Tag Archives: Drama

Agent Carter season 2, American tv series (2016)

If you have been following the Marvel cinematic universe, you should know who Peggy Carter is. For those of you that do not, let me give you a small introduction. Peggy was the love interest for Captain America when he was fighting the good fight in World War II. When the Captain tried to save the day, he died leaving behind a grieving Peggy. But ofcourse as we all know Captain America did in fact not die, but was recovered many years later perfectly preserved in ice and fully alive. Carter is a courageous and very independent woman, especially during a time when men found  themselves to be better than women. The character of Peggy Carter was so popular that Marvel gave her her very own television series. I will be doing a review of the second season, which unfortunately also turned out to be the last one.

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They are looking at a flamingo. No…really they are. 

After the events of season 1, Peggy Carter is still at work at The Strategic Scientific Reserve, or SSR for short in New York. Even though she saved the day in the first season her male colleagues still don’t give her the respect she deserves. One of her close friends, Daniel Sousa now works in the LA branch of the SSR, and got promoted to chief. It is not long before the two friends are reunited to take on a murdercase. But this is not a normal murder case, as the body has been found in the middle of a frozen lake, even though the weather at the time is a scorching heatwave. Peggy has to find out the truth, but that truth might be more than even she can handle. With people trying to undermine her work in every way they can, and an old enemy showing up to make matters even worse, the case might be over before it has even begun….

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They are all still in shock because they got cancelled. 

The second season of Agent Carter was almost as much fun, as the first one. Haley Atwell, who plays Peggy, is simply put amazing. She really breathes life into the character, and she is definitely one of the main reasons why Carter is so popular. But the supporting cast is also every bit as good. James D’Arcy, who plays Edwin Jarvis the butler of Howard Stark provides all the comic relief, and his scenes with Peggy are all a delight to watch. The chemistry between those two is absolutely perfect, and it is almost impossible not to smile at some of their comedic banter. Enver Gjokaj also does a great job as the charismatic Daniel Sousa, who has a much bigger role this season. The relationship between him and Peggy is a very interesting one to say the least.

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No….they won’t change their minds to give you a third season Peggy, please hold back. 

The story this time around, though enjoyable and featuring a few terrific and tense moments, was not as powerful as the one in the first season. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it did not have me on the edge of my seat as much as the experience I had during season 1. Sadly, even though most of the storylines are luckily completed, the final scene of the show is a cliffhanger that unfortunately won’t be resolved. The show looks absolutely amazing, and really recreates post war America. But this is also one of the reasons the show got cancelled in the first place, the very high costs of building all the sets. That, and ofcourse the ratings that were not high enough to get a third season.

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Yep that is Tony Stark’s dad. No idea what that thing in the sky is, but it’s probably nothing. 

A real shame if you ask me, because Agent Carter is just a very fun show. Even though it does not feature any superheroes, it gives a very unique background story for the Marvel cinematic universe. To round it out it also provides one of Marvel’s favorite female heroes, even though she has no superpowers. If you have yet to experience Agent Carter, I would recommend you start by watching Captain America: the first Avenger. After this you can simply bingewatch both seasons of this great show. Even though there are only 18 episodes in total (not counting two short Marvel one-shots), this series is an absolute blast to watch. Especially if you want to watch something completely different than the usual superhero stuff and you like strong women in lead roles.

I give Agent Carter: Season 2, a 8 out of 10 score.

Goblin, Korean Drama series (2016)

Who wants to live forever? Ever since I first saw the movie Highlander, about the immortal Connor MacLeod, I have always been wondering about that question. Yes, there are certainly some cool things about never having to worry about dying. But on the other hand, it also brings with it a lot of pain. The one thing that would hurt me the most would be to see everyone I care about pass on, while I continue with living. So, to answer the first question I began with: not me. And with that out of the way, I will start with my review for the Korean drama series Goblin, that focuses a lot on immortality.

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You really want to mess with me? 

