Stephen reviews: Dark Cat (1991)

darkcat_1Dark Cat [ダークキャット] (1991)

Starring Tsutomu Kashiwakura, Ryotaro Okiayu, Daisuke Gori, Shigeru Nakahara, Aya Hisakawa

Directed by Iku Suzuki


This is clearly one of those anime titles that is a reduced form of the original story it was based upon, except that upon further investigation I can’t find anything that it was based upon. Now that’s pretty bad if it really was this disjointed and incomplete right out of the original design phase. It truly feels as if there is a much larger story to be told, and it just got drastically cut down for a movie adaptation. So many of the plot threads reference backstory that doesn’t exist in the film that I have to believe there was a lager story somewhere, even if only in the writer’s head.

The film opens with a tall dude with hair shaped slightly like cat ears talking to a blue girl in a hospital bed. It cuts back and forth between his conversation and random girls about town vanishing in a flash of light that leaves smoking craters behind. This is actually a pretty good opening that really got me interested in what was going to happen. Sadly, it never really follows up on that mysterious situation. The rest of the film is mostly filled with the emotional struggles of a teenage girl and the guy she’s been in love with since childhood, then a bland fight with a cat monster gets tacked on at the end to wrap things up.

Continue reading Stephen reviews: Dark Cat (1991) →

Stephen reviews: Macross II (1992)

macross2Macross II [超時空要塞マクロスII Lovers Again (Chōjikū Yōsai Macross II – Lovers Again)] (1992)
AKA Macross II: The Movie, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: The Movie, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again

Starring Hiroko Kasahara, Tsutomu Takayama, Yumi Touma, Bin Shimada, Tohru Furuya, Ryotaro Okiayu

Directed by Kenichi Yatagai


Macross II is the black sheep of the franchise, and isn’t even considered a part of the real story. Partially this is because the company that owns the copyrights, Big West, hired a completely different studio to make it, thus leaving out the entire team responsible for creating the series in the first place. The other reason is simpler: Macross II just isn’t very good. Oh, if only we could brush the Star Wars prequels under the rug with the same ease that this one was forgotten.

It’s also rather difficult to call this a movie. It was made as a six episode mini-series, and while I always knew the movie version was nothing more than editing those episodes into one film, I had no idea just how lazy a job it was. All they did was hack off the opening and ending credits and string the episodes together in order. Hell, they didn’t even take out the episode titles or the eyecatch, both of which you’ll be seeing every half hour. But if they’re going to slap “the movie” on the packaging and market it as such, then I guess I can play along until the end of the review.

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