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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2010
This is so beautiful!!

When this title was recommended to me I had a quick glance at the front cover, and some of the reviews, and thought 'meh. looks ok. why not?' I'm glad that I went in with such low expectations, because it allowed me to be all the more awed! Charming and utterly heartfelt, Brave Story is up there with Shinkai and Ghibli quality.

It's all about Wataru, whose happy childhood suddenly falls apart when his father leaves and his mother falls ill. Desperate to change his destiny, Wataru takes the advice of strange classmate Ashikawa and enters the fantastic other world of Vision through a portal in a delapidated building. Wataru is told that if he can collect 5 gems in this fantasy world he will be granted a wish, so he courageously sets out to put his broken family back together. But his friend Ashikawa is also on the quest for five gems, and unlike Wataru he will use any means necessary to attain his goal of a wish. No wish comes without a price however, and when Ashikawa collects the fifth gem and sets chaos loose in Vision, Wataru finally comes to see that the happiness that comes at the cost of others is not true happiness at all...

Wataru is an adorable hero - rather like Renton of Eureka 7 I had the overwhelming urge to cuddle him throughout the entire movie...he's sweet, polite and earnest, and not bratty, loud or whiny like so many protagonists - but I confess that Ashikawa stole the show for me. He's as morally ambiguous as they come, and from the moment he summons a denizen of the Underworld which murders and eats the schoolyard bullies that were picking on him and Wataru, you know he's not your standard bishounen. The guy has some pretty dark backstory going on.

Character development and likeability is 10/10 - if you don't have a lump in your throat when Ashikawa's motives are finally revealed then you have no soul! - the music is fantastic (very folksy, lots of strings and fiddles and swelling orchestral numbers , and the ending theme is provided by Aqua Timez - Bleach Movie, anyone?!). The ending was perfect in every way, bittersweet and with a big surprise at the end that had me nearly up on my feet applauding. There's also a nice extras section which goes behind the scenes on the japanese voice actors, two of whom are a hilarious pair to listen to.

All in all...AMAZING. This is the loveliest, most touching standalone anime movie I've in ages; it was easily better than Ponyo, and almost snagged Origin's place as my favourite Gonzo movie. Please watch this - it'll be the best few quid you EVER spent.
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on 27 February 2010
this is going to be a very short review, but nonetheless I?ll focus on the most import things u need to know.
the production value of this movie is astonishing - dont be fooled by the cover. this is movie is a international colaboration and thus a LOT OF money went into it and you can see it everywhere. gonzo made a great job animating it , the sound is one of the best in anime! it was recorded at skywalker sound san fran and the story is based on a bestselling japanese light novel with great dubbing in english and japanese. i was ordering this because of the low prize and watched it twice in a row, because i was so delighted to find such a jewel in my dvd player :)
highly recommended!!!
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on 1 July 2011
It baffles me as to who this film is aimed at, it plays like a kids film but with the suicide of family members it wouldn't be suitable for most.
The background animation is very good, some of the character animation isn't as good, especially the lizard man, but easily good enough as to not hinder the viewing experience. The English dub isn't brilliant, the main character is very whiny.
As an adult watching this I found it to be enjoyable but nowhere near as good as any studio Ghibli. I'd give it 7/10.
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on 19 May 2011
A bit creepy, sad and very emotional, this movies animation and storyline were quite incredible. A story of putting others first and learning to question your own desires above other people. Fantastic characters, well told, made me cry, giggle and the ending....OMG! I was all 'girly' for the rest of the evening. Does make me wonder if there is another one!
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on 19 October 2012
Based on what my 6 year old son has said and his level of excitement at watching it again, this anime deserves 5 stars. I quite enjoyed it too. As usual the animation looks great and it is the animation that had drawn me to anime in the first place. The story is good too. I am sure most kids will enjoy this anime.
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on 1 June 2012
I bought this DVD as we are having an 'animé' phase and after buying origin that one came as a recommendation. We really enjoyed it, my 2 sons 11 and 9 as well but they are quite mature. There are some dark themes about divorce, suicide attempt, suicide and murder and in the dream world spirits, death, magic. Not for all ages definitely worth watching before showing your kids if you are not sure about the PG.

We loved the drawing, it is really enjoyable and after watching this and Origin the level is very high for the next one. We also enjoyed Summer wars, the girl who leapt through time... Yes, definitely an animé phase!
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on 19 March 2012
A wonderful movie, I can't believe I'd never seen or heard of this before it came up on my recommendations. Like another reviewer, I decided to buy because it was so cheap, I wouldn't be too bothered if it was just ok. But it's worth every penny, and more! Graphically, it's not as detailed as some anime but it doesn't need to be- it's colourful, fast paced and reminds me of The Never-Ending Story. For a 112 minute film, time flew by; I could watch it again 24 hours later it was that enjoyable.
Buy it! As an aside, I also recommend watching the intriguingly titled 'We are not a couple' short documentary for some laughs :)
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on 20 April 2013
Entertaining, sweet, and a wonderful film towatch. Studio Ghibli fans especially would really enjoy this fantasy adventure, magical and fun.
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on 20 November 2015
Enjoyable story, with some cliche moments. Not one of the best out there but not bad.
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on 10 November 2013
this is a fun and light hearted film. I would recommend to an age group really. the language is hard to navigate, you cant have English subtitles but you can watch it English dubbed which is fine.
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