Thursday, May 18, 2017

Persona 5 : Second playthrough



 Persona 5
"The Second Strike"


In this opportunity, i would like to post what happened during and after the second playthrough of my Persona 5 has finished. Be warned that there might be several spoilers abound in this post though, as several screen-shoots i take happens to coincide with several game-changing events that i went through. Also, i would like to post another opinion and several guides to get several elusive trophies that was really hard to get.

Again, i would like to stress how great the game is. Just visit my original review of the game here to see my full review of the game, spoiler-free of course.
 

First up is the Persona that i take all the way from the first dungeon (Kamoshida's palace) up to the final boss fight. I actually resolved to use a beefed-up Arsene from the second boss-fight (Since my Arsene, at that time, was level 20 and Kamoshida is only level 15, it would be cheating) and from then on, Arsene grew to be a very powerful persona for me. His agility was so high that i get to move first, faster than Yusuke. Sadly though, i didn't get to use him during the extra boss battle against Caroline and Justine, as well as the Reaper.

This is the final stats of my Arsene before the final boss battle.

That's right, i managed to defeat that high-defense Reaper and Caroline & Justine in a fair combat. It was a very tough fight, but i managed to beat them both. However, Arsene was not the one to take all that glory. Yoshitsune was the one who was responsible for defeating Caroline & Justine. His Hassou Tobi damage is overpowered against the twin warden, though it took me two tries to finally defeat them. Yes, i even get their all-out attack. Be careful though, as the twin warden knows the weakness of your party and even uses Baton pass (To a very bad-ass scene) and when they think you are holding out long enough, they knock you down with a persona (For me, it was Ardha) and then dish out the final all-out attack to finish me off during my first try. (Pity i wasn't able to screen-shoot it. Here is a screen-shoot i take from the Megami Tensei Wikia. I was too focused on battling them and forgot to capture any screen-shoots.).

Credits to Youtube video for this picture.

And for this one, it's from Megami Tensei wikia. Look at their expression though...

You're da man though, Yoshitsune.
As for the Reaper, it was Satanel's glory moment. That's right, i managed to fuse Satanael, but we'll get to that later. Since the Reaper has the Firm Stance ability, which halven all damage it took at the cost of unable to dodge, almost all damage comes in the form of only two-digit number. However, Satanael's Megidolaon, combined with Arsene's Debilitate, as well as Concentrate, was able to dish out 200-300 damage every 3 turn. That was very tough, and the combined use of several items also played a huge part there. Megido Bomb, Magatamas, Crackers,etc, deals flat amount of damage to the Reaper. Switching out Haru for Makoto also pays off, as her Marakukaja saved the life of my party member, with Morgana on Mediarahan duty and Yusuke on dishing out item damage, as well as Masukukaja. Though i managed to get that Firm Stance item from him after i defeated him, and that experience is so wow. I heard that he was able to be despaired during Pollen Warning season, but i wasn't able to do so.

This was from the first attempt at defeating him...

And it ended in a disastrous, 6-Soma wasting moment where i eventually load back from my previous attempt.

And this is the succesfull one. As you can see, i replaced Haru with Makoto for her Marakukaja.

Next up is Satanel himself. I played the entire second playthrough with the mindset of fusing Satanel himself, the ultimate persona of Persona 5. Of course, finding the money to fund the fusion itself was pretty tedious, and requires me to grind at least 100.000 yen every 20 minutes or so in Shido's palace. Thankfully, the Sun, Star, and Fortune Confidant helped me in this campaign. Their confidant abilities was very helpful. No thanks to Ryuji though, as his Insta-kill confidant ability pretty much makes it harder to grind the money. By the time i finished with fusing Satanael, i was left with only 10 more persona to create. And finally, by the time i reached the last dungeon, before confronting the final boss, i was able to reach that 100% Persona compendium milestone. A true achievement for me. Let me remind you, creating it was easy, gaining the fund was the challenge.

I can say my Satanael is pretty strong here, with that Ali Dance.