Goblin starts in the past where we first meet up with general Kim Shin, who continues to be succesful on the battlefield for his king. After returning from another battle where he emerged as the victor, he is betrayed by the king who is jealous of his succes. Kim Shin is killed by his own sword, on orders of the king. However, instead of dying he gets reborn as an immortal Goblin, a protector of souls. The sword he was killed with, pierces his chest, and can only be removed by the woman who will be his bride. Once that happens, he will finally be able to move on to the after life and find peace. After having lived for 939 years, he might finally have found that woman in the form of the lovely highschool student Ji Eun-tak. But Ji Eun-tak also has a very troubling past, and a secret of her own: she can see ghosts. Kim Shin, meanwhile has found a kindred spirit in an amnesiac Grim Reaper, who guides souls to the afterlife. This is the beginning of a great, tragic but also very funny adventure….

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Really, there is no need to point out something so obvious. Yes that is a sword: duh!

First off an apology is in order to the wonderful Kay from Kdramakisses. I have promised to write this review for so long that it almost seemed it would never be finished. I finally managed it, so Kay this one is for you. (And go ahead and visit Kay’s blog while you are at it, the number 1 source for Korean dramaseries). Goblin is an absolutely heartwarming series, that is almost impossible not to like. The best thing for this series are it’s characters. Ji Eun-tak, played by the wonderful Kim Go-eun, is a character that I guarantee you will fall in love with. The acting portrayed by Kim can’t even be called acting. It is so natural, that she simply convinces in every single scene. But the two male leads, Gong Yoo as Kim Shin and Lee Dong Wook as the Grim Reaper, are also one of the reasons you should watch this drama. Their comedic bickering, and warm friendship is an absolute delight to watch.

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You don’t know the joke about the Goblin and the Grim Reaper that hang out in a bar?

Goblin is a very unique series that mixes a lot of different genres together. When the series first begins, you would think this was going to be a big, bloody historical piece. But when the series moves towards the present it turns into kind of a comedic romantic drama with fantasy elements. Later on in the series, it shifts tones again, to include a few horror elements. This might put off some viewers, but I was not disturbed by it for a single moment. The humour for this show was absolutely terrific, and for someone like me, who usually doesn’t like comedy, that is telling a lot. There were a few scenes that literally gave me tears in my eyes from laughing. Don’t be fooled though this is definitely not a comedy. It is however a feel good show, even though there are also a lot of sad things that happen throughout the series.

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I forgot to mention this show includes a prequel to Titanic. 

The series runs for 16 episodes (18 if you include the two special episodes that focus on the making of the series), but not every episode was of the same quality. Especially during the middle of the series, I found the series to be a bit slow. Luckily the pace picked up again in the later episodes and it all ended in a pretty satisfactory way. Goblin became one of the most succesful Korean dramaseries ever made, passing even the recordbreaking Descendants Of The Sun, and it is hard not to see why. With a great and very unique storyline, fantastic characters, and a terrific atmosphere this series will leave you with a smile on your face once you finish it. And sometimes that is all you need.

I give Goblin a 8 out of 10 score.

The Lost city of Z, American movie (2017)

Throughout history there have been many famous explorers that have paved the way for the civilisation that we know today. Without them we would all still be thinking that the world was flat, and actually not even have discovered new parts of the world. Ofcourse the stories of famous expeditions can make for a very interesting movie, as we have seen in many great films the past few ages. This year, we get a movie that tells the story of yet another famous explorer, but one that maybe not many people have ever heard of.

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Row, row, row your boat….

The Lost City of Z, is based on the true story and life of British explorer Percival Fawcett. The movie is set in 1906, and we get to meet Fawcett when he is sent out on an expedition to map an unknown region of the border between Bolivia and Brazil. While exploring the Amazon forest he is convinced that he has found signs of a very sophisticated and ancient civilisation. When he returns home, he is actually ridiculed for these bold claims. However Fawcett is determined to prove his findings,  and against better judgment returns to the Amazon. However, there are many things that stand in his way. Not least of which are certain dangers that might end up costing him his life….

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Really? You had to go and shoot an arrow in my book? 

I really love adventure movies. There is something seriously inspiring to see humans that head out into unknown regions, and discovering new and ancient pieces of history. When I first saw the trailer for this one, I really got excited for it. Sadly though this movie did not live up to my expectations and ended up being a massive disappointment. The role of Fawcett is played by Charlie Hunnam, who most people will know from the fantastic television series Sons of Anarchy. Hunnam does an okay job in his performance, although I do have to say that his fake English accent really started to grate on my nerves during the progress of the film.

