The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Review. MMMMMMM!!!

4 and a half stars
Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal pretty much traumatized me as a child.
I remember seeing a Skeksis crumble to dust in the opening minutes of the film and being absolutely terrified.
Now, years later, the Jim Henson Company and Netflix have released a prequel series to the original creepy, puppet, fantasy movie, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
Directed by Louis Leterrier, I came into this series with a vague sense of the original movie, since I think I was 12 the last time I watched it.
Well, Age of Resistance made me want to go back and watch that film because the Netflix series is fantastic, delivering a riveting story with great characters, music and puppetry.

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The puppetry in Age of Resistance is often top notch, with very few moments of an uncanny valley.

The Dark Crystal movie came out in 1982 so a lot of time has passed and this has given the creators the chance to improve on the puppetry and CGI.
The way the practical effects merge with computer generated effects is perfect, giving Age of Resistance a grand sense of scope.
The story follows three Gelflings; castle guard Rian (Taron Edgerton), the cave dwelling Deet (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Princess Brea (Anya Taylor Joy), learning that their lords, the Skeksis, are not so benevolent as they thought.
Realizing the threat the Skeksis pose to the world of Thra, the three Gelflings set out on their own individual journeys to stop the Skeksis and the Darkening they have caused by abusing the Dark Crystal.

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Rian, Deet and Brea’s journey to stop the Skesis results in numerous moments of high tension, fear, and sometimes laughter.

I came to care about all three of these Gelfling, who are all magnificently voice acted, with my favourite probably being Deet.
I liked her arc from beginning to end and also really enjoyed her friendship with the Podling Hup (Victor Yerrid).
Another thing I surprisingly enjoyed was the Skeksis themselves, who are over the top evil in the best of ways.
The Emperor (Jason Isaacs) is a commanding overlord, and The Scientist (Mark Hamill) uses his genius in cruelly malevolent ways.
By far the most investing Skeksis is Simon Pegg’s backstabbing Chamberlain.
With his constant “MMMMMMMs!”, he is as delightfully two-faced as I remember him being in the original movie.

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Describing The Chamberlain as a weasel is probably the most accurate way to describe his backstabbing nature.

As for the music, it further highlights the majesty of the world of Thra, and the danger whenever the characters’ lives are at risk.
Speaking of, there are a lot of deaths.
I have heard some describe this series as Game of Thrones with puppets and that is fairly accurate; although this should have been expected, given where the original movie starts off.
However, there are a few things that stop Age of Resistance from being perfect.
One is the fact that it is sometimes hard to take certain dramatic scenes seriously because, well, the characters are puppets.
Granted, these moments are few and bar between but they still happen.
By far the biggest problem, though, is that many of the characters seem to have changes in motivation at the drop of a hat.
Seladon (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a prime example of this; but easily the biggest instance of this is in episode four where at least four characters’ motivations seem to change almost instantaneously with no buildup.
Still, these issues do not ruin the experience as The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a well made show with a great story and characters, and brilliant effects, both practical and computer generated.
I highly recommend it, especially for fans of The Dark Crystal movie.

 

Weathering With You Review: A Beautiful Anime, Even if it is a Bit too Similar to Your Name.

4 and a half stars
After seeing Makoto Shinkai’s fantastic Your Name, I immediately bought a ticket to his next film Weathering With You, which I had the pleasure of watching last night.
And, yes, I said pleasure because Weathering With You is another great film from Shinkai.
While I did not feel as emotionally involved as I did when watching Your Name, I still cannot deny that Weathering With You is a mesmerizing film with amazing animation, relatable characters, and an intriguing story.

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Mokoto Shinkai has done it again, delivering another great anime film with Weathering With You. 

The story follows Hodaka Morishima (Kotara Daigo), a high school student who runs away to live in Tokyo, which is experiencing an unusually long sequence of rainfall and storms.
It is there that he meets Hina Amano (Nana Mori), a girl with the power to make the sun come out through prayer.
What follows is a moving romance between the pair as they work together to bring sunshine to the people of Tokyo.
The first thing I have to praise about Weathering With You is, of course, its incredible animation.
Shinkai is an absolute artist when it comes to animating his films and Weathering With You is no exception, having numerous jaw dropping shots of animation.
The way the rain and sun look in this anime is just gorgeous, which serves to bring the audience into the story a lot more.