This is the moment i get that trophy there.
Next up is the confidant. I was able to max-out ALL of the confidants in my second playthrough. And of course, you can do it in the first playthrough, but it would require and extensive scheduling and that will drain me of my enjoyment, so i just choose to do it in my second playthrough. With that in mind, my mindset was set on maxing-out the social stats first (Knowledge, Guts, Kindness, Charm, Proficiency) before going for maxing out all the confidant levels. Be careful when maxing out Yoshida, the Sun arcana confidant, as he is unable to be maximized after the elections had begun. Thankfully, he was easy to rank up and available during almost every sunday night.

Pardon for the spoiler, but the trophy came out during this scene.
And who do i romance this time? Of course, it was none other than Futaba Sakura. Maxing out Yusuke's confidant list finally allowed me to realize how learning Ann's true personality actually makes her no longer beautiful (This is true, hillariously true for me.) and i choose to stick with Futaba, whom i thought very relatable to me. To be honest though, i wanted to max out Shiho, Ann's friend, but she just had to go after that Kamoshida incident. When i first saw her, i have this sense of sympathy towards her and was moved by Ann's level 8 Confidant rank scene. If she was a party member, or a confidant member, Shiho will surely be my first choice.

The Sojiro-protagonist event that mirrored 22 Jump Street was fake though... My heart was broken.

For my second party member, i went with Morgana (Obviously), Yusuke Kitagawa, and Haru Okumura. Again, Mercurius is so bad that i just wanted to have Zorro during my final boss battle. Zorro is more bad-ass than Mercurius in my opinion. Haru was much better than Ann thanks to her Heat Riser ability and Yusuke's speed is so quick that whenever i switched out Arsene, he gets to go first. Kamu Susano-O and Astarte was pretty much worser than Goemon and Milady though. In my opinion, ALL of the party members persona was much better during their first form as opposed to their evolved form. Except Satanel, of course. Satanael is Arsene's evolved form and he was bigger than a bus.

However, i still think Makoto was the better party member than Yusuke, thanks to her Marakukaja ability. Marakukaja is way better than Masukukaja. Oh, and why must Ryuji has Matarukaja? I really hate him and hated him even more thanks to that fact. Thankfully, my Asura had Matarukaja and Marakukaja to cover both Ryuji and Makoto's absence. I think only Ryuji will be missing from my party member from now on. I just hate him. Go here and you know how bad i hated Ryuji. TvTrope practically list everything on why i hate that guy.

My last persona line-up before facing the final boss
Look at Yusuke's face though...

I wanted to screencap their victory pose, but Morgana and Yusuke made it really hard.

Speaking of Ryuji, this scene always crack me up. Dead Ryuji for the win.
Now, let us speak about other trivial trophies. During that second playthrough, i had this goal of capturing all the mundane trophies, yet one trophy managed to elude me. The all-request trophy. I missed working on the flower shop during 8/5 and as a result, i lost my only chance to get that trophy. And i was able to work that quest during the first playthrough... How unsightly of me.

For those trophies, i achieved them during the final months during Shido's palace invasion. From fishing, homerun, and amongst others. Allow me to elaborate.

First is regarding the fishing the guardian trophy. For this trophy, i captured the Guardian after about 5-6 attempts at fishing. You will need to read the fishing book that allows you to use the Third Eye ability. After that, you need the most expensive bait, and the luxurious fishing rod (To make it easier to catch, as the Guardian struggles so much) before you can catch him. Then, when you get to fish with those equipments on, use Third Eye and fish until there is a fish that turns gold when you view it through the Third Eye view, that's the Guardian. All that's left is just to catch him. Oh, the chances for that fish to appear is higher when it is raining or snowing.


The Guardian was smaller than that found in Persona 4 though.

Next is the Homerun trophy. Not much to say here. You just need to hit a Homerun for this. However, there is an easy trick to get this happen. First, after playing the baseball game,visit the bookstore (Shinjuku one) and purchase the baseball book. Reading it allows you to use Third Eye in the baseball game. Then, use the Third Eye on the game to slow the ball down before it comes, aim it low, around below half of the ball before hitting it. It will make hitting it higher and allow you to score a homerun easier. The timing is a bit hard, but once you get it, it'll be fun.


