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

Not the Top Reviews from the First 6 Months

Following on from the previous post I’ve not been able to come up with a proper heading for this one but basically – these weren’t the top posts re: reader interest but I want to revisit them anyway, because I either hope I did a good job or wrote about texts that were memorable or maybe new to me in some way.

Okay, let’s go:

June – Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

July – Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise

August – Vampire Hunter D

September – Made in Abyss

October – B The Beginning

November – Miss Hokusai

Done! So they were some of the other reviews where I maybe added some different things in compared to a ‘regular’ review or learnt something new about a classic or even just finally caught up to everyone else on a popular show 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Ashley

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (Ōritsu Uchūgun: Oneamisu no Tsubasa)

Before the success of Gunbuster and then Nadia (the profits of which I believe were devoured by NHK anyway) or Neon Genesis, Gainax was nearly buried by the poor (compared to its budget) financial performance of a film called Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise.

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (Ōritsu Uchūgun: Oneamisu no Tsubasa) 1987

Obviously, if you’re familiar with anime in general or the roots of Gainax specifically, you’ll be aware of this cult classic and it’s extremely high production values.

If you’re not, one glance at the cover and title – and knowing the studio’s other work around the late 1980s – will have you thinking, cool, space battles and action! Well, the film is actually a lot closer to a drama based on the space race of the 1950s. That and the personal journey of a kinda dead-eyed ‘hero’ whose apathy is not only a character flaw but a real chore to watch, as I found out last year when I finally saw Wings.

Does that mean it’s not worth watching? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what you’re looking for, of course. If you want a dull, even cruel male lead who eventually gains a spine and some purpose during the course of the film, then yeah this might be worth a look.

I had trouble with his emptiness, his bizarre choice of sexual assault at one point and cruelty towards children but Shiro maybe has a soul, I guess.

The film itself is again, really beautifully animated and on a par or exceeds the work of most other major studios of the day and of course, it holds up today.

There’s also a really impressive level of detail on the settings and establishing an ‘otherworldly yet familiar’ look to the places. The pacing is slower, as befitting a drama, and that’s not a problem, and the few action sequences throughout are definitely exciting, especially the assassination attempt, but overall the film left me feeling somewhat cold.

When I finished Wings of Honnêamise I was glad to have seen it but I doubt I’ll recommend it very often, despite its stunning visuals and attention to detail.  

2 Stars