The Dragon Dentist Film Review

The massive dragon

From the creator of Evangelion, Hideaki Anno, The Dragon Dentist is an odd anime at first. Released in 2017, Dragon Dentists story takes place in Dragon Country. The main character is Nonoko, a new dentist, who’s job it is to protect the dragon from tooth cavity. She’s tasks with entering the jaws of the dragon keeping them clean from plaque and decay. Dragon Dentist is a retelling of World War 2. Japan uses dragons to support their troops. These gargantuan Dragons have one weakness, their teeth.

Bell and Nonoko

Nonoko finds a young boy from an enemy country named Bell, that appears to have been resurrected by the Dragon. Together they battle against the bacteria. There’s clearly a divide between the Military and the Dentist. They come into conflict many times in this movie. The first thing you notice about the Dragon Dentist is it’s animation. I was originally, drawn to the film when I saw some clips on a YouTube video. With former animators from Gainax and creators from FLCL, Tsurumaki Kazuya and Enokido Youji, The Dragon Dentist is well done.

The Wisdom tooth. LOL. Get it.

While it excels at animation it lags in story. The Dragon Dentist has a more significant story to tell than clean the teeth of Dragons. For example, when someone dies they go into an afterlife that is on the “other side of the teeth.” The higher message was lost on me. It may not be an issue with the story telling but my comprehension of the message. Furthermore, the existence of dragons isn’t explained. In addition to that a character named Salvatore Bianco is somehow immortal? He can’t be killed by weapons, it’s never explained why. Regardless, even with all it faults I like this anime, I think you will too.

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Steamboy Movie Review

Steamboy is the second film from the legendary manga artist and director, Katsuhiro Otomo. Known for the classic anime and manga series, Akira. As a result, Steamboy was always going to be held to a very high standard. Steamboy is a 2004 anime film produced by Sunrise, written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The film took a decade to produce and is one of the most expensive Japanese movies ever.

The movie is set in an alternate nineteenth century Europe. Scientist Lloyd Steam and his son have discovered a pure mineral water in Iceland. This water is believed to be a potential unlimited power source for steam engines. While experimenting, Edward is engulfed by freezing gases, as the pipes burst. Ray Steam the son of Edward receives a package from his grandfather. It’s a metallic ball, along with instructions telling him to guard the ball. Two members from the “O’Hara Foundation” try to steal the ball.

Ray escapes with the ball on his monowheel invention, a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, he’s eventually captured. Ray has dinner with Scarlett O’Hara, the granddaughter of the foundation’s head, Archibald Simon the companies administrator and his father Edward that has been given mechanical parts after his accident. Ray is asked to help complete the “Steam Castle,” a facility that is powered by three steam balls.

Lloyd later informs Ray that the foundation intends to use the new technology to manufacture weapons. Ray escapes with a ball again and this time manages to give it to Robert Stephenson, who then uses it to power his tanks. The steam castle becomes mobile and then goes off course. The castle then becomes unstable and is about to explode near the city. Lloyd, Ray and Edward manage to divert it away from the civilians. The ending shows that Ray becomes a superhero named Steamboy.

This movie was boring. The action was repetitive, Ray steals a steam ball THREE times and his grandfather gets arrested and escapes twice. It was predictable, everyone lives. The concept that a evil corporation uses science to make a profit while making the world worst off is a common narrative. The only thing that’s great about this movie is it’s spectacular animation. The CGI and animation work well together and Otomo hard work paid off resulting in amazing detail. However, it doesn’t save the movie.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos Review

Fullmetal Alchemist – The Sacred Star of Milos is an animated move adapted from the manga and the “second anime movie“ from the Full Metal Alchemist series. It’s based after the evens of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Basically the Elric brothers find themselves in conundrum. After they have a brief altercation with an escaped convict named Melvin Voyager. Capable of using ice and lightning from alchemy from circles drawn from blood from his hand, they learn from Roy Mustang that Voyager escaped with only six months remaining on his sentence.

