23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
The culmination of Shinkai's entire career up until this point - Collectors Edition Review
, 31 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Journey To Agartha [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The film itself is excellent entertainment. I wont go into too much detail as it will spoil the movie. Makoto Shinkai proves he can do more than just amazing visuals (I don't feel he needed to anyway...) I thought all the main characters were compelling and believable - you want to experience their adventure, both physically, and perhaps more prevalent - emotionally. The story itself has many underlying levels. But if I were to pick a overall theme, it would be coming to terms with life and death. It doesn't portray 'good' and 'bad' conventionally (or even at all to be honest) or try to shove down your throat any one repeated message. An important thing to note is that not everything will be picked up upon on first viewing. It gets better every-time I watch it. It's just a solid 2 hour Journey...to Agartha (pun intended). The films presentation is excellent, the stand out being the visuals - just a treat to the eyes. You can tell a lot of effort was put into this (I know from watching the bonus content, more on that down below). Even everyday life is portrayed so aesthetically pleasingly - You just notice little things all the time. The style isn't solely photo realistic as his previous works but a mix, and works very well.
The bonus content is quite good overall. The stand out clearly being the 'making of' and interviews with the actors and creator. I wasn't expecting both of those to be a minimum of 45mins each! One reason I'm doing this review is because, after watching both of those features, I feel Makoto produced exactly what he intended (the other reason is because some people have given this 1 or 2 star and have not even watched the damn thing... the forums/comments are below people) The bonus content is well worth a watch if you enjoyed the film. I was surprised how knowledgeable and genuinely proud of the film and their characters they portrayed the actors were. Very likeable indeed. It isn't a standard set of interview questions regarding the process of voice acting. (though that is covered). The art book is nice and gives further insight into some of the scenes visited - the small town for example or just early character concepts. The box itself opens upwards and cannot stand straight on it's on due to this. The artbook isn't secure in the box either.
I've watched it twice, both in Japanese with subtitles. I do intend on watching it one day with the English dub. But I feel, after watching it with subs, that the English cast just don't reflect how the characters should sound like when I briefly switched audio track mid way through second viewing. I'm sure it's adequate and accurate, but not my cup of tea on this occasion so far.
Overall; Buy this film. If you're reading this review it's likely that you're not new to anime and perhaps want to broaden your horizons. Competition is good for everyone in business, especially for the consumer. I highly doubt you'll feel or wished that you hadn't purchased and watched this film when the end credits roll. It will most likely leave some impact :)
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