Adaptations: Yay or Nay?

  Full Metal Alchemist and  Gintama 

(The live action movies)

Recently I have had the pleasure, and displeasure, of seeing a couple of live action adaptations of beloved anime.

Now I am a fan of anime, and animation in general. I like seeing the art and the skill in which the animated story is expressed. That being said, I approached these two adaptations with a bit of caution. I wasn’t really sure they could pull it off.

Full Metal Alchemist

I’m sorry if you liked this adaption, but in my mind they really didn’t pull it off. It was kind of a train wreck. For several reasons.

  • The story was a mess. It was very convoluted. If you were not familiar with the original you would probably be scratching your head at what was happening. This, in many ways, is understandable as they were trying to cram an entire season into a two hour movie. Now what they actually did was use much of the first season and a modified piece of the end. It really didn’t work well.
  • The characters. They had a bunch of them, but because of how they were written and the direction you never really got to care about any of them. FMA Brotherhood is known for some great, heart-wrenching scenes…but it depended on caring about these characters and giving them the time to develop that made the difference that just didn’t happen in this movie.
  • Th direction. It wasn’t good and the director didn’t seem to have watched the original. There are scenes that should be dark, lit for impact and mood, but that was very much missed in this movie. Taking hugely important scenes from the original anime and directing them in such a way that they took on much less significance.

    It’s hard to tell from the movie still here, but it was a bright, sunny day in the live movie and not lit or directed for the emotional impact needed.

  • The music. The opening scene music felt way out of place. I know I’m being picky, but it was the first thing I noticed.
  • Costuming and CGI. Some people have likened Ed’s actor as looking more like an excited cosplayer. That’s a little mean, but the hair does look a bit out of place. Some of the the CGI worked fine, but I think they could have utilized it better How about Ed petting/ comforting Nina-doggo?
  • The casting. I actually was okay with the casting. Ed wasn’t great, but not bad. I thought Lust and Envy were decent and the choice for Maes Hughes was good.
  • Nerdy fan stuff. No Scar, Teacher, Hohenheim, Pride, Wrath, Greed, or Sloth. No explanation of the impotance of the Ishvalen war. No explanation of the humunculi. Winry was not used well in the movie at all. Aaand Lieutenant Ross’s character was introduced by serving tea and sandwiches….so not cool.

Take a look at it, it’s currently available on Netflix. See if you like it…you may? I definitely had issues with the movie and thought it was a poor adaptation.

Gintama

I saw this one in the the theater. I overall liked it. As an adaption I thought they did a good job. This, I actually recommend seeing.

  • The story. It was good. Followed the show pretty well and was a cohesive enough of a story that you wouldn’t feel lost not knowing the source material. It was touted as a retelling of the Benizakura Arc and did a pretty good job.
  • The comedy. This was one of the movie’s weaker points, in my opinion. There were times when the actors were really trying to emulate the anime/ manga comedy faces, etc that kind of fell flat for me. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it felt forced. There were some bits of self aware comedy that were quite funny as the movie poked fun at itself or made reference to other anime.
  • CGI and costuming. I wish they had more budget for this. Some of the Amanto looked kind of hokey and some of the CGI could have been done better. But, time, budget, etc all falls into this…so I kind of just accepted that going in.
  • The casting. I thought the casting was amazing. Everyone were really good choices. I loved the choices for the Shinsengumi!
  • The action. Great fight scenes. Nice visuals. a high point.
  • Dramatic moments. It wouldn’t be Gintama if there wasn’t some dramatic monologue thrown in somewhere among the silliness. The movie did this and did it well I thought.

 

I would recommend seeing this one. Will you like it? Perhaps? I would think so…at least more than Full Metal Alchemist…

Until next time: Happy viewing!!

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30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 23

Favorite Attack Someone Used in an Anime

Hmmm….I don’t really have one that comes to mind.

Perhaps?

“Starfish Attack”!

I’m always a sucker for seeing Sunohara beaten up.

Until next time: Happy viewing!

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 15

Favorite Animal Sidekick, Pet or Summoning From Any Anime

This was honestly a harder one for me to answer. I couldn’t think of many, but I would have to say one sticks out more than the rest.

Sadaharu 

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I suppose whether Sadaharu is a pet or a full member of Yorozuya Gin Chan is arguable, but he’s my choice. An Inugami (Dog God) that had lost his original place to guard after the Amanto came, Sadaharu, no longer being able to be kept by his original owners, ends up on Yorozuya’s door step and is taken in.

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Although everyone helps take care of him, he’s mostly Kagura’s (as she is the only one who can handle his strength).

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He’s giant. He’s cute. He’s good comic relief at times. He’s a master of disguise.

