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I was planning to have a break from DokiDoki this week since it’s the start of new season and I’m busy hunting for shows, I mean I rather focus on one thing with a clear mindset than force myself to do everything in a rush. Luckily for me, You Are Umasou movie came out this week and I was already so hyped for it since long ago, so writing about it was the natural decision I came up with even before watching. And oh man, did it not turn out just brilliant! I loved every-bit-of-it I don’t know where to start nor where to end speaking in this little review here, so I think I’ll just say whatever comes to mind and then hope that the formed scramble will convince anyone to pick up You Are Umasou and see how good it is for themselves.

The story begins with a herbivorous dinosaur mother saving an egg of T.rex baby from doom. I won’t say any more than that to avoid spoiling any part of the fun. That’s all what you need to know for now, and even if you didn’t get interested in the OMG!KIDDY!PREMISE and secretly wished for some kind of DINO!BEASTLY!GORE I highly recommend giving You Are Umasou a chance to prove itself despite all that.

It is a movie aimed for kids, but that’s by no means a reason to hold adults *anyone* from enjoying it as well. Actually, I dare say that the best of movies are the ones aimed for all ages and succeed in sending various messages and lessons in relation to who is watching these flicks. Making a work that harbors different levels of enjoyment and appreciation is obviously a difficult task, and You Are Umasou did an exceptionally great job with that!

If I had to praise one thing about this movie I would definitely pick the characterization of its cast, it’s amazing how it took You Are Umasou only 1 and half hours to create a whole *rather large* set of memorable characters each with distinctive personality of theirs. And how each one of them develop their strengths and flaws during showtime. Another plus is that no one is inherently evil. Seriously, it’s rare to find stories without THEM EVIL figures and usually these turn out special in more ways, Omae Umasou is one of the excellent examples of how brilliant that can be.

Gotta love the “references?” to The Lion King that I could point out *or lol I might be reading too much into things*. A rather obvious one is the scar on Baku’s face, and Omae Umasou goes even further than just adding measures for badass character design by constructing a relevant backstory behind that.

I am overwhelmingly delighted by how Omae Umasou turned out, I find it hard to explain what an awesome experience it was. A measurement I like to use to tell how good is anything to me is by sensing how much I feel attached when I think about it, but lol subjective self-centered judgement. Then again, who believes in the fantasy of objective opinions bwahahaha! Omae Umasou is a movie made for kids which was able to refresh the fading rainbows of my mind, and re-broadened  my ideas about life. It also had me lose some tears in the process. Attachment for any form of entertainment hardly gets deeper than that, right? Then that should classify Omae Umasou as an exceptional quality entertainment. Wah I can’t wait for the family to gather so that I can get them to sit and rewatch Umasou with all of them again!

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originally written in vanyamania.blogspot.com .. January 4, 2011

This is the first time for me writing about something as soon as I finish from it, so I’m still jammed with emotions and my head isn’t clear about it. I know one thing for sure though, what I just watched is a valuable jewel that anyone who has the slightest interest in Japan’s history should treasure. No, Sarai-ya Goyou is not a historical show. It admirably deals with humanity. But it also has one of the best representations I’ve seen of the Samurai and Edo, if not the best at all!

Sarai-ya Goyou storytelling and pace feel natural from start to finish, so you’ll end up soaked in the atmosphere the second you set your eyes on the screen. First, You’re introduced to a weak-looking desperate Samurai named Masanosuke who is jobless at the time. Then a fearless-looking man named Yaichi offers him a job as personal bodyguard for fun, and events continue to flow from that moment on. Visuals are captivating, I quickly fell in love with the heartwarming color style then I was clearly hypnotized by that.

Not only the art will suck you in, the music is going to vacuum you, too! I’m a fan of traditional Japanese instruments. Because like any other traditional instruments, you feel their own culture behind their melodies. That sounds perfect for the historical setting Sarai-ya Goyou has, and it indeed is. I hope you’re not imagining any generic historic soundtracks by now, because that certainly isn’t the kind of thing you’ll be hearing here. Yeah, all these old wind, string, and percussion instruments are amazing lonesomely. But that didn’t stop the composers from adding some genius twists as well, one of them is the piano playing in some tracks. I won’t ruin this ear-candy experience for you any further, try and hear it on your own! ;3

I can’t believe I didn’t get to watch Sarai-ya Goyou while it was airing back then, yet I’m kind of glad that I didn’t. I wouldn’t be able drink it off in one shot if I did. I wont excuse myself though, I missed it from my top ten list of last year. But I guess a late mention is better than none, right?

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In the list of anime I’ve been watching for the past years, one can tell how Heartcatch Precure stands in some ways. It is a Mahou Shoujo series. It uses the episodic plot format. It is more or less a show made for kids in the end. These all are reasons that would naturally keep me away from considering an anime in first place not alone following it. So what got me interested here?

Other than nostalgia (Cardcaptor Sakura -an older Mahou Shoujo- being the first anime I watch in Japanese as a kid!), I think it was the visuals and animation that got me. Just this screen cap above tells you how colorful Heartcatch Precure can be. I can’t deny how much I was amazed by the first transformation scene in the show and how well it was produced. Things were moving really cool from first episode as well. Tsubomi and Erika are characters one can get attached to from first impression, then they were a perfect fit as a Majokko duo. Not just them actually. Characters, whether good or evil, main or supporting, all are very well built up and their development might be the truest strength of Heartcatch Precure. It’s funny how I couldn’t help myself but cheer for the bad guys sometimes! That’s how cool (or ignorant! or whatever!) they are. I give my applause for the Desert Apostles, from Snackeys to the 3 Messengers to Dark Precure to their Leaders. You were all  awesome!

Also, the catchy music and flashy setting helped bringing the best out of the show. Even though a little too much repeated and a bit time depleting, I didn’t really notice myself getting bored with the transformations or the special moves of the Pretty Cures. If nothing else, it was like the weekly dose of tasty eye candy I kept craving. The animation work is particularly awesome in these scenes, and again Heartcatch Precure as a whole had a lot energetic battle scenes I immensely enjoyed.

I am not a fan of episodic plot format, and that is the usual format of most Majokko shows. I didn’t care one bit about that in Heartcatch Precure, basically due to the consistent quality of plot materials it had in store. I was thoroughly delighted. Then I really liked the plot turning points and  finally fell in love with the final arc. Impressive experience as a whole, and a satisfactory conclusion at the end of the road.

It’s a shame that I know very few pay attention to shows like Heartcatch Precure. I was wondering how I liked it myself at first. But the magic also lies in the simplicity it has. The youngest in the family would enjoy it but that doesn’t keep the oldest from grasping its wisdom as well. Heartcatch Precure speaks of hopes and dreams, things we all long for no doubt.

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