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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Review: Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance

Review: Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance

Song of the moment: Shiro Sagisu - The Final Decision We All Must Take (Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance OST)

This review was first posted on

Matafleur (from and's chief technical officer) and myself took a trip down to Orchard Cineleisure yesterday to watch Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance before it closed on Wednesday.

Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance is the second part of the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy of movies, which is a remake of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series. The Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series was first broadcast in Japan in 1995 and has since spawned several movies, mangas and video games. Produced by Studio Khara and Studio KlockWorx together with Gainax, this remake is written by Hideaki Anno (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Evangelion Series, Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo) and directed by Mr. Anno and Kazuya Tsurumaki (Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo, FLCL). Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone was essentially a retelling of the first six episodes of the original anime series, featuring updated animation, CGI and a new soundtrack by another Evangelion alumni, Shiro Sagisu.

Evangelion 2.0 is where it really starts to diverge from the original anime series. Various hints of it was shown in the Evangelion 1.0 and it is further developed in the second movie, with a new character introduced (Mari Illustrious Makinami, pilot of EVA Unit 5. Voiced by Maaya Sakamoto) and a number of major changes in plot. Before watching the second movie, I was a little worried that it might stick too closely to the plot of the original series and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of changes worked into the movie. I personally thought this allowed me, a fan of the original series, to enjoy the new movie more as well as look at Rebuild of Evangelion as more of a partial reboot (restart of a series with a new canon) as opposed to a remake (Especially with the preview of 3.0, where it looks totally different from the original series). Rebuild of Evangelion seems less pretentious and "emo" than the original series, giving it a seemingly brighter outlook. This makes it more accessible to new viewers of Evangelion (like Matafleur) and allows fans of the original (like myself) a new perspective to the franchise.

While it is certainly less "emo", it still has its fair share of heart-rending moments (Minor Spoiler: Unit 03 / Tenth Angel) as well as a slightly more sympathetic portrayal of Gendo. Other characters in the movie like Asuka and Shinji are seemingly more stable than their counterparts from the original series as well. The movie also has its fair share of "fanservice" to keep fans of the original happy (Spoiler: Asuka and PenPen).

What I am not too happy about is mainly two things. First would be the reduced role of Asuka, at least for 2.0. Continuing off from 1.0, 2.0 continues to lean towards more of a Shinji/Rei pairing. The main reasons being that I am a fan of the Asuka/Shinji ship ("ship" as in "relationship"). Since Evangelion 3.0: Q's preview is inconclusive regarding this particular issue, I do have hope that they might resolve it later. (Casual movie goers can just ignore this since its my fanboy tendencies acting up...)

Secondly, it would be the score for Evangelion 2.0 by Shiro Sagisu. I am not saying that the score was bad. In fact, I actually thought it was pretty good for an anime movie. What concerns me is that the music from certain scenes seemingly rips off another Gainax anime which Sagisu scored, Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo. While both Kare Kano and Evangelion 2.0 do share the same director and composer, the similarities in the music is a little too obvious. The tracks in question (if you happen to have the OST of Evangelion 2.0) are "2EM05 KK B09", "2EM06 KK B16", "2EM05 KK B09InDoor", "2EM10 KK C01 AddGuit", "2EM12 KK A09", "2EM10 KK C01", "2EM12 KK A09 Kuriya" and "2EM10 KK C01 Str+AcGuit". The ending theme song for 2.0 is just a remix of Evangelion 1.0's ending theme as well. Might this be a lack of creativity by Sagisu or a creative decision by Anno? While it certainly sounds good, it certainly isn't original...

Despite some questionable choices in terms of the music score, the movie still excels in all areas. From the animation to the characters to the plot, Hideaki Anno presents not just a movie which lives up to the reputation of the original series, but a movie which excels past the weaknesses inherent in the original series to become a great movie by itself.

