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

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind (Kumo no yō ni Kaze no yō ni)

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind (Kumo no yō ni Kaze no yō ni) 1990

Like the Clouds, Like the Wind has a bit of a history as a ‘mistaken Ghibli film’ and if you’ve done any reading about it you’ll be aware that Katsuya Kondō’s memorable character designs were a part of that misconception.

And while the animation quality is probably higher than for some OVAs of the time (especially the action sequences) I suspect where the film reveals some real flaws is in the adaptation – as it becomes extremely rushed at one point. As I’ve said about a few films here and there in my reviews, this would have been a great mini-series. Based on a historical/romance novel from the year prior, it’s a story set in the 17th century and follows a young girl who seeks to become a wife (concubine, really) of China’s Emperor.

Ginga is that young girl, and she’s a plucky lead with enough spark to be engaging. At times, the supporting cast is as good but with such a compressed running time, not many characters get a chance to be more than their single role. Worse than that, is probably the last third of the movie. After a good build up, establishing some intrigue and conflict, the film just hits fast-forward.

Events that should have massive impact on Ginga are just glossed over in a rush to the ending, which is kinda anti-climactic after the first two-thirds. I was pretty disappointed and maybe my rating reflects the hope that I’d had for Like the Clouds, Like the Wind but I do think a lot of viewers would have a similar reaction. It is really interesting to see such a cosmopolitan court featured in the film, though that aspect isn’t supposed to be the main draw.

I suspect it was meant to be more along the lines of a historical romance, as per the novel, but with only 80 minutes I just think there wasn’t enough time to show the audience everything they needed to see, especially in terms of character relationships.

2.5 Stars