I actually played the game twice so as to capture this picture. And due to that, i missed the trophy.

Next up is the futaba navigational message trophy. I don't even know how i get this one. It just randomly pops up during the final boss fight, but i think it has to do with the fact that i switched to Ryuji in a memento and during the first Reaper fight and he actually died, causing Futaba to deliver her line. Yeah, i think that was the moment.


Notice the trophy on the upper right?

Last is about the Infiltration tools trophy. I obtained this trophy after carefully picking up all the necessary materials and crafted all the infiltration tools and got this before going to Shido's palace. It was frustrating to obtain the trophy, but it was worth it.


Morgana is so hillarious during this particular scene
That was the last mundane trophy i managed to obtain during the second playthrough. I missed the fulfill all request trophy, as well as read all book trophy, but since reading them books was really tedious and that request was an unfortunate event, there was nothing i could do. However, i was pretty much satisfied with what i have achieved in the second playthrough.

All in all, the second playthrough was pretty fun, and i was able to fulfill most of my goals, such as leveling-up Arsene, obtaining Satanael, and maxing-out all confidants rank. Makoto was again, as adorable as ever thanks to her antics, which i failed to mention above, but i still think Futaba is better, and Shiho is way better than them. And of course, Ryuji was as annoying as ever, his confidant rank doesn't even contain any character development, just him helping the track team that's all. Best confidant rank is Haru and Yoshida now after finally seeing their rank-up.

Overall, i enjoyed it. Can't wait for the third playthrough, though i will not post it here again, as it will just me having fun playing the game.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Anime Review : Musaigen no Phantom World


Musaigen no Phantom World

“KyoAni frankly never learn from their mistake”

What is Musaigen?

Musaigen no PhantowWorld, or Myriad colors phantom world, as it is translated, follows the story of Haruhiko ichijou and his activity in the phantom-laden world with her friends as they try to uncover a plot.

Or so it says...

Like i said before, i am one of those people that actually ‘likes’ KyoAni works. I don’t follow their works because i heard it was good or their character are flashy, I follow and love their work because it’s KyoAni, the Japanese version of Pixar. KyoAni works always focuses on story, character development, and art, as well as their masterwork on background and camera arts. That is what I love from KyoAni.

Unfortunately, Musaigen failed to deliver. There's just something about KyoAni and their apparent attempt on creating action anime, and those tend to fail big time. I am not speaking without evidences myself though. Take a hard long look at Kyoukai no Kanata, or Beyond the Boundary, and try to see if there is anything redeemable from that anime? It failed big time and was a disappointing series, despite the fact that the main character somehow drives those who have glasses-fetish insane. There is also the case of Munto, which is a horrible anime series by the way. According to statistics shown by Myanimelist.net, it has the lowest buy-rate of any KyoAni's work. And that was one of their first attempt at creating their original project. It was disappointing and perhaps, that was the plug that made them think twice before both making action anime and creating an original anime. Though Tamako Market, another one of their original project, is fairly decent, and the follow-up movie is really phenomenal if i do say so myself.

But we're here not to talk about KyoAni in general, but regarding the Musaigen no Phantom World. So, why does i call it bad? Let's review several aspects.

Yes, the pattern of KyoAni animation is there, the camera arts, the background, the music, and etc. But, this anime failed horribly. And it even delves into something KyoAni has dared to do in the past, Fanservice, with Mai [The heroine] is the subject to all that.

Mai is a busty girl, whose boobs seems to bounce around, even while talking and loves to molest herself before doing battle and the shot seems to love her bust and waist. It is a good thing KyoAni dropped almost all of these aspect that kills this anime halfway in the series, but the damage has already been done. By that time, those who actually enjoy KyoAni work has already given up on this fanservice-laden anime [maybe] and those who loves fanservice will constantly asks “Where is the fanservice?”