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The animation of Weathering With You is fantastic and needs to be seen in theaters.

As for the story itself, the romance of Hodaka and Hina being wrapped up in this supernatural plot provides numerous interesting and moral questions about climate change that I found to be quite compelling.
The movie is also pretty funny as well, with probably my favourite gag being the cat Rain’s constant judgmental looks.
The side characters of the film are also likeable and you understand where a lot of them are coming from.
For example, a man that Hodaka meets upon arriving in Tokyo, named Keisuke Suga (Shun Oguri), had an interesting motivation by the film’s third act that, while never outright stated, was heavily implied, making his involvement more interesting.

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The implied nature of Suga’s arc in the third act made his role in the story work perfectly.

The music is also great with the song “Grand Escape”, which played in the trailer, being particularly special.
There are even appear a few Your Name cameos for fans of that film as well.
Speaking of Your Name, though, this is where I have a problem with Weathering With You because it follows a lot of the same story beats as Shinkai’s previous film.
I remember sitting in the theater and thinking, this is just like Your Name!
This did not ruin the experience but it was pretty noticeable by the film’s third act and ending.
Still, I found Weathering With You to be another great Shinkai film, and is one I would highly suggest watching in theaters so you can see the gorgeous animation on the big screen.
It is my favourite animated film of the year so far.

Mindhunter Season Two Review: The Terror Continues.

4 stars
I loved the first season of Mindhunter.
Created by Joe Penhall, and with many episodes directed by David Fincher, The Netflix series hooked me right off with its disturbingly realistic portrayal of actual serial killers.
I was eagerly anticipating the second season, and we finally got it now, two years later.
The second season picks up with Holden Ford (Jonathon Groff) recovering from his encounter with Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton) at the end of the first season.
After getting released from a mental hospital by Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), Holden meets back up with the team, consisting of Tench, Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) and Gregg Smith (Joe Tuttle), in their studies of serial killers.
What follows is a season that sees the characters interviewing a wide ranger of terrifying murderers, like David Berkowitz (Oliver Cooper), and those who manipulate others to kill, like Charles Manson (Damon Herriman).

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Many of the killers interviewed look just like they do in real life, with Manson and Berkowitz looking particularly true to life.

Most terrifying of all are the investigations into the BTK killer, Dennis Rader (Sonny Valicenti), and the Atlanta child murders, which eventually becomes the main focus of the season.
Just like the first season, what makes Mindhunter season two so scary is its horrifying realism.
Again, no murders are shown but the aftermath of these crimes, and the way they are explained by both the killers and surviving victims is horrifying.
This leads to one particularly disturbing scene when Tench is interviewing Kevin Bright (Andrew Yackel) a survivor of the BTK killer.
The way this scene is shot is so particular, the acting from Yackel so tragic, and the sound design so unnerving, that is makes the scene horrifying to watch, even though no violence is taking place.

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The interview scene with BTK survivor David Bright is probably one of the most chilling scenes in Mindhunter season two.

It is particularly disheartening to hear Tench make assumptions about BTK, only for us to know he is completely wrong, meaning they are further away from stopping him.
Speaking of Tench, he has the best story this season, with a tragic family event that makes his interactions with the killers even more personal.
A scene where a confrontation takes place between Tench and Manson is particularly illuminating to Tench’s character.
It is not all great, though, because compared to last season Mindhunter season two does fall short.
There are quite a few plot lines that are dropped like Ford’s panic attacks, which are quickly forgotten about, and the cat Carr was feeding last season, which is oddly left out of entirely.

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The first episode acts like Holden’s panic attacks are going to be a major plot line only for them to be dropped pretty quickly.

