I hope that everyone has been doing well this week, and are
making plans for the weekend.
Except for trying to save some money, due to the expenses
from last month and a huge expense to come soon (no thanks to the stupidity
that is software subscriptions), things have been going fairly well because
Project Gutenberg makes it easy to get access to titles, but I have not really been
taking advantage of the streaming services I have access to, so I decided to
change my mind on rarely covering titles I do not buy.
Today, I will be reviewing a movie from one of those
services, which is called The
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky.
The country of Liberl has had its share of wars and is
currently recovering from a decade long war, which some people have forgotten.
However, the horrors still haunt a few individual, and when
somebody close disappears, Estelle and her comrades rush out to find the
missing person, only to get involved in something that may be just as bad as
the recent war.
Unlike anime series, which have been able to keep me
interested and satisfied quite a bit, movies have not really faired that well
with me, with the Yu
Yu Hakusho movie faring the worst, so I was not too sure if this one would
be any good.
And, after watching this movie, I can say that I was pretty
Fortunately, there were a few things that I liked, so I do
not need to skip right into what I hated.
From the moment that I started watching this movie, I
actually felt like I was watching a movie.
Some of you guys might be sighing, and saying that it does
because it is a movie, though not in the same sense as The
Boy and the Beast, so that does make some sense.
However, a movie is not a movie just because it is marketed
For example, I am a huge of fan of Detective Conan,
having seen 14 of the 20 or so movies and caught up with the Japanese releases
of the manga, in spite of the fact that the releases where I live are only
barely going to surpass the Swedish releases, but none of the Detective
Conan movies actually felt like movies until somewhere around The
Last Wizard of the Century or the end of The
Fourteenth Target, as the movies felt more like extended-length episodes.
People might like it when there is a special episode of
their favorite series that is longer than the others, but I do not think that
they like to have something marketed as movie to feel like anything other than
After all, no matter how horrible movies from Hollywood have
become, I at least know that I am watching a movie, which makes it easier for
me to escape reality.
Likewise, Kinema Citrus seems to understand the importance
of not making this feel like some extended-length anime episode, though this
series never really had television series like Detective Conan has, and
it makes me want to give them quite a bit of applause, though not as much as Barakamon,
which has become one of my favorite anime.
If they were not able to deliver this much, I would have
lost any and all faith in them that I got from seeing how they did such a good
job with Barakamon, and such a steep decline in quality would ultimately
lead to fans being disgusted enough to not support a studio anymore, which is
something that people in the creative fields should not want, but because they
did, I can only congratulate them on a job well done.
Another nice thing about this movie was the action actually
felt exciting to watch.
Back in the days when I first got into anime, which was
around the time that DBZ and Sailor Moon were airing on Toonami, the
action that was present continually had me on the edge of my seat, whether that
was the original fight between Goku and Frieza, the fights in Rurouni
Kenshin's Kyoto arc, or the fights in Yu Yu Hakusho's Dark
Tournament saga. These were the best moments of anime that were present when I
was growing up, though I would only consider Rurouni Kenshin and Yu
Yu Hakusho great out of all the anime that I grew up with.
However, action anime has really taken a nose dive these
days to the point where there are probably only one or two anime from the last
five years that can match the excitement of even the worst anime from my
childhood and teenage years, none of which includes the overrated Attack on
Titan, and that makes me sad about the state anime today, aside from the
mistakes made today that cannot be found in anime from the past.
Action should present for the sake of eye candy. It should
be present to add some excitement to the mix, yet many studios do not seem to
understand that today.
Fortunately, not all studios that make anime have lost their
way like a good majority of Hollywood has, and Kinema Citrus seems to
understand this as well as they understood the importance of being able to
understand the struggles of characters in Barakamon, and that makes me want to
give them a bit more applause.
If the action in Attack on Titan were more like this,
I would have been more willing to check out the season that premiered year, as
that was part of why I did not entirely like the show.
Then again, great action can only improve the quality of an
anime so much, so things will have to get back up to the same level as or
better than what could be found in Yu Yu Hakusho to make things any
The thing that I liked the most though were the subtitles.
While I do not necessarily care too much if I watch anime
dubbed or subbed, at least when I am not dealing with anything like a headache,
I have had more a hit and miss experience with subtitles than I have had with
In the anime community, there is an ongoing debate between
dubs and subs, which can become just as heated as discussions dealing with
religion or politics, and many people out there claim that people are not fans
unless they watch anime subbed, even though, like my biggest problem with NIS
Toradora! release, subtitles present issues that do not exist with dubbed
anime, such as font color not contrasting well or font size being too small to
read and watch at the same time, and they problem did not understand Japanese
to begin with.
In this movie, however, Sentai Filmworks provided subtitles
that were easy to read, in both font size and color contrast, to the point
where I could somewhat follow what was going on in this movie, though not
technically good enough to fill in all the questions that I got from watching
this movie, as there is only so much that Sentai Filmworks could do to make
things any better.
