Last Friday was the coldest day of this winter in Seoul; it was -15 Celsius (5 in Fahrenheit). Luckily I had a dinner appointment in Tokyo that day and could fly out from the cold storm. But the real luck was not my escape from being frozen to death: it was that I had a great chance to watch two anime movies that I dearly wanted to: “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take on Me” and “Mazinger Z Infinity.”
1. 中二病でも恋がしたい！Take on Me (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take on Me)
I’m a huge fan of this show. Expressing my affection to characters of this series is a real challenge to me with my poor English: especially to Rikka(六花). They always made me happy with reminding me of my old Chunibyo-days. The battle of Rikka and Shichimiya made my eyes weepy. The ending of the second season of the TV show was a great deal. It was a bright, lovely and happy ending. And three years have passed, and the entirely new sequel story has come as a theater movie.
‘Three years’ is a long time, and it is enough time to make our memories fade. Even for me, it was hard to grasp the character of Nibutani. But when I heard the call “Mori-sama,” a sparkling was sprout out from deep inside of my brain, and everything of her got settled down inside me. (same with Kumin-senpai) Believe me, it won’t take more than 10 minutes for everything is in order if you watched the previous seasons.
Although Kyoto Animation might want to make all around of Japan as holy places, it does not matter to us. The story was 6 months later from the end of 2nd cour (Ren – 戀 / Heart Throb). It engraves lovely characters – that love came out through 26 episodes – on us again, and it gives us the finale that we all wanted. It should be the right way to end a most beloved series.
One thing interesting to me was that there is a ‘photo time.’ Right after the movie begins, there is a time that we can take a picture of a scene and post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on. It was my first time to take a picture in a movie theater freely, and it is Japan! (I’ve heard that there was the same photo time in the Euphonium movie. It might be a genius move of Kyoto Animation to motivate virals.)
As usual, the theme songs are created/performed by ZAQ. Yes, she is also one of my favorite artist and songs of Chunibyo was always the best. Sparkling Daydream is still one of my best numbers.
I think this is the last of the Chunibyo series with considering other Kyoto Animation’s history. And I think this is the real and true happy ending ever after for original fans. I strongly recommend that this is a must watch, especially if you are a fan of the original series. And if possible, the movie theater is the best place to watch; because you can watch it with your comrades who can share their loves with you.
2. Mazinger Z Infinity
I was (maybe) nine year old when I first watched the show. The show was on-air 1972 in Japan and 1975 in Korea. In 1975, I was one year old and that must not the time I watched it. It should be sometime in the 1980s.
Mazinger Z Infinity is planned for the 50th anniversary of the debut of Nagai, Go (the original author) and the 45th anniversary of the show. There were some tries to make a sequel to Mazinger Z. But I don’t like those until now because I couldn’t feel any connection from the original series in them. I thought they were something of parallel universe that just borrowed the name and shape of the original. Considering positively, I think they were entirely new interpretations of the theme of the original: “You can be either God or Daemon with Mazinger.”
However, this is the real sequel to the Mazinger Z: precisely, Great Mazinger. The story is a 10 years after the final of Great Mazinger. The stage and characters are from the original series as they were. Although those figures are attractive ones, Mazinger Z was more a story-oriented anime than character-oriented anime; and the story of only one hero and one villain – Kabuto, Kouji (even there is Tetsuya – the hero of Great Mazinga) and Dr. Hell. And this Mazinger Z Infinity is the right period of the original story and the story of them.
The action sequence is marvelous. With contemporary 3D technology, the battles with Mechanical Beasts cannot be better. You can see all (indeed!) weapons and skills of Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger in this one movie. The completion of the 2D part is also excellent. The character design is glittering but still has the scent of the original.
The original character – Lisa, might be a little short. But we must understand that it is tough to set up a wholly new character just in a short 2-hour movie among long-time beloved characters. And we can now understand the real objective of Dr. Hell – why he has been bothering to conquer the world.
Someone might not like the last word of Sayaka (now she is the director of New Photonic Energy Lab). Yes, a great power always brings a risk also. Sometimes we fail. But we will get used to it and overcome it. That is the way we make the future. I will be on her side.