As for Carr, herself, she does not have much of a role in the back-half of the season, and a romance storyline she has feels a bit too similar to Ford’s relationship from the previous season as well.
However, these problems do not diminish how great Mindhunter is.
It is still a creepy show, with great fictional characters and terrifying real killers.
I am already looking forward to season three.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Review: A Bloody, Slice of Life, Love Letter.

5 stars
Coming into Quentin Tarintino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I had no idea what the runtime was.
After watching the film, and enjoying it immeasurably, I checked my watch to see how much time had past and was shocked to see that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had gone for two hours and forty minutes.
When you watch a long film but it feels like its over in minutes, that is when you know you have just seen a great movie.
It happened when I watched Avengers: Endgame earlier this year and it happened again with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as struggling actor Rick Dalton and his stuntman Cliff Booth respectively, as Dalton dwells on his failing career in the 60s with Booth for support.

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The friendship of Dalton and Booth is natural and often hilarious, with DiCaprio and Pitt doing amazing jobs.

Parallel to their story, we get Sharon Tate’s (Margot Robbie) as well in the build up to the infamous murders committed by the followers of Charles Manson (Damon Herriman).
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been described as a “love letter to ’60’s L.A” by the Hollywood Reporter, and this is certainly the case.
You can tell just from watching the film that Tarintino is someone who loves movies.
My favourite scenes of the film are the ones where aspects of cinema come into play.
The scenes where we are presented with Dalton acting as a villain on a show with a young costar Trudi (Julia Butters), and one where Tate goes to watch one of her own movies, The Wrecking Crew, are particular highlights.

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The interactions between Dalton and Trudi are probably my favourite part of the film with the TV show homages and insights into Dalton’s character. 

The film also has a lot of tension as well, due to the creepy nature of the Manson family, resulting in an almost nail biting scene about half way through.
It is the friendship between Dalton and Booth that is the true heart of the film, though.
Both DiCaprio and Pitt give incredible performances as these characters, allowing us to relate to them despite their less than admirable qualities.
And they are a part of a very large ensemble cast that includes Kurt Russel, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino.
With such a large cast and runtime it will make some wonder where the film is going… until the ending.
Honestly, I did not expect this kind of ending but, given that this is Tarintino we are talking about, I definitely should have.
All I can say about it is that it was a blast to watch.
I was laughing so hard at what was happening and, after a few minutes, I really began to question my mental state in doing so.
One thing I especially loved about the ending is its final seconds.
The final moments of the film really highlight the message that Tarantino is trying to sell, not just about Hollywood and the fate of Dalton and Booth but also the, sadly, very real life Tate murders as well.
It feels like a reflective ending that made me feel incredibly sad.
Overall, I absolutely loved Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
It has fantastic acting and amazing direction with all its movie homages, and a story that builds towards a darkly humorous, yet reflective, ending.
If you love movies then you should definitely see this in theaters.

Your Name Review: The Most Gorgeous Animated Film I Have Ever Seen.

5 stars
When I reviewed A Silent Voice a few weeks ago, I said that it was probably my favourite anime.
Well, after seeing Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, I can now say it has some serious competition for that title.
Like A Silent Voice, I had heard a lot about Your Name before I finally watched it.
I knew it was a body swap anime with romance but that is all I knew about it.
And you know what?
I am so glad that I did not know anything else about it because Your Name absolutely blew me away with its brilliant story twists.

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The shocking twists and turns in Your Name goes beyond its simple sounding, body swap story, and I love that.

This was surprising to me because, from what I heard of the plot, I thought I would find the anime a little too sappy and cliche for my tastes.
Thankfully, this was far from the case.
The anime follows two high schoolers, Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi) who lives in the small town of Itomori, and Taki Tachibana (Ryunosuke Kamiki) who loves in Tokyo.
Both lead normal lives until the two begin to mysteriously switch bodies every so often.
As they struggle to deal with this strange situation, they gradually learn more about one another and start to develop feelings for each other.
And that is all I will say about the film because, as I said, I love the direction the story takes and I do not want to spoil it for you.
The twists are engaging and add so much tension to the story, which is supported by the buildup of Mitsuha and Taki’s relationship.
I do not often enjoy romance films but this one was so moving I just could not help but get invested.
There were quite a few times towards the anime’s ending that I ended up crying.

