Anime Review 20: Dead Leaves, Puella Magi Madoka Magika, and Mahoromatic
Dead Leaves is a 2006 movie that I really enjoyed. (I think I'll buy it on DVD since I haven't treated myself to an anime movie DVD in a few years.)
The movie is a violent, sexually explicit string of what-the-fuck.It takes place in a future where the moon is basically a shell of what it used to be, and houses a huge prison. Two fugitives wake up on Earth with no clothes and no memories of who they are. One of them is called "Pandy" because she has a red spot over one eye like a panda (if pandas had red spots?) and the other one has a TV for a head. So the duo go on a maniacal crime spree, get caught by the cops, and sent to moon prison, where they have sex, make a baby that comes at an unusually fast rate, start a prison riot, plot their escape, fight killer robots, and gradually discover their unknown pasts amidst all the craziness.
It's an epic thrill ride of a movie. It reminded me a lot of Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt and FLCL; so fans of trippy anime with goofy nonsense and lightening-paced action will not be disappointed.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (a.k.a. Madoka)
Madoka seemed stupid to me because I was like "magical girls?" "wishes?" = lame. But that totally isn't the case. Madoka is not your typical Magical Girl show and that's why I love it. It seems to me to be like the Evangelion of Magical Girl shows; it focuses on deconstruction and shows life-or-death struggles as well as powerful emotions such as fear, heartache, grief, and regret.
Those are things you typically don't see in Magical Girl shows, which are usually sickeningly peppy. The beginning is about these girls who agonize over the decision to become magical girls when a cute little talking animal named Kyubey takes notice of them and offers them a deal. They can have one wish, in exchange for a lifetime of service to him as a magical girl. There seems to be two major older magical girls, one, Mami, who really wants the new girls, Sayaka and Madoka, to join, and a mysterious dark-haired girl, Homura, who opposes the idea of any new girls getting involved. The show is more morally complex and deeper than most shows like it ever got to be.
And it's made by Studio Shaft, who also gave us Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, which to me is brilliant. This is one that I definitely want to finish. You know by the third episode, a very important character (I won't say who) dies? No, this isn't your typical rainbows and princesses show at all.
It sucks. It just does. Calling it mediocre would be generous. It's a show about a badass fighting android chick who is close to retiring from service. Tired of combat she decides to go be this boy's maid. The boy lives alone and I guess anyone would feel sorry for him, but she takes a serious role as his servant, mother figure, protector, and sort-of girlfriend. Jealous of this relationship is the boy's teacher, who has no character traits beyond "big-boobed" and "crazy-lustful for the main character".
And the fact that he lives in a school where cute girls are always unrealistically interested in him as well and have a similar lack of character depth, it's safe to call this a harem genre anime show. Except it tries to be bittersweet because you know that the maid has a limited number of days left until she will die.
So the show looks like a hentai or ecchi with everything explicit taken out, and then tries to pretend it's a bittersweet love story. So it's a failure at being a love story because there isn't enough depth, and a failure at being porn because there isn't enough actual sex. It sucks. I want to tie it in a bag and throw it in the river with a cement block tied to it, in the hope that it will die and never surface again. Ok maybe that's a little far. But still, you get my point. I'm mad at this for taking up time I could've used to watch more Madoka.
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Anime Review 19: Gurren Lagann, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and Darker Than Black