This is going to be a quick review of the release of this amazing film on blu ray. We caught A Silent Voice in the cinema during its theatrical release and gave it big thumbs up. If you missed that review, you can catch it here.
So I honestly don’t know what I was actually thinking when I said ‘I would like to review this one for the site’. When I got this copy thank to our friends from Madman Entertainment I looked at the rating and said to myself I just need to be open minded and give it a go.
‘The Testament of Sister New Devil’ is that show you can only watch on your own, late at night. It isn’t your regular fan service series, however it is an intriguing series no less. The plot *as dumb as it sounds* of Basara, an adolescent guy who has been wanting to be a brother to a sister has his wish granted when his father remarries and he ends up with two step sisters, Mio and Maria. The ‘sisters’ of course are not what they seem, one being a newly formed demon and the other a succumbus. Of course this leads to Basara revealing his true self, however this also leads to him becoming Mio’s master, leading the characters to over the top Ecchi situations. Wild, I know.
Now, I am really open minded when it comes to series like these and I generally try to find the positives. What I will say is that the animation is really well done, and the dub is very cleaver, but this series is just not my cup of tea. Sometimes the ecchi moments just got too extreme and unnecessary at times, and the whole ‘sister’ thing was just not good. Surprisingly there is a moderately decent plot but this is that series that is clearly in for the over the top fan service and ecchi.
Did I love it? no, did I hate it? no, I am in that fine line where I could have loved it if it wasn’t so over the top with certain moments, but I am definitely wondering the mind frame of the original creators of this particular story. If you are a fan of fan service and ecchi than this is the one for you.
Personally, I rate it 2/5.
Wasn’t really my cup of tea.
The Testament of Sister New Devil Complete Season One is out now! For more information click the DVD image below.
Yes, it’s that time of year again when we all get excited as the Madman Anime Festival rolls into Melbourne for 2017. Last year was the debut of the festival, put together by Australia’s largest distributor of quality anime, manga and heaps more otaku goodies, Madman. 2017 also saw the festival branch out to Perth and Brisbane before hitting up Melbourne for the last local convention of the year.
Japandaman will be at both days joined by Japandaman.com editor, Farrah! We’ll be doing our weeb best to bring you pictures and videos of all the fun and action going down over the weekend. Make sure you check out our social media links below and give us a follow so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
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See you all there!!
Is This A Zombie?, or Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka, from Studio Deen is one anime I’d always missed out on seeing but finally got around to and let me say, the wait was totally worth it!
For those new to the series, the main protagnist Ayumu Aikawa has the unfortunate luck of being a victim of the neighbourhood serial killer. Lucky for him though, necromancer Eucliwood Hellscythe, or Eu for short, brings him back to life as an undead zombie. Eu doesn’t speak a word and instead communicates with handwritten notes. As if that wasn’t complicated enough, she moves in with him where he takes up the mantle of her servant. Upon battling one of the monsters in the series known as Megalos, he encounters Haruna, a Magical Girl.
During the battle, he accidentally absorbs her powers resulting in him becoming a new Magical Girl complete with cute Lolita outfit. Haruna also decides to move in with him and Eu resulting in hilarious encounters. Thrown into the mix some other interesting characters as well as an encounter with the serial killer who murdered Ayumu in the first place and you have a fantastic series loaded with fun, action and beautiful animation thrown in.
I found the story a bit reminiscent of Bleach with the whole substitute Magical Girl angle but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Did I mention that it’s loaded full of fan service? If this is your thing, then this series has it in spades. Upskirts, panty shots, very busty females, there’s very little left to the imagination.
The packaging itself from Madman is really attractive though with a bright pink sleeve and attractive artwork, front and back. The discs themselves are beautiful as well although the only gripe I have is that they don’t mention Season 1 or Season 2 on them. The packs is a 4 disc set so if you mix the discs up, you really have no way of knowing which order they go in. If the season was printed on them, I couldn’t find them. I just had a quick look as I was typing this to double check and damn…the artwork on the discs is really exquisite!
Overall, this is a great package with a fun series that doesn’t take itself too seriously and audio/commentaries, trailers and textless openings/closings.
*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*
Final score: 7.5/10
Erased is a stunning story from writer and illustrator, Kei Sanbe, and involves drama, tension, murder and that ever popular theme, time travel. The Blu Ray used in this review is Volume 1 which contains the first 6 episode, the next volume is coming next month from Madman.