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You will probably find yourself shedding tears a lot in Your Name‘s third act.

I also laughed a lot too, and I do not think there is a single joke that does not land.
One of the things I find interesting about Your Name is the Japanese elements that I missed on the first viewing, like the Red String of Fate.
When I researched this it made the themes of the film even more engaging.
Along with this, and the engaging story and romance, one of the big things that stuck out about Your Name to me was its absolutely gorgeous animation.
My jaw dropped multiple times in the first few minutes because I was astonished at how beautiful it all looked.
From viewing this film, and looking up his prior works, it is clear that Shinkai is an artist when it comes to animating his films.
With its beautiful animation, great story telling, and investing romance, Your Name is another anime film that should have been nominated for an Oscar, however, (aggravatingly but predictably) it was denied this.

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The fact that Your Name did not get nominated for its animation alone is a crime in my mind.

One interesting thing to note, though, is that Shinkai did not want Your Name to win an Oscar and actually advised people to stop watching it.
This is because the film is “incomplete” according to him since they ran out of money.
But, I think Shinkai is being too hard on himself.
From what I hear about what was supposed to be in the finished product, I actually think Your Name works better without these scenes, for the most part.
The one thing about the film that I think could have been done better is the relationship between Mitsuha and her father, which does not get a resolution.
However, the rest of the movie is so engaging and moving that it overshadows this one issue by a wide margin.
Want to know how much I loved Your Name?
I loved it so much that, after finishing it, I immediately bought a ticket to see Shinkai’s next film Weathering With You, which I will be seeing on August 22.
Your Name is a fantastic anime film.
It has jaw dropping animation, a thrilling story, and a romance that will make you tear up by the end.

The End of Evangelion Review: What did I just Watch!?

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The only explanation I can think of for what I just saw watching The End of Evangelion movie is that someone spiked my food halfway through, resulting in me having a weird, hallucinogenic drug trip.
Seriously, this movie seems like normal Neon Genesis Evangelion at the beggining, only for the third act to evolve into one of the craziest endings I have ever seen that needs to be seen to be believed.

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When the third act of The End of Evangelion began I was pretty sure I had been drugged because of how crazy it got.

Hideaki Anno made this film after many were left unsatisfied with the ending of his anime, to the point that some of them even sent him death threats.
However, rather than The End of Evangelion appeasing many of these cruel people it only made them angrier.
Having watched the film I can see why this would result in such anger, although sending death threats is never acceptable.
And, personally, I actually enjoyed The End of Evangelion, even though it left me thoroughly confused.
It is certainly a better ending that what we got in Neon Genesis Evangelion because it actually has a narrative.
But I do not just enjoy it because it is better than the original anime’s ending.
I also enjoy it because of the obvious thematic weight it has, with a lot of complex and often disturbing symbolism that left me quite creeped out.
Even before the shocking third act, the film had plenty of jaw dropping moments.
One moment came with one of my favourite parts of the movie, which is a brilliantly animated fight sequence involving Asuka (Yuko Miyamura).
This fight was thrilling, horrifying, and brought a conclusion to Asuka’s character arc, which I felt was left unfinished in the original anime.

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Asuka’s fight is the best in the entire Neon Genesis Evangelion series.

However, not every character is done well compared to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
A prime example of this is Shinji (Megumi Otaga) who I found to be quite unlikable compared to the original anime’s version of him.
This is because of his refusal to act, despite people dying around him, but also mostly because of something he does at the start of the film involving Asuka.
He is shown to regret his actions later on in the movie but this does not excuse that what he did is pretty deplorable.
Despite Shinji’s unlikability, though, I still found many of the characters to be well done and have fitting conclusions to their arcs this time around.
But the main thing that will come to mind whenever I think of The End of Evangelion will be that absolutely insane third act and ending that left me speechless and unsure of what to think.
It is bold, symbolic, and can only have been thought up by somebody in the middle of a mental breakdown, which I have heard Anno was when writing this.