They decided to head towards Table City to investigate further. While on the train the brothers are further accosted by a Chimera and a terrorist group called Black Bats. The brothers meet Julia Crichton, a 16-year-old girl that was arrested, then rescued by Melvin and the Black Bats. Confusion ensues, Julia turns out to be a Milosian in search of a way to save her people. The power she seeks is the “Sanguine Star”, Ed and Al quickly realize that she’s referring to a philosopher stone. Set on preventing blood shed that will likely result, they decided to help.

Overall, I loved the movie, the story itself while enjoyable wasn’t particularly interesting. Most of these anime movies are not really meant to be anything more that a fun outing for familiar characters to fight new villains you’ll never see again. The animation was without a doubt is spectacular, and with connection to thrilling action sequences is really what makes the movie shine. If there’s any downside to this movie is the fact that popular characters like Col. Mustang, Hawkeye and Armstrong were absent for most of the film even though they do appear briefly in the movie. Fullmetal Alchemist: Sacred Star of Milos can be skipped. It’s fun enough to anyone that loves anime, but not really essential viewing for fans of the series.

Director Kazuya Murata, Script Yuichi Shinpo, Running Time 1h 50m Box Office $7,579,282, Screenplay Yuichi Shinbo, Cinematography Yoshiyuki Takei


Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Dragon Ball Super: Broly becomes the 3rd all-time Anime movie in U.S.

According to Box Office Mojo, Dragon Ball Super: Broly has earned an estimated $3.6 million over the weekend. Collectively it has grossed over $28 million in the U.S. and Canada. This now puts Dragon Ball Super: Broly third behind Pokemon: The first Movie and Pokemon 2000- The Movie. The combined domestic and foreign total is more than $98 million. The previous Dragon Ball movie, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F grossed over $8 million at the U.S. box office.


Dragon Ball Project Z game teaser trailer

Bandai Namco Entertainment revealed a trailer for the upcoming action RPG. The trailer reveals that the game will be released for the PS4, XBox One and Stream in 2019.

Source: ANN

The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky Review

  • Streamed on: Netflix
  • Directed by: Noriyuki Abe (Chief)/Yasuto Nishikata
  • Distributed by: Toei Animation
  • Story by: Nakaba Suzuki

The film opens with the Seven Deadly Sins seeking rare ingredients for the celebration of the King’s birthday. Only, Meliodas fails to collect his ingredient the sky fish. He and the pig Hawk end up in the land in the sky. He’s mistaken for Sorada, the winged son of a warrior leader Zoria. The real Sorada, a celestial is mistaken for Meliodas by the Seven Deadly Sins. That doesn’t remain true for long as his wings give him away.

It is revealed that the seal that has trapped the Demon Clan for 3000 years is about to disappear. The great “Oshiro-sama” which is a pig-like deity that Hawk is mistaken for is the key to stopping them. Sorada declines the offer from the Seven Deadly Sins to help him find Oshiro-sama. He flies away and is attacked by a puppet of Gara of the Six Black Knights. She evaporates the spring preventing the Seven Deadly Sins and Sorada from returning to the Sky Temple through it.

The second black Knight revealed, Dahaka attacks the Sky Kingdom consuming the souls of many celestial soldiers. Meliodas faces off against him and effortless defeats him. However, Hawk is given all the credit for the victory. Somehow Master Zoria is still under the impression that Meliodas is his son, after being told he’s not several times. As the celestial’s begin their ceremony the demon clan is released. Personally, I think the character designs of the black knights are terrible.

Regardless, Meliodas faces off against the leader Bellion. While Hawk kinda fights Derocchio in a rather funny encounter. The rest of the Seven Deadly Sins arrive and split off to fight the Six Black Knights. Ban battles Pump, Merlin faces off against Derocchio, King and Gowther fight Atollah. The battles are where the movies is at it’s best. The animation during these action scenes are impressive. All the battles are well done and the main strength of this movie. The plot isn’t really complicated and largely just a set up for the battle between the Seven Deadly Sins and Six Black Knights. Basically if you seen any shonen anime movie, you would be able to predict this one.

Overall, The Seven Deadly Sins: Prisoners of the Sky is a generic shonen anime movie. It won’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t need to. A predictable story doesn’t undercut the phenomenal action sequences or humor. The film is fun and any fan of shonen anime or manga would enjoy it. The villains are forgettable, being reduced largely to cannon fodder. However, you could skip to the action portion and not miss too much.

