I’ve been on a bit of an anime movie kick lately, so here are several of the films that I binge-watched recently. Should you watch them too? Read on to find out if they’re worth seeing!
A strange, atmospheric film that emulates Astro Boy’s iconic art style, Metropolis is a very pretty movie to watch. The story revolves around a robot becoming the heir of a corporation and how she is caught up in the adventures of a detective and his nephew. The film is complicated and filled with many layers, but it’s not impossible to follow and the core themes and ideas still come through. With that said though, it’s an unusual movie that I don’t think I’d want to watch again. It may require more than one viewing to fully understand it, but it’s not a movie that I’d want to see more than once because of how unusual it is.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F: 4/5
Beautifully animated, Resurrection F brings back an iconic villain for Goku and Vegeta to take on. Many of the other characters, now older and having families of their own, make a return and all have their own moments to shine in the battle as well. The 3D animation at spots is slightly unfortunate and unnecessary because of how good the hand-drawn scenes are, but it’s not too distracting and the movie is still very enjoyable. The English voice acting is great, and the battle scenes are awesome, making Resurrection F a satisfying addition to the canon of the Dragon Ball Z universe.
Dragon Ball Z Special 2: The History of Trunks: 4.5/5
History of Trunks is a really good special that delves into future Trunks’ life and the apocalyptic world he grows up in. It does a great job of developing the friendship between Trunks and Gohan while setting the foundation for Trunks’ need to change the future. The thing I found most interesting about History of Trunks is how it approaches the world-building. Life is more or less normal until the Androids strike, and I think it’s an interesting way to approach the setting. The movie has a considerably darker, depressed tone to it, which is pretty unique considering the overall action-packed, lighthearted feel of the show. To top it all off, the animation is on par with that of the show and the English dub is pretty solid as well. If you’re a fan of the original show, then History of Trunks is definitely worth your time.
Dragon Ball Z Wrath of the Dragon: 2.5/5
Wrath of the Dragon was a mediocre film in comparison to the above Dragon Ball Z movies. I appreciated that it tried to explain the existence of Trunks’ sword in the current timeline, even though it does present some odd plot holes. Tapion’s character design was really distinct considering that he only appears in this movie (a crossover between Chrono and Link? Sold!), and the friendship between Kid Trunks and Tapion did feel genuine. The villains of the movie weren’t very interesting or developed, and the transformations that are usually such an enjoyable part of the show are hastily cut short.
The Boy and The Beast: 5/5
From the same studio that made Wolf Children, The Boy and The Beast is a fantastic coming of age story. After Ren runs away from his home, he finds himself in the beast world and becomes the disciple of Kumatetsu. Both are extremely strong-willed characters and fight a lot, but their mutual desire to no longer be alone encourages them to learn from each other and become stronger individuals. They work through their flaws, and the mutual respect and friendship that is forged between them is sweet and believable. The action is frenetic and intense, making every battle exciting to watch. The ending is satisfying as well, and the backdrops for the real world and the beast world are absolutely gorgeous, full of color and vibrancy.
Summer Wars: 3.5/5
Summer Wars is an imaginative movie that combines rural ways of life and modern technology into one engaging film with surprisingly high stakes at times. The characters are somewhat generic, but relatively likable despite the lack of complexity. Luckily, the avatar designs compensate for the characters. The story starts off somewhat slow but picks up as it goes on, and it ultimately manages to be one of the better part of the films. Along with the story’s buildup, the OZ system is strongly developed as well and creates one of the more unique, engaging aspects of the movie.
When Marnie Was There: 4/5
A bright, colorful film with one mystery after another, When Marnie Was There is a deceptively deep film. I liked the friendship between Anna and Marnie, and at first I disliked the reveal that Marnie was Anna’s grandmother because it disregarded their friendship throughout the film. It wasn’t until I thought about it a little later and realized that Anna, after seeing the mansion her grandmother grew up in, began to subconsciously remember the stories she was told by Marnie and then placed herself into them. It’s an ambiguous detail, but the film provides plenty of hints for the viewer to connect the dots. The story is about Anna wanting reassurance that she was loved and accepted, and by remembering Marnie as a young girl and close friend, even if imaginary, gave her what she needed in order to move forward. When Marnie Was There is definitely a film that benefits from more than one viewing in order to truly appreciate the story and characters.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: 3/5
The love triangle drama is irritating in the first half, although the main characters are pretty likable. The English dub is well acted and natural sounding. The movie gets a lot more intense as there become consequences for Makoto’s frequent time travel as a result of her running away from frivolous problems. I liked the twist that Chiaki was from the future, mostly because this revelation leads to Makoto to act more considerate and less selfish, even though I wish this hadn’t come so late in the movie. Ultimately, the movie is entertaining, but I think I’d prefer the focus to be on Chiaki and his story rather than Makoto because he seems like the more interesting character to follow and there was a lot more that I wanted to know about him.
Have any anime movie suggestions or disagree with my scores? Let me know in the comments!