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AUDIO REVIEW: Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, I’m back again with another review and today I get to share my thoughts on Dragon Ball Super: Broly via my podcast, Film Focus.

Recently I shared my written review, however, I felt like I had more to say about this film and to properly illustrate how much this film means to me, I knew an episode on the podcast would be in order. Plus I also go into a little more detail about some of the stuff relating to the plot, characters and visual presentation. Now I have been following this film since the first teaser trailer and each bit of marketing has made my hype increase. And after waiting over a month after the initial Japanese release I’ve finally seen it and I am ready to pass judgement. So join me for this spoiler-free review to see how this latest Dragon Ball adventure turned out!

Check out my review below:

So have you seen Dragon Ball Super: Broly and if so what did you think of it? I really want to hear your thoughts on this film so drop your thoughts in the comments below and if you have some spare time subscribe to my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2019 in Anime, Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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A Brief Look Back At The Dragon Ball Z Films

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, it’s Christmas Eve and my present to you lot is another film-related topic that is ripe for discussion and today I’m sharing my thoughts on the 15 Dragon Ball Z films via my podcast, Film Focus.

Okay so here is a subject I’ve wanted to cover for a while, and after a few delays, I finally got around got around to discussing the Dragon Ball Z films. With Dragon Ball Super: Broly recently released in Japan and the western release in cinemas dropping in January, I thought it would be interesting to revisit all 15 of the Dragon Ball Z films and see how they held up. Now I love the Dragon Ball franchise, I grew up with DBZ and the films have are an interesting collection of material that ranges from pretty awesome to very bad, and I thought it would be fun to examine each of the films briefly and discuss:

1) The pros and cons.
2) The story, characters and presentation.
3) Whether the films have gotten better or worse after my recent viewings from a subjective point of view.

So join me on an epic journey through these series of films to see which of them hold up and which ones do not. 😀

P.S. I tried my best to be as thorough and objective as possible, but this episode does feature some minor mistakes, some biased opinions and some films that don’t get as much time as others due to certain films having more interesting elements than others. So if any of this stuff bothers you, apologies in advance.

Check out my review below:

So have you seen any of the Dragon Ball Z films and if so what did you think of it? Also, which one is your favourite and are you excited for the Broly film? I really want to hear your thoughts on this film so drop your thoughts in the comments below and if you have some spare time subscribe to my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2018 in Anime, Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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New Dragon Ball Series Entitled “Dragon Ball Super” To Debut In July!

Howdy people of the internet, time for some TV news, more specifically anime related news. It has been a good while since I posted any news on this blog, but I just haven’t been that interested in posting anything in the world of films. HOWEVER, today I’m chilling online and I see this these crazy words on my Facebook news feed, “New “Dragon Ball Super” TV Series Announced For 2015.” and I’m like “WHAT!?!” I don’t believe it, but then I check on Google and it is true, Dragon Ball is coming back and it isn’t another version of Dragon Ball Z, but something new entirely and this is something I have to talk about.

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The following information comes from Kanzenshuu:

“A new Dragon Ball TV series has been announced: Dragon Ball Super will debut this July and will run as a weekly series at 9:00 a.m. on Fuji TV, taking the time slot of the Dragon Ball Kai TV series. The story and characters will be developed by original manga author Akira Toriyama himself and will star veteran voice actress Masako Nozawa.

The “Dragon Ball SSSS” website provided quotes from the cast and production staff in conjunction with the announcement, most of which was also reiterated and translated in an English-language press release from Toei Animation:

Toei Animation Begins Production on Dragon Ball Super
Drawn From a Plot By The Brand’s Original Creator, Dragon Ball Super Is The First New Series In
Eighteen Years

TOKYO (April 28, 2015) – Toei Animation has announced production on Dragon Ball Super (Japanese title; tentative for English release), the first all-new Dragon Ball television series to be released in 18 years. Following the recent events of the hit feature film, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Dragon Ball Super will debut in Japan in July 2015.