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The new uniforms were not met with a lot of enthusiasm during the annual Sons of Anarchy club meeting. 

This movie runs for over two hours, and really bored me to death. Mostly this movie has a lot of dialogue, which would not be so bad, were it not for the fact that all of it just isn’t very interesting. Another thing this movie kept doing was jump all over the place. At one point we are back in England, only to head back to the Amazon, back to Englan, and even at a later moment in the film we get to experience World War I. The scenes of the expedition itself were pretty much the only things that were worth seeing. We get some beautiful scenery, and a few scarce moments of actual tension. All in all though I have experienced more fun watching the paint dry on a wall.

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I think I can finally see the end of this film. 

This post has turned into a bit of a rant, and I apologise for that. I always find it a bit of a shame, when I look forward to a film, and it turns out not to be very good. That said, as with any film, there have actually been people that enjoyed this one. There have been some very mixed reviews for this movie, so really don’t take my word for it alone. For me though, this movie ended up being one of the most boring films that I have seen for a while, and as such I really can’t recommend this one.

I give The Lost City of Z a 2 out of 10 score.

Imperial Dreams, American movie (2014)

Isn’t it amazing the amount of things we take for granted in our life? Something as simple as a roof above our heads for instance. There is nothing better after a long workday than coming home, sitting down in your favorite chair, and watch a movie or read a book. It is truly something one should be grateful for. Not everyone on this world has that privilege though. And even though we are human, and we at times complain about everyday things, it is a good thing to sometimes stop and take a few moments to think about things that are really important. Like family for instance, and caring for them, even though you might not be able to do that in the way you would want to.

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One day, your father will grow up to become a stormtrooper.

In Imperial Dreams we meet up with the 21 year old ex-convict Bambi. He has just been released from prison, and is on his way back to his old neighbourhood. His only care in the world is his son, and he will stop at nothing to protect him. However he has really decided to stay on the right path this time, in order to accomplish this task. Unfortunately it is not that simple. The only roof he has above his head is a beat up old car, in which he sleeps together with his son. In prison he picked up the art of writing, and he is trying to get enough money together in order to publish a novel. When his criminal uncle tries to recruit him for a task, Bambi at first declines. Things are becoming more and more desperate for the young father though, and living in such a criminal environment, it is almost impossible to remain on the straight path. Will Bambi succeed….or is the lure of evil to great to resist?

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Really? You were in Star Wars? 

Star Wars fans might recognise John Boyega from the Force Awakens, who plays the main role of Bambi. And I honestly have to say that I was very impressed by his acting talents in this movie. Boyega almost carries this movie on his own shoulders, a task at which he succeeds perfectly. It is always nice to see an actor in a completely different role, and execute it so well. The rest of the supporting cast are relatively unknown, but they all do a great job anyway in creating the atmosphere for this movie.

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I can see my house from here. 

And that is another thing this movie does well, create an atmosphere. It really goes to show that crime really does not pay. It is almost impossible to get back in normal society after a life of crime. Especially when you are trying to do the right thing, and follow the correct path. At some point in the film, Bambi tries to get a normal job, and it is almost laughable the amount of effort he has to take in order to succeed at this. The film loses points in the originality department. This is not a unique storyline, and one we have seen a couple of times in films such as Boyz n the Hood and Dangerous Minds. That said there is little that this film does wrong. The acting in the film is great, and the story even though it is not very original, still grabs your attention and is at times very heartbreaking. All in all this is a solid movie that is worth the watch.

I give Imperial Dreams a 8 out of 10 score.

Anthropoid, Uk/Czech Republic movie (2016)

If there is one thing I like in movies, it is good acting. A movie can at times by mediocre, but still be raised to extraordinary heights by a great performance from an an actor or actress. And when the movie itself is great as well, you might get something really special. The warmovie Anthropoid came and went pretty quietly last year. I had seen the trailer for it, and it immediately caught my attention. Unfortunately I had missed this one in the theatres, but to my big surprise this week it appeared on Netflix. And I am glad it did, because this small movie is pretty amazing.

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Sometimes it’s just best to say nothing. 