Movie goers might want to watch the Evangelion 1.0 first so as to better appreciate the second film. One should also stay beyond the final credits to catch not just the preview for 3.0, but a surprise twist as well. While ending the movie like this does indeed whet one's appetite for the next movie, as Justin Sevakis of ANN says "what a wait this is gonna be..."

Rating: 9.0/10

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AFA09 Preview

AFA09 Preview

Song of the moment: ALI PROJECT - Datengoku Sensen (Tatakau Shisho: Book of Bantorra OP Theme)

Once again my monthly post arrives, in the midst of my school assignments...and what better thing is there to post about than the upcoming AFA09 (Anime Festival Asia) coming once again to Singapore this weekend at Suntec City.

First up, is of course the AniSong concert.

afa anisong

Looks like its gonna be pretty big with the 08 guests Ichiro Mizuki and May'n, as well as Hatsune Miku, Shoko-Tan and Yoshiki Fukuyama coming down to the Little Red Dot. Personally, I am more excited about the Sunday lineup, with Fukuyama and May'n, rather than the Saturday one with the other three. Of course, the May'n segment will likely be similar to last year's, except with a couple of new songs like Kimi Shinitamou Koto Nakare (The Shangri-la OP) as well as more from the upcoming Macross Frontier movie. However, especially with Fukuyama, I think the Sunday concert presents more value-for-money as opposed to the Saturday one with Mizuki, Miku and Shoko-Tan.

Next up will probably be the K-On Experience @ AFA09.


I was quite surprised they managed to get the seiyus to come down to Singapore. Seeing as to how they did not put who EXACTLY will be coming down, i will be crossing my fingers that they'll at least bring the main cast (Toyosaki Aki, Kotobuki Minako, Satou Satomi and Hikasa Yoko) down. Hoping to see them singing some of the K-On! songs...

There's also a number of pretty cool guests coming for the Animation Asia Conference (which I am not going because the entry fee is ridiculously expensive...) like Danny Choo, Mamoru Hosoda (Director of Tokikake and Summer Wars which looks like its going to be shown in SG soon) and Justin Sevakis (founder of Anime News Network).

Looks like AFA09 is gonna be pretty cool...I will be there in my Code Geass tee on Saturday and the NERV tee on Sunday. Hope to see you guys there!

An update on my current anime watchlist: Dropped Tagami Bachi and thinking of dropping Kampfer. Lack of time and interest in the above titles the main reasons...Didn't pick up any of my undecided titles. If anyone feels otherwise, feel free to post on my tagboard and explain why I should pick the anime up...who knows, I might be convinced...

Oops...before I go, my now-obligatory cool/cute anime screenshot of the month. Misaka Mikoto, the Railgun, in search of Gekota...


Monday, October 05, 2009

The (Possible) Disappearance of Anthony Chia

The (Possible) Disappearance of Anthony Chia

Song of the moment: Aya Hirano - Super Driver (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu S2 OP theme)

I've managed to peel myself away from my games and studies for awhile so as to be able to type this post (Currently in my management lecture which is slowly but surely melting my brain...). My bad habit of procrastinating and doing last minute work still exists. I do try not to let it affect my work, which of course leads to more time spent on work and less sleep for me.


Anyways, the new anime season is upon us...again. Thus, I shall once again list a few of the anime I am likely to be watching...

Upcoming Anime Highlights

Kampfer - I somewhat enjoyed Sekirei a couple of seasons ago. Of course, the bishoujo battle/comedy concept is not exactly very original but I do have a certain amount of expectation for this anime. Mainly because of Marina Inoue, Nana Mizuki, Marina Inoue, Yui Horie and Marina Inoue...

Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra - Being a big fan of Toshokan Sensou, its more or less a given that I'll watch this. Well, the premise and plot is understandably quite different from Toshokan Sensou but Books and Fighting is another Moe for me...