Reuniting the franchise’s iconic characters, Dragon Ball Super will follow the aftermath of Goku’s fierce battle with Majin Buu, as he attempts to maintain earth’s fragile peace. Overseen by Dragon Ball’s original creator, Akira Toriyama and produced with Fuji Television, Dragon Ball Super will draw on its historic past to create a bold, new universe welcoming to fans and endearing to new viewers.

Introduced as a manga in Weekly Shonen Jump (published from SHUEISHA Inc.) in 1984, Dragon Ball has evolved into a globally beloved brand. Seen in more than 70 countries, with over 230 million copies of its comic books sold, Dragon Ball remains one of the most popular anime series of all time.

“Having loved Dragon Ball since childhood, it is very exciting to be a part of this project,” said Osamu Nozaki, producer for Fuji Television. “Mr. Toriyama has developed a plot that’s not only a dream come true for Dragon Ball‘s millions of fans, but one that will foster in a new generation of viewers.”

“When I joined Toei Animation, one of my first assignments saw me working on the production of Dragon Ball Z,” said Atsushi Kido, producer for Toei Animation. “While there for only a short period of time, being a part of the series left a lasting impression. We look forward to carrying on Dragon Ball‘s tremendous legacy, bringing audiences a brand new Dragon Ball with the same sense of heart and commitment that went into past Dragon Ball productions.”

“I’ve used the word ‘cho’ (super) in so many commercials, games and other media, it is fantastic that the long awaited Dragon Ball Super will finally begin,” said Masako Nozawa, Japanese voice actress of Dragon Ball’s Son Goku, Son Gohan and Son Goten. “I hope that this series will last a long time and have the same impact around the world as its predecessor.”

Much like with the arcade and PlayStation 2 fighting game Super Dragon Ball Z, the chō in the new TV series’ title (ドラゴンボール超) is accompanied by a sūpā pronunciation as Dragon Ball Z Super.

The new TV series will be directed by Kimitoshi Chioka, whose only work with the franchise thus far was as a story boarder in Battle of Gods, and will be produced by Osamu Nozaki (Fuji TV), Naoko Sagawa (Yomiko Advertising), and Mutsumi Kido (Toei Animation). While Nozaki and Sagawa were both recent producers for Dragon Ball Kai, Kido served a short time as an assistant producer during the production of Dragon Ball Z.

Fans are sure to question whether or not this new series’ timeframe will overlap or lead into Dragon Ball GT. While the new series is said to pick up in a period of peace following the battle with Majin Buu, there is not yet any word on the specific timeframe (for example, a year in the “Age” calendar) that the story may take place. The 2013 and 2015 theatrical films — Battle of Gods and Revival of “F”, respectively — have both taken place in the ten year time skip between the defeat of Majin Buu and the 28th Tenka’ichi Budōkai. Toei Animation’s various guide books place the events of Dragon Ball GT as beginning in Age 789, five years after the events shown at the end of the original manga.”

So I’m just like “Damn, it’s actually happening? Wow… Fuck yeah gimme!” Now I have to admit I’m not the biggest Dragon Ball fan these days, DBZ used to be my life, it introduced me to the world of anime and I will always love the crazy, nostalgic fun it provides. But after my teenage years I became more of a One Piece kind of guy and discovered more anime shows. With that being said, any time some new Dragon Ball material surfaces I get all giddy and can’t wait to see what new stories can be told with today’s animation technology. That’s why I liked Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, that’s why I really liked Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and that’s why I hyped to see Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’. It’s like how all Star Wars fans are freaking out about The Force Awakens, it is the same for most of the Dragon Ball community.