Anthropoid is based on a true story. It takes place in the year 1941 where the country of Czechoslovakia is occupied by Nazi Germany. The entire country is held in a reign of terror mostly caused by Hitler’s third in command the murderous Reinhard Heydrich. It is during these troubled times that two agents, Jozef and Jan, are parachuted into their homeland. Quickly they go in search for the local resistance to help them with their mission: the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. However with Germans around every corner, and people within their own ranks they might not be able to trust, their mission might be over without ever having a chance to succeed….

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Yep, he is the guy from that movie. 

If I could only name one reason for you to get you to see this film, it would be actor Cillian Murphy. He plays the role of Jozef, and for me it has been one of the best roles of his eentire career. The true desperation, but also the belief he has in his mission, are portrayed perfectly by him. At times it almost felt as if he wasn’t even acting any more. His co-star Jamie Dornan, who plays Jan should also not be dismissed though. Jan is somewhat weaker and more nervous than Jozef, and Jamie carried out this role perfectly. The film mainly focusses on these two men, and as such the rest of the supporting characters don’t have as much layers to them as Jozef and Jan.

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That guy on the right looks pretty bored.

The film starts as a bit of a slowburner, but even so, you can feel an underlying tension that keeps building up. The second half of the movie has some incredibly trilling scenes, that are at times truly nailbiting. Another thing that is worth mentioning is the cinematography. The film really looks amazing, and together with the amazing sets and costumes really convince you that you are right there in 1941. This is definitely not an easy movie to watch, especially near the end, where a couple of very gruesome scenes are shown. Honestly these scenes almost seem like they are from a different film, as they did not really fit the tone of the rest of the movie. That said though, this is a very good film, with incredible performances and a really compelling and thrilling story. If you like warmovies that are a little bit different, than I highly recommend this one.

I give Anthropoid a 9 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Macross

When I was a young boy (and wow this makes me sound really old), my favorite cartoon and toy was Transformers. I just loved it. Robots that could transform into cars, planes, weapons: it was just a seriously awesome concept. But then I was introduced to a series called Robotech. And that series took the concept of transformable robots to a whole new level. I did not know at the time that Robotech was made up of three totally unrelated animeseries. These three shows were completely rewritten into a new storyline that tied it all together. Robotech will always be holding a special place in my heart, as it introduced me to the wonderful world of anime.

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Yes this ship is seriously awesome.

One of the most popular segments of Robotech was the Macross saga. Macross has always been regarded as one of the anime series that laid the groundwork for the Mecha anime genre. In this special features post I intend to give a bit of an overview of the entire saga so far, although I will only be focussing on the tv series and OVA’s. There have also been a few movies, but as this post will already be pretty long, I decided not to include those. Before I start I will begin by talking about a few things that have always been common to pretty much every new series of the franchise.

Macross: common themes

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A love triangle can be very hard indeed.

One of the coolest things in Macross are the transformable fighter planes known as the Valkyries. All of these planes can transform into a robot, but also a hybrid version of the robot/fighter, known as the Gerwalk. With every series released there were new versions of these planes that were introduced. Another common theme in every show was the love triangle. Yes, romance is definitely a factor in Macross, but luckily it is usually not romance of the sappy kind. Lastly music is also very important to the Macross franchise, and in every series to date there has been some kind of singer or band, that takes the fight to the enemy. So now that I have adressed the common themes let’s start for real with the overview.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982)

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Just in case you are wondering, that is planet Earth these ships are firing at.

The show that started it all, tells the story of a gigantic spaceship crashlanding on Earth. Ten years after the crash, humanity has rebuild the enormous ship, now known as the SDF-1. But then the original owners of the ship return, the gigantic beings known as the Zentradi. Their mission is to retrieve the ship at all cost, and thus begins the first intergalactic war. With a cast of great characters, truly amazing fight sequences, a terrific story, and some heroic deaths, this series is still very much worth the watch. This 36 episode series is definitely your starting point. Even though it is a very old anime, don’t let yourself be held off by that, as it is has withstood the test of time very well.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: Lovers again (1992)

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Sometimes you just get bored by it all and fall asleep.