Erased tells the story of Satoru Fujinuma, a young male who has the ability to travel back in time through a process he calls, “Revival”. Revival seems to be triggered by a life changing event that’s about to occur around him. He see the events of the time shift and as he realised he’s watching future events, he’s thrown back to the past to prevent it from happening.
Satoru is a part time pizza deliver driver for Oasi Pizza where he is also friends with a female high schooler, Airi Katagiri, who becomes caught up in Satoru’s life after she becomes aware of his gift. Satoru makes ends meet by also being a manga artist. His life is altered forever after his mother is tragically murdered due to witnessing a kidnapping in progress. This event triggers Satoru’s Revival and transports him back in time to when he was a young boy of only 10 years of age. Some how during this time, he needs to set in place a series of events which will cause a ripple through time to hopefully alter the events of his future timeline.
Needless to say this sets the scene for a cracking pace in the anime, a pave which rarely lets down and see each episode finish on a cliffhanger every single time. People you come to like in the series will ultimately end up being completely different people and it becomes a case of Trust No One. The episode that this volume finishes on is a particular stressful and tense episode and will have you screaming, “Nooo!!” at your TV, hungry for the next instalment. It features stunning animation, an amazing soundtrack with great, likeable characters.
If you haven’t seen it, then you’re doing yourself a MASSIVE disservice and it’s a story that is so rich, so well told and crafted with all the necessary elements to support it and make it become an addition to your collection.
*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*
Final score: 10/10
The Red Turtle is an animated feature film collaboration between French company, Wild Bunch and famed Japanese animation house, Studio Ghibli. It’s at times beautiful, haunting, suspenseful and ultimately depressing and sad but don’t let that detract you from watching this stunning film.
The film tells the story of a young man who finds himself shipwrecked on an island who quickly learns that he has to fend for himself on this idyllic remote land. He sets about building a raft to take him away and hopefully back to civilisation however the first two times in his attempt, the raft crashed into something under water which ultimately destroys the raft leaving him to swim back to shore. It isn’t until his third attempt that he encounters the source of the impact, a large red turtle.
After making it back to shore and watching from a mountain, he sees the turtle come to land which leads him to running back to it and flipping it onto its back, believing that this time his attempt to escape will be successful. However during one night, he has a strange dream which convinces him the turtle is actually his salvation so after waking he tries to flip the turtle back but he’s unable to to and it appears that the turtle dies. However the next day, the turtle transforms into a woman who the man nurses back to life and the story delves into their life from surviving a massive natural disaster which rocks the island to raising their baby son together.
I don’t want to disclose more of the story suffice to say, this isn’t what you would call a feel good story and to be quite honest, during the viewing I had mixed emotions ranging from bemusement, sadness and hopelessness. There are funny moments during the film such a family of crabs which follow the man around during his solo days and almost seem to see him off during his escape attempts yet are waiting for him on the sand when he emerges from the water each time. It’s quite beautiful how Ghibli films have a knack for not just having the main characters being the focus of the story but how the most unassuming objects in the setting lend a hand to carry the narrative. In this case, the makers know that the film is quite depressing and inject these moments to add some levity and softer moments and for the most part they do their part.
One important thing to note is that there is no dialogue during the film whatsoever so it’s a testament to the storytellers that they can run a film for close to 90 minutes without having a slow or boring moment. Just when you think you know how the film’s going to end up, something changes to keep you on your toes and it’s moments like this that make you realise you’re not just watching another animated feature. The animation is very Ghibli-esque and in particular, the three characters have all look amazing. I couldn’t find out what technology was used to animate but it looks like they’ve been motion captured as the end result is quite stunning with a striking visual look.
It’s because go the way that it’s presented that I found it hard to score this film so I’ve had to go with two scores. One for the story and one for the animation and overall presentation. Keep in mind that despite the foreboding message throughout the film, it’s still quite essential watching for any Studio Ghibli fans and only serves to build their impressive roster of rich storytelling and, at times, adult concepts. If you get the chance, give it a watch and let us know what you think of it.
*Thanks to Madman for review copy*
Story: 6.5/10 – Dark, moody, depressing. Watch when you’re in a really, really good mood.
Overall presentation: 8.5/10
Ok, this next bit of news is probably the most excited I’ve been in a long time! Madman recently announced that they’re bringing a Studio Ghibli celebration to Australian cinemas with CELEBRATE STUDIO GHIBLI. This is an event that will run for one month showcasing the beautiful Ghibli movies beginning from August 24th through to September 20th, 2017 across Australia and New Zealand.
