Category Archives: Anime

Satoshi Kon Movie Review Part 3: Paprika

(Left to Right): Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Paprika

This is the third and the last of my movie review series about the films of Satoshi Kon, one of the most acclaimed anime directors of our generation. You may check out my reviews for his other films Perfect Blue (1997) here and Millennium Actress/ Sennen Joyu (2001) over here.

This time I’ll be reviewing Paprika (2006), which became Satoshi Kon’s final anime film when his struggle with cancer resulted to his untimely death at the age of 46  in 2010. I thought Paprika was great and fully showcased Satoshi Kon’s signature gentle yet wildly imaginative visual style that definitely pushed the envelope of the anime medium.

Set in Japan in the very near future, Paprika is a classic science fiction tale of what happens when an incredible device—in this case a device that allows people to see and enter into dreams of others—falls into nefarious hands. At the beginning of the story, the newly created device called DC Mini is being used by detective Konakawa for an experimental treatment of his anxiety that’s being conducted by an enigmatic woman named Paprika. However, a DC Mini gets stolen from the lab and the unknown culprit threatens to waste a lot of minds, and the project is jeopardized. The culprit is able to use the DC Mini to invade the unconsciousness of people who are not even attached to a psychotherapy machine which results to making them act erratic, lapse into a coma or may experience something much worse. This prompts Dr. Chiba, one of the chief researchers on the project, to team up with her colleagues, Konakawa and eventually Paprika to discover who’s behind the theft.

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Satoshi Kon Movie Review Part 2: Millenium Actress

(Left to Right): Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Paprika

This is part 2 of my movie review series about the movies of one of the most acclaimed anime director of this generation, Satoshi Kon. I’ve already reviewed his first anime film work Perfect Blue (1997) over here which serves as part 1 of this movie review series.

For part 2, I’ll be reviewing Millenium Actress (Sennen Joyu). I thought it was such a beautiful film although it’s a bit tragic and like Perfect Blue, it’s one of my favorite anime movies and I just can’t recommend it enough!

Satoshi Kon’s 2001 anime film Millenium Actress (Sennen Joyu) begins during the present day with Genya Tachibana, a documentary filmmaker, who’s hired to make a biography of Chiyoko Fujiwara, a legendary Japanese movie star from the late 1930s to the 1960s. Known as a a recluse since her sudden retirement as an actress in the late 60s, Chiyoko surprisingly allows herself to be personally interviewed by Genya along with his young camera man Kyouji Ida. Chiyoko turns out to be such a vivid conversationalist that Genya and Kyouji are drawn into her memories as she relives her greatest roles as well as her personal life.

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R’s Thoughts: Hanasaku Iroha

Lately, I’ve been into this recent anime called Hanasaku Iroha ( 花咲くいろは) since I felt needed to watch something new and a bit light for a change. And a “slice-of-life” anime was definitely the way to go for this kind of thing. Sure enough, Hanasaku Iroha didn’t dissapoint me and I definitely enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Plus points for lifting up my spirits for the past two days!

I just literally felt like I could do this after finished watching it.

Hanasaku Iroha is a coming-of-age story of Ohana Matsumae, a 16-year-old Tokyo native who suddenly ends up working at a provincial hot spring inn owned by her estranged grandmother after her mother flees town with her  lover. Although the story is primarily centered on Ohana’s self-discovery, it also deals with the story of the three generations of women: Ohana; Satsuki, Ohana’s spirited mother and Ohana’s grandmother, Sui who owns the Kissuiso Inn. And one of the best things about the series is the relationship between the three women. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to both Satsuki and Sui (or “Okami”/Madam Manager) in the different phase of Ohana’s life.

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Satoshi Kon Movie Review Part 1: Perfect Blue

(Left to Right): Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Paprika

My love for Satoshi Kon and his movies knows no bounds. His works just confirm the status of anime as an art form that even rivals live-action cinema. Satoshi Kon was probably one of the biggest and greatest anime directors of the new generation, with these modern animation classics (refer to above image) to his name. Not the ‘was‘… Yes, sadly though he died last 2010 with his battle for liver cancer before he was able to complete his latest animation film Dreaming Machine.