Still need a better explanation for why a girl gropes herself to acquire strength
Well, despite all that, there’s still the camera arts. One example is when Kurumi is eavesdropping the gang’s conversation and the shot suddenly shifts to a nearby singular flower, this could indicate that she is happy or something else, but, then again that is the shot that makes KyoAni works a KyoAni works. The musical score does fantastic job and the background fits the series pretty well and looks pretty well-drawn.

However, the real problem is within the plot.

Needless to say, the actual plot finally started rolling in around episode 12. And what are they doing for the whole 10 episode? It’s either playing around like a slice of life comedy anime or just focusing on character development. This is not acceptable for an anime who, at it’s announcement, label  itself as an action-fantasy anime and in the back tagline, there’s even”uncover secret plot”. Those plots are actually rolling and playing for 2 entire episode, episode 12 to 13 and that is it.

And the antagonist who just appeared on two last episodes is also strange. She just appeared, stated her business and her reason for doing all of this before finally the group defeats her or so. It felt rushed and since her rushed appearance seemingly came out of nowhere, i thought most people would not feel anything toward her. In my opinion, had she appear from episode 5 or so, even if it is just on the ending or just a glimpse of her, at least we won't be surprised by her sudden reveal as the main antagonist later.

Though, a praise on the plot should be given on a simple gadget that Haruhiko obtained earlier in the series. Through all those grueling comedy episodes and good character development stories, Haruhiko can sometimes be seen fiddling with the said gadget. This shows that the series is actually trying to move forward, but is held back until the last moment.

This antagonist appears from seemingly out of nowhere.

This is the gadget that Haruhiko keeps fiddling with in several episodes. Thumbs up to the series for not forgetting this little gadget, even though it is filled with many ludicrous moment.
I’d say this should have been at least 20 to 24 episode, so there would be enough plot to satisfy the story and fills the void that is left within the last episode. Sure the episode does not end in cliffhanger, but I dare you, that’s not the end of the problem for Haruhiko and the others. Was a single strong enemy that suddenly appear is enough to conclude the series? I don’t think so.

However, there is also this problem of making 20-24 episode anime. We see here that the filler episode is their attempt to fill-in the gap that was created by the current trend of 12-13 episode anime, imagine if they are forced to create a 24 episode anime. I think it would be even more disastrous.

Musaigen is not without it’s moment though. The character development story [One for each character] is the highlight moment of the series, with Mai’s development episode, where she is finally treated as a character with several aspect of that of a mother, is the best. This just shows that KyoAni still haven’t forgotten what it’s about, developing a character. From past to present, KyoAni has flourished in the genre of Slice-of-Life and comedy, which focuses on developing a character [For example :Clannad]. Adding this to Musaigen certainly helps, although only slightly, since the reputation of Musaigen has been tarnished by the fanservice so early in the game, and the slow-moving plot that moves at a snail pace.

Then again, the character development stories help us know the character better and let us get closer to them. We know that Koito has a problem in the past that she needed to get over with, Mai is a loving character with motherly trait despite the fact that she loves to grope herself, Reina has a problem with her family and regarding Kurumi... We will get to that later. Those episode is not emotional, but it fares better than when Musaigen tries to be funny.

Mai is finally treated as a character in her focus episode. And my perception of her was better from that moment on.
Though out of every character development episode, the one I dislike is Kurumi’s one, where it focuses on her being a magical girl and averts trouble in Alice in wonderland-esque kingdom. If this ability gets carried over into an actual ability that she can use, it’s cool and helps build her as a character who can also fight, but it’s not. After the episode ends, she reverts back on using her familiar bear and seemingly forgets all her magical prowess, which is a shame.

Characters were decent enough to be called good. Haruhiko is the main character, and of course, he narrates the story. I don’t like the fact that he keeps talking when other character has clearly told him to shut up, but I think it’s his trait and I think he just loves his voice. Mai is a busty girl, who has a monetary problem and is the main fanservice target in this series. Reina is a rich-girl who is bound to her family and loves to eat. Koito is a stoic girl who uses voice as her power. And Kurumi is a loli who utilizes her bear to battle.