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It is interesting to wonder what Hideaki Anno’s mental state was when he was writing this.

Whether he was having problems or not, Anno’s The End of Evangelion provides a better ending to the original ending, although not one that is particularly happy.
The insane nature of this third act makes it worth a watch.
The End of Evangelion is a movie that got me thinking, although I am not exactly sure what about.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Review: A Classic Anime with a Bizarre Ending.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion 
is one of the big classic anime.
Not only do a lot of people love the series but it also helped shape anime into what it is today.
So, with the anime being released on Netflix, I knew I had to check out.
And what did I think of it?
Well… its complicated.
After watching Evangelion, I had honestly no idea what I thought about it.
There were things I liked about the show and things I did not, and my mixture of feelings was blended into an anime with great symbolism, well done and problematic animation, along with a downright bizarre ending.
You probably all know the plot by now but, for those who do not, Neon Genesis Evangelion is set in a world where giant monsters known as Angels pose a threat to all of humanity.
In order to combat them and stop a world ending event known as the Third Impact, a group of children are chosen to pilot robots known as Evas to combat them.
Our main character is Shinji Ikari (Casey Mongillo), a 14-year-old boy whose father, Gendo (Ray Chase), leads Nerv, the organisation that runs the Eva program.
Shinji is called in by his estranged father to pilot Unit 2 and help save the world.
From there the story unfolds into an in depth character study of Shinji and his allies, along with plenty of Eva vs Angel fights spread out.

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The fights between the Evas and Angels are well handled and choreographed.

Speaking of these characters, I found them to be a bit of a mixed bag.
Shinji is a relatable protagonist, and I found his growing bond with his guardian Misato Katsuragi (Carrie Keranen) to be very well done.
But then there is the emotionless Rei Ayanami (Ryan Bartley) who was difficult to connect with a lot of the time, and Gendo, who both deserves the terrible father award and has pretty much no resolution with Shinji by the end.
And finally there are the characters who my opinion changed of over time.
A prime example of this is Asuka Langley Soryu (Stephanie McKeon), who I could not stand at first, until her backstory was revealed in an episode that sent her spiraling into a deep depression that I found very sympathetic.

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Evangelion offers a wide range of characters from the appealing, like Shinji and Misato, to the less than investing, like Rei.

However, while the characters were a bit hit or miss for me, I found that the symbolism and themes of Evangelion were usually spot on.
The director, Hideaki Anno has talked about how the anime expresses his experiences dealing with depression and this can clearly be seen with many of the characters.
Then there is the Christian symbolism, which is everywhere and incredibly well handled.
I have no idea what it means but I do not think we are supposed to.
Despite these themes, though, I honestly was not able to become fully immersed in Evangelion’s story until episode sixteen but, from that point on, I was fully on board.
Some really great episodes came after this point, my favourite of which is definitely episode nineteen, “A Man’s Battle”, which had plenty of amazing character development and the best action of the anime.

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“A Man’s Battle” is, without a doubt, the best Neon Genesis Evangelion episode.

This is helped by the great animation of the episode, which details all of the epic battle moments.
The animation is far from perfect throughout, unfortunately, as there are constant still shots that go on for long periods of time with nothing moving.
The worst of these comes in the first few episodes when there is a shot of Shiji and Misato staring at each other at a train station that feels like it goes on forever.
Sadly, the still images are not the only problem with Evangelion’s animation because it becomes quite obvious that they had almost no budget left by the final two episodes, with literal drawings being used.
Speaking of the ending, I had heard that it was not very good but I was not expecting the confusing, absurd, drug trip that I got.
I literally laughed out loud at the ending because of how nonsensical it felt.

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The ending to the Evangelion is certainly strange with its drug trip feeling complimented by its big animation issues.