Your Name, one of the greatest anime movies

With 2016 is coming to an end, I thought that it was important to review the highest grossing film in Japan this year ($172 million) and the second highest grossing anime film of all time ($288 million). The film has received critical acclaim, earning 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 81 out of 100 on Metacritic.

Who created Your Name

Your Name is from the director Makoto Shinkai, who created Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second. It’s based on the novel of the same name, it premiered during the Anime Expo 2016 convention on July 3, 2016. Your Name was animated by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho.

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What’s it about

The story centers on a high school girl named Mitsuha who wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in another life. A boy named Taki, wakes up and realizes that he is now Mitsuha. Taki and Mitsuha switch bodies, they communicate through leaving paper notes and memos in their phones.

Rising anime talent Makoto Shinkai concocts an outlandish and enormously entertaining  romance whose central couple spontaneously begins body-swapping. – Variety

They begin to interfere in each others lives, Mitsuha helps Taki being a relationship with a coworker, Miki Okudera. Taki increases Mitsuha’s popularity in high school. Suddenly, Taki and Mitsuha return to their previous bodies. Taki begins searching for Mitsuha, without having the name of her village, he uses sketches that he created by memory.

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Shonen Ace Feb 2017

He is finally told by a restaurant server that he’s looking for Itomori. However, he is informed that a fragment of comet Taimat fell to earth three years ago, killing a third of Itomori population. Taki searches through the names of fatalities and sees Mitsuha name listed. He realizes that Mitsuha existed on the completely different timeline.

Pop Culture Successes Point to Warming Relations Between China and Japan – Variety

Taki drinks an offering that Mitsuha leaves behind and returns to her body. He attempts to save the town, managing to convince her friends to help her evacuate the town. Eventually, they finally meet, Taki tells Mitsuha to convince her father to evacuate the town. Their memories of each other begin to fade and Mitsuha begins to give up on Taki.

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However, after inspiration from Taki’s “I love you,” she begs her father to evacuate the town a second time. The comet crashes into Itomori, it is revealed eight years later that Mitsuha succeeded in convincing her father to evacuate the town. Taki has moved on, living his life, he graduates from university. However, he does have a fondness for items from Itomori. Finally, while riding on parallel trains they see each other and finally ask each other their names.

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Opinion

I generally don’t gravitate towards anime outside of the typical Shonen type, however, the critically acclaim of this movies made me curious. I’ll admit that I really liked this movie. I cared about Taki and Mitsuha, their relationship and was sad when I found out she had initially died. Even with it’s heartbreak, Your Name does have some humor. The tendency of Taki to fondle Mitsuha’s breast’s when inhabiting her body, while juvenile, was still funny. Finally, the animation is some of the best you will ever see. Even if your not a fan of romance (like me), any anime fan will enjoy this movie. Check it out. Happy New Year.

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Is the latest One Piece movie a hit?

One Piece movies can be hit or miss. The tenth One Piece movie, One Piece Film: Strong World was good but I didn’t like the eleventh one, One Piece 3D: Straw Hat Chase. However, the previous One Piece movie, One Piece Film: Z is my favorite so far. The latest One Piece movie, One Piece Film: Gold falls in between 10th and 12th movies. 

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What is it about?

Set in Gran Tesoro, an independent country chartered by the World Government, home of the world’s greatest entertainment city where well-known pirates, Marines, and millionaires throughout the world gather in an “absolute sanctuary” that even the World Government can’t touch.

There, the Straw Hat Pirates meet the ruler of the country, the golden emperor, Gild Tesoro, who easily wins pirates, the Marines, and even the World Government over to his side with money. He is about to take action to satisfy his bottomless ambition which may result in major changes in power relationships in the New World.

(Source: onepiece.wikia.com)

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How’s the movie?

One Piece movies have been inconsistent when it comes to quality of animation, but Gold is beautifully rendered. I’ll admit that by the time movie ended I couldn’t stand the sight of gold. Gold basically puts the Strawhat’s in a heist movie, full of scams and double crosses. The story is rather simple and straight forward, but very funny overall. The general formula for a One Piece movie is followed without many surprises. As a villain Tesoro is typical and his powers aren’t as interesting as previous One Piece villains. His backstory was more interesting but didn’t get a thorough telling and was simply a series of flashbacks. If it was intended to illicit sympathy for Tesoro it failed.  

onepiecegoldreview

How are the fights?