I don’t think I need to elaborate them like that, but I though it was needed to clarify something. These character traits seems somewhat new to me and that earns them a praise from me. If I had to pick one, it had to be either Mai or Koito due to their respective character development episode. And if I had to pick who I dislike, it’s either Ruru or Kurumi, due to their uselessness throughout the series, save for Ruru during the final episode, though i still don't like her by the time the ending of the series rolls.

The background is, as usual of KyoAni’s work, is impressive. There are a lot of color to be seen in the background but the anime doesn’t depend on the background. The musical scores are also good and fitting. However, the real-world that is combined with phantom does not sound imaginary to me at all, if not, I don’t like the concept one bit.

Summing everything up, this is not a bad series, but it is definitely not a good one, especially coming from KyoAni. KyoAni once made an action genre, Kyoukai no Kanata, and like i mentioned above how bad it is? Musaigen fares not further from it, but it’s better. It has strong characters, has strong character development and for good or for bad, has a lot of fanservice. Though the plot moves at a snail-pace and there are several extra-unneeded episodes. Hard to recommend to anyone, but if you loves character-focused episodes, don’t mind thefanservices when watching this. If not for the occasional good moment, I would’ve given the series a two star.

Still, hopefully Violet Evergarden fares much better than this and Kyoukai no Kanata. If Violet Evergarden turns out to be an action-oriented anime, which i presume will not, and it again failed, hopefully KyoAni learned their fateful lesson that they are not just cut-out for adapting an action anime. After all, what Musaigen no Phantom World is good for is not it's action.

Musaigen later becomes a hard-pill to swallow for the KyoAni lovers. It’s good, but it’s not on their regular level of awesomeness
The good : Character-focused episodes are good. Memorable characters [save for several]. The series is well-drawn and polished, all the characters looks alive, even the extras.

The Bad : Too much fanservice. Episode with no character focus or plot is a drag most of the time. Plot moves very slow and begins almost near the season finale. Predictable ending. This is a KyoAni work for god sake.

Highlight moment : Mai’s character development episode.

Last note for the review, the kiss scene between the Enigma and Haruhiko [If you didn’t count it since it was forced, then Ruru and Haruhiko] is actually the FIRST TIME EVER KyoAni has shown a kiss scene with no censor or whatsoever you call it in Haruhi [Kyon kisses Haruhi but the camera is panned away] or Clannad [Kyou kisses Tomoya in the OVA of the afterstory but the camera is panned away again]. The first time they almost done this in Free! But this is the first time they’ve finally done it, and I am disappointed. I hope they make a proper one in the future.

Personal note : I almost finished my second playthrough of Persona 5. Pardon for my lack of update last week, i shall offer no excuse. I will post the aftermath of my second playthrough of Persona 5 upon finishing it. And i have a lot of things to share about it!

FINAL SCORE : 2.5 out of 5. If not for the character development, i would have given it 2, or even 1.





Thursday, May 4, 2017

Anime review : A Silent Voice





A Silent Voice

“A truly wonderful movies, held back by one small but strong force that it never has stumbled upon”

What is A Silent Voice?

Also known as “Koe no Katachi”. It follows Shoya Ishida, who bullied a deaf girl in elementary school. Pressured due to the bullying, she later transferred away and Shoya was bullied by other kids at school. Later, he embarked on a quest to redemption in an attempt to redeem himself after his bullying, only to meet the deaf girl once again…

So, what do I think of it?

I taught myself in the past not to be biased by Kyoto Animation works. Truth be told, I am a huge Kyoto Animation fan and always anticipate their works, whether it’s Hibike Euphonium or the upcoming Violet Evergarden, I will definitely watch them. One thing I noted from their works was their tampering with source material. They always excel at making a short source material into a good TV series, evident in Chuunibyo! Demo koi ga shitai, Hibike Euphonium, Hyouka, Free!, and so on. Just look at how Free! Dominated the fujoshi market and how Chuunibyo! Demo koi ga shitai practically shaped the entire anime industry on what should be done to chuunibyo and how to handle one.

However, not all their tampering was good. A Silent Voice was this case. The source material was a 6 volumes of manga, and they tried to cram it all up into one anime movie that has the length of just over 2 hours.

