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Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no Haka)

22 Feb

The novel was first published in 1967 and was written by Akiyuki Nosaka who wrote it for his sister which died of malnutrition in 1945. The story revolves around two siblings near the end of World War 2 in Kobe, Japan. The father is away serving with the Imperial Navy and after loosing their mother during an air raid by US bombers they end up alone. The older brother struggles hard to get himself and his little sister through the miserable times of the final phase of World War 2 in Japan. The story is very sad and heartbreaking, no glorification of war to be seen, no blatant “good” country vs “bad” country, just the struggle of ordinary people and how many of them are corrupted by the incredibly hardships they have to face. The live action feature film directed by Taro Hyugaji was released in 2008 and the animated movie by Isao Takahata was released in 1988. Animation work for the Anime was done by cult animation company “Studio Ghibli”.

Live Action Grave of The Fireflies

Production
NTV in Japan produced a live-action version of Grave of the Fireflies, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. The movie aired on November 1, 2005. The movie is approximately 2 hours and 28 minutes long. A different live action version of the film was released in Japan on July 5, 2008.

Cast
Seita (Ishida Yohsi)
Setsuko / Seita’s sister (Sasaki Mao)
Seita’s aunt (Nanako Matsushima)
Seita’s cousin (Inoue Mao)

Plot
Like the anime, the live-action version of Grave of the Fireflies focuses on two siblings struggling to survive the final days of the war in Kobe, Japan. Unlike the animated version, it tells the story from the point of view their cousin (the aunt’s daughter) . The story, based on a semi-autobiographical novel written by Akiyuki Nosaka, is about a teenage boy named Seita (Ishida Yohsi) and his 5-year-old sister Setsuko (Sasaki Mao). They get separated from their mother (Seiko Matsuda) during an air raid and later find out that she’s been mortally wounded. With their father off fighting in the war as a naval officer Seita and Setsuko are taken in by a distant aunt (Nanako Matsushima) and her family. She’s kind at first, but when rationing causes food to become scarce her attitude toward them grows cold. Unable to bear her anymore, the two kids go out on their own and fend for themselves while living in a nearby cave. Setsuko gets increasingly ill due to malnutrition and Seita is forced to steal food from a farm and rob empty houses during air raids.

Releases
Its initial theatrical release in Japan was accompanied by Hayao Miyazaki’s much more lighthearted My Neighbor Totoro as a double feature. In commercial terms, the theatrical release was a failure.[citation needed] While the two movies were marketed toward children and their parents, the extremely depressing nature of Grave of the Fireflies turned away most audiences. However, Totoro merchandise, particularly the stuffed animal of Totoro and Cat bus, sold extremely well after the film and made overall profits for the company to the extent that it stabilized subsequent productions of Studio Ghibli.

Grave of the Fireflies is the only Studio Ghibli film that the Walt Disney Company does not have distribution rights for in the United States, since the film was not produced by parent company Tokuma Shoten, but by Shinchosha, the publisher of the original novel. Grave of the Fireflies was released in the U.S. by Central Park Media in a two-disc set. The first disc contains the uncut film in both an English dub and the original Japanese with English subtitles as well as the film’s storyboards. The second disc contains several extras, including a retrospective on the author of the original book, an interview with Director Isao Takahata, and an interview with well-known critic Roger Ebert, who has expressed his admiration for the film on several occasions.

Following the 2009 bankruptcy and liquidation of Central Park Media, A.D.V. Films acquired the license to Grave of the Fireflies and began releasing it on DVD on July 7, 2009.[5] As of September 1, 2009, the movie is now licensed by ADV’s successor, AEsir Holdings; with distribution from Section23 Films.

English dub cast
Rhoda Chrosite – Setsuko (likely a pseudonym, see Rhodochrosite)
Amy Jones – Aunt
J. Robert Spencer – Seita
Veronica Taylor – Mother
Additional Voices by Shannon Conley, Crispin Freeman, Dan Green, George Leaver, Nick Sullivan

Source : en.wikipedia.org
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(Anime) Top 5 Anime Fights

20 Feb

The top 5 anime fights are brutal showdowns between powerful characters. Whether fighting for the sake of someone else or for personal glory, each contender has an ace up his sleeve. Referees might want to stand at a safe distance.

1. Kenshin versus Soujiro – “Rurouni Kenshin” Near the end of the Kyoto arc, child prodigy Soujiro stands between Kenshin and the main antagonist, Shishio. Throughout this anime fight, Sojiro hides his aggressive feelings behind a polite smile. Kenshin’s sword not only sends Soujiro to the ground, but it also tears down the boy’s emotional dam.

2. Karama versus Karasu –“Yu Yu Hakusho” Near the end of the Dark Tournament, the cunning hero Kurama meets a dangerous enemy on the battlefield. Karasu is obsessed with Kurama, and he acts on these fixated feelings by trying to blow the hero to pieces during this anime fight. To defeat the explosive-wielding foe, Kurama transforms into his alter ego, Yoko Kurama.