The hallmark of a good One Piece movie are the fight scenes, this movie had several. Like most One Piece movies the fight between Luffy and the main villain (Tesoro) take center stage, leaving the rest to be quickly concluded without much detail. The most egregious example of this is Sabo vs Rob Lucci, any fan of One Piece would love to see that fight in it’s entirety. Overall, I found the fights to be unsatisfying. 

Should I watch this movie?

I think this movie fails on many level’s. It had potentially to tell a greater story and didn’t. The backstory of Tesoro could have been shared at a greater length for a larger impact. Something felt missing, when you consider that the World Government and The Revolutionary Army were in this move. It felt like the were miss used. Overall, if you love One Piece you’ll enjoy this movie, the action and animation are pretty good. 

For more reviews: 

EVANGELION:1.0 Review, Killing Angels with Giant Robots

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Evangelion: 1.01 You Are (Not) Alone is the first of four movies in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy. Hideaki Anno was unsatisfied with the original series from the 90’s, aiming to recreate Evangelion. Evangelion: 1.0 retells the first six episodes of the original series, with mild changes to the plot and characters to create greater clarity. Any fan of the original series may have been confused by it’s complicated plot and complex themes. The story is condensed removing a lot of the unnecessary plot points. The often dreary tone of the series is alter, as the sadness characters experience is limited.

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Evangelion series vs Evangelion: 1.0

Evangelion: 1.0 quickly gets past the introduction, greatly improving on the pace, while still successfully conveying the main plot. However, for the most part the story is presented as the original series. Shinji is a teenage pilot, tasked with saving humanity. He pilots a bio mechanical hybrid mecha called an Evangelion. The battles between these EVA’s and the monsters called Angels are still brutal and intense. The most visible change in the film is the noticeable improvement in the animation. Shinji as a character is also improved, as he was extremely neurotic and simply annoying to viewers.

5th Angel, Shamshel
Shamshel, the fifth Angel from the Evangelion series.

The biggest issue regarding Evangelion: 1.0, is the consequence of condensing and editing several episodes into one movie. The story is feels rushed at times, that said, the remake of the first six episodes is well worth viewing. Evangelion: 1.0 accomplishes what Anno set out to do, retelling the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, while enhancing the animation, making the characters, and plot more understandable. It’s still not for the faint of heart as the brutal violence is still represented. With the first film in the tetralogy being so well received, the next three in the series should be even better.

Production Info:

Chief Director: Hideaki Anno, Director: Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Screenplay: Hideaki Anno, Storyboard: Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi, Tomoki Kyoda, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Unit Director: Hiroshi Haraguchi, Music: Shiro Sagisu, Original creator: Hideaki Anno, Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Art Director: Hiroshi Kato, Tatsuya Kushida, Chief Animation Director: Shunji Suzuki, Animation Director: Kazuchika Kise, Hidenori Matsubara, Yuji Moriyama, Atsushi Okuda, Mechanical design: Ikuto Yamashita, Cgi Director: Hiroyasu Kobayashi, Co-Director: Kobun Shizuno, Director of Photography: Toru Fukushi, Executive producer: Toshimichi Ootsuki.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (Review)

 

battle02CG Final Fantasy movies are usually disappointing. Despite the high quality of the CG the movies tend to be unimpressive. Kingsglaive is at least a step up from previous movies in the series. The film is directed by Takeshi Nozue, written by Takashi Hasegawa, and produced by Hajime Tabata. Kingsglaive is a companion movie to the upcoming FF15 game.

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The general plot is that the Kingdom of Lucis houses a crystal that protects it. The empire of Niflheim is attempting to steal this crystal. The Kingsglaive is an elite force of solider’s that protect Lucis. King Regis is given an ultimatum. Marry his son, Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya and surrender his lands to the rule of Niflheim.

