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The Case of Hana & Alice - Collectors Edition [Blu-ray]
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Alice, a transfer student to Ishinomori Middle School, hears a strange rumour that one year ago, ""Judas was killed by four other Judas"" in Class 1. While investigating, Alice discovers that the only person who may know the truth, Alice's classmate Hana, lives next door to her in the ""Flower House"" that everyone is scared of...
Eager to know more about the ""Judas"" murder, Alice sneaks into the Flower House to ask the reclusive Hana for more information about the Judas murder and why shes a recluse. The chance meeting of Hana and Alice sets them off on an adventure to solve the mystery of the ""smallest murder in the world.""
Contains the Film on Blu-Ray and DVD in Japanese with English subtitles, presented in collectors packaging.
- Contains the Film on Blu-Ray and DVD
- Collectors packaging
- Message from Makoto Shinkai
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'The Case of Hana & Alice' tells the story of Alice, a 14-year-old middle school student who has just recently been transferred to a new school. There, she notices someone always watching her from the window, and once she attends the school, she soon finds out her classmates are obsessed with the idea of the spirit of Judas and his four wives, who (according to her classmates) have something to do with the sudden disappearance of a boy named Yuda a year ago.
One day, Alice stumbles into the house which belongs to Hana, the girl who has always been watching her ever since she arrived. She soon finds out that Hana has not been at school for over a year and that Hana also wishes to uncover the mystery behind Yuda's disappearance. Together, they set out to find Yuda and begin their adventure...
I'm probably writing the synopsis a little too nicely; the story doesn't really keep you interested that much. In fact, upon reaching the end of the film, I felt like, huh? That's it? Just like that?
There are some scenes that I feel are absolutely childish. Yes, those probably reflect our times during our middle school - and I get it that the film wants to be nostalgic to the bittersweet memories that we all have cherished at some point - but it picks an altogether different kind of memory to present to us! Instead of leading us back to our early youth and all the sweetness scents of the schooldays (like some Ghibli films or anime series have successfully done), 'The Case of Hana & Alice' presents aspects that are entirely dismissible. Bullying, blind faith, silly ghost stories... come on! We all probably have been through these things, but they certainly aren't our first memories to come up when we reminisce our times in middle school! (Sigh...)
Now, not all of the story is bad, though. My favourite moment is in the middle of the film, where Alice befriends an elderly whom she misunderstands to be Yuda's father. The moment they spend time together is actually simply beautiful and nostalgic (as the rest of the film should've been). Also the friendship between Hana & Alice is well developed.
The animation is quite nicely done, with some beautiful scenes in the background. They are sort of unique though - you'll recognise them immediately after watching the film just once. The music is also very good, as well as the sound mixing/editing and the original Japanese audio. (I've got no comment on the English dub as my DVD doesn't have that. Sorry.)
That's it. That's all I have to say for this anime. Overall, I'm inclined to say while the film is not disastrous and does indeed contain some really nice moments and good artwork, it is dragging and (slightly) annoying at times and these make it entirely dismissible. (Also, for a crime movie you'd expect there'd be a twist. This one... congrats... doesn't have any: the story goes in the most predictable way.) However, I don't really regret watching it though, but I don't think I'd miss the whole world had I skipped it.
3.5 stars out of 5.
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