Now I know I am fairly late on this, but did you know that Anime Limited created their own online film festival service back in May?! They are the masterminds behind the new anime streaming platform known as ‘Screen Anime’, which is a monthly subscription service that changes up its anime offerings each month. At the moment the films and series that are being shown, are all from the Anime Limited catalogue. Each month they host four films and one anime series on their site for fans to enjoy. Last month’s offerings included The Anthem of the Heart, Weathering With You, Your Name, Fireworks and Season One of Silver Spoon.
Not only can you binge watch these animated works over on their site, but they also include the added bonus features, 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/
Now I have already covered some of these films over the last few years, mostly through the Japanese Film Festival in Ireland (http://www.jff.ie/). Which, fingers crossed, will be back up and running again in the coming months once this pandemic has safely passed.
Our first film – ‘The Anthem Of The Heart’ was written by Mari Okada, who is one of the most prolific writers in the anime scene at the moment. Having not only worked on scripts for both Rozen Maiden, Vampire Knight and A Whisker Away. Her directorial debut was for none other than ‘Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms’. ‘The Anthem of the Heart’ also comes from the animation studio ‘A-1 Pictures’, the studio behind not only Sword Art Online, but also Fairy Tail, Blue Exorcist, GATE and The Seven Deadly Sins.
This film focuses on many different characters, all teenagers going through their own tough challenges. From troubled family dynamics to failed romances, sport injuries that could end a career before it begins and a girl who refuses to speak for ever more, as her words broke up the happy family she thought she had. This film is well worth watching once again and adding to your collection. You can buy it here through this link – https://www.alltheanime.com/products/anthem-of-the-heart-dvd
Also here is a quick link where you can check out my full review that I did of ‘The Anthem Of The Heart’ back in May 2018. https://comicbuzz.com/the-anthem-of-the-heart-review/
Up next we have “Weathering With You”, which is the latest release from acclaimed animator and filmmaker – Makoto Shinkai. A man that has become just as well known as Hayao Miyazaki for his filmmaking and storytelling talent. His previous works include “5 Centimeters Per Second”, “The Garden of Words” and “Your Name”. There was immense hype when this film was released and rightly so. Not only was it breath-takingly animated, it also showcased some very important issues that need to be addressed. Featuring the dark reality of runaway youths, the increased risk that Global Warming is having on the World and on locations such as Tokyo. As well as the importance of holding on to tradition and history, in this ever evolving society we are living in. Looking back on my review now, I may have been too kind over my score. Although it was a very enjoyable film and one that is still worth adding to your collection – I would have preferred a bit more backstory on Hodaka. You can check out my full review in the link here – https://comicbuzz.com/weathering-with-you-review/
You can also buy your own copy of ‘Weathering With You” here – https://www.alltheanime.com/search?type=product&q=Weathering+with+you
“Your Name” – a film I was adamant I had a review done on but can not locate. (Believe me, I spent the better part of my day looking for it across harddrives, emails and online!) Another Shinkai masterpiece that was released three years before “Weathering With You”. And is in my opinion, a better film storywise. Where “Weathering With You” was a visual delight and brought up topics that need to be discussed, “Your Name” was a great character driven story. Following a pair of teenagers who had never met and lived thousands of miles apart. It’s more or else similar to the 2006 film “It’s A Boy Girl Thing”, but as an anime. However this film also involves some sort of a time travel paradox, think of the Keanu Reeves film – The Lake House. It has taken inspiration from both films from what I have seen, but it’s unclear if Shinkai has even seen these films anyway. It could all just be a coincidence.
You can buy your copy of “Your Name” now in the link below, as well as a sneak peak at the movie merchandise that is coming to the Anime Limited store soon – https://www.alltheanime.com/search?type=product&q=Your+Name
We are now onto “Fireworks”, a film that I have only just watched for the first time thanks to this streaming service. I don’t know how I missed this title when it was first released! Interestingly enough, this anime film is actually based on a live action TV film of the same name that was produced back in 1993. The director for this animated adaptation is Akiyuki Shinbo, who also directed and helped create “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”. This film is much like “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, as it also involves a lead character being able to manipulate time in order to get the best scenario possible. All of which involves a girl named Nazuna wanting to run away from her family, soon after learning that she will be transferring schools and her mother will be remarrying. A fellow classmate – Norimichi ends up falling in love with the young girl and does everything he can to help protect her and make her happy. Throw in a mystical marble of sorts that distorts time and reality, and that is more or less the plot of the film. There are some lovely visuals and character performances throughout, but unfortunately the story didn’t hold up much for me. I would have preferred to see some more backstory to the characters, prior to all the drama.
If you want to check “Fireworks” out now, you can buy it through the link here – https://www.alltheanime.com/collections/fireworks
And lastly we are on to our anime series, with Season One of “Silver Spoon”. Many of you may recognise the character designs as being similar to “Fullmetal Alchemist” – and you would be correct! Following the end of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, mangaka Hiromu Arakawa began work on a very different series – Silver Spoon. The coming of age story of a group of students attending an agricultural college, through the eyes of a city boy from Sapporo who has no prior experience of working with animals or farm work. Oddly enough, this was actually a really enjoyable season, something I had very little hopes for when I began watching it. It also was very factually accurate when it came to showing how dairy farms are run, how pigs are reared to be slaughtered and the pure joy young farmers get when they see a brand new Combine Harvester in action! I grew up in the Irish countryside, surrounded by farms and am used to having cattle as neighbours at times. So much so, we had to have a cattle grid in order to stop them wandering into our garden when they break out of the field. So this show brought back a bit of nostalgia for me but ultimately also gave me some insight into what happens on a working farm. This would actually be a great show for kids to watch, but can easily be enjoyed by all ages from what I have experienced. This is also another A-1 Pictures production.
Silver Spoon Season One is well worth giving a go and adding to your collection – https://www.alltheanime.com/collections/silver-spoon/products/silver-spoon-season-1-blu-ray-collectors
And there we have it, that was last months’ Screen Anime selection. The new list has just been released and is now available on the Screen Anime site as you read this. The new selection will be running from the 25th July to the 25th August and will include the following four films and anime season.
- Ride Your Wave
- Lu Over The Wall
- Anemone: Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution
- Mai Mai Miracle
- Silver Spoon Season 2
What will you be starting with first? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet us over on our Twitter account.