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As the Kingsglaive betray the Kingdom of Lucis, the crystal that protected the kingdom is stolen. At this point the “Ring of the Lucii,” becomes a central part of movie. As the kingdom falls apart, the Kingsglaive solider, Nyx Ulric is called to protect the princess. The princess is asked to give the ring to Noctis. King Regis is killed in front of them by imperial general Glauca.

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They escape, only to be tracked down by Glauca. Before they battle Nyx puts on the ring and confronts the past Kings of Lucis. In exchange for his life, he is give the power of the ring. He and Glauca engage in epic battle. Their fight ends with Nyx mortally wounding Glauca and dying at dawn due to his agreement with the Kings. The movie ends with Princess Lunafreya leaving with the Ring to find Noctis.

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While I generally enjoyed the film, it still has major problems. First the story is better than the previous FF movies. However, that’s not a large compliment. The dialogue is dull and the story is linear. The use of the style of fighting, where the user throws his sword and teleports to it is cool, but extremely hard to track. When the Kingsglaive betray’s the kingdom, there’s no way to tell who’s who. I guess this was done on purpose to set some sort of suspense, but I wasn’t invested in any of the characters to care who died anyway. I was mostly just confused.

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The characters were at least distinctive in their appearance. However, the magical meets mechanical was a bit distracting. The armor of the soldiers made them stand out, but not for good reasons. They looked liked they didn’t belong in the world or at least were over dressed. The CGI in this movie is stunning, the monsters, characters and environments look real. Regardless of it’s downsides, this movie is excellent for anyone who wants to know what happens before the game starts. If you watch for nothing else the beginning war scene and the final battle is worth seeing.

Other Reviews:

Anime Review: Little Witch Academia

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Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade is the Kickstarter-funded sequel to the acclaimed “Little Witch Academia“, released in 2013. This sequel has proven to be a worthy heir to its predecessor. Created by the famed Studio Trigger*, the story continues to follow the story from the previous movie. We follow the main protagonist Akko Kagari, her classmates the nerdy Lotte Yanson and the gothic Sucy Mambavaran.

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They continue their magical education at Luna Nova Magical Academy and appear to be performing inadequately. They create a monstrosity out of “brownie and a poisonous mushroom”, resulting in the unfortunate poisoning of their classmates. They are punished (again) for their poor behavior and are tasked with organizing this year’s “Witch Festival”. They are joined by three fellow troublemakers, thief Amanda O’Neill, Constanze Braunschweig Albrechtsberger manufacturer and seller of illegal high-tech devices and Jasmineka Antonenko food thief.

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Akko decides that she will take charge and change the narrative of the tradition festival, showing witches in a positive light. Akko shows that she is immature and self-centered. She ignore’s the opinions of her friends and alienates them in the process. Feel down and out after a series of setbacks Akko becomes inspired by her idol Chariot. She heads to the library and begins to study magic in preparation of the festival. Akko invites her friends to join her, she along with Amanda use a rod to steal some magic for the festival.

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During the festival, things start off well. However, several of the towns boys harras them and steal their magical rod. The stolen rod’s magic awakens a sleeping giant that attacks the townspeople. Ursula, the teacher of Akko uses her magic to distract the townspeople and include the attack into the festival itself. Together the witches come together to subdue the giant and improve the perception of the Witches.

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Overall, Little Witch Academia takes what made the previous movie in the series so exceptional, and expands on the world and the characters. Studio Trigger continues to impress with their animation style that made other series like Kill La Kill, Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt stand out Animes. The fluid nature of the animation with the muted color gives a lively feel. While the story was predictable and the characters were formulaic, LWA remains a standard for good anime.

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The Good:

  • LWA’s plot and characters are predictable, but this doesn’t hinder the enjoyment of the story. 
  • The animation quality of the series remains spectacular.
  • The world of LWA is expanded.

The Bad:

  • The series alludes to the “history” of witches being persecuted. I think this series could have expanded on this aspect of the universe, instead it was glossing over it.
  • The rules of magic haven’t been explained. The series doesn’t leave the viewer completely ignorant, but depth would be appreciated. 
  • Only a movie, not a full series. I probably being a little ungrateful here, but if there is an anime that needs a series it’s LWA.

The Verdict: 4.9/5

*Several of the founding members of Studio Trigger worked with Gainax.