Ten years after the original series, this six episode show takes place 80 years after the events of the original anime. We are introduced to a new enemy called the Mardook, who seem to be invulnerable to mankinds most powerful attacks. A young reporter is thrust right in the middle of the new war that is about to begin, and may eventually hold the key to stopping the conflict. This series was highly anticipated, but eventually was not well received by the original Macross saga fans. I quite liked it myself, but it definitely is not as good as the show that started it all. In the end this series is now not considered to be part of the Macross timeline anymore.

Macross Plus (1994)

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Who put that helmet on my back….seriously…..

With Macross II being dismissed as a sequel, Macross Plus was henceforth recognised as the first official sequel to the original series. This 4 part anime tells the story of two testpilots that have a deep rivalry between them, and also happen to like the same girl. Meanwhile a powerful A.I. has some very bad intentions when it plans to take over the battlefortress Macross itself. This series was pretty cool. It featured some truly terrific fightsequences, and great animation. The opening tune composed by legend Yoko Kanno, I still consider to be one of the most beautiful scores for an anime series.

Macross 7 (1994)

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I get annoyed just by looking at that guy….

To date this is the only Macross series that I have not completely finished. With 49 episodes it is also the longest. It takes place on the colonyship Macross 7, that is exploring the galaxy, when it encounters the hostile alien force called Protodeviln. I have seen the first few episodes of this series many years ago when I was attending an Animecon. All I remember from it, is that I got seriously annoyed by the rockband Firebomber, that played a major role in this series. I can’t really say much about this series, but from what I have read about it, it is regarded by most fans of Macross as not one of the best installments.

Macross Zero (2002)

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If you only knew what this guy was looking at….

This series is a prequel to the original Macross saga. As I have recently done a review for this anime, I won’t say too much about this one, but instead I will provide a link to my review, which you can find here.

Macross Frontier (2008)

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This picture was just to cool not to include. 

This new 25 part anime series was made for the 25th anniversary of Macross, and it is truly awesome. The best way to describe this one is as a kind of reboot for the entire series, and you can pretty much watch it, without ever having seen any of the previous shows. A Frontier fleet comes under attack by a strange new enemy, and a group of young fighter pilots get caught up in the middle. It featured some of the best characters and music from the franchise, and it has truly become one my favorite Macross anime series to date.

Macross Delta (2015)

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Spice girls: the reboot. 

This is the final series that has been made so far. It was unfortunately not as good as Frontier, and this was mainly because the plot was at times hard to follow and it featured way too many characters. I have also done a review for this series, which you can find here.

Final thoughts.

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Can’t we all be friends? 

Macross is still one of my favorite anime franchises to date. While not every installment is good, there is always something included that makes it worth watching. One of the best things about it will always be the music, and the incredible fightsequences. Those are pretty much the trademarks of the entire franchise. If you like science fiction space opera, than I highly recommend these shows. I hope this post will serve as a handy reference for you, whenever you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the enormous amount of shows that are out there. Currently work has begun on a new series to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Macross. There has so far been very little news about it, except for the fact that it will be released in 2018.

So over to you! Have you ever watched Macross? If so did you enjoy it? Do you have any favorite series or characters? Let me know in the comments section below. As always thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

Your lie in April, Anime tv series (2014)

Sometimes you come across something that is so special, that it is almost impossible to put it into words. Your lie in April is just that. To simply call this an anime series, is almost to do it an injustice. Because it is so much more than that. I have seen quite a lot of anime (but trust me when I say that I am still a newbie to this wonderful  medium), but this is without a doubt the best and most emotional series that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. I am so excited to share my thoughts with you on this, that I can barely contain myself. But I am getting ahead on things.

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Yes, riding a bike like this can be very dangerous. 

Before I begin my loveletter to this anime, I have to thank someone namely Weekendotaku. Now I have been following his blog for quite a few months now (and seriously if you are not yet subscribed to it, please do so now. I promise you won’t regret it.) and he has always had very insightful reviews which have been a blast to read. On the 2nd of April he started a new feature on his blog, namely a rewatch of this series. I joined in and every day a new episode would be watched and reviewed on which we and everyone else who had joined could exchange thoughts. It was great, it was emotional, it was fun, and I would not have wanted to miss this for the world. So once again: thank you!

