Anime Movie Marathon

I did an anime movie marathon with my friends at the Anime Club on Friday. I watched 4 movies: the Steins;Gate movie, the AnoHana movie, REDLINE and Kazetachinu (the Wind Rises). I shall talk a little bit about each of them here.

Firstly, the Steins;Gate movie, Fuka Ryouiki no Deja Vu. It was a pretty great movie, set after the events of the special episode. Basically Okabe is still the only person who remembers the events of the anime, but it seems that all those pent-up memories are causing him to develop a variant of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and more urgently, causing him to disappear from the current timeline. One moment he is talking to Kurisu, and in the next he has disappeared. What is worse is that in the minds of everyone else, he has never existed. Daru became the founder of the lab, and the position of Lab Member 001 was “never filled”. The only person who remembers Okabe is Kurisu, and it is up to her to take the Time Machine, with Suzuha’s help, to find Okabe and make him stay in this timeline.

Doesn’t this sound like an exciting premise? I consider it Steins;Gate, Kurisu version. She re-creates the Time Machine, goes through time, and does basically all the things Okabe did in the show. Fans will be filled with great nostalgia during the show. Granted, the ending (to me) is a bit lame — then again, Steins;Gate had a great ending to contend with — but this is still very much worth a watch.

Secondly, in contrast, AnoHana’s movie is pretty puzzling. It is puzzling in that I don’t know how they expect fans to sit through it when it is 70% recap of the anime. The movie literally strings together all the events in the anime (with just a bit extra). Of course, all of us cried all over again at the memory of the last episode, but the movie provided nothing new, except perhaps a small resolution of what became of the characters 1 year after the events of the anime. That said, they didn’t really resolve the romantic tensions between Jintan x Anaru and Yukiatsu x Tsuruko either. The only redeeming quality there is that Yukiatsu has become a much more good-natured person.

Thirdly, the action-packed fast-paced intergalactic racing anime, REDLINE! Kimura Takuya has always been a rather acceptable seiyuu — his voice is a little rough, and not particularly distinctive, but he portrays the characters very well, just like in Howl’s Moving Castle. REDLINE is a very manly anime, and people who play Mario Kart would appreciate the adrenaline from tracks that resemble things like Rainbow Road, and cars with weapons to fire at the competitors. There are a lot of funny aliens, from slimy gooey monsters to tin can men who can turn into the wheels of his own car, and of course in such movies one can’t miss out on busty women. There’s a lot of action and not much thinking required.

On the other hand, the last movie, Kazetachinu, has loads of thinking, so much so that it left me quite baffled halfway through. The story is about a man (Horikoshi Jiro, who was really the designer of the Mitsubishi A5M and A6M Zero, which were used during World War II) who has dreamed of building aircraft from young. Once in a while, he will dream of Italian airplane designer Caproni, who inspires him with some new aircraft technology.

The truly confusing part comes in the middle of the movie onwards. Jiro grows up and is employed into some aircraft designing firm (which I learn from Wikipedia is Mitsubishi), and then goes to Germany to do technical research. The only part I understand is that he meets a girl he knew from his youth and they fall in love and decide to marry, but the girl is the daughter of a rich man and is afflicted with tuberculosis. They are forced to part as she goes to the mountains to get treated, but halfway through she comes to visit him and they decide to get married and live together. To them, they would rather spend her remaining time together, rather than let her stay in the mountains and risk not seeing each other for years. Naturally she died towards the end.

What with aircraft technical terms being thrown around in Japanese, the audience was sent on a mind-boggling ride (complete with bad subtitles, but that’s not the movie’s fault) and the ending wasn’t particularly helpful. Suddenly, quite without warning, it ends off in dream mode again, saying that Jiro’s airplanes were used in the war to wreak harm onto civilians, and went against his original dream. And so I guess it was a bad ending? The movie’s so intelligent that the audience doesn’t even know what is the correct feeling they should have.

And so this is a summary of what we watched. There was the intelligent, the emotional, the action-packed. There were familiar and new characters alike. Movie marathons can be pretty thrilling when you get to make comments with friends and enjoy them together!

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