh... there's that kind of docking, and then there is symmetrical docking. In the case of yuri context, we are almost always talking about the latter.
 

Tomat

Wanna hear a good joke? Waste your time helping me! LOL!
May 3, 2010
12,236
0
705
US
I clearly have a different definition for docking than you do. Because the definition I have according to a copy of the lewd dictionary (which unfortunately I don't have on hand at the moment because it is lost amongst the thousands of books here); docking would be impossible for two girls.
Maybe he's talking about space docking?
 
Sep 20, 2006
64,608
1
0
Excellent Eriador
I was talking about CGI models too! I'm positive about what they could have done on future movies without the need of only using them as an aid for painting backgrounds over and such.

Early on, they did good demonstrations of expertise... on their commercials for House Foods Corp., as an example (extracted from the Ghibli Ga Ippai Collection SPECIAL Short Shorts):

Publicite House Shokuhin "O-uchi de Tabeyou" (version été) - Vidéo Dailymotion
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5i3hs_publicite-house-shokuhin-o-uchi-de_shortfilms

House Shokuhin "O-uchi de Tabeyou" (version hiver) - Vidéo Dailymotion
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5i3m9_house-shokuhin-o-uchi-de-tabeyou-ve_shortfilms
What I like about Ghibli's use of CGI is that it's usually fairly restrained, and it typically involves traditionally-drawn art overlaid over a CG model. The problem with a lot of CGI in anime is that it's both in-your-face and it doesn't do a very good job of emulating traditional animation.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,464
0
0
I think I meant that (and this may be due to the blu-ray re-release) the animation sometimes seemed kinda...choppy, I guess? The framerate seemed a bit off at times, seemingly mostly at the beginning. It didn't seem as fluid as Spirited Away, though I may be misremembering. Though I suppose most hand-drawn animation suffers from this to some degree.

I loved the designs; I have absolutely no problem with those, though I didn't love them quite as much as Spirited Away.
I haven't seen the BD release at all and I haven't examined the movie in a few years but I don't really recall any early choppiness, or any choppiness at all, even during extremely elaborate action scenes. I couldn't really comment in an authoritative manner unless I had the movie to hand, which I do not.
Well this is redundant at this point because, thanks to anime detectives here and elsewhere, everyone knows the origin of queerats or at least have some credible suspicions.
Well, you don't need to be an anime detective to draw conclusions but there's a huge difference between drawing conclusions and having something confirmed in-show. Until it's confirmed it could all be speculation, or just red herrings of the kind that appear in many a mystery show.
Maybe I just feel differently but some of those things are stuff I could gleam implicitly from previous episodes. Perhaps I didn't know that's exactly how Maria thought but the points she made about the village and stuff and Saki were stuff I already knew. It felt like the show went out of its way to say it explicitly and label it "Maria's POV and feelings." that's just me though.
Was it? Maria doesn't comment on things directly too often and most of the episodes have focused on Shun and Satoru's understanding of things. You may already have those thoughts about the village but Maria, due to not being the main character I suppose, never really articulated her ideas. Considering that we already know that she's response for
the deaths of many, many people it seems important we we know more about how her mind works.
 
Feb 22, 2011
3,515
0
480
What I like about Ghibli's use of CGI is that it's usually fairly restrained, and it typically involves traditionally-drawn art overlaid over a CG model. The problem with a lot of CGI in anime is that it's both in-your-face and it doesn't do a very good job of emulating traditional animation.
Yeah, fair integration on this kind of 'hybrid' approach can be their nice priority to have, but at the same time it kind of neglects some of the benefits the tools bring. Good for short commercials and big budget movies, and sadly that can't be sustainable for many...
 

BGBW

Maturity, bitches.
Jan 19, 2007
54,033
0
1,020
I was with BGBW on that one, minds forever in the gutter!
Funny thing is, I've been aware of the term for year after a friend and I found a lewd dictionary in the house and happened to flick to that page.

I've looked around and I can't find it. Was hoping to find some more terms to embarrass kayos with.
 
Ninja Scroll





This film was almost something of legend for me at this point. Ninja Scroll was one of those anime films that even the people I knew that didn't like other anime found to be very exciting. I even knew a guy in my middle school that had a shirt for the thing, and that's saying something, if you saw my school. Somehow, I've managed to never see it, and I knew virtually nothing about the film, outside of it having some large, bouldery man in it. I bought this on a whim around the end of the year because I found it cheaper in store than it was on amazon. Did it live up to the incredible hype over the many years I had heard of it? Yeah, I think it totally did.





