Sunday, July 14, 2013

Colorful-Keiichi Hara

Colorful is a film, based off of the novel of the same name by Eto Mori, about a troubled soul reincarnated from some sort of afterworld into the body of a boy in his third year of Japanese middle school. He's given a chance at reincarnation if he can complete a test period in the body of Makoto Kobayashi. He must take use his time to figure out why Makoto died and live well himself.

First he gets brought down to Earth, and then he gets introduced to his family of four who he doesn't relate to without Makoto's life experience: the only named family member, his brother Mitsuru, and his mother and father. The film progresses as he gets used to Makoto's family, goes to his school, and generally figures out how to live his life well.

The movie has a very interesting plot that manages to be engaging in spite of, or perhaps partially because of a very drab presentation. The color palette for the background art is very low key and the character designs and expressions are not very original. The voices, while adequate, could have been better, but it's tough to criticize Japanese voices when I don't speak the language. The former can be understood as a stylistic choice but the latter, unfortunately, cannot. The story as it develops is very interesting and is quite different from other supernatural films with similar premises such as Here Comes Mr. Jordan or Chances Are. We get to see how the soul evolves inside of Makoto's body and how he begins to take ownership of his life as he breaks from Makoto's past life. Too much more information will spoil the film which you can watch on YouTube. Suffice it to say that the story is quite inspired and you'll end the movie with a different perspective on the situation than you'd had in the beginning. I give the movie 8 out of 10 and would have ranked it higher if the characters were given more original designs and expressions.

The movie can't be embedded, so here is the link:

If you watch or have already watched this movie, feel free to leave a comment giving your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Diversion into Webcomics

There hasn't been many new good animated films that are very obscure. I'm suspecting that the distributor GKids is going to really put a damper on this blog's future because it means that many good films won't fall into obscurity. I suspect that most new films featured on this blog will be from films released through non-theatrical means because there's so much publicity on the festival circuit and companies like GKids will be formed to snap up films elsewhere. This isn't an international view, but if you're reading this blog you can probably speak English and get a region free DVD or BluRay player to get the US DVD of anything GKids releases. There's plenty of work to be done updating my sidebar and introducing remaining films that I've yet to mention on this blog, but for me there's little new to do.

So, without further interruption, here are some webcomics I've been reading. And maybe I should change the tagline saying that this blog's entirely for animated features. I've discussed enough shorts here that 'primarily' would be a better word.

Tom Siddel's Gunnerkrigg Court, a series about two girls and their classmates at a magic or as they call it, 'etheric sciences' school and the interplay between technology and nature. There's a very interesting fox character named Reynard who the main girl, Antimony, keeps imprisoned inside of a stuffed animal.

Next, from Zack Weinersmith', there's the smart and very entertaining web comic with a different topic every strip, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It has no shortage of funny and thought provoking concepts. The red dot below the comic brings up an additional image with some random bit of additional humor or perspective.

After that there's the Computer Generated Webcomic I've been reading recently called The Dreamland Chronicles from Scott Sava. I didn't get into this until very recently since I was spoiled by Gunnerkrigg Court. I can only hope it ends soon because I don't want to wait an insane number of years to see the rest like I'll have to do for Gunnerkrigg. Don't spoil Gunnerkrigg for me since I haven't read it last winter and I want to come back after a year so that there's something there to read.

Lastly there's a site that's appropriate only for adults: Electric Sheep Comix. Most of the comics I've read anyways. Steve and Steve and The Guy I Almost Was are more appropriate for younger readers but I don't think they'd be very interested. As for The Spiders, I don't know because I didn't like the look so I didn't read it. The First Word is the most interesting comic on the site. Don't Look Back has an interesting premise but it unfortunately hasn't been updated in years and will probably never be completed.

Well, enjoy the comics. And give me any recommendations you've got for webcomics that you think I might like.