The ending is not completely terrible because it does do justice to the characters’ inner psychology, especially with Shinji, however, there is no narrative cohesion whatsoever in these final two episodes.
I understand that the movie End of Evangelion (which I will be watching and reviewing soon) explains the ending but that is not good enough in my mind.
When watching a finale you need to understand what is happening without needing a follow up movie to get it.
Still, I will not say that the ending ruined what came before.
Overall, I found Neon Genesis Evangelion to be a good anime.
I cannot say that it affected me on the level that it obviously did countless other people but I can recognize its significance in the anime world.
Without Evangelion anime would be in a very different place to where it is now and for that it should be recognized.

 

Attack on Titan Chapter 120 Instant Review: A Stroll Down Memory Path Lane.

4 and a half stars
Coming into Attack on Titan Chapter 120, “Instant”, I was incredibly nervous.
After the shocking cliffhanger of Chapter 119, I was concerned that Eren would not survive.
Even though I was pretty sure he would, there was this lingering feeling of doubt in my mind.
Thankfully, the meme part of Attack on Titan‘s fan base was right because, as they predicted, Zeke catches Eren’s head when it falls towards him, showing that his baseball skills have more than paid off.
This allows Zeke to send him and Eren to the Path dimension for Eren to recover.
It is here that we get what I already consider to be some of the most glorious panels in the manga.
The one of Eren standing, illuminated by the light of where the Paths meet the Coordinate, is beautiful, and shows just how far Hajime Isayama has come as an artist.
Along with the great artwork, the character development of this scene is also stellar, with Eren and Zeke attempting to top one another with their betrayals.
Eren’s line here about how he betrayed his brother “because I was born into this world” is amazing and probably my favourite usage of that recurring line.
Before this, however, we get official conformation that the girl who saved Zeke in Chapter 115 is Ymir Fritz, the first Titan Shifter.
One thing I did not expect, though, was that Ymir apparently has no mind of her own.
She just serves the royal blooded Titan Shifters, which is why she saved Zeke, essentially making her a slave.
This seems to carry through with the themes of freedom Attack on Titan is known for, and has me wondering if Eren will attempt to free Ymir from her enslavement.
He looks like he wants to help her when he realizes her position.
I have actually already heard a pretty good theory that the Attack Titan was created to eventually save Ymir since it stands for freedom.
But, whatever happens, I do hope Ymir has more of a role in the story because it would be disappointing if the most important character in the series’ lore was reduced to an emotionless slave.
Anyway, after her introduction we get the betrayal topping scene, where Eren betrays Zeke, only for Zeke to betray Eren.
I expected Eren to turn on Zeke because I knew there was no way he would be in favor of the euthanasia plan but I had no idea Zeke was suspicious of Eren’s true motives.
I thought he was blinded by the love he has for his brother.
It was great to see that Zeke had actually outsmarted Eren here because, in earlier chapters, I thought Zeke was getting stupider.
These last few chapters Isayama has really hammered home how intelligent Zeke is again.
Just how intelligent?
Well, after spending so long in the Path dimension with Ymir, waiting for Eren to wake up, Zeke has found a way to remove the Fritz King’s renunciation of war.
This not only allows him to have control over the Founding Titan but, supposedly, should allow any royal blooded person who inherits the power to use it.
So, for example, if Historia or her child inherited the Founding Titan in the future they may be able to use it fully, without being influenced by the first king’s ideology.
Speaking of Historia, I would like to go back to the moment just when Zeke catches Eren’s head.
After this moment, we get a full page panel of Eren’s memories, along with Kruger’s and potentially Uri’s.
Here we get an image of Historia who we can see is wearing the clothes she wore in the flashback panels of Chapter 108, where she was seen talking to her child’s supposed father while a mysterious figure looked on.
This figure is thought to have been Eren by a lot of readers and this image of Historia from his perspective seems to support that.
If this is Eren talking to Historia at that moment then it could be when he convinced her she needed to get pregnant so she could save herself.
Whether this means Eren is the father remains to be seen but, with this image being shown, I do not think conformation is far off.
In fact, we may get a bunch of reveals going forward as Eren and Zeke look over Grisha’s memories.
In “Instant” Zeke is showing Eren their father’s memories to prove to him how Grisha has brainwashed him, only for the reverse to happen.
Instead of Zeke proving to Eren that Grisha never felt sorry for his actions, Zeke learns that he actually did.
The two brothers see their father quickly track down the location of the Founding Titan, only to abandon his mission to stay with his family.
This means Grisha took the Founding Titan when he was left with no other choice after the Colossal and Armoured Titan attacked.
Oddly enough, he even seems to see Zeke and apologies to him for how he was treated as a child.
Zeke is clearly very affected by this and that fact has me wondering if Eren could actually sway him into changing his mindset.
As for what would push him in this direction, I think maybe seeing that his father figure Tom Xaver was working with Eren Kruger could do the trick.
Again, this is just a theory of mine but with images of Kruger’s life being seen in that big memory panel it stands to reason we could get some memories from him next chapter.
And what memory could be better to get Zeke to help Eren than one of Xaver helping Kruger?
However, Zeke working with Eren may not be a good thing since I currently think Eren is planning to destroy the world with the Rumbling.
Still, we do not know Eren’s goal but this seems to be the most likely scenario.
Setting aside this grim topic, I have to say I found the scenes in Grisha’s memories to be rather funny at times.
There is a great moment of sarcasm from Eren and we even see a moment that confirms Grisha meet Kenny.
The reason I found that last one funny is because as Grisha is walking away from him he is sweating like a mad man, probably realizing how demented Kenny was.
It will be interesting to see what memories Eren and Zeke will uncover next chapter.
Maybe they will go even further and see the origins of the Titans?
Fingers crossed.
No matter how much they see, though, almost no time will have passed in the present, as shown perfectly by the title of the chapter “Instant”.
This title speaks to how all that is happening in the Path dimension will be over in an instant once Eren and Zeke return to the real world.
Overall, I thought Chapter 120 was another great one of Attack on Titan.
It once again went in a direction I did not expect, and looks to be laying the foundation for future reveals and the end of the manga.
At the very least, I think we have ten chapters left before we finally reach the story’s conclusion.

