Pokémon (Battle Frontier) Season 9 (2005)

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Pokémon (Battle Frontier) Season 9 Review

The ninth season of Pokémon is Battle Frontier and it’s actually one of the best, most entertaining seasons of this show so far.

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I don’t know who to cheer for.

Then cheer for both

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I really liked this season. It isn’t great as it still has its annoying episodes and unfortunately more than a couple of its total 47 episodes are annoying detours, fillers and stupid episodes with no point to them whatsoever with rehashed Pokémon and adventures.

But thankfully most episodes are the opposite of that. The season is great as it finally focused a lot on the actual battles and duels and not just on childish fillers. Thus we got a lot of excellent fights which were very well imagined and executed. The action is very strong in this season and the animation is quite improved as well. I just wish that the score was better as the opening is the weakest so far.

Harley is good as a villain, but is such a gay stereotype that he really annoyed me. Team Rocket is somewhat forgettable in this season which is unfortunate of course as they are always my favorites, but the heroes thus got some needed spotlight. Brock and Max are solid and both got some fine moments to shine, but Ash and May are the highlights for sure.

Ash finally got to battle as he hasn’t done it for a while and those episodes are excellent and of course May is terrific as she has experienced a lot of growth throughout these seasons and became a much stronger fighter.

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Pokémon (Battle Frontier) Season 9 Review

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Some of the highlights of the season include the fights between May and Brock and especially May and Ash which ended with a tie which was wonderful to witness for both of them. I also loved the final episode as it was a moving conclusion of this entire ark which hasn’t been all that great, but this season fixed that as it is probably the best Pokémon season since the very first one.

Overall, I was quite happy with the outcome of Battle Frontier. It has its detours that offset the quality overall seriously, but mostly the episodes were a lot of fun and pleasantly action-oriented. I am quite excited for the Fourth Generation and Sinnoh and I hope the new characters are strong.

 

Worst Episodes: Reversing the Charges, Harley Rides Again, Duels of the Jungle, Overjoyed and Gathering the Gang of Four.

Best Episodes: Curbing the Crimson Tide, Pokémon Ranger! Deoxys Crisis! Part One, The Ole’ Berate and Switch, Once More with Reeling and Home is Where the Start is.

My Rating – 3.6

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The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

The Castle of Cagliostro Movie Review

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The Castle of Cagliostro Movie Review

The Castle of Cagliostro is a 1979 anime heist film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is pretty solid and admirable as the director’s feature debut.

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Lupin! Don’t you dare die before I get to arrest you!

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The Castle of Cagliostro Movie Review

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It follows a gentleman thief named Arsene Lupin III who heads to the small country of Cagliostro and there he attempts to save the princess from forced marriage. This is a very classical, old-fashioned heist flick with comedy, romance and mystery overtones to it. I definitely liked its charming, old-fashioned approach, but I also disliked its overwhelming action.

The film is the best at being a mystery as the exploration of the castle and such scenes are very interesting. The romantic scenes are also fine and the heist action scenes are mostly really well done. But still the chases and fights went on for too long and the movie surely needed a more sophisticated, calmer approach.

The characterization is solid albeit far from great. Arsene Lupin III is a pretty good protagonist. He is fun and amusing, but not particularly likable and overly cocky for my liking. Lady Clarisse is a typical love interest meaning that she is just there to be Lupin’s girlfriend. She’s charming, but a weak female character nonetheless. Others are solid and the villains are competent, but none of them stand out from the crowd in any particular fashion. The voice acting is terrific though.

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The Castle of Cagliostro Movie Review

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The Castle of Cagliostro features animation that most would deem dated nowadays, but for its time it was terrific. This 1979 animation is not as polished and is sometimes too crude, but the character design is solid and some of the backgrounds are very nice. The interiors and the castle are particularly beautiful and some of the film’s imagery truly is arresting. That intriguing imagery definitely helps the plot and mystery a lot in the process.