Story

A forewarning, this is a movie involving fighting with swords, so there will be a few links with some violent imagery. Use good judgement if clicking at work. ; )
For a movie called "Ninja Scroll," there wasn't a scroll in sight. Well, there was one, but it was just a note sent to someone that we never actually read or saw delivered.
The movie centers around three individuals attempting to stop an insidious group of warriors from executing their plan to overthrow the current men of power. Each of the three have their own reasons for being roped in, and they're all rather selfish! Well, really it's just one of them, the other two are sort of against their will; Jubei being the prime example.

Jubei is the first to appear on screen, and he leaves quite the impression. The director wasted no time in having him go full badass mode on some would-be thugs, and he muses over it seeming like there is trouble on the horizon before walking off into the distance. I'm generally not a big fan of the throwaway enemy stuff to make a quick (and often times sloppy) characterization of a member in a cast, but I didn't mind it too much in context. The movie covers a lot of ground, and it probably could have actually done with some editing to trim things down so it wouldn't move as fast as it did. Regardless! Great taste for just what to expect within the opening minutes is what they were shooting for, and they nailed it.

The next main character we are introduced to is a kunoichi named Kagero. She is apparently "cursed" with being extremely beautiful, and wants to be respected for her abilities as a ninja. ...sounds super original. Her clan is brought disturbing news of a nearby village seemingly being devastated by an outbreak of some unknown plague. A woman from the village wandered off to a neighboring village, and the residents quickly spread the news and evacuate the populace. Her clan are hired to investigate, and Kagero demands to accompany them on the mission. However, things don't go quite so swimmingly, as her entire squad is made short work of by a hulking man named Tessai with skin like a rock and a weapon that could best be described as a knife boomerang of death. Her captain attempts to hold him off, but it is an exercise in futility as he loses control of the situation. Kagero is knocked unconscious and taken captive by the living mountain.

As Tessai finds a quiet location to find out how many licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of Kagero's tootsie pop, he is interrupted by the familiar wanderer we saw at the start. After a polite approach is rejected, Jubei steals Kagero away to safety, and our third member of the motley bunch is revealed watching from the bushes. His proper introduction comes later, though! We also get the first hint that things are much more complicated than initially hinted at. Kagero and Jubei part ways, and Kagero laments not having been strong or capable enough to have protected herself and fellow clan members.

When Kagero returns to give her report, her clan leader can't tear himself away from his nsfw business. Kagero is understandably uncomfortable, and I'll speak more on that later. Jubei runs into his old pal,
Tessai again, though! After much effort, he manages to overcome the rocky adversary, and we are treated to one of the greatest death sequences ever produced. No screenshots can do it justice, but the movie is practically worth watching just for that moment alone.
Anyways, now the third wheel reveals himself to Jubei this time, but he is soliciting his help to fight a group of warriors he can't take on his own. Jubei says, "no" and decides to take a bath. However, he is ambushed by a crazy snake tattoo lady that almost gets the better of him using some sort of paralyzing trick that never happens again! However, he is saved by the old man's well thrown shuriken to the shoulder, but the lady escape before he can let her know what he thought about her trick.

The old man, we learn is named Dakuan, tells Jubei that a man called the "Shogan of the Dark" is amassing resources to rebuild his clan and overthrow the current government and supporting clans with the help of a group called the "Eight Devils." Jubei isn't interested in helping out until Dakuan informs him the shuriken was poisoned, and he will surely lose his life in a few days. The only antidote is known to Dakuan, and he won't tell him what that is until they manage to stop the Eight Devil and the Shogan of the Dark from getting what they want. This kicks off what is basically a rinse and repeat for the remainder of the movie, but don't let that sell it short.

Jubei has a flashback revealing his connection to the main leader of the Eight Devil, Genma, from when he used to be a government spy. Apparently, Genma turned his men against Jubei, and Jubei was forced to defend himself with deadly force. He even went so far as to remove Genma's head from his shoulders, but rumor has it that the man has powers of reincarnation or something, so yeah. That's a problem! But why was he targeted, you ask? Well, turns out a town happened upon a giant gold vein in a mountain, and Genma and the area's lord wanted to keep it a secret from the government. He had anyone that knew of it killed before it could be reported, and he tasked the diggers to keep digging. Jubei wasn't wild about that, and thus, the disagreement.

