Archive for April, 2014

Someday’s Dreamers II: Sora

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(AKA: Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Skies)

Genre: Slice of Life/Fantasy

Creator/Studio: Norie Yamadi/Hal Film Maker

Distributor: Sentai Filmworks

No. of Episodes: 12

Suggested Age: 7+

My Review: 8/10

Summary: This anime is set in the same “universe” as the first Someday’s Dreamers. However, it has a different protagonist, a country girl named Sora.  Sora is learning how to hone her magical abilities through a school setting. She is given assignments by a teacher that allow her to do magic for clients, but other than that, she is forbidden from doing magic until she obtains a license.

Review: When I finished reviewing the first Someday’s Dreamers, I thought I might as well review the sort-of sequel. While both programs take place in the same “universe”, it’s not necessary to watch the first series to understand this series.  In fact, if you watched this without having watched the first program, you wouldn’t be lost at all.

The animation is done by a different studio from the first. Hal Film Maker seems to be using a more “photo-realistic” approach with traditional anime style and realistic-seeming backgrounds.  The style can take some getting used to, but I liked it a lot.

Sora is an enjoyable protagonist.  She has no idea why those like her are barred from practicing magic without a license besides what she does for clients.  She learns through her assignments that there are both positive and negative consequences to performing magic.  It is these consequences that help her to realize the responsibilities of her powers.  This creates an arc that allows her to grow.  The pacing is somewhat slow, which caused a problem toward the end when it became more rushed.  That was my main problem with the show, and it’s why I’m giving it an 8 out of 10.

Sub/Dub: I only watched the sub.

Music/Score: Very pleasant. The theme song is my favorite, unfortunately I can’t share it.

Violence: (0/10)

Language: (0/10)

Sexuality: (0/10)

Religion: (0/10)

Related Media: Both this and the first series are based on the manga of the same name.

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Porco Rosso

untitledGenre: Historical Fantasy

Studio/Creator: Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki

Distributor: Buena Vista

Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Suggested Age: 7+

My Rating: 9/10

Summary: This story is set in Roaring Twenties Italy.  Its hero is Porco, a bounty hunter who is on the run because he refuses to conform to the emerging fascist government.  His constant victories over the Momma Aiuto Gang has caused them to employ an American pilot named Donald Curtis, who like Porco is vying for the affections of Gina, a woman who owns a bar that has become frequented by pilots and pirates alike.  While getting his plane repaired, Porco is helped by a young woman named Fio, the granddaughter of his mechanic.

Review: This is a Ghibli movie that kind of stands out.  It’s not a grand fantasy like Nausicaa or Princess Mononoke. It’s not a quiet, pleasant slice-of-life piece like Whisper of the Heart.  However, either way, it’s still worth a look.  Porco is a scoundrel, but a loveable one.  While Curtis is the antagonist, I’d hesitate to call him evil. He’s only in it to woo Gina, who couldn’t care less about him. The Momma Aiuto gang is funny. If you want to see just how different Ghibli’s library can get, this is something to pick up.

Sub/Dub: As typical of Disney’s treatment of Ghibli, this has a pretty star-studded cast.  Porco is played by Michael Keaton, and Cary Elwes (of The Princess Bride fame) voices Curtis.

Music/Score: It’s not Joe Hisashi’s best work, but I still liked it.

Violence: (3/10) There’s some dogfights here and there and a rather silly fistfight at the end.

Language: 1/10

Nudity: 0/10

Sexuality: 0/10

Religion: 0/10

Related Media: There is a manga and a proposed sequel is in the works.

 

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