It’s best to mention here first that the movie just came out in my country on May 3, 2017 and I actually watched it on the Cinema. That was the first experience for me to watch an anime in big screen, since they rarely to never screen any of my select movies in the cinemas, or sometimes I just missed them. And as a result, there would be no screenshoot here, sorry about that.

In watching the movie, despite the fact that I have read the manga already, I pretended as if I haven’t read the source material. This was important, as to give me the feel of never seeing the actual source work myself, and to be more critical in ways other than comparing the adaptation. 
However, even that doesn’t blind me to the fact that there was something wrong with the movie.

Essentially, the movie main theme deals with how bullying plays out and how the regret haunts those who choose to do it. Shoya bullied Shoko to the point that he was later bullied as a result of that, and his mother, who is supposedly a single mother, had to pay the price for it. It burdens the young kid heavily, but there is one thing that a professional wrestler once said, and I quote “Karma is a b****”.

Bullying is bad, and the movie teaches us just how bad that was, and how it will impact our life and the guilt which will eventually haunt us for the rest of our life. Shoya might have done it just for fun initially, but he doesn’t know that it might lead to his fall from grace, as his friends walks away from him, and the society shuns him for doing so. There are some things that is better not done, just like how people say it, “Curiosity kills the cat”

How the movie deals with this is really exceptional. I truly could feel how my emotions were stirred up so much during the course of watching that movie. How Shoya blames himself, how he feels unworthy of living, and how he feels overjoyed when he finally has a friend, it was truly a something to behold. My emotions were stirred thanks to Kuzu no Honkai last season, and now this was it.

However…

There was a problem with the structure of the plot and characters. The plot was too rushed on the second half of the movie, despite the strong first half, a very strong one to be exact. To be honest, the movie was good, up until the moment where Shoya decides to shove away all of his friends, except the aforementioned deaf girl, whose name is Shoko Nishimiya.

And speaking of characters. I know this is a movie, but was it that since it is a movie, it does not present an opportunity to develop the side characters well? That is not the case though, as The Anthem of the Heart was able to develop their side characters properly and makes me attached to all of them despite the short length. After all, that last scene from The Anthem of the Heart still surprises me to this day.

Despite that, A Silent Voice was not able to capitalize on the strong background presented to each characters, and even without knowing the source material beforehand, those who have a keen eyes might know. Maybe casual fans could shrug this aside, but there are lingering issues as a result of that. Why was Ueno so adamant on protecting Shoya, aside from her hinted feelings to him? Why was Kawai trying so hard in keeping up her cute girl image? Why was Nagatsuka so reliant on Shoya? Why Yuzuru did not attend school? Why was Sahara has that inferiority complex? There are a lot of why question here, but let’s just keep it at that. If I created a thesis out of this, perhaps I might be able to graduate from my college right now.

And this comes from Kyoto Animation, who excelled so much at making us feel so attached to all the characters in their works. Not all, but most.

All jokes aside, out of all the characters, I think Nagatsuka and Yuzuru stood out as the best supporting cast here. They have a great chemistry and they captured how a good friend and a good sister feel to each main character. And there was just something about that cool Nagatsuka voice though. I should not talk about Shoya Ishida and Shoko Nishimiya, given the fact that they are the main leads here, it is only proper that the movie revolves around them. That, however, comes at the cost of other characters getting the boot of their background.

This is a good opportunity to bring up the adapted out trope. As the movie suffers from a lot of materials getting adapted out, including that movie-making arc that accompanies the main arc that we’ll get into later, it clearly suffers from that backgrounds for the character. I cannot stress out how important characterization is and by adapting them out, it’s just like asking the movie to get a bad reception.

Let us speak about the movie-making side arc. This is the main highlight of the manga and Kyoto Animation decides to adapt that out of the movie. It sounded outrageous, yes, considering how important that side-arc, I don’t think it’s that bad to adapt it out, but it’s not that brilliant either.

