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Friday, February 3, 2017

Kimi no Na Wa, etc:

your name, or, Kimi no Na Wa, the highest grossing film in Japanese history, has come out for the wider world to see.  It's a good story, well worth watching, but it isn't great.  This is because it relies far too much on random, magical, miraculous deus ex machinas, one after the next, to propel both the problems and the solutions in the story.  To the point that the characters themselves seem to lack any decision making ability whatsoever.

In fact, one of the biggest problems, trying to convince your dad that your city is about to be hit by a comet, is left out entirely, and just solved magically off-screen.  That's ridiculous.  Just like that it makes no sense that people can body-swap across a three year time gap, or time travel by drinking sake, or have their cell phone records deleted via magic while magic marker marks remain just fine because they're permanent.

If the story had just been a body-swap romance and stayed light and funny, it would have been much better, and made a lot more sense.  The unnecessary inclusion of drama just to get people's adrenaline up only undermines the strength of the central theme.

This movie got way too much buzz. Even Anthem of the Heart was better.  But just for cultural literacy's sake, I think it would be wise to watch what is now the most beloved movie in Japanese history.

Meanwhile, I'm 4/5 of the way through my Tales of Zestiria listening project, and 4/5 of the way through Heretics of Dune.  The long slog continues.

Meanwhile, rumors abound about a season three of Sword Art Online.  This is because at the end of the Ordinal Scale movie, a line appears "SAO will return."  But this could mean another movie, a video game, an action figure, a pinball game or anything.  I refuse to get my hopes up until something official is announced, despite the fact that the anime industry would have to be brain dead to not revive this commercially successful franchise.  The anime industry has never made sense.  For instance, where's Index season 3?

There are also rumors about Yama no Susume getting a third season.  I wonder if it will be composed of shorts again like the previous two?  Well, if it happens I'd be overjoyed.  This is such an undervalued, unnoticed gem of a series.

Vivid Strike's latest blu-ray volume has been subtitled, and it includes a new chapter of manga and a new episode of anime, so it's a must-have.  This propels 2017's list of great anime franchises with new content up to 11, which if this pace continues would actually place it ahead of 2016's 43 series haul.  One can only hope.

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