3. Rock Lee versus Kimimaro – “Naruto” While trying to save his fellow Leaf Ninja, Rock Lee encounters Kimimaro, a warrior with the ability to manipulate his own bone structure. Halfway through the action, Rock Lee accidently takes a sip of alcohol and gains the powers of the Drunken Fist. The eccentric fighting style catches the coolheaded Kimimaro off guard. This anime fight from “Naruto” is fast-paced and hilarious.

4. Luffy versus Enel –“One Piece” In “One Piece” Enel is the self-proclaimed god of Skypiea, a floating island with winged inhabitants. No one seems to stand a chance against Enel’s ability to manipulate lightning—that is, no one until Luffy, the anime’s protagonist, arrives. As it turns out, Luffy is made of rubber, giving him an odd advantage in this anime fight. However, that doesn’t mean the battle is going to be easy.

5. Alucard versus Alexander – “Hellsing Ultimate” A superhuman, religious fanatic and an ancient vampire in a snazzy suit duke it out in the “Hellsing” OVA. Both contenders in this anime fight have the ability to regenerate their limbs, which tend to be lost quite often in the duel. The violent clash is just the beginning of a rivalry between Alucard and Alexander.

Source : screenjunkies.com

(Anime) 10 Best Anime Movies

19 Feb

The 10 best anime movies can and will be widely debated due to the enormous fan base and the ever improving quality and storylines. The one thing which is not debatable is that anime movies have come to stay in the hearts of young and old.

1. “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” is a dramatic and comical story of Kyon who has to solve a mystery that only he seems to know. Expecting a Christmas party with the rest of his SOS Brigade, which tantalizingly includes a hot pot, Kyon arrives at school and experiences what seems to him like an alternative reality. No one except him knows about the SOS Brigade, any of its members or Chief Haruhi. As the sole member of the literary club, Kyon makes it his mission to find answers, running into some very strange and supernatural situations.

2. “Spirited Away” is deservedly one of the best anime movies because it is the first anime movie to have won the “Academy Award” for best animated feature of 2002. Chihiro and her parents stumble upon the bathing house for the spirits. As humans, they are not greeted with hospitality, but the beautiful surroundings were mistaken by the weary travelers. Chihiro’s parents make the mistake of eating from the forbidden feast and as a result they are turned into pigs. Chihiro is determined to rescue them and has to learn very fast to look out for herself.

3. “Princess Mononoke” was released under huge controversy by Disney, yet remains one of the best anime movies, bringing fantasy and adventure together with great drama. Ashitaka is burdened with a horrid curse, while fighting in defense of his village. On his quest to find a cure, he gets caught up in a war between the Forest Gods and the village ruled by Lady Ebhoshi.

4. “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance” makes it as one of the best anime movies. With two parallel storylines, one is gripped by the mystery surrounding the appointment of Makinami Mari Illustrious and Asuka Langley Shikinami in lieu of the constant attack by Angels and the suspense of the secret project of Rei and Shinji.
5. “Akira” has to be among the ten best anime movies. With many intriguing storylines and trends to follow, ambitious artwork and the portrayal of deep and sinister Neo Tokey, you are gripped from start to finish. This anime movie was a mere taste of what the following twenty years of anime would bring.

6. “Howls Moving Castle” is about a young girl who falls under a spell cast to make her appear old and haggard. She has to pin her hopes on a wizard who lives in a rambling, walking and living old castle. The wizard holds the key to her youthfulness.

7. “Ghost in The Shell” inspires the word “cool” to be uttered everywhere it is mentioned. The exciting cyber punk style combined with science fiction has a hard, fast-paced storyline which has inspired many Hollywood movies and had a great influence on “The Matrix”. As one of the best anime movies, this movie is an undeniable must in your collection.

8. “Grave of the Fireflies” has been tagged as the greatest anti-war movie of all time. This delightful creation highlights the plight of war orphans. A brother and sister are followed through their arduous fight for survival when Japan faced war during the Second World War. Anime was for the first time used as a medium to relay the most heartfelt of stories.

9. “Paprika”can be watched over and over and you will discover something new every time. A great feat of the imagination, this movie centers on Paprika and her team’s efforts to recover a stolen dream machine. This dream machine enables doctors to see the dreams of patients. The entire movie shifts and merges reality and the dream world, shaping the consciousness of even the mere spectator.

10. “Tokyo GodFathers” is a very entertaining and thought-provoking story about three homeless friends. The three musketeers, a homeless man, a young girl and a transvestite, find a deserted newborn in a city dumpster. Determined by their own personal experiences and fears, they embark on a journey to find the baby’s parents.

Source : www.screenjunkies.com