There are several cringe-worthy scene involving that movie-making side arc, but it gives the characters something to bond over, and something to continue onward after that fateful incident involving Shoya. And given that this movie-making idea was Nagatsuka’s idea, I think it pretty much kills of his character development. But, I still think that adapting it out was a pretty clever idea in shortening the movie, as there are unnecessary scenes regarding that side-arc.

And now, let us speak about several intrinsic aspects regarding the movie.

First up is the music. I had mixed feelings about this, since it sounded great at times, but sounded a bit awkward at another time. Also, there was this strange music that made my ear hurt at one point during the movie climax. I presume that it is made intentionally so that the observers at the cinema could understand what Shoko felt through the entire movie. That was great move though.

Second is the animation. When speaking about Kyoto Animation’s production, never question their production value, as the animation is, as always, looks spectacular. Character moves smoothly and their expression was very expressive as well. Furthermore, the extra effort put on animating the sign language was notable as well.

Oh, before we move to the next aspect, I would like to point out that the emotions the characters expressed in the movie essentially what makes the movie so good.

Third is background.  KyoAni certainly put a lot of effort in making it looks absolutely great. It was marvelous and the principal photography was really thorough. The building looks realistic but did not seem out of place whatsoever, and at certain point, it really describes the mood of the characters. I think it was wonderful.

Last of the order is the voice acting. It is essentially what makes the movie so good. While Miyu Irino was really good in voicing Shoya, I think it was Saori Hayami’s stellar performance as a deaf girl trying to sound properly that truly stole the show. How can she make a sound and even speak like that? And it sounds so believable. It is both amazing and intriguing, amazingly intriguing if I do say so myself. Moreover, Kensho Ono was good in voicing Nagatsuka, though he came off a bit cooler than his character supposed to be. Aside from them, the voiceworks was okay to say the least.

Thus, in short, the movie’s intrinsic elements were the things that actually made the movie great. 

All in all, A Silent Voice is not a good movie, but it’s not bad either. It has a strong animation, as expected of Kyoto Animation’s title, as well as great voicework and production value, a very-very high one at that. However, it could not mask the fact that there was one essential elements that they missed  and perhaps, a wrong move on their part.

Casual fans should find this great, as the audiences in the cinema truly enjoyed the spectacle, and some are even crying for some reason I don’t even know what. However, those who have keen eyes on some simple but important things might not find that this movie is complete and perhaps, even rushed.

Even the creator of Kimi no Na Wa himself praised this movie. I could shower this movie with even more praise, should that one issue be resolved. Still, this is a very phenomenal movie that you should watch. I can’t wait to own the blu-ray version myself.

And of course, Naoko Yamada helmed the production of A Silent Voice. Given her history of producing the anime of  K-ON! And Tamako Market, as well as the follow-up Tamako Love Story, and given her young age, she has a very-very bright future ahead of her. Brilliant as she might be, this might perhaps be a lesson for her to learn. But, a very good lesson at that. I hope she continues to produce and develop a work as phenomenal and exciting as this.

Despite several shortcomings, the movie managed to pull through and delivers a very exciting and very emotional 2 hours of experience. Though in my opinion, A Silent Voice would have been better if it was made as a TV series with 12 or 13 episodes instead. It could cover the one thing that the movie missed and certainly put a lot of favor, but it could also mean less production value and less income for KyoAni.




The good : Great voicework especially Saori Hayami, Nagatsuka and Yuzuru, high-amount of production values, aesthetically great, has a strong theme in bullying, strong first half.

The bad : Side character does not get developed well, very weak second half.

Final Score : 3.5 out of 5. I was so close of giving the show 3, but I think given the production value and effort put into it, 3 should do it. Feel free to add an extra point or two if you think it performed way better than expected. For me, that weak characterization really throws-off what should be a masterpiece in Kyoto Animation’s library and really held me back from giving the show a 5 score.

Personal note : I want to know what my spiritual mentor, Nick Creamer, think of this movie himself, as he was not the one who reviewed the movie in the website. Maybe I shouldn’t have read the source material first? I don’t know. I don’t think that’s why my review score was surprisingly low on this movie though.