Even though I’m super surprised about this announcement, at the same time I knew that this would have to happen. Given the fact that the world of Dragon Ball has been getting more and more attention in the animation department in terms of OVAs, new films and footage for video games, it feels inevitable that a new series would have to come. I mean it just feels right that this classic franchise would return to the world in these times of long-awaited sequels and reboots. Dragon Ball (especially Dragon Ball Z) has always been something of a nostalgic property in the world of anime and only people in their 20’s and older would know about it. A lot of fans have wanted to see new material for many years, but it just seemed unlikely because of Akira Toriyama’s lack of involvement, but now it seems like the times are a changing and he’s back in the game to give us some more adventures with Goku and the crew, and I’m totally down for it. 🙂

So now one has to wonder what will this series be like? Right now we’re really scarce for details, however, it has been stated that this series takes place after DBZ but before Dragon Ball GT and to be honest that’s fine with me because the less I see of GT the better. I just wonder what will be the catalyst that starts the Z fighters up again? Who or what breaks the peace? Will there be more transformations, team-ups or fusions? Will there be returning characters who haven’t been seen for ages (like from Dragon Ball)? Will the series be primarily serious or take the Dragon Ball approach having a combination of humour and seriousness? So many questions and yet we have so long to wait. I guess we’ll get more information nearer to July and when the series eventually debuts. I’m just happy to know that the kids of today will get to experience one of my favourite shows in present times.

So have you heard about this news and if so what do you think of it? Please be sure to leave your comments below. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2015 in Anime, Media, Television

 

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Dragon Ball SD Chapter One Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, today I return with my mini review of the first chapter of the Dragon Ball spin-off manga, Dragon Ball SD.

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Through the publishing power of Shueisha’s Super Strong Jump magazine, a new Dragon Ball manga emerged in December 2010. Dragon Ball SD (discounting the manga adaptation of the Dragon Ball OVA of 2008) was the first piece of new Dragon Ball manga to be released since the original series ended in 1995. Now Dragon Ball is very well-known, it’s loved all over the world and has been adapted into all parts of the media whether it be TV, film, video-game, toys, clothing or other forms of merchandise. Now a lot of fans have wanted new material from the Dragon Ball universe for years. But fans have been teased by Toei Animation with their opening animations for DBZ video games or the other animated Dragon Ball short films like Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! and the 2010 remake of Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans.

So after original creator Akira Toriyama stated that he was not going to continue the series, all hope seemed lost. However, Ooishi Naho wrote and illustrated a new spin-off series of Dragon Ball. Now in this first chapter we have the return of three of the main characters in the Dragon Ball manga; Son Goku, Krillin and Master Roshi. And without getting into the plot of the first chapter too much let’s just say that this chapter covers several scenarios that took place over the first, second and third volumes of the Dragon Ball manga. But what’s nice is that it alters, combines and condenses those scenarios into one chapter with a nice pace and it feels like being re-acquainted with old friends.

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Now in terms of the visual style, Ooishi Naho gives us a very respectable version of Toriyama’s original work. Sometimes the similarities are uncanny to the original and make you laugh and smile like when you read the original manga panels. You recognise all that you see in there and it almost feels like your watching an anime because of the attention to detail in the colour pallet. From the character actions to the facial expressions to the overall foreground and background locations, everything looks grand and since it’s all in colour its there’s a real vivid and fresh feeling to the chapter and it makes the chapter attractive and draws you in. While the story isn’t the most amazing or original introduction to a manga, fans of the Dragon Ball story will get a kick of it and obviously in time I assume things will start to pick up, but by the end of the chapter you know great things are set to happen.

Rating: 7.5/10

Well that’s it for now, come back another time and I should have some other stuff to blog about 😀

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Anime, Media, Reviews

 

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One Piece Anime Review

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another review-related blog post. Tonight I am going to give you my thoughts on what I believe to be one of the best anime shows in existence; One Piece.

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Firstly I shall give out a little background information as to what One Piece is. Like most anime, it started out as a manga and was first published in 1997. Eiichiro Oda is the author and illustrator of One Piece and because his manga was so successful, the animated adaptation was born in the shape of an Original Video Animation called “One Piece: Defeat The Pirate Ganzack!” that was produced by Production I.G in 1998. A year after the anime started airing on Fuji Television through the power of Toei Animation, the studio that gave life to Dragon Ball. Since then the series has had over 500 episodes (538 at the time of this review), 11 movies, 3 OVAs and several specials. Yes, One Piece is a pretty huge when it comes to anime shows.

