20 October 2014


Note: In terms of Japanese Anime, I'm not an expert and I have hardly any idea about the history and cultural importance of all things Anime / Manga / Hentai / etc. It's not me who watches these fims, it's a younger version of me, a clueless and inexperienced 10-year-old Maynard, the little boy who spent all day sitting in front of the TV watching animation series after he finished his homework ;-)


Original Title:
Koto no ha no niwa

Japan, 2013
Director: Makoto Shinkai


"The Garden of Words", the newest film by Anime pioneer Makoto Shinkai ("Children Who Chase Lost Voices") is the very first /Slash-film that brought me to tears, not kidding (I guess I'm getting old now). Shinkai tells the bittersweet story of a young, aspiring shoemaker who falls in love with a mysterious, slightly older and uber-beautiful woman who spends Japan's rainy season (whichs lasts from June to July in Japan) sitting alone in a park, drinking beer and eating chocolate...

It's a simple but wonderfully intriguing story, told in a surprisingly enigmatic way, ending up with a super-sad revelation that made me cry like crazy. Screenplay and direction are flawless, the two main characters are very believable and extremely adorable, the pacing is pitch-perfect, thanks to an unbelievably short runtime (only about 46 minutes!), and the look of the animation... *sigh* I'm at a loss of words. Breathtaking? Mindblowing? Otherworldly? I don't know. Go see it for yourself ASAP, you will love it, I'm sure! 

Wiki ~ Imdb


Original Title:
Sakasama no Patema

Japan, 2013
Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura


"Patema Inverted" is in some kinda way an Anime variation of the 2012 sci-fi drama "Upside Down", set in a dystopian world, telling the complex and fascinating story about the friendship between two youngsters who are separated by opposite gravities: a girl from a civilization that lives underground in a system of caverns and tunnels, and a boy who lives in a totalitarian regime on the outside.

An impressive concept, very well developed, entertaining and mesmerising, due to many extremely and totally unoreseeable plot twists, a lotta interesting and/or sympatethic characters and Yasuhiro Yoshiura's ("Time of Eve") energetic direction. The animation is a bit too old-fashioned, often rather underwhelming, but apart from that, "Patema Inverted" is a fantastic film, full of excellently thrilling moments and lovely humor.


Original Title:
Kaguyahime no monogatari

German Title:
Die Legende der Prinzessin Kaguya

Japan, 2013
Director: Isao Takahata


Based on the Japanese folktale "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter",
legendary Anime director Isao Takahata ("Grave of the Fireflies") created his first film in 14 years, an epic and touching, yet slightly overlong story of a girl who was found in a stalk of bamboo and rapidly grows into a gorgeous, exquisite and highly desired princess...

I was surprised about how amusing and heartwarming that film starts out, though I was even more surprised about the sad, depressing ending which I totally didn't see coming. The hand-drawn animation is stunning, I haven't seen anything like it before, and Takahata's direction is powerful, emotional and quite stirring. Still, it's simply too long (about 140 minutes) and would have worked so much better if 20-30 minutes shorter, because several scenes are too dull, too tedious.


  1. Excellent reviews. As a massive fan of Japanese anime, I have been meaning to watch Garden of Words, but I have yet to do so, even though I like Makoto Shinkai's other work.

    I have not heard of Patema Inverted before, but you have made me interested enough to watch it.

    As a fan of Studio Ghibli, I have been waiting for The Tale of The Princess Kaguya to be released on Blu-Ray, and I am glad to hear that you liked it for the most part.

    I'm curious, did the festival screen the movies in English dub or sub?

    By the way, since you love the horror genre so much, I would recommend the anime film Perfect Blue. The animation is a little dated, but it is a psychological horror/thriller, which heavily influenced Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.


    1. Thank you! I promise, I'll check out Perfect Blue anytime soon.

      Garden of Words >> Japanese with English subtitles.
      Princess Kaguya >> Japanese with German subtitles.
      Patema Inverted >> Japanese with English subtitles.

  2. hmm, y'know I hadn't been watching anime lately. I'll give Patema Inverted a try since I actually loved Upside Down.

    1. You as an Anime fan, you'll probably love all three of them, especially Patema.

  3. I can really get into anime - but I have to be in the mood. When I am though - I do love it.


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