A Silent Voice Review: Thank You, Kyoto Animation.

5 stars
I remember hearing a lot about A Silent Voice when it was released.
The film got a lot of praise as one of the best animated films of 2016 and there was much controversy (entirely warranted in my opinion) that films like the Boss Baby were nominated at the Oscars over it.
However, despite the praise, I never got around to watching it.
In fact, prior to a few days ago I had never watched anything Kyoto Animation had made, as far as I am aware.
This changed when news of the horrific arson attack at their studio, which has currently claimed 35 lives, hit me.
Along with this news, I heard countless statements about what a wonderful studio it was and how it not only put out amazing anime but also provided progressive working conditions for its staff, which is unfortunately a rarity in the anime industry today.
This motivated me to watch A Silent Voice and experience the emotional roller coaster the film is.
And, after seeing it, I can say that I regret not watching the movie when it first came out.
A Silent Voice is an incredibly thoughtful and tear jerking movie that can only be described as an experience.
Directed by Naoko Yamada, and based off the manga by Yoshitoki Ōima, our main character is Shoya Ishida (Miyu Irino), a student riddled with guilt over his relentless bullying of a deaf girl named Shoko Nishimiya (Saori Hayami) years ago.
Struggling through depression and isolation because of his actions, Ishida sets out to makes amends and pursues a friendship with Nishimiya.
And so the emotional tale unfolds.

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The emerging friendship of Ishida and Nishimiya is heart warming, as Ishida tries his best to make up for what he did, while not believing he deserves forgiveness.