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When it comes to story it follows the journey of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy who wants to become a pirate but not just any pirate, he wants to be the pirate king! In order to do this he must get a ship, a pirate crew and search for the legendary treasure known One Piece that the deceased King of the Pirates, Gol D. Roger left many years ago. Along the way Luffy acquires 8 unique crew members, obtains a ship and travels across the sea to many locations, making new friends and enemies and battles other pirate crews, the marines and the seven warlords. The great thing about the story of One Piece is that it is always interesting, the whole concept of pirate lifestyle has always been a captivating one with potential stories of adventure, action, drama, romance and so on. All of those types of stories are realised in the world of One Piece in a strange, happy-go-lucky and dramatic fashion thanks to Eiichiro Oda’s good storytelling and capitalizing on the adventure aspect that made Dragon Ball so successful. But what makes One Piece so great is its ability to be fresh but also familiar, and this mainly comes from Oda’s amazing knack for creating new material which is just as good or better than what has come before, and the world of One Piece is so rich with content and mythology that any time we learn something new about the past, it just adds more quality to the overall universe.

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Give it some time and these characters will become attached to ya, they’re THAT awesome 😀

When it comes to the characters of One Piece whether they be main cast, secondary cast or people who just show up for 1 or 2 episodes, each person has their own personality and style that they bring to the show. Monkey D. Luffy, the main protagonist is a happy-go-lucky lad, full of charisma and energy; he is also very naive and stupid, but also very strong and has a great sense of justice. If this all sounds very familiar let’s look at the character I call Luffy’s predecessor, Son Goku from Dragon Ball. Now it’s obvious that they share many similar features as the ones pointed out above, but they also have big appetites and don’t fight or move well without food among other things. Luffy’s other comrades are: Roronoa Zoro (a man known as the pirate hunter who wields 3 swords), Nami (a thief who loves money and is the navigator), Usopp (a cowardly fighter and inventor), Sanji (the Cook), Tony Tony Chopper (a reindeer who happens to be a doctor), Nico Robin (archaeologist), Franky (the cyborg shipwright) and Brooke (the skeleton musician). Each member of Luffy’s crew including Luffy himself have dramatic backstories full of hardship, suffering, death, and some more painful than others, and when these events of the past cross over into later points in the series you’ll come to understand and sympathize for the people involved. The villains are also interesting coming in all shapes and sizes, literally. All have different types of powers or weapons and normally come with a stylish or wacky dress sense. And most importantly each antagonist comes with their own levels of charm, charisma and evilness whether they are the main enemy or subsidiary members. My favourites are Captain Buggy, “Hawk-Eye” Mihawk, Admiral Aokiji, Bartholomew Kuma and Rob Lucci to name a few.

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One of the key aspects that make One Piece such a good show is the story and narrative. It’s all about adventure and the journey that you as the viewer go on, it can be an emotive one as you feel moments of anger and sadness but at the same time moments can also very funny and joyful and gives you a reason to smile and laugh even in the face of danger. As previously mentioned the show is funny, the stupidity of certain characters will have you in stitches and has to be experienced to be understood. The story arcs are very intriguing and surprising with a good deal of complexity in some areas. Now I have heard some people say that One Piece is for children, but then isn’t most shōnen anime? However unlike most children’s shows, One Piece has very dark stories and characters that affect the overall tone, that along with a lot of adult themes and levels of violence involved, you are left with a show that really isn’t that well-suited for kids. Plus in my opinion there are a lot of story elements and dialogue that younger audiences couldn’t begin to comprehend. At one point back in 2010 I happened to see on a website where someone compared One Piece to Fairy Tail and said that Fairy Tail was much better, less child-like and for mature audiences… Now I’ve watched a good number of Fairy Tail episodes and I have found nothing that makes it any more ‘mature’ or ‘better’ then One Piece. At this point I feel One Piece is more mature due to themes, morals and ethics, violence and the emotional stories of characters involved. It should also be noted that the filler arcs and TV specials of One Piece are also pretty good and while some filler can be a bit tedious, here they’re a lot better than other anime where the filler doesn’t advance the series and normally are skipped because their lack of quality.