Jubei and Dakuan are traveling when they become separated in heavy fog, and he happens upon a shrine where he is attacked by the snake woman, Benisato. Luckily, Kagero finds the two, and she takes control of the situation... until she is bitten by a vagina snake. Yeah. What? Seems Kagero doesn't even bat an eye to the event, despite Jubei being pretty concerned. No matter, because she is executed by the Legato Bluesummers of the Eight Devils, Yurimaru. He has been in brief scenes up to this point, but nothing of extreme consequence. He has the power to do weird stuff with wires and send out electricity, which are the methods he uses to remove the "failure" from the line of duty.

The three continue on to the "plagued village" to discover that there was really no plague at all. In fact, it was poison in the water to make it appear like a medical problem. Before they can dwell on this too long, they are ambushed by a guy named Mushizo with a beehive in his back! Super rad! Kagero shows off her abilities as a florist, and Jubei takes out the bee guy. However, there's no time for rest, as they are soon lured into a trap using what is left of Kagero's group leader from before. Turns out he was made into a bomb or something, and this crazy bomber of the Eight Devils, Zakuro, knocks them off their feet. Just when they recover, they're met with another of the devils named Mujuro Utsutsu, and he's a blind swordsman that somehow has the ability to tell when he's reflecting the sun off his blade into your line of sight. Yeah.. They have a fight of agility, sound, and light before finally overcoming the man.

It is here that Kagero reveals she is a poison taster, and her body has essentially become a death sentence for anyone that so much as even kisses her lips. Yikes! Jubei isn't having any of her attitude though, and lays down one majorly sick burn. They apologize later and have a touching, tender moment together. Probably one of my favorite scenes because the change in pace was much needed and appreciated at that point. Plus, it was just cool. Dakuan tells them that Genma is collecting the gold from the mine Jubei was involved with before for the Shogan of the Dark in a nearby town, and the plague was just a means of scaring off anyone that could possibly interfere with their operations. Jubei goes to check things out, and Kagero sends for help from her clan. Kagero inquires how to cure Jubei's poisoned state, Dakuan laughs and says she has fallen in love with the man, but relents, telling Kagero (at knife point) that they only way to cure Jubei's condition is... up to her. Gasp! Then, she gets kidnapped... Again.

Jubei goes to rescue her, despite Dakuan's warnings and telling Jubei that the men will be loading all of the gold onto the ship in the cover of night. This just means he has to hurry, right? It's too bad this fight is as short as it is, because it's probably the most stylized and beautiful of the entire movie. This crazy scorpion wannabe called Shijima... fingers Kagero and that somehow makes her mindlessly attack Jubei when he shows up. Even with the trickery, Jubei manages to land a well aimed sword throw into Shijima's back, and Kagero returns to normal.

I hope you're all ready for this next part because it is simultaneously one of the most non-sensical, badass, ice-cold, and flat out ridiculous things ever written. Kagero tells Jubei that Dakuan said the only way to cure his poisoning (and save himself from certain death) is to have sexual intercourse with her. She throws herself, nude at Jubei, and she prepares for him to make the next move. He essentially just says "no" and leaves to stop Genma. Yes. He does. That is what he does. Let me run that by you one more time: Jubei is poisoned and will die very soon if he does not find a cure. His cure is to do the mattress disco with the one character in the entire film that everyone notes for her beauty. Not only that, she is cursed to live a life of never being able to have any kind of sexual embrace with another human being from her duties as a poison taster for her clan. This is pretty much the only time she will ever be able to sleep with someone and not kill them from the act. How does Jubei respond? "Nope." Incredible, hahahaha! Also, I looked it up, and I couldn't find any easily identifiable case of poison curing poison, so yeah.