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And he can play a mean game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”.

That’s all I got today.

Until next time: Happy Viewing!

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 13

Anime Character You Are Most Similar To

Sorry…I don’t just have one.

As with most things in life we have multiple aspects to who we are. Since anime characters tend to show you limited view of a character due to it being a story that cannot cover all aspects of a person, I have chosen a couple to represent me.

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Yuugo Tennouji: aka “Mr Braun”

 I’m a dad with a shaved head and similar facial hair. I’m a hard working guy who can seem grumpy if you don’t know me, but ultimately am a caring guy who cares for his kids deeply.

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Akio Furukawa

Another dad. However, Akio has a “kid at heart” side to him that I can relate to who likes to sneak off to play and isn’t above bantering, joking, and playing tricks on his family.

Hiroshi Nohara

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The dad on Crayon Shin Chan. When I’ve had a long week, I feel like the tired version of him. He’s a nice guy and good family man, but sometimes just wishes for some peace.

 If I gave it more thought I’m sure I could find more, but that’s enough for today.

 Until next time: Happy viewing!

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 5

Anime You’re Ashamed You Enjoyed.

Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

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I’m usually not one for “ecchi” anime, but this one got me.
I can’t even remember what got me to watch it…I think I may have just been bored one day and just started watching it.
It is so over the top…

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It is so immature…

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And so inappropriate for younger viewers…

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But, yes… it cracked me up…I’m not proud…it amused the hell out of me.

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Until next time: Happy viewing…Maybe not as happy as these people, you might get arrested for public indecency.

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30 Days of Anime- Day 3

Favorite Male Anime Character Ever

Sakata Gintoki

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Even though I haven’t even come close to finishing the series, Gintoki is my favorite male character.

Loyal to his friends, honorable (in his own way), fierce warrior, lazy, pre-diabetic, inappropriate, and prone to rambling nuggets of wisdom. Gintoki is just an awesome, faulty, comedic hero.

 

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I don’t have much else to say. Gintoki speaks for himself. Now go watch some Gintama!

 

Until next time: Happy viewing!

“Manny Tomoe” Will Debut At ACEN

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There is something wrong with me… I accept and know this.

I got this idea last year that it would be really funny if I cosplayed as a magical girl, but didn’t even try to pass as female.

So who did I choose as my cosplay? Mami Tomoe!

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is no instance of disrespect. I love Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It is one of my favorites.

So much to both of my son’s horror and my delight, I went through with it. I have the whole outfit now and I will be wearing it next week in Chicago at Anime Central for the first time.

There are a lot of people who have been wanting to see this so, not knowing if I’ll remember to take pictures of myself while I’m at ACEN, I took a few today.

So Enjoy! and if you’re at ACEN, say “hi”.

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The Man Likes His Marshmallows…

Ojisan To Marshmallow

Ojisan To Marshmallow is a short form anime following  Iori Wakabayashi as she tries to get the romantic attention of her coworker, Habahiro Hige. Hige, being older, doesn’t think of Wakabayashi this way. He mostly thinks of marshmallows. The man is obsessed with his marshmallows.

The show is cute, sometimes kind of ecchi, and short with each episode being around 3 minutes long.

I found the show enjoyable. It was, in fact, one of my favorites of the winter season along with Erased.

The show overall is high on the sweet and cute factor, but could stray into ecchi territory at times.

And even though I let my younger son watch it, there were times I was cringing, wondering whether I’d made the wrong choice… Though much of the time many things seemed to go over his head.

Attention Parents: The show is sweet  and cute, but it does get racy at times and has some adult humor thrown in. Is it really bad? No. Is it completely innocent? Absolutely not.

I liked the show. The animation is good, but nothing out of the ordinary. I just found it cute and amusing.

How My Younger Son Watches Anime

AKA: What my son has been watching this summer.

My 11 (12 tomorrow) year old watches a lot of anime. And a lot that I watch, I am “vetting” to make sure that it doesn’t have any content that I deem inappropriate (or that I think his mother will object to).

That being said: he is always after me to check out shows to see if he can watch them, but I don’t have all the time in the world. I work. I socialize. I even watch non-anime related shows.

Luckily he does find titles he can watch. And watch he does….He’s a binge watcher. He can sit and watch a show all day. And then re-watch it again. I cannot do this. I rarely binge watch. A few episodes, yes. Watching for 4 hours, no.

But he found some things to keep him entertained that are good for his age with not much objectionable content. I have not watched many of these except seeing some of them while I was in the room.

