Anime Review Roundup
Napping Princess feature film, also known as Ancien and the Magic Tablet. It’s a modern day fairy tale from the director of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Eden of the East. Kenji Kamiyama brings his cyberpunk sensibilities to a story about a girl living in two worlds, the dream world and the real. When her father is unexpectedly arrested, she discovers that the truth behind the incident lies in her family’s past, a truth that can only be revealed in her dreams. After a wayward start, Napping Princess turned out to be the highlight of my week. Click on the review to read more.
Red Data Girl. It’s from Studio P.A. Works which pretty much guarantees that I will spend money on it. The oddity was that it’s a show that only got a DVD release in the US. For the Blu-ray, I had to import from Australia. A girl who grew up at a shrine in an isolated community learns that she has a mystical destiny, the human vessel for a divine goddess. But if that goddess does take on human form, it doesn’t bode well for the world. So the girl has to go to a special school to learn to control this ability, along with plenty of other students with ‘supernatural’ tendencies. Frankly, it’s not one of P.A. Works’ finest hours, but it does look pretty.
Momotaro, Sacred Sailors a highlight in any definition. This is a film that’s notable for its history. 1) It’s the first ever feature length anime. 2) It’s a Japanese World War II propaganda film. It was a movie made to inspire young soldiers to the ultimate levels of sacrifice all for the sake of the nation, by lionising the country and its armed forces, and dehumanising and denigrating the enemy. There’s not a lot of entertainment value in a film like that, but there certainly has educational value.
This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...
The stories are interesting enough, but they are hardly animated. This is one of those ‘people standing around talking for ages’ anime. But it does have its moments to shine. Manga Entertainment released it in the UK in two parts, and subsequently a complete collection. Here’s my review for part 1. It’s deleted now, so second hand is your best bet, although the Region 1 budget release is still in print, and the Funimation discs have superior authoring, so import would be better. But in a crowded genre, Ghost Hunt is pretty weak even when stacked against something mundane like Tactics.
Napping Princess was released on Collector’s Edition combo release, standard Blu-ray and DVD last Monday by All the Anime. All the Anime also release Momotaro, Sacred Sailors as a Collector’s Edition BD/DVD combo next Monday. Hanabee released Red Data Girl on Blu-ray and DVD in Australia in 2015.