The three begin to sneak into position for the attack, but Kagero's clan shows up! Reinforcements to take on the dozens and dozens of enemies! Great! Well, it would be if it didn't turn out that it was actually Genma in disguise after having wiped out the entirety of Kagero's clan. He deals a lethal blow to Kagero, and leaves for the boat. Jubei is caught up dealing with the electric wire guy, Yurimaru, before the explosion lady, Zakuro, takes care of the problem for Jubei. Thinking both of them dead, Zakuro leaves, and Jubei makes his way to Kagero's increasingly lifeless body. They share a tender moment together and, it's not entirely clear if they actually make love at this point or not. They hint towards it later, but virtually no time appears to pass, so who knows? Kagero did say that even just a kiss could transfer her poison, so I don't know! Either way, Jubei is cured, he sends Kagero off in a makeshift coffin boat, and straps her headband on to go kick some butt.

Genma betrays his superior and declares that he was using him and the Shogan of the Dark all along to amass the gold he had worked so hard to get before. He was going to overthrow the government, the clans, and the Shogan of the Dark all along! Things don't go quite as planned, however, as Dakuan has snuck aboard and gets found by Zakuro poking around the gold. One thing leads to another, and Dakuan and Jubei manage to set her ablaze, causing her explosives to do some considerable damage to the vessel now carrying all of the gold. Genma leaves to take care of things personally, after telling his men to leave and hide until the day they're called upon once more. Genma and Jubei have an exhilarating fight in the burning belly of the ship, but Jubei just can't seem to put Genma in the ground. The fire has caused all of the gold to start melting (which actually melts at incredibly hot temperatures, but whatever), and Genma can't manage to escape it. Jubei flees to the upper decks as Genma becomes encased in a thick coating of liquid gold. As Genma sinks to the bottom of the ocean, you can't help but feel a little bad for the guy, since he'll be forever alive at the bottom of the sea. At least, I imagine he will be.

Dakuan attempts to talk Jubei into returning with him, but Jubei senses it is a trap and is correct. Dakuan curses Jubei, despite having done all of the dirty work in the entire film for him, and leaves him to die of his injuries on the floating remains of the boat. Jubei doesn't have time for this riff raff, and dives off the boat. The film ends much like it began... Jubei walking (now away) into the distance with Kagero's headband fastened tightly to the hilt of his sword.






Presentation

Let me make this absolutely clear: this film is worth watching just to look at. Does it have the greatest animation? No. Does it have the best camera work or variety of shots? Nope. However, the world is richly detailed, characters are quite detailed, and the overall execution is just really well done. In many ways, this film felt extremely derivative of a lot of things I've seen before, but it would have to be the opposite, due to when it actually released. Just go pick this up somewhere and watch it, if you haven't already seen it (who am I kidding, I'm probably one of the only people my age that watch anime that hasn't seen it!). The movie is very liberal with the use of black, but it gives it a much more serious tone and pushes it towards a much more moody film than it would have been otherwise. It isn't without some notable uses of color, however, as I can easily recall scenes favoring a cold blue, a battle in a lush green bamboo forest, a house so warm from the sunset that you'd have thought they were in a western, and more. It was just an extremely well executed film, and the presentation really did a lot for the somewhat repetitive nature of the plot.

As far as animation goes, it was good to great. There weren't any long sequences of high quality stuff, but the amount of effects work and comprehensible fight scenes more than outweighs any potential grip I might have had. It's really frustrating to have fight scenes where it's just "We're moving so fast that just take our word for it, we're fighting!" stuff. Ninja Scroll's fights held weight, and had some really heavy punches to throw. That's not to say it doesn't ever do the former, but it's not the norm, by any means.

I watched this with the japanese dub, and I thought it was really well done. There were a few standout performances, but everyone was capable across the board. I honestly don't recall much in the way of music, so I would say that, if there was any, it wasn't terribly noticeable. That might be my own fault for just not paying better attention, however. The most amusing thing was that there were some stock sound effects used differently from how they were generally used. The one that was most noticeable was a sounds generally used for fireballs used for Dakuan's pole when it would extend. Cracked me up the first time I heard it, at least.





Final Thoughts

Not sure how to flow this segment, so I'll just cover whatever comes to mind.
I suppose the first thing I'll bring up is, as I mentioned before, my confusion over the naming of this product. I can grasp the ninja part, but I'm still confused as to the scroll part of the title. It's a rather generic sounding title, and I'm wondering why they didn't name it something that was more relevant to the movie. Just an odd thing that struck me after the thing ended.