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Toriko

A gourmet hunter on the search for more food to complete his ultimate meal. Fighting impossible beasts and eating the most absurd things. This is very much a Shonen anime in the vein of One Piece (there are a couple of crossover episodes in fact). I had started to watch this and set it aside and my son has now finished the series of his summer break. Much of it I didn’t watch, but I did see the Durian Bomb episode which was hilarious.

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Love Live! School Idol Project

My son started watching this one because of his older brother. As some readers will know his older brother is a Utaite (or You-Taite) who does English covers anime theme songs. Well, my older son was covering a song from this show and thus his younger brother liked the song and started watching the show. I have not seen any of it, but know it has a loyal following. It wasn’t surprising to me that he got into it as he was a huge fan of AKB0048. I think he has completed all seasons of this anime.

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Stella Women’s Academy High School Division Class C3

Another in the vein of “cute girls doing cute things”. This time it’s survival games where girls at an all girls rich school are hunting each other with pellet guns in simulated war games. He had bugged me about this show and I think I watched one episode and figured it was harmless enough. Being that he was a huge fan of Girls Und Panzer, I guessed this would be up his alley. And it was. I, however, have no idea if it’s any good (it looks mostly harmless at any rate).

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Waganaria!! (Working!!)

Now I have actually seen most of the first season of this. It is a funny show, absolutely hilarious at times. One could argue at times that some parts may be inappropriate. There are drunken sisters, a lazy boss that has a girl in love with her, and the main character could be seen as potentially creepy with his obsession with young, cute things and/or people. However, it’s mostly harmless and he loves the show.

Luckily he can find shows that he can find shows that are okay to watch and then binge-watch because I can’t keep up with his anime consumption….maybe I should’ve sent him to camp.

Oh My God! It’s Too Cute!!!

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Ore Monogatari

Ore Monogatari (My Love Story), which is currently airing, has been the biggest surprise show of the spring season for me. In short: It is too cute for words! Now I am not normally one who seeks out, or gets excited about, cute shows/ things  but this show has won me over. It is a sweet love story that has characters with more depth than I initially expected, and it’s funny.

I love this this show and so do my boys. Right before we went to Anime Midwest I had the boys and their cousin and my older son’s best friend over. They all sat down to watch Ore Monogatari. I was shocked as my older son’s friend loves this show! She is a “Left For Dead”, black wearing, zombie loving, teenage girl: but she loves how cute Ore Monogatari is. Consider me dumbfounded.

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The story follows Takeo Gouda, a first year student in high school. Takeo is a big guy. I mean, huge. He is an athlete who is admired by other males for being a cool, strong, athletic, nice guy. Takeo is not popular with girls. He is a bit awkward. He stares, invades people’s space, and is not the “bishonen” (pretty boy) type (which his best friend, Suna is).

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One day on the train with his friend, Makoto Sunakawa (Suna), they spot a girl being groped by a stranger. Takeo stops the sexual assault and apprehends the perpetrator. The girl, Rinko Yamato (who is a student at a nearby girl’s school), is grateful for Takeo’s help. Yamato later finds where Takeo lives to bring him a cake that she made as thanks.

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Takeo really likes the cake.

And from there “My Love Story” begins.

Of course the love story is about Takeo and Yamato. And that is what sets the show apart. My older son was pointing out that it was refreshing to see someone who is the comic relief (and normally would be a supporting character) be the main love interest.

The love story between Takeo and Yamato is deeply sweet. It is slow in it’s development, it is sweet and genuine. The two adore each other and are self conscious about it which makes the show all the more enjoyable.

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Takeo is very traditional, conservative, and slow to act. He cares about her deeply and finds her very cute. He wants to make sure he acts honorable towards Yamato and treats her with respect. He is head over heels for her.

Yamato finds Takeo to be the coolest person ever. She wants to hold his hand, she bakes for him, wants to spend time with him, and watches everything Takeo does through rose colored glasses.

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This is how Yamato looks at Takeo.

Another aspect of the show that I enjoy is the friendship between Suna and Takeo. It is not glossed over. It is treated with respect. Suna is, unlike Takeo, popular with the girls. He is a pretty boy and girls swoon over him and want to date him. The thing is, Suna doesn’t want to date any of them. He has seen too many girls over time talking crap about Takeo behind his back and he doesn’t accept this: he is a loyal friend. Since they lived next to each other and their mothers were friends, Suna and Takeo grew up together. Their childhood friendship is shown at several points in the show.

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Attention Parents: Watch this show. There is no cursing, fan service, or difficult themes. In fact there are a few things are that are worthwhile lessons: Loyalty in friendship, respectful treatment of others, love that is sweet, the value of hard work, and to be yourself.

I can’t recommend this show enough. It is too damn cute! It is cute. It is funny. Give it a watch.

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Until next time…and don’t trip.

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