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
- I lost interest in Index early in the series as I felt it was getting somewhat draggy and cliche. I am hoping that minimal prior knowledge of the original series is required as Mikoto's probably my favourite character in the series (Just like Hinagiku as DKellis points out...perhaps I have a thing for this particular type of girls...).

Tegami Bachi
- I saw the Chuang Yi version of the manga in Comics Connection but the synopsis didn't really appeal to me. I did read the first volume on and it is mildly interesting. The main appeal for me once again is the seiyu (Jun Fukuyama and Ami Koshimizu) even though neither of them are the leads. Miyuki Sawashiro and Ayumi Fujimura do make an interesting pair as the male and female lead so I am willing to see where it goes...

Inuyasha: The Final Act - This is pretty much a given considering I can (legally) watch it off Animax, albeit a same-week telecast as opposed to Tears to Tiara's "live" broadcast. I tried following the manga but I guess it was a bit too much for me. As long as I get to see more Miroku/Sango, I am fine...

Kobato. - Another CLAMP product. I am happy that Madhouse will be producing it, unlike the Bee Train trainwreck (no pun intended) that the Tsubasa series was. I will miss Yuki Kajiura'a music though...

Kiddy Girl-and - Long delayed sequel to Kiddy Grade. While Kiddy Grade wasn't the most engaging of series, the plot twist and fight scenes made the series watchable. Minori Chihara is singing the ED theme too, so I'll likely follow it...


Nyan Koi!, Seitokai no Ichizon, Seiken no Blacksmith, Natsu no Arashi! 2 (If I ever get to watching Season One), Fairy Tail

I am still working with DKellis and Matafleur to get (Yes, that's the name of the blog) up and running. Hoping to get it up before end of October. Will keep you guys updated...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We have left the endless recursion of time...

We have left the endless recursion of time...

Song of the moment: Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra - Higeki no Heroine (Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou)


"Kyon-kun, denwa!" The fact that this unassuming line has been etched into my memory is testament to the effect of EIGHT different iterations of the episode, Endless Eight. For the non-Haruhiists (is this how you spell it?), the seconde season of anime "Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu" A.K.A "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" has been subject to much controversy thanks to its broadcast of eight different iterations of the "Endless Eight" arc in the novels. This has resulted in much complaining and finger pointing among fans of the series, most of which were aimed at the license owners Kadokawa and animation company Kyoto Animation, or KyoAni for short.


I think what is undeniable is that this has been a particularly bad move for both Kadokawa and KyoAni, where they probably alienated everyone save for the most hardcore of Haruhi fans. The situation is being aggravated by their supposed DVD marketing tactic which might lead to serious backlash. I won't speculate on the why as what's important here is to put it in perspective. I really applaud KyoAni (be it as co-conspirators or reluctant victims) for putting in their full effort into animating each and everyone of the Endless Eight episodes. Admittedly, by the third of fourth iteration, I was getting bored out of my mind due to watching the same thing happen over and over again but with different clothes. The end result though, was pure awesomeness, for lack of a better word.


As opposed to a feeling of relief, the final episode was so good that it actually bought a smile to my face when Kyon finally remembered about his homework. Of course, this comes from the perspective of someone who had already read the novels and knew the ending. I won't pretend to be able to understand how the first-time viewer would have felt but I would say that it's worth the wait. In fact, I think Nagato fans like myself would probably appreciate this arc more than anyone. If anything, we probably understood how Nagato "might" have felt during this entire arc.


On more positive anime news, Fate/Stay Night fans can finally rejoice as a movie based on the Unlimited Blade Works arc in the game has been announced (coincidentally, I am playing the UBW arc in FSN now...). To my knowledge, most, if not all of the original seiyu of the anime will reprise their roles. Perhaps we can look forward to Heaven's Feel and Fate/Hollow Atraxia movies? I am still hoping for someone or group (mirror moon?) to start working on a translation of FHA...

To end off, this is my Hinagiku moment from last week's episode of Hayate no Gotoku!!...


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