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So beautiful……

In Your lie in April we meet up with the promising pianist Kousei Arima. Well, at least he was promising, but because of a traumatic event in his childhood, he can’t hear the notes anymore while playing. Just to clarify, Kousei is not deaf, in fact his hearing is perfectly fine. Kousei has two very good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, who have been with him since childhood. Even though Kousei has very little colour in his life, he has resigned himself to that. One day though, everything changes when he meets up with a girl called Kaori. Kaori plays the violin, has a sparkling personality and is almost the opposite of Kousei in every way. Still, she slowly begins to draw Kousei back into the world of music. But Kaori also has a secret, and when that secret will be revealed, it might be too much for Kousei to bear……

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Erm…..you were going to say something?

Now I am a man, and there seems to be a general rule, that a real man does not cry. But recently I heard something else as well, a real man is not afraid to show his feelings. Well, let me tell you this, I have literally had tears in my eyes so many times while I watched this, that it took me completely by surprise. Anyone who says that anime is just shallow, and only for kids should maybe start watching this series. To tell too much about this anime would be to do you a disservice. It is something that you have to discover for yourself. But I will attempt to at least make you understand why this series is so very special.

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I did not know that pounding on someone’s head could make them laugh. 

First off it is the characters. Never before have I had such an attachment to characters in an animated series. When you first lay eyes on Kaori, you will fall in love with her. Her personality, strength, and everything she does in this series is so incredible, that she feels completely lifelike. And no, I am not turning crazy, I still know we are talking about an anime, but once you have seen this, you will know what I am talking about. But it was not only Kaori. So many characters, both with smaller and bigger parts in the series, were absolutely amazing. I could especially relate to Tsubaki, as the role she plays came so close to my personal life, that at times  it was hard to watch.

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Yep, even the fireflies agree that you need to watch this series.

But it is the story itself, filled with so many touching and heartbreaking moments, that really takes this anime to another level. Especially during the later episodes, this series will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that simply does not stop. I really recommend having a box of tissues standing by, because you are going to need them. The animation is breath taking. There are so many scenes that are presented so beautifully, that it is not possible to pick a favorite. And nor would I want to. Lastly there is the music. Even if you are not a fan of classical music, it fits this anime so perfectly, that you will be spellbound by it. There are numerous scenes on stage with various different performances, each one more beautiful than the other.

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This picture pretty much sums up how I feel about this anime. 

So is there nothing negative to report about this series? Well, maybe just one small thing. There can be very abrupt changes in tone. Sometimes you are in the middle of a very emotional scene, to have that turn into slapstick comedy two seconds later. This was especially so in the beginning of the series, but trust me when I say that this will grow on you. And with so many moments in which this anime does not hold back it’s punches in emotion, it is also nice to have some comedy to relief the tension. Well if everything you have read here so far has not already made it clear, let me spell it out for you. I loved this show. It is by far the best anime that I have ever seen in my life, and it has been an experience that I will remember forever. If you have yet to watch this series, go do so right now. Be prepared to become hooked and fall in love with everything this show has to offer. And that really is not a lie…..

I give Your lie in April a 10 out of 10 score.

 

 

Steins;Gate:Fuka ryouiki no déjà vu, Japanese (animated) movie (2013)

A few months ago I reviewed the anime series Steins;Gate. (You can find it right here). This series is considered by many to be one of the greatest animes ever created. I myself however was less enthusiastic about it. Even though the characters in the series were great, and I highly enjoyed all of their antics, I found the series itself very slow. The storyline was quite clever, and did really stick in my mind well after I finished it, but for some reason I could not really get into it. What I am going to do is give this series another try later this year, to see if my opinion for it changes. Browsing through Netflix, I came across the Steins;Gate series as well, or so I thought. Actually it was a movie that was made two years later, and chronicles the further adventures of Rintaro Okabe.

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Hey! I am talking to you, it is not polite to turn your back on me. 

