Take Me to the Movies

Odds are when you ask somebody, “Yo, what do like better, the book or the movie?” the resounding answer is most likely “The book all the way, man.” Does the same apply for anime? Let’s take a look.

(I’m gonna do things a bit different,  I’ll be focusing on comparing television series and their movie counterpart rather than to the manga)

Oh Key and your heart wrenching stories. The television series was my first blind purchase and my introduction to the creators, Key. I knew I was in for a depressing ride (what originally got me interested was an amv that nearly made me cry) but I was all gung ho and approached the series with a certian naivete that was probably my downfall. I cried, yeah, but I love how Key can build a relationship then tear it down while laughing cruelly at the audience saying, “You knew it was coming.” Some people find this particular aspect to Key stories somewhat contrived or forced but, hell, it always works on me. In short I really enjoyed the show

As for the movie, for some reason I had it in my head that there was a happy ending. Inside I was like “Yes! They fixed the character designs (those huge eyes stare straight into your soul, soul I say!) and gave Misuzu and Yukito a happy ending, what more could I want?” However as the movie proceeded I slowly lost hope as it became increasingly clear that my assumption was WRONG. I liked the changes that were made (that I can remember, I watched the movie some time ago) but in the end I came out with the same – or perhaps less – feeling than after finishing the television series, probably because I knew how it would end, once it did finally dawn on me that this movie was basically a rehashing of the series. In the end I would have to say, chalk one up for TV.

In a perfect world this entry would be comparing the Brotherhood anime and the new movie, something something milos. But since I haven’t seen that movie yet, I’ll focus on the first series and its corresponding movie, Conqueror of Shamballa. My introduction to the Fullmetal Alchemist series was through Brotherhood, so my thoughts concerning the original 2003 anime were good but it never could compare, in my eyes, to Brotherhood – I know a lot of people won’t agree. However, when I finished I was satisfied with the result.

I liked the grand stage that was set in the movie and that it was a continuation of the show, and not a rehash of events we’ve already seen. But I still came away with the same ‘it was good not great’ feeling that I had with the show. In the end though, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the movie in that it finished what it started.

I have NOT seen the second movie, so this is based on the first movie alone. Now that that’s out of the way, let me just say this: I loved the television series for Higashi no Eden. There was just something so quirky and different about it that drew me in and didn’t let go. The idea that the hopes and dreams of a nation lay in the hands of a royally screwed up game was fascinating. The characters were refreshing, though Akira shared striking similarities to Morita from Honey and Clover (guess why), and Saki was one of those new cool female leads that didn’t fall into any of those overused stereotypes that anime tends to do with its female characters. The ending was a cliffhanger, yeah, and a lead in to the movies but that only made me want to watch more.

Now the fact that the movie was a disappointment to me may be due to the fact that there’s still one movie left. To me it felt like a goose chase, only to actually find the goose at the end and then suddenly cut the movie off with a cliffhanger, that basically says that – hopefully – the golden egg is shown in the final movie. I so hope that’s what it means.

Revolutionary Girl Utena is a classic, to say the least. Though I was a bit late to the party, after finishing the television series I counted myself as one of the many fans of this groundbreaking anime. I may have not gotten every single nuance and hidden meaning this show threw at me, but that gives me all the more reason to shell out ninety bucks for the remastered version provided by Nozomi and watch it all over again.

The movie on the other hand is something that I’m glad to say I watched just so I can say that I saw all of Revolutionary Girl Utena, but I will most likely not watch it again. I don’t know if it was just because I didn’t get it (though I didn’t quite get the TV series either and I still loved it) or there’s something else to it. Some of it just felt to silly to take seriously, like Utena turning into a car and whatnot, though I’m sure that was supposed to mean something. There were some beautiful moments in this movie, they’re just not enough of a reason to make me watch it again.

Evangelion is a beast, a weird beast with six heads and serpent tail. The television series was an experience, for I went in not really expecting anything. I knew people said this show went into really screwed up territory but the first few episodes left me with a different taste. I thought that maybe people were exaggerating, but little did I know that it got dark fast. The ending was a bit eh, but still I found it to be immensely enjoyable.

Instead of talking about End of Evangelion (which I don’t quite remember to begin with) I’ll be talking about the rebuild of Evangelion movies, specifically the first two. Now, in my opinion, Evangelion was made for the big screen and it shows in these two movies. The amount of detail put into these movies and the quality is just something else (wish I bought the blu-ray versions). The only thing I didn’t like was that they didn’t include the angel that made Asuka and Shinji learn synchronized dance moves. It was the most entertaining part of the television series for me. Other than that, though, these movies were awesome.

The television series for Haruhi Suzumiya took me a bit to get into. There was something about it that made it feel like I had seen it all before (endless eight joke? Naw, I haven’t seen the second season yet). I liked the quirky weirdness to it and all the characters were entertaining in their own way, even though they seemed at times to be just eccentric stereotypes.

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya however, made me love this series. For the entire two hours and fifty minutes, I was glued to the screen. The story and its execution was as near perfection as you can get, not to mention the art and the animation even saw an improvement even though that was amazing to begin with. Though I do wonder if I would have loved this movie as much if I hadn’t seen the series.

  For Ah! My Goddess I’m going to do things a bit differently. I first saw this movie when I was ten. I had no idea what the heck was going on but I still loved it. Some seven years later it finally dawned on me that I had never seen the anime to one of my favorite movies and so within the next week or so I watched the entire television series. It was funny little story, though there were things about it that irritated me.

I consider the Ah! My Goddess movie to be the crowning achievement of this franchise. It didn’t focus on any of those stupid little things that made the television series a bit of let down. The movie knew exactly what to focus its attention on, and that was the relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi. By getting rid of all that unnecessary baggage that weighed down the television series and focusing primarily on the romance, the movie became what this series should have been in the first place, a love story between two unlikely people.

Well, according to the results its 3 for television and 4 for movies, so I guess, I tend to like the movies better than the television series, but in the end it all depends on personal preference. And that’s it!

About Nishimura

An anime enthusiast who finds time to blog when she has no time to spare.
This entry was posted in Anime, editorials and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Take Me to the Movies

  1. Justin says:

    Hmm. I forgot to think of it that way–after all, most anime adaptations come from manga, or in a few cases (Like Code Geass and Blood series), the manga adaptations come from anime, and usually the original material is better. So this was an interesting post–anime tv series turned into movies!

    I liked the first anime adaptation of FMA. But after reading FMA, and watching just the first part of Brotherhood, I was like, “Dang, this is so much better^^”

    • The only other manga to anime on this list is Ah! My Goddess, which I have read most of, though the funny thing about this one is the movie came before the tv series. When does that happen?

      I didn’t get into FMA Brotherhood until episode 17ish, then I marathoned the entire series in about five days. I’ve been trying to read the manga (I’m on volume 10) but I dislike having to read online. It feels somewhat unnatural, so I’m trying to save up money so I can continue buying the volumes. It’ll take me awhile but I’ll finish it.

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