The event will see all 22 Studio Ghibli movies in a theatrical release format to entertain long time fans and newcomers alike. Here’s a brief list of what you can expect to see in the cinema: My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso, My Neighbors The Yamadas and as a special treat for the first time in Australia and New Zealand cinema, Ocean Waves.
As well as showcasing the Ghibli animated catalogue, there will also be special screenings of documentaries including The Kindgom of Dreams and Madness and Isao Takahata and His Tale of The Princess Kaguya. not to be left out, Ghiblies Episode 2 (2002) short film, and On Your Mark (1995), the animated music video for Japanese rock duo Chage & Aska will also feature.
And as a bonus, the opening night of each film will see attendees receiving an exclusive, commemorative CELEBRATE STUDIO GHIBLI A1 print designed by multi-award-winning Australian artist, writer and filmmaker, Shaun Tan (THE LOST THING, THE ARRIVAL).
For more info on the opening night specials, keep checking Japandaman for updates. We’ll have the updates on our Facebook page and Twitter as well. And don’t forget to check the official site for session times and screening locations.
One Punch Man is an absolute gem of a series filled with interesting characters, funny moments, beautifully choreographed fight scenes and a dollop on stunning animation. For those of you that have still to discover this series, I’ll give you a breakdown below and why you need to get into this!
The anime revolves around Saitama, the titular superhero character who has the ability to defeat foes with a single punch. This all comes in very handy as he lives in Z-City, a metropolis that is completely saturated with super villains and monsters as well. We soon learn that he gained his abilities by sticking to a strict regimen of a 10km run, doing 100 pushups, 100 squats, 100 sit ups and also by having a healthy diet. And also by doing all this without using a heater or air conditioner.
He’s quite bored and complacent with this however as life no longer presents him with any challenges but things take a turn for the better when he meets and befriends Genos. Genos is a teenage cyborg who looks up to Saitama as his senpai and the two develop a close bond and friendship.
As the series unfolds, we see that Genos’ family had an encounter with a cyborg which changed him forever. In this encounter, Genos was pretty much destroyed until a scientist, Dr. Kuseno, took him in and restored his cyborg body also granting him powerful and deadly abilities to seek revenge on the cyborg that altered his family.
All this plays into Saitama joining the Hero Association to be recognised for his efforts in the fight against the evil of Z-City.
OPM is a fun series that never takes itself too seriously and is loaded with many laughs along the way. So if you like your anime with a blend of action, laughs and drama, give One Punch Man a look. You’ll definitely be entertained.
Final score: 8.5/10
*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*
Straight off the bat, I’ll own up and say that I’m a massive fan of Steins;Gate. In fact, thanks to bestie Neko, it’s now my favourite anime series. So it was with bated breath that I began to watch Steins;Gate: The Movie − Load Region of Déjà Vu hoping that it didn’t tarnish the memory I had of the original series. I was relieved when ten minutes into the film, I was able to exhale with relief, safe with the knowledge that I was in for a great time.
The film picks up one year after the events of the series and all the cast is back. Rintarō Okabe, Kurisu Makise, Mayuri Shiina and more are back for more time traveling adventures. The film revolves around Okabe suffering from memory flashbacks and dizzy spells which he can’t explain and still paranoid as ever, talking to imaginary people on phone. In amongst all this, Kurisu comes back to Japan for a conference and reunites with all her old pals. Rintaro realises that these flashbacks are memories from alternate timelines that he visited in the series. In the film, he’s living in the Steins;Gate world line where Mayuri and Kurisu are still alive and the time machine never existed.
Rintaro begins to blink in and out of existence resulting in everyone losing their memories of them and it’s up to Kurisu to work out what exactly is going on and why it’s happening. I don’t really want to go into too much detail in case I accidentally give away some spoilers but if you loved the series then you’ll like this. As far as animation goes, it still uses the minimal styling seen in the series which works to great effect as it leaves all the attention on the story without relying on pretty visuals to carry the narrative.
Suffice to say, I really loved this one and I’ve been really keen to see it. The only drawback and criticism that I would have is that it was just too short. The film with end credits comes in at 90 minutes so taking the credits out, that results in a pretty feature film. Having said all that though, it really does feel like an extended episode as the writing, character behaviour and general setting of the film blend in seamlessly with the series. Give it a watch and be prepared for a thinking time travelling journey through Steins;Gate and back again.
Final score: 8.5/10
*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*