Movie Monday: Kara no Kyoukai Overlooking View

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering the first in a seven part series of movies covering one of the Nasuverse’s greatest stories. It’s Kara no Kyoukai, or the Garden of Sinners, Overlooking View!

Plot Synopsis: September 1998, Mikiya Kokutō brings over some ice cream while visiting Shiki, but Shiki is not happy to see him and says that she does not like ice cream so she decides not to eat it. Later at Garan no Dou, Shiki and Touko discuss the recent spate of unusual suicide incidents where several high school girls fell to their death, but left no suicide note and had apparently no reason to commit suicide. Tōko concludes that the girls did not intend to die. At night, Shiki visits the deserted part of town containing the Fujō buildings which have now fallen into disrepair and are about to be demolished, and while there stumbles upon the body of newest victim….

Plot: This is the first in a series of movies that are an adaptation of a novel by Kinoko Nasu. That being said if you get confused at first, just keep watching. It’ll make sense in the end.

Characters: Shiki is probably one of my favorite female characters of all time, and not just because she’s a badass. However my particular reason is pretty spoilerific and I’ll leave that for you to figure out. Though those who know me might be able guess after watching all the movies. However the entire cast is great, although fairly small for this first movie.

Artwork: This was animated by ufotable, so you should expect amazing visuals. Overlooking View doesn’t disappoint at all in that regard.

Music: The music is also pretty damn amazing, being done by Kajiura Yuki who is a legend in the Anime business.

Overall: Definitely a must watch for those who enjoy any type of mystery series. That being said, it’s not for kids at all.

For those who like: Mystery, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Nasuverse, Action, Drama, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Masterwork Animation, Excellent Musical Scores.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Anime Sunday: Last Encore Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with a look at what is probably my most anticipated series of the season. It’s my Fate/Extra: Last Encore Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Waking up in a strange academy with no recollection of the past, Kishinami Hakuno finds themselves forced to fight for survival in a war they do not understand for a prize beyond value; the opportunity to have one’s wish granted.

Plot: You see that synopsis above? Yea? Toss it out, that’s the story of the original Fate/Extra. What occurs in Last Encore is completely off track. As of writing this post I have only watched the 2 already released episodes and I’m still confused. Now given what Kinoko Nasu has said about Last Encore that is completely intended so I’m absolutely not alone in this.

Characters: We get to meet Hakuno in this episode as well as Leo, Sakura and Shinji. However stuff is odd, and while Fate/Extra is already confusing, Last Encore is so off track that I’m stumped as to whether I enjoyed the interactions between all the characters.

Artwork: The art is excellent, but while Shaft is an amazing studio I just can’t help but think that ufotable could’ve done a better job. It’s probably me just projecting my preferences though, and there is no significant issue with Shaft’s animation in particular.

Music: The music is good, although it lacks the same feeling as the original soundtrack from the game.

Overall: I’m really stuck whether I enjoy this series or not, so I plan on binge watching the entire thing in a couple days once it’s complete. You may or may not want to do something similar. It’ll probably help out a ton with understanding what the heck is going on though.

For those who like: The Fate series, Studio Shaft, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mind Benders, Fate/Extra, Great Artwork, Good Music.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Fate/Stay Night (2014 Series)

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This week on Anime Sunday I’m talking about the amazing 2014 remake of the terrible 2006 Anime adaptation of the classic Visual Novel Fate/Stay Night. However this one covers Unlimited Blade Works instead of the Fate route. Three cheers for everyone’s favorite Tsundere character Rin Tohsaka!

Before Watching: First off you should probably watch the series in order, because things will get slightly confusing. The Fate series is highly complex and if you want the full experience of the storyline you need to watch the series in a certain order. Or just play the freaking Visual Novel!

Suggested Viewing Order:

  1. Fate/Stay Night (2006) Anime Series [This one follows the Fate route of the Visual Novel while touching upon the other routes a bit.]
  2. Fate/Zero Anime Series [Fate/Zero is a prequel, but it spoils things for Fate/Stay Night a bunch if you haven’t watched it yet.]
  3. Fate/Stay Night (2014) Anime Series [This one follows the Unlimited Blade Works route.]
  4. Fate/Stay Night: Heavens Feel Movie [This one follows the Heavens Feel route.] {This is forthcoming as of the time this is posted it is currently in production by the terrific studio Ufotable}

Confused yet? I hope not because I’m just getting to the part where I talk about what I like about this series thus far, and so far I’ve only watched Episodes 00 (Prologue) and 01. Back to your regular post format from now on, I promise.

Plot Synopsis: Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven sorcerers have gathered and engage in a battle royale known as the Holy Grail War, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every sixty years or so. However, the fifth war has started prematurely, with the most recent concluding less than a decade ago.