I won't talk extensively about the fights, but I will say, I found something to like about each of them.
The bee guy in particular was one of my favorites. It wasn't that his battle was all that spectacular, but I just loved the idea of this guy having a bee hive in his back, and the way Jubei defeated him was awesome. The blind swordsman was kind of generic, but I found the speed they gave the fight made it feel really solid. The one thing I will say I considered to be rather lacking was the improper amount of time to really build the enemies up and the speed at which the fights were resolved. This was what I mentioned above in regards to the script could have done with some editing, were it up to me. It was nice that they did have the enemies display some amount of skill or menace, vanish for a little, and then re-emerge later for the final fight, but I never felt that they comprehensively conveyed why any one of them were more dangerous or capable than the next. Additionally, it didn't make as much sense, outside of one pair, why none of them effectively worked together to stop the three. Additionally, they were only acting under commands from Genma, so why was he okay with losing all of his major playing cards that were going to be essential in him overthrowing the current powers? I mean, he's only one guy, and having his whole roster emptying out isn't going to do him any favors in the long run, no matter how invincible he might be.

In the way of character stuff, as I mentioned before, it could have used some editing help. There were a few things that seemed a little oddly placed or handled that were supposed to explain behaviors later, but it felt hackneyed. The most prominent being the tension between Zakuro and Yurimaru.
Zakuro apparetly has an affinity for Yurimaru, but Yuri only has eyes for Genma. That's all well and good, since he reportedly doesn't have a preference for male or female, but Genma is currently in bed with the snake lady, Benisato. This weird love thing is only in the film to explain Zakuro's sudden execution of Yurimaru in the latter part of the film. At least, that was all I could figure out why it was ever even mentioned. That could have easily been fixed by just having Jubei defeat him, so why was it handled this way? If it was an attempt to give the characters some depth, I can kind of see that, but surely there was more they could have done than just some love quadrangle thing.
I don't know. It didn't ruin the experience for me, but it just left me scratching my head a few times.

Kagero is still something I'm not entirely at peace with my thoughts on.
I was kind of put off with how I thought she would play out at the start- "Oh, she's the pretty ninja lady that wants to be taken seriously but she can't cause she's a lady." It's not a terrible approach or anything, but it's just a well worn path. However, the twist being that she was a poison taster and could never really get close to someone was an appreciated component. It was still rather disappointing that it turned out to be a weird contrivance on the plot's part to have an excuse to make her and Jubei sleep together, but they pushed that aside with Jubei's reaction. Okay, so that's kind of okay it wasn't just for stupidly forced sex reasons? Then, as she's dying, she claims that she only regrets not getting to sleep with Jubei before they kiss. Augh, okay? The entire time, it felt like she was written to be just an excuse to do mean things to a character. When she wants to go on a mission, she ends up being sexually assaulted (twice!), when she reports back to her boss she is forced to talk with him while he's doing the one thing that she can never have, her effectiveness in battle is generally "hold them off until I do the actual work," and her key part in Dakuan's plan is to be the antidote for Jubei after he's done all the work he needed taken care of. That said, she was still an interesting character because she didn't take crap from Jubei, she was the only character that ever seemed to have any kind of human responses to a lot of their situations, and she was regularly doing things that made sense (like sending for help). I wouldn't go so far as to say she was a terribly mishandled or poorly written character, but I wanted so much more for and from her than what I got.

In a lot of ways, this show felt like a prototype for a lot of what followed in the 90s anime scene. The things like the Eight Devils (well, more how they functioned in the plot) really made me think of Trigun, Jubei seemed like the precursor to characters like Spike and Mugen, and a lot of general stuff. That's probably speaking more to my own shortcomings in my exposure to the medium (film in general) and what I have actually seen than anything else, but I digress. I feel this generally appealed to me in many of the ways that Trigun did, though, with the grounded setting featuring some fantastical characters and elements. The thought of what Ninja Scroll could have been, were it a 13 or 26 episode show is an intriguing one to me, as I suspect it would have remedied my major gripe with the film.


I rather enjoyed my time with Ninja Scroll, and I'm quite pleased I picked it up. It had been on my radar for a very long time, but I never convinced myself to purchase it, due to the rather steep asking prices that were out there. Thank goodness for companies reissuing this stuff for cheaper, haha.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.