Sentai Filmworks seems to rarely dub anime these days, or
even stream their dubs, considering that I could only find the dubbed version
of this movie over on Amazon and a few
online retailers, but they seem to know what great subtitles should be like, as
they should since they are the new face of what was ADV Films, and that makes
me want to actually consider checking out more of their titles, though I wish
that more of the dubbed stuff was available for streaming, much like how I wish
Hulu had more anime dubs.
Seriously, this reminding me of the great subtitles that
were found in the Lupin III vs Detective Conan movie
that Discotek released roughly a year or so ago, and is what I wish all subs
were like, though that does not mean that subtitles themselves would actually
improve in accuracy, which is something that I cannot determine with anime.
If subtitles were more like those from FUNimation,
Crunchyroll, Discotek, and Sentai Filmworks, there would be not need for these
pointless dub vs sub debates where people do not seem to acknowledge the true
possible issues with subtitles in order to pass an opinion off as fact.
Unfortunately, the sub vs. dub debate will not end any time
soon, much like how the Mac vs. PC wars seemed to have lasted forever, and
people will continue to say that true anime fans only watch anime
subbed, so all I can do is just sit back and watch as the anime community the
equivalent of regilious groups trying to convince people they are more right
Still, that does not mean that Sentai Filmworks should not
be praised for what they have done. Nice job, Sentai.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked.
Because the movie felt like a movie, the action found was
very exciting, and the subtitles were easy to read, this was a pretty decent
Although there were things that I liked about the movie,
there are some issues.
While I did kind of enjoy myself throughout the duration of
the movie, I did not really know what was going on, and I could not really tell
you guys what the movie was about, though I was able to write up some sort of
According the official summary, which can be found at the
Amazon link that I provided earlier, I got the feeling that this movie would be
more along the lines of something like the 2003 adaptation of FMA, where the
characters actually go on a journey and uncover truths, which was what made me
want to try to watch this movie.
However, when I actually took the time to sit down and watch
this movie, I did not know how the characters related and why it was so
important for them to go find the person that just went missing near the
beginning or why the enemy did what they did.
Yes, there were some backstories that seemed like they were
sad and explained the motivations behind each character, but, other than the
organization's name, which I already forgot, I did not feel like I knew the
group themselves and why the same missing character that the main cast was
searching for said that they needed to be brought down.
A good work of fiction must not leave holes like this in the
overall story, and having something like this is much worse than what the anime
staff at TMS did in episodes 5
of Detective Conan, as that series could still be followed easily in
spite of the plot holes created.
What happened, Kinema Citrus? You guys delivered gold when
you adapted Barakamon, yet you guys utterly fail to deliver something
that is just as easy to follow?
Maybe, these things are answered in the game, which seems to have been accepted more
by the public than this movie, because there are reports that this movie does
not start where the first game in original series starts, but I should not even
need to have played the game to understand what is going on, much like how I
did not need to read the Yu Yu Hakusho or Rurouni Kenshin manga
to fully appreciate their anime adaptations.
Adaptations of already existing series are their own work
and should not expect the viewer to be familiar with the original, yet the
staff at Kinema Citrus thought this was okay.
Well, I have news for them. This is not okay, and makes the
studio look like a joke.
Really, guys? Is it really that difficult to create
something decent, even just to kill time?
My writing may not exactly be the best, but I know that my
own books at least do that much right, even if they may be terribly flawed and
full of things that I would berate other writers for, so I expect the same
thing from an anime studio.
Nice going, Kinema Citrus, you really ruined the respect
that I had for you guys back when I reviewed Barakamon.
The thing that I hated the most though was how this movie
did not seem like it had an ending.
Even though the movie does end with Estelle and the missing
person reunited at last and the enemy mostly defeated, I did not feel like I
got an actual ending because there were so many loose ends, mostly causes by
the first problem with this movie, and one of the enemies talked like he was
about to become something that he did not want.
Endings do not need to be an actual end to be good, as the
original creator can decide to pick things up at a later time, but it does need
to feel complete, and this movie does not feel complete.
Yes, anime is used to promote series, and there does seem to
be a second special, if a page
on MAL is to be believed, but endings are what gives the audience a sense of
closure, or even the need to continue on with a work, and the staff that work
on this movie did seem to realize this.
After all, I doubt that there is anybody out there that
would say a series was great if they did not receive a complete end.
Honestly, if the movie was better than it was, I could have
overlooked this problem, as it was a decent enough ending, but I cannot because
this movie already had a terrible that kept it from being great, and this is
the second one.
Is this seriously the best that the staff at Kinema Citrus
could dish out?
I sure hope not because the next title from these guys might
make me want to not support them ever again, much like I decided not to support
NIS America's sub only releases because of their terrible subtitles.
Thankfully, noting else bugged to no end, especially because
I do not have access to the dubbed version of this movie, though Sentai
Filmworks does list English voice actors and actresses, so the movie could not
look any worse than it does.
While there were only two things wrong with this movie, both
were bad enough that the movie went from ok to atrocious.
Despite the fact that there were things to like, the
negatives outweighed the enough to make this a waste of time.
I recommend everyone to avoid this movie like the plague,
but if you really want to check this series out, it might be best to get the
game from Amazon or Steam.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon, so that I can find more worthwhile anime for you guys to
watch, and do whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.
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