I have to say that choosing Ishida for the main character was a risky move since showing the perspective of a bully could have failed miserably.
Had A Silent Voice gone the cliche route with Ishida simply being misunderstood and acting out because of a bad home life, it would have done so.
Thankfully, Ishida’s actions are portrayed naturally with reasons given for why he treated Nishimiya so horribly.
But, this does not excuse Ishida of what he did and he knows this.
His guilt manifests in such a harmful way that he can no longer look anyone in the eye, ingeniously shown by a blue X over his classmates’ faces.
The journey he goes through to make amends with those he has hurt and to forgive himself is moving.
Along with him, we are also given the struggles of Nishimiya as she deals with her hearing impairment in a world that struggles to understand and often lashes out.
The growing friendship of her and Ishida, and both of them moving towards self acceptance, is the emotional core of the film, resulting in many tear jerking moments.
I am not ashamed to admit I cried at the film’s ending.

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I teared up a lot in the last half hour of A Silent Voice, making it one of the most emotional third acts I have seen in a long time.

However, A Silent Voice is also an anime that deals with harsh material like suicide so it is not for the faint of heart.
Even if you think you will be alright watching it I still suggest preparing the tissues before doing so.
A Silent Voice may be my favourite anime film.
I know I have just seen it but I cannot remember the last time an anime affected me on such an emotional level.
I am just sad that it took the tragedy at Kyoto Animation for me to finally watch it.
I will leave the link to the GoFundMe page for Kyoto Animation down below.
Over two million dollars has already been raised and it would be great to see this number rise.
I hope the money goes to helping the victims and their families, and I hope this is not the end for Kyoto Animation.
I could say a number of things to sum up A Silent Voice and what an emotional experience it is but, after thinking it over, there is really only one thing that needs to be said.
Thank you, Kyoto Animation.

 

To help Kyoto Animation you can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kyoani-heal

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes Review – Bad Episode Leads to Great Film.

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My least favourite episode of My Hero Academia season three is definitely “Save the World with Love!”
This episode is complete filler that breaks the built up tension of the arc, and the only point it serves is to advertise a movie.
However, I will admit that, even though I disliked it, the episode did succeed in its goal of getting me to watch the movie, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes. 
And I am glad I watched it because the film is so enjoyable that it makes watching the bad “Save the World with Love” episode worth it.
Directed by Kenji Nagasaki, Two Heroes follows Deku (Daiki Yamishita) and All Might (Kenta Miyake) on a trip to I-Island, a place where quirks are studied.
There, All Might reunites with his good friend David Shield (Katsuhisa Namasae) and his daughter Melissa (Mirai Shida).

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Deku gets to meet important people in All Might’s life upon traveling to I-Island.

After befriending Melissa, and then coincidentally meeting up with most of his other friends from U.A, things go wrong for Deku when a group of villains attack the island and capture All Might and Dave.
With the odds against them, Deku and his hero friends have to work together to rescue them and defeat the villains.
One thing I want to praise Two Heroes for right off the bat is its amazing animation.
I was in awe over how amazing it is right from the first minute.
The fantastic animation, along with the typically great music, adds to the tension of scenes, with the story becoming more exciting because of this.
Speaking of the story, learning more about All Might’s rise to become the world’s number one hero and seeing his friendship with Dave was interesting.

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The friendship of All Might and Dave leads to some great backstory and development in the film.

Dave and Melissa themselves are great characters but, given that this is a standalone movie, I doubt we will see them in the anime any time soon, if at all.
This does raise a few issues, considering that Melissa designs some equipment for Deku that will probably never be used again, despite their evident usefulness, but that is a minor problem which can be overlooked by all the film’s great features.
One of these features is the hilarious comedy.
I usually find Mineta (Ryo Hirohashi) to more of a creep rather than funny in the anime, but in the film he had me clutching my sides with laughter.
He is not the only character that shines though because all of the other U.A students are given moments that highlight their strengths.

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Even if all of the U.A students being on the island at the same time feels a bit too coincidental, they are all given their chance to shine.

Even some of the villain characters are good, with one having a sympathetic motive that makes you understand them.
However, while the main villain of the film is interesting in terms of his quirk and power level, as a character he is one of My Hero Academia‘s most boring villains yet.
Still, at least his battle with Deku and All Might results in some cheer worthy moments for the two of them.
In the end, Two Heroes is a great addition to the My Hero Academia series.
The direction it takes makes it stand out from other anime movies, in my eyes.