Outrunning_the_Aqua_Laguna Davy_Back_Fight_Final_Round

Visually One Piece is one of the most unique anime out there; one could say that the look of One Piece is very abstract when compared to most other anime of present in the same genre or any genre. this is mainly due to Eiichiro Oda’s art style crafted in the manga which has a very unique and unusual look when compared to other manga. Some people have even put off watching this show purely based on the look of the show which is a darn shame because they are doing themselves a massive disservice. While One Piece isn’t as detailed as other shōnen anime like Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto or Bleach, which have highly detailed characters in the facial, hair, and clothing areas, One Piece has is simple in composition but has a lot of artistic flair and creative things that you’d never find in other anime. The characters are very simple, not very detailed and look kind of wacky and funky when compared to other shows. However I feel that the look of One Piece‘s characters, creatures, settings and animation are very interesting and is one of the unique selling points of the show and if you give it time you will adjust and come to love it.

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Just look at the different between episode 1 and episode 474 and tell me you can’t see the difference in quality here.

I would also call One Piece an “evolution anime”, a term that I use on an anime that has progressed since its conception and become visually different. Now this can apply to many shōnen shows, but I mainly apply this term to anime shows that really have changed from a visual standpoint. Dragon Ball Z is a good example of an anime that looks noticeably different from when it started to when it ended, and while the main design of the characters and settings are the same in One Piece, viewers will notice differences in the levels of detail in episodes as time goes by. For example, when you look at an episode in the East Blue Saga when the series started in 1999 and then compare it to the Skypiea Saga, there are noticeable differences in the art design and animation thanks to the different animation directors that keep the look of the show varied and interesting. And when you take into account the 2-year Time Skip in the manga that eventually took place in the anime in October 2011, the look of the show now compared to the start of the series is incredibly different, thanks to a higher quality of animation from Toei Animation and the new character updates/redesigns from Oda which really add a new level of spice to the show’s visual style. Also I don’t think I could talk about this anime without mentioning the soundtrack which is handled by Kohei Tanaka and Shiro Hamaguchi. The music for this show is totally incredibly epic, catchy, and varied with musical themes for every scenario. Each character has a certain theme that’ll play while they’re fighting or doing something sneaky and the songs work very well. Another great aspect with One Piece‘s soundtrack is that the music evolves along with the show with different themes for new locations, characters or battle music and it really immerses you in that world too. Eventually you’ll find yourself humming away with some songs, whether they are opening songs or particular tunes in the show’s soundtrack.

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I believe that One Piece is the definition of what shōnen-based anime is all about. Now One Piece is a shōnen by genre which normally means that one is dealing with an action/adventure-based cartoon. The codes and conventions found in this anime are similar to other shōnen anime like Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach and Fairy Tail. You have the main protagonist who is a man, accompanied by other main characters who are either friends, allies or enemies. The main cast of protagonists are normally in a group or crew of some kind travelling from place to place of varying look and feel, coming across different obstacles and overcoming them through meeting their problems head-on and fighting their way to victory. And obviously as the journeys continue the obstacles become harder to triumph over. But I believe the way that One Piece does it is just wonderful, subtle and done with a great deal of style that it stands out from other anime.

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In conclusion, if you couldn’t tell already I am a major supporter of One Piece and I really do recommend it to anyone who wants to a different yet rewarding experience when it comes to anime. It is truly brilliant and very enjoyable with amazing stories, larger than life characters and crazy amounts of action and madness. Even though the series is over 500 episodes long you should give it a chance, I have been watching for almost 4 years come this summer and I’ve never regretted it, and if you start I doubt that you will regret it either 😀

Rating: 10/10

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2012 in Anime, Media, Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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