This set of movie reviews had to be done. After all his works reached out far beyond the community if anime fans to a broader film community and has been internationally recognized. For a greater appreciation of Satoshi Kon and what his work is all about, I suggest you watch one of his films and I’m just a fan sharing to the interwebs my love for his animated films starting with his directorial debut Perfect Blue.

Note: I’ve yet to revisit Tokyo Godfathers and will soon review it after finishing my review of Paprika.

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Perfect Blue (1997) was Satoshi Kon’s first masterpiece: a full-length animated pyscho-suspense thriller that became one of the most memorable animated films of it’s time. I’m sure the audiences during this time were caught off guard by how surprisingly visceral and strikingly cinematic this tale of nightmarish paranoia and suspense was, considering that it was in an anime format– a medium, then, that was overlooked by many. I was certainly surprised by this one; turned out to be a definite keeper in my favorite movies list.

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The Skip Beat! Appreciation Post

FIRST OFF! Check out my two good friends’ blogs: Jerich my registered nurse, glittering Little Monster friend and Nicole/Shuboshba my sabog sheep-tending friend away from home. Give them my absolute love!

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I had too much time on my hands this week and I have to admit I slightly miss the routine that the review classes provided as well as the daily baon, which is what I miss more. To say the least, I’ve been a couch potato the past few days and I did absolutely nothing but catch up on my anime, write (online and paper) and watch more movies.

But this post… My blog had it coming I’m sure.

It’s about my rave for the weekbut I’ve been raving about this for SEVERAL WEEKS now and this post just had to happen.

 Skip BeatI AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS MANGA! Most people would initially think I’m not that kind of person given how sullen and detached I usually seem but I’m a huge fan of shoujo manga ever since and it just makes me go ballistic and all gooey and… noodle-y. Yes, I can’t believe I just said that but it’s the truth! I am a sucker of those moments of giddiness and absolutely go spazz.

Before I read the manga, I got to watch the anime first since a good friend strongly recommended it. I was really skeptical at first because initially I thought it was something… light hearted and all fluffy and random like Special A (no offense). But I got hooked and it was so unexpected and I even managed to finish the 24 episode series in 2 days. I laughed, got teary eyed and got insanely giddy for the characters! The plot was good too! But seriously the anime’s ending was terrible and I was not a satisfied fan girl. Since I couldn’t quell my anger over the how “THAT’S IT?!” was the ending, I scoured the interwebs for the manga and BOOM! That did it.

My heart ! For those who’ve read the manga or watched the anime, know that I am a Ren x Kyoko shipper! Tsuruga Ren is my current 2D dreamboat and it’s been too long since I liked 2 main characters all at once. I love Kyoko and her personality and I just think she may be the Greatest Shoujo Heroine Ever! Here I am blabbering about this and I still haven’t given you guys an idea what the manga is all about! Excuse me so here’s the short synopsis of what Skip Beat is:

Skip Beat! follows the story of Kyoko Mogami, a sixteen year-old girl who’s in love with her childhood friend, Shotaro Fuwa. Sho asks Kyoko to leave high school and her life in Kyoto behind to help him pursue a music career in Tokyo.  Sho eventually debuts as a successful young musician and one of the biggest celebrities in Japan while Kyoko was working hard to support Sho and their living expenses. However Kyoko soon learns that Sho only wanted to take her not because he reciprocates her love but only to serve as his “maid” and assistant. Heartbroken, Kyoko vows to take revenge on Sho by doing something that she knows would hurt his competitiveness and ego best: entering the entertainment industry and beat his popularity.

At this point, the manga follows Kyoko’s journey to climb the showbiz ladder and making a way for herself when she discovers she has a talent for acting. As Kyoko cultivates her acting and friendships, she soon discovers a sense of self separate from her initial plans for revenge.

Every time I finish a chapter of the manga (which comes out at an indefinite time) my heart just bleeds and I’m like:

(Note: This is actually Kyoko in the anime)

But then I’m like:

(Note: This is actually Kyoko in the manga haha!)

It happens. If you’re looking for an interesting shoujo manga that has a bit of everything in it (well except horror?) Skip Beat is the way to go. I’d go for this one given any day and seriously, bookmark those websites with available scans of the manga yes, yes?

/fangirl mode

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