dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
I've seen this movie like three times now, and I still haven't managed to review it. Wellp, I only bought the DVD once, so let's blather a bit about pirates in honor of my first fullprice anime purchase for years!

When it comes to One Piece, I have a very back-and-forth relationship to the manga (don't really watch the anime). First I read some eight volumes, and found it silly. Then [personal profile] lanjelin began rawing about it and after quite a while, I gave in and decided to give it another chance. When I could borrow the whole bunch from A-chan and A-kun (~50 books at the time) I discovered that I did actually like it, and that it took off and became much better after a while.

But there were still too many fighting fillers (god save me from One Miniboss vs. One Strawhat fights) and at times the story just drags. I'm also getting increasingly annoyed with Oda's designs for female characters, which have decidedly not been improving lately.

Very telling is how I've felt about the latest chapters. Extremely miniscule spoilers about the latest manga chapters )
It's not a long sequence, but it's absolutely lovely and like that it made me interested in keeping up with this insanely long shonen fighting series... idek, man, I think I'm just a sucker for Epicness.

Epicness being something that the sixth One Piece movie, Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island does pretty well, though it doesn't reach the heights of the best manga chapters. Would be hard to, considering how those often build upon a long and ardorous journey.
This movie also has some really with funky animation - really, it looks nothing like anything else One Piece, but still captures the feel of the characters quite well - and a healthy dose of horror. You thought Thriller Bark was bad, you ain't seen nothing!

I've seen the tenth movie too and Youtubed a bit of one of the other ones, but honestly, they mostly feel like extra-long filler eps or summaries of previous arcs. This movie starts out a bit like that, as the Strawhats (just before Water Seven, I'd say) pick up spam a message in a bottle, advertizing a luxurious pirate resort on Omatsuri Island. Once they get there, however, they're challenged to a series of pirate tests.
Ho-hum, been there, done that and it was one of the most boring non-filler parts too... but hang, why does such a big resort (and it's huge and lushly animated, managing to look pretty good even six years later) have no other guests? And how come an island, marked with a flower on the sea chart, not contain one single blooming plant?

This is one part of where the movie does a good job, imo, as it let's the more naturally inquisitive characters discover things in a very organic fashion. We in the audience always know a bit more of what is going on than the Strawhats, but never more than that we realize that something is deeply off with the friendly Omatsuri island.

Cut for spoilers for movie #6 )

The music didn't impress me that much; I've seen it mentioned positively in some reviews, but except for the memorable carnival piece played whenever Omatsuri reveals more of his Epic Resort, I honestly never noticed it. Which is perhaps a good thing in it's own way, because it certainly helped building the mood?

The cutting of the movie also impressed me. It's made like a collage of moments, where we switch POV's several times (thus breaking up the fight scenes huzzah), so that scenes layer over each other in a very thought-out way, that I'm certainly not used from TV animation. The director has also made Summer Wars (not seen) and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - the latter makes me think he should stick to material with a bit more oomph in it, because while TGWLTT also had a lot of fancy cutting, it felt a bit dull tbh.

So. That concludes my somewhat rambling (sorry) review. If you want to see this movie legally and do not speak German, though shit, cuz it's not released in the US, the UK or Sweden. Don't ask me why, it works as a One Piece film and it's actually a decent stand-alone anime movie too.

By the by, I listened to the very first scene with the German dub just for the lulz, and I can again conclude that German's dub anime miles better than Americans. Even if Ruffy's voice felt a bit off and Zoro's was too high-pitched, the acting part of VA just felt much more natural. Lovely packaging too, with slip-cover and a poster. Just wish they could've squeezed some extra material on the actual DVD. Oh well.

Like One Piece? Like scary anime? Like flat-style animation? See this movie ^_^
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
One of the awesome things about German manga is that it's much cheaper than US manga and it's usually the same size as the Japanese editions. Buying only a leetle more than I planned, I've almost caught up with the local edition of Fullmetal Alchemist *happybounce*

This manga was, alas, cancelled in Sweden at volume 18. When I was here last summer, they'd just released that part, but now they're up to volume 24 (have bought 23). The back of the books also have the same design, so they'll fit nicely on the bookshelf

And it's really really good, we're so close to the end and I've managed to remain unspoiled and haven't even read scans - the reward is that it's absolutely breathtaking to see how Arakawa's plot threads are tied together, how they're racing towards salvation or apocalypse and I really don't know who's gonna survive in what shape and I don't even WANT to guess. Just let me follow and enjoy, please =D

Then I spent some time at the local library yesterday. Looked around a little at the books, but I was tired, so I sat down and read comics. Even for such a small library, they had a decent amount.
Tried two volumes of Donjon (Dungeon), which I've heard much about, but it really isn't my thing. Can't appreciate the humor in the funny part, the dark Monster-book felt a bit pointless (I don't think "So who cares?" was the reaction you were supposed to have for the endless misery in that one) and neither of the two drawing styles were quite my taste.

I had more luck with Fräulein Rühr-Mich-Nicht-An (Miss Don't-Touch-Me) an odd story set in Paris of the 1920ies. Unfortunately, I could only find volume 2-3 of this story, but it still caught my interest.
A very squirly, yet simple, French cartoon style and a story based in a luxurious bordello with murders seemed worth checking out.

And it was interesting, although I can't really judge it based on the parts I've read, since vol 1-2 make up one story and apparantly 3-4 another (according to this review which also links the very first pages)

It's about Blanche, who works together with her sister as a maid in Paris. When her sister is murdered, she follows the trail and ends up in a brothel, where she is (for reasons I don't quite know, since I missed the beginning) hired to only dom/whip customers but not sleep with them. She makes quite a splash as the strict virgin lady and gains both friends and enemies in the brothel, while she hunts her sister's murderer.

I definitely want to read more of it, because there were some bits - the characterization of Miss Jo, the setting etc that I really liked, but I also don't quite know if I can buy Blanche as a character and how she ended up hired there is also a big question-mark to me. I've gotta get myself over to Amerika-Gedenk-Bibliothek soon, they've got loads of... everything, really, it's pretty huge but they had a very nice comic selection when I was there last time (err, 10 years ago)
dancing_moon: Kitty: *hugs* (*hugs*)
Okay, wow, that was good.

I just read myself up to date with One Piece and it's getting really, really good again. I felt that Impel Down dragged, then came the emotionally exhausting and gut-punchingly good big fight at Marines HQ then Oda went on his first vacation in years and after that? Well, let's just say that plenty of SPOILERS happened, but the story soon picked up again with a really intense pace. Now we've had a longer story/flashback sequence recently which was also good as in seriously so (and it contains loads of info about the world, maaaaan I want to have time to write some meta about this) but there was also a few really annoying characters. Except, of course, Oda is the master so he made me care about them and like them in only a few chapters.

And what's happening now feels like it will really have a great impact in all the threads of world politics that have been revealed over time. This part contains callbacks way back to East Blue and it's all really, really well done.

One Piece - it's love.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
Whohoo! Today three good manga had arrived, just in time as the train broke down (again) and I thus had to spend a cold half hour at Södra station. But reading makes time fly - sometimes a bit too much, as I almost missed my stop. Lucky for me, alitna said hi and alerted me to the fact that it was time to go out in the cold again.

It's The Legend of Saiunkoku #2, Petshop of Horrors Tokyo #8 and Eyeshield 21 #34 that I bought today. My ranking turned out to be quite the opposite of what I expected, with the last chapter of the Christmas Bowl match clocking in as the undisputed best of the bunch.

Read more... )

Oh, and I've begun to read Mark Watches Doctor Who, very entertaining!

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May 2012

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