The seven sorcerers, known as Masters, are aided by seven beings known as Servants, reincarnations of legendary heroes from all time. These resurrected souls possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms, symbols of their heroism during life. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster, each representing their distinctive role in battle. The Servants are summoned by the power of the Grail itself and aid their Masters in doing battle, protecting them from harm and killing other Servants or Masters. In return for their aid, the Servants also seek their own wish from the Holy Grail, should their Master become victorious.

Shirō Emiya is a serious yet helpful, hardworking, and honest teenager and a student at Fuyuki High, whose parents died in a fire years ago. He was then adopted by Kiritsugu Emiya. When he was a child, his adoptive father told him how he had failed at his life ambition to become a “Hero of Justice”. Shirō affirms to his adoptive father that he intends to devote his life to achieving that distant ideal, much to Kiritsugu’s chagrin. To do this, Shirō pleads with a begrudging Kiritsugu to teach him sorcery; but being born without the capabilities of a magus, Shirō proves to be talentless in almost all the fundamental sorcerous disciplines. Kiritsugu dies in Shirō’s youth. From then on, he grows up as an orphan in the occasional company of Taiga Fujimura, his English teacher at Fuyuki High, and Sakura Matō, his underclassman.

Plot: Well since I’ve only watched the first couple of episodes, and never had the chance to play the Visual Novel (I really want to though!) I’ve enjoyed the plot quite a bit. That said if you haven’t watched the first Fate/Stay Night series it is going to confuse the heck out of you. Once you do that, you should watch the Prologue episode (episode 00) though, as it’s just as amazing as the next one and helps set up the story. I really enjoy this route as I liked Rin quite a bit more as a heroine over Saber in the first Anime series; though Sakura is a very, very close second from watching these first two episodes. In case you haven’t understood it yet, each route has a different heroine. The Fate route (the first Anime series) is Saber, Unlimited Blade Works (the 2014 Anime series) is Rin, and Heavens Feel is Sakura.  One final thing to note, and it was heavily implied from what I remember of the first Anime series, is that there are high chances of this series having sexual scenes. It will probably just be implied, or it might be offscreen, but the Fate series is based off an Eroge Visual Novel and it will not be suitable for children to watch. Hell the amount of violence in the first episode is insane. If it’s anything like the first Anime series it’s going to be an incredibly bloody series.

Characters: Like I said above, I like Rin as a main heroine much more than Saber. Saber is nice enough I suppose, but if you are stuck for eternity trying to win a cup to get a wish you are way too screwed up for my tastes. The rest of the cast is much better done in this series than the first one. I can relate to Shirou a hell of a lot more in this series, and I like Sakura a hell of a lot more in this series over the first one. Fujimura is a hoot to watch in this series too, way too funny to be in this overly serious series. That said I find that her humor will probably be missed in the coming weeks.

Art: Like I mentioned above Ufotable is a fantastic studio and they are the ones producing this series. If you find the artwork familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen their work while you were playing Tales of Xillia 1 & 2. They were in charge for the artwork and animated scenes in those games, which were fantastic by the way.

Music: The music thus far, and we haven’t even gotten to the good parts I bet, is amazing so far. The Opening and Ending themes are amazing, with Kalafina performing the Ending theme and the Opening by Mashiro Ayano. The soundtrack is just as amazing as the Opening and Ending themes.

Overall: Can you tell I’m excited about this series yet? If you’ve watched the first two on my suggested viewing order list you really need to be watching this series.

For those who like: Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Epic fight scenes, Amazing artwork, Fantastic characters, Outstanding plot, Superb musical scores, The Fate series, TYPE-MOON, The Nasuverse in general.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all of that?

Light Novel Thursday: Kara no Kyoukai by Kinoko Nasu

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This Light Novel Thursday I’m covering one of the best series in the Nasuverse, It’s Kara no Kyoukai, or Garden of Sinners in English, by Kinoko Nasu.

Plot Synopsis: Mikiya Kokutō becomes intrigued by the mysterious series of violent deaths occurring in his town and Shiki Ryōgi, a beautiful but unsociable girl. As he tries to become closer to Shiki, he realizes that Shiki is connected to the mysterious deaths and that the supernatural forces involved with both could kill him.

Plot: The plot is definitely the prototype to the Fate series and Nasu’s later works, but damn does it cover really intense stuff. Prepare to deal with lots of stuff that involve violence from suicide to murder and everything in between. It’s only 3 volumes long, but this series is quite intense.

Characters: Of all the characters Mikiya is probably the most normal of everyone in the series, and that’s good because you need something to ground the rest of this series with. Shiki is at times beautiful and at other times incredibly creepy. Why Mikiya can fall for that girl is beyond me, but their romance is the sub plot to the action that the rest of the series is dominated by.

Art: It’s beautiful work, as expected of Type-Moon. Probably among the best illustrations you’ll ever find for a Light Novel series.

Overall: If you don’t mind violence, you probably will love this series.

For those who like: Violence, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Type-Moon, Nasuverse series.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.