Steins;Gate: fuka ryouiki no déjà vu (which roughly translated means Load Region of Deja Vu), picks up the events after the animeseries. Rintaro believes himself to be safe, seeing as the time machine and the threat of SERN is gone. But is that really true? Lately he has been getting strange flashbacks to the terrible things that have happened to him in the past. As he is the only one that knows these things, the rest of the members of the Future Gadget Laboratory have no real clue what is going on with him. When Kurisu arrives in Japan for a press conference, after having been gone for a year, she ofcourse reunites with her friends. Kurisu is beginning to notice Rintaro’s strange behaviour, but when she is right in the middle of a conversation with him, he disappears before her eyes. Even more disturbing is the fact that nobody seems to remember who Rintaro was. Kurisu will have to find a way to get Rintaro back, but in order to do so, she might have to pay a very high price……

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Sorry, just have to scratch my ear for a second. 

So a few of you might have already noticed the grade I gave this one below my review. I’m probably going to be hated on, seeing as so many people enjoyed this movie. But I am sorry to say that I was not one of them. Let me start off by saying that I really understood what the goal was that they set out to do with this film. The story for this was heartbreaking and it really shows what someone who really cares for another will go through in order to save that person. So that was really a good thing. But seriously, I thought the series was slow, but this movie took it to a whole new level. It started off okay, with the funny and enjoyable banter between Rintaro and the rest of his labcrew.

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Trust me, this scene is not what you might think. 

But the last hour of the movie was just too slow for me to appreciate it. As I stated in my review for the series, I really enjoyed the characters, and thought that was the best thing of the series. But in this movie, except for the first half hour, the entire mood was very dark and quite depressing. And that also affected the behaviour of the characters themselves. Yes ofcourse the second part of the series had a very dark atmosphere as well, but this movie went more down the line of being very sad. But this is how I feel about it, and seeing as so many viewers have enjoyed this movie and the show in general, this might just be me. As stated in the beginning, later this year I will give the animeseries a second watch, and see if I might have a change of heart for it. So, probably if you have liked the animeseries, you will enjoy this movie (even though it’s tone is different). But if you are like me, and were not too impressed by the series, you had best avoid this one.

I give Steins;Gate fuka ryouiki no déjà vu a 5 out of 10 score.

 

Joe, American movie (2013)

There are certain actors that can deliver an outstanding performance one minute, and a truly horrible one the next. Nicolas Cage is such an actor. I have seen movies with him, in which his acting is so completely over the top, that you almost want to turn it off in order to watch something else. But then again, when he really gets into a role, seriously this man can act. Unfortunately these days he pretty much grabs any role he can get his hands on, and he has starred in a couple of really atrocious movies. Which is a real shame, as I myself honestly think that he is a terrific actor, at least when he puts his mind to it. In the movie Joe he definitely did that.

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Why take a chair? Just use a car.

Gary is a 15 year old boy whose life truly needs some improvement. His alcoholic dad pretty much beats the life out of him, and his mother is so far out of it, that she could not care less. One day while out looking for work, Gary meets up with Joe who is an ex-con. Joe has a rather dubious job poisoning trees with a group of other workers, in order to get them ready to get cut down. Eventually Gary is accepted into the group, and an unlikely bond begins to develop between Joe and the boy. However, Joe has a very dark past, and has daily struggles with his inner demons. He is beginning to see Gary as a younger version of himself, and he wants to prevent him from making the same mistakes that he did. Unfortunately this won’t be too easy, especially considering the fact that Gary’s dad certainly doesn’t accept the friendship that has grown between the two of them. It seems that the only way out might be through violence….

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What do you think he sees?

Joe is a very dark and depressing movie. I won’t lie to you there. I also don’t think I will rewatch this one any time soon. The overall atmosphere and darkness in this film, is truly horrific, and that is why this certainly won’t be a movie for everyone. This is not an action film, but purely a movie that is driven by dialogue, even though there certainly are a few scenes in it that could be considered action. That said there is one single reason why I still highly recommend this film, and that is the acting. All the performances in this movie are absolutely outstanding.

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Work can get you down sometimes.

First off Cage does a terrific job in playing the role of Joe. As a character Joe certainly isn’t a man you would immediately respect, but because of Cage’s intense performance you truly want him to succeed in whatever he does. The chemistry he has with upcoming young actor Tye Sheridan, is another of the highlights of this film. All the scenes between them are truly terrific, and it is not hard to imagine the friendship that has developed between Joe and Gary. And then we have Gary’s dad who was played by a real homeless man picked of the streets by the director of the movie. This man, called Gary Poulter sadly died a few months after filming on the streets of Austin. A real shame as the way he played the young boy’s dad you would think he was a veteran actor.

