I am back once again to talk about #ScreenAnime, the latest venture from the folks over at Anime Limited. This new anime streaming platform is now coming to the end of its’ first quarter, having just started up back in May. Today I am having a look at what they had to offer to viewers for their third month of screenings. This monthly subscription service currently hosts four films and one season of anime for viewers to either binge watch on their own – or join in on the weekly anime viewing parties over on the Screen Anime Twitter account. Where you can join in on the conversation with fellow anime fans, including the people who brought this unique service to you – in a year where it’s not possible to host the usual anime film festivals. At the moment the films and series that are being shown, are all from the Anime Limited catalogue. This month’s offerings included Lu Over The Wall, Mai Mai Miracle, Ride Your Wave, Eureka Seven Hi Evolution 1 & 2, as well as the second and final season of Silver Spoon.
Not only can you binge watch these animated works over on their site, but they sometimes include the added bonus features, as well as the Dub and Sub versions if available & a weekly watch-a-long party as well. You can join Screen Anime now for only £3.98/mo or for a reduced £39.98/yr, but be aware it is only available in both Ireland and the UK. You can also avail of a 3 day free trial – https://www.screenanime.com/
The first title I’ll be covering today is a film called – ‘Ride Your Wave’. Which is the latest anime film to have been produced by Science Saru studios and it’s an emotional rollercoaster. The story follows the life of a young college student named Hinako who moves out to an oceanside town, in order to take full advantage of the surf as she attends her classes. Along the way she begins to grow close to a young firefighter named Minato and the two eventually start going out. As they begin to learn more about one another, Minato decides to take up surfing and is guided by his new girlfriend. Tragedy strikes one morning as Minato heads to the beach to practice alone, leaving Hinako completely shattered. Not only did she lose the man she falls in love with, but she also puts down her surfboard for good – as she can no longer face the waves. The story does not end there folks, as magically Minato begins to appear to Hinako in every body of water she sings to. This film does a fantastic job of showcasing just a number of ways some people grieve when they lose someone they love and admire. The emotional storytelling is by far the best feature of this film, but you can not overlook the animation at the same time. With such beautiful scenery involved, I would love to just find the real life location and move there. This is definitely a film worth rewatching again and again, and is sure to become a film festival favorite amongst fans. This could also be easily used as an introductory anime for parents if you wish to get them involved. ‘Ride Your Wave’ is available to view in both English sub and dub on the website. Hopefully there will be news to follow over the coming months about a physical release.
Next up we have ‘Lu Over The Wall’, which is also from Science Suru studios. Interestingly enough both of these titles have the same Director – Masaaki Yuasa, who also directed one of this year’s most talked about Netflix originals ‘Japan Sinks: 2020’. I first came across ‘Lu Over The Wall’ back in 2018 at the Irish Japanese Film Festival. Having first watched it in Japanese Dub, the film initially left me with such joy after watching it. It was entirely loveable, some good beats to keep you moving in your seat and once again, it had some beautiful visuals. You can check out my full review of it in the link here: http://comicbuzz.com/lu-over-the-wall-review/
Our third film of the month is ‘Mai Mai Miracle’ from Madhouse studios and director Sunao Katabuchi. This film is categorized as a festival classic, but is the first time I have actually sat down and watched it. It is also a bit of an older title, as it first came out back in 2009, but the visuals still hold strong today. The story follows a young girl named Shinko who is just 9 years old, we watch as she imagines what her countryside home would have looked like centuries ago during a time when it had its own Princess. With a wild and vivid imagination, we see the many adventures she undertakes as well as getting to know her new classmate: Kiiko. All of this is taking place in the Spring of 1955, where kids played exclusively outside in all weather, running through fields, building small dams and just simply being kids. However we also see how such a young girl as Shinko, views and understands the troubles that some adults get into. This is certainly a much watched film if you enjoy slice of life stories. There are moments of harsh realisation, but we also see the beauty of having a childhood free of video games and on demand TV services.
Moving on we actually have two more films, with Eureka Seven Hi Evolution 1 & 2. Both of which are available to watch in both English sub and dub. Now I haven’t exactly watched all of the Eureka Seven anime series, so these films left me utterly confused as to what was going on in the story. For instance, Part 1 followed the series from Rentons’ POV which had the awful habit of skipping back and forward and even repeated a scene or two later on. This left me completely baffled as to what was happening throughout the film, it was just a mess trying to piece together the timeline. Now Part 2 didn’t have that problem and we experienced the story from Anemone’s POV, which was from an alternate reality trying to break through the looking glass so to speak. Her story was more of a revenge mission, as the existence of Renton’s reality led to the death of Anemone’s father. These are in fact the first two films in what is to be a trilogy, that takes place both before and during the events of the original anime but by also having its own original story. The third film was slated for last year, but has instead been delayed until 2021. Hopefully that film will bring about a more satisfying end to the trilogy. Overall, I enjoyed the animation, the structure of the first film though was a disaster in my eyes. The second film was miles better, so fingers crossed now for the third. These films are obviously more suited towards existing fans, and I would advise to at least watch the original series before tackling Hi Evolution.
And last but not least, we have our anime season. Seeing as last month’s offering was Season 1 of Silver Spoon, it was only right that we had the second and final season to enjoy this month. From the creator of ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’, Hiromu Arakawa comes a vastly different series compared to her previous work. ‘Silver Spoon’ follows the day to day life of first year dairy science student Hachiken. Having come from a working class family in the city, he has zero background in the farming business but over the course of Season One he has learned quite a bit about the life on a working farm. From rearing pigs from birth to slaughter, joining the equestrian club, working an entire summer as a farm hand and even how to butcher up a dear. This Season continued with the same level of energy as the first and was just as enjoyable. With Hachiken now spending more time at the stables than the pig pen, he begins to hone his skills on horseback as well as being landed with new responsibilities. All of which are challenging him to adapt and grow into a very dependable and capable person. It’s not all sugar-cubes however, as Hachiken later learns about the heartache involved when farms are forced to close down. I am actually sad to see this series end, so I will be looking into reading the manga at some point to see if it went further than the show.
And there we have it folks, that has been the July/August offerings over on Screen Anime. If you want to get your own account just click on the link below. They are also offering a three day free trial as well.
At the moment there is no app, it is solely just on the website above. But in the future, who knows. Personally I would love to see it added to either Android devices or even the Playstation, seeing as the Funimation app doesn’t even work properly on that still. In the meantime, keep an eye on the Screen Anime social media accounts, as they should be announcing what titles will be appearing next month over the coming days!