Something good to say about 5 anime I didn’t like that much…

Irina over at I drink and watch anime came up with a cool tag which I thought I’d try – I probably mentioned a few good things about these texts in my original reviews, but I’ll try add to that today 🙂

(The shows/films might be familiar, as I’ve listen them before.)

Fractale

I’ve said before that I thought the tone was wildly uneven in this series (among other things), but what I did enjoy was the unabashed adventure feel combined with airships – that’s always a plus for me.

My theory is that any kind of steampunk/airship aspects are going to please me thanks to JRPGs from the ’90s and so Fractale had enough of time spent flying around that I can definitely mention that as a plus.

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind

Maybe I’m being a bit hard on this one – in terms of the heading of this post – because I liked this plenty… but the ending was so rushed and compressed that I felt a little sad at the end.

On the other hand, this has a fair few stand-out character designs from Katsuya Kondō (familiar to Ghibli fans no doubt) and so watching it offered feelings of familiarity.

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise

Ah, a space-race film with animation so good that it nearly sank Gainax before the studio took off.

I exaggerate a little I guess, but it is really grand – fluid and detailed, there are so many stunning sequences throughout. I love the assassination attempt or the race to Riquinni’s place to mention just two. (The world-building is pretty ace also).


Children of the Whales

The art style I liked a fair bit – and maybe the obvious work placed into developing how an isolated society might operate, though maybe the credit there goes to Abi Umeda’s manga?


I might add to this if I finish more anime that I don’t really enjoy – but for now, this is what I’ve got!

Seen any of these?

On Liking (Nearly) Everything

If you’ve seen any of my reviews over the last year and a bit here at the Heap then you might have noticed that there aren’t a whole host of 2 or 1 star scores. (And thus it probably seems like I enjoy everything).

In a way that’s true – because if I’m not enjoying something, I probably won’t finish it, or sometimes won’t review it. I also don’t seek out things I suspect I won’t enjoy, and thus, when I do review a film or a series it’s mostly getting 3-5 stars because I’m only writing about stuff I liked.

In addition, I’m quite easy to please when it comes to the media I consume 😀

So to counter this, I’ve rustled up some reviews that are actually lower than 3 stars, just to… prove to myself that I don’t like everything?

And so here they are, the lowest rated anime titles I’ve mentioned here at The Review Heap (so far…):

Fractale

Wildly uneven tone on what was almost a magical adventure (as I saw it).

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind

If this hadn’t been so rushed near the end I would have loved this for sure!

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise

Worth seeing… maybe, even if the lead is kinda terrible (in more ways than one).


And there we go – only three so far, but I do have one coming up that I think will be 2.5 so one day I can update this post, I guess!

Update – found one more!

Children of Whales

Fractale (Furakutaru)

Fractale had some interesting concepts and nice animation… but really wildly inconsistent tone and approach to some of the themes.

Fractale (Furakutaru)
2011

At times there were nice dashes of humour (and you can see the fingerprints of Laputa and Nadia Secret of Blue Water here) but the flickering from violent to moé elements, to super-creepy then high-spirited adventure, and then philosophical… it was really jumping around too much for me.

I have read that director Yutaka Yamamoto (the guy who has been quoted as saying adult anime fans who were obsessed were ‘handicapped’) claimed that he wanted to “overthrow the ‘moé anime Yamamoto Yutaka’ image” and it seems the director felt pressure to do just that… and maybe that’s why the series really missed the mark, for me. Supposedly he’s retiring again this year?

I don’t think Fractale pulled off that true sense of adventure or the gradual reveal of the darkness either – even the ultra bright colour palette seemed to clash with the more mature moments.

Anyway, I’m not sure I could recommend Fractale for fans of those other texts I mentioned in the end… because it seems that those comparative aspects were meant to function more as a cloak for the attempt at deconstruction.

I do think that Fractale had some genuinely funny moments and I did like a lot of the character design but ultimately, too many great ideas just weren’t explored deeply enough for me, or worse, were sadly mishandled.

2 Stars

Perhaps the best shot in the series for me.