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Never talk back to me….

It is hard to recommend a movie such as this. The really depressing mood and sadness contained within this one, absolutely do not make this an easy watch. However the performances given in this film, almost beg for you to see this movie at least for one time. I can’t say that I have enjoyed this film, because that truly would be a strange word to use for it. But I can say that I most definitely did not find this movie a waste of my time, and certainly from an acting point of view this movie is terrific.

I give Joe a 7 out 10 score.

Macross Zero, Anime tv series (2002)

Prequels. It is a concept that the past few years has been introduced in novels, movies, and tv series. The question I have always asked myself is what is precisely the point of a prequel ? Sure it is nice to find out some backstory about certain characters, or some kind of clarification about events that were not fully explained in whatever the prequel is based on. But because a prequel can ofcourse not change the events of the established story, I always find that it lacks excitement. You know the story of what comes after, and ofcourse which characters will be in the original so they can’t be killed off in the prequel. If done well however, it can occasionally be fun to find out what led up to certain events happening in the original story. Honestly though, I am not a big fan of prequels. I do watch them,especially for franchises that I really enjoy like for instance the anime series Macross. Just like Gundam Wing it has now had so many different shows, that it is hard to keep track of it all. I might do a post for the entire Macross saga in the future. For now, all you need to know for this one, is that Macross Zero is a prequel to the series that started it all.

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I believe I can fly….

It is the year 1999 and a gigantic alien spacecraft crashlands on Earth. At the time the world is engulfed in a global war, but with the realisation that mankind is not alone, an uneasy peace is established. Nine years later, a lot of new technology has been realised with the help of what is found within the bowels of the alien ship. Most notably the transformable Valkyrie fighters. Even though the war has pretty much died down, there are still a lot of skirmishes between the new U.N.Spacy and Anti-Un forces. During one of these fights, we meet up with the young pilot Shin Kudo, who gets shot down by a strange alien craft. Crashlanding on a Mayan island he manages to survive. When he meets up with the inhabitants of the island, he soon realises that they have a secret that ties them to the alien ship. Deep under the ocean there resides an alien weapon that has been buried for over 10.000 years. A weapon that may result in the end of mankind when released……

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Nothing can keep us apart, except maybe a pink bubbly thing.

One thing that Macross has always been good at, is showcasing transformable fighter planes that beat the crap out of each other. And in that regard Macross Zero certainly does not disappoint. This 5 part series showcases some of the coolest Mecha fight sequences in this franchise to date. This being a prequel it was nice to see a lot of the old craft from the original series returning, most notably the Skull One. But there were also some new Mecha that we did not yet see in any of the other series. These fights were definitely the highlight of the show.

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Kind of gives a new dimension to the word overkill.

Another thing that has always been a trademark for this series is the love triangle arc. This time it is between the hero of the story Shin, and two sisters from the island on which he crashlands, Sara and Mao Nome. The characters in this franchise are usually one of the strong points, but in this prequel I found them to be rather dull. I did not establish any kind of attachment to them whatsoever, and that usually is a bad thing. What I did like was the return of the tragic hero from the original series Roy Focker. Even though he played he a small part in the events for this series, it was an important one. As Roy has always been a fan favorite character, many will enjoy seeing his return.

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Yep, that really is Roy Focker.

The story for this prequel was rather confusing. It contained a lot of mythical mumbo jumbo, that I at times could not make heads nor tails of. This being a prequel it does ofcourse contain some interesting ties to the original series, and I guess that makes it somewhat worth it. Has it changed my view on prequels though? Nope, I can honestly say that it did not. Macross Zero is worth the watch for the incredible Mecha fights that are contained within these five episodes, but ultimately I found it to be a rather disappointing entry into the Macross mythology. If you like Macross though, this is one you at least want to watch once, if only to see a few classic things make a reappearance. If you have yet to discover Macross, I would recommend starting with the original tv series from 1982, which is still every bit as groundbreaking as when it was first shown on television.

I give Macross Zero a 6 out of 10 score.