I found the pacing weak as the film is overly quick and rushed in pace with way too many action sequences. Most of the action is solid and fun, but some of it is overlong and also goofy. The humor definitely is not the strongest and the film is too comedic in my opinion and a more dramatic approach would have been more fitting for this type of film.

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The Castle of Cagliostro Movie Review

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The dialogue is pretty good and the film has its memorable scenes such as that moving ending and all of the scenes in the castle which are the most memorable parts of the flick. The film lacks any themes or message and is thus far from Miyazaki’s later efforts when it comes to sophistication, emotion and also world building. This film does explore and execute its charming setting superbly, but is definitely confined in space. Overall, I liked the film, but it is just solid and never great. For a debut, it is nonetheless very strong and it proved promising.

The Castle of Cagliostro lacks thematically speaking, the characterization is solid but not great and the film has overwhelming action in it, but it is overall a pretty solid feature debut for Hayao Miyazaki with memorable imagery and an interesting story with a fun heist angle to it with comedic, romantic and mystery elements also thrown into the mix.

My Rating – 3.5

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Pokémon (Advanced Battle) Season 8 (2004)

Pokémon (Advanced Battle) Season 8 Review

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Pokémon (Advanced Battle) Season 8 Review

The eighth season of Pokémon is Advanced Battle which is again very flawed, but actually an improvement over its two predecessors.

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Anywhere there’s peace in the universe

Team Rocket will be there to make everything worse

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Pokémon (Advanced Battle) Season 8 Review

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Let’s first talk about the characters. Max is still an annoying brat, but I do commend the show on giving us such a wonderful relationship between sister and brother. Max and May do share some heartwarming moments here.

Speaking of May, I am surprised to find her growing and growing and actually becoming a rather tough Pokémon player. She was at first basically uninterested in any Pokémon, but is by now a rather solid fighter and I am thankful for that. The show truly needs competent female characters.

Ash is stuck in the same place as he doesn’t grow and he doesn’t even get enough new or strong creatures here. I liked seeing Misty again but I am still sad that she is never coming back fully. Brock is still the same – rather funny in romantic adventures, but boring otherwise.

As for Team Rocket, they did not have too many episodes to shine here, but when they did get a spotlight, they stole the show. I particularly liked seeing their boss in one of these episodes which needed to happen as he hasn’t been seen in quite a while.

The animation continues to be the problem. It is better, but not great. I did like however those quizzes in the middle as they now included different questions such as size. I really like that show’s feature as it’s great for the little ones.

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Pokémon (Advanced Battle) Season 8 Review

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This season definitely has its terrific episodes and some are even very strong. It has a couple of excellent fights for sure and also some fine comedic episodes as well. However, we still get a lot of pointless, frustrating filler which is getting annoying by now. But an even bigger problem is that the season relied on old Pokémon from the Kanto region during its second half. I want more new Pokémon and I do not want them to retread the old ones over and over again. Very frustrating.

So in the end, I liked Advanced Battle. It has its annoying filler episodes and the second half is definitely weaker than the first one, but some battles are excellent, May is improving constantly and the overall season is much better than the seventh and sixth one.

 

Worst Episodes: Vanity Affair, Showdown at Linoone, Caterpie’s Big Dilemma and The Saffron Con.

Best Episodes: The Relicanth Really Can, Eight Ain’t Enough and The Scheme Team.

My Rating – 3.5

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Movie Review

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Movie Review

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a 1984 anime fantasy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is a pre-Ghibli film which is his first signature movie. It’s very good.

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Why does everything that’s good for you have to taste so bad?

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Movie Review

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The story here is obviously ecological and the film is imbued with a strong environmental message. And although it may seem standard for today’s time, it was authentic in 1984 and Miyazaki first made this film and then all of his next ecological tales. Thus this film should be respected for finally introducing those important themes to animation.

The story here is very interesting and admirably proactive. I loved its amazing world building, but it also came at a cost of character development. The film is almost too ambitious and too epic as it has too many characters and plot points for a two-hour film. The war elements are overabundant and the calmer scenes are better in my opinion.

So the characterization definitely needed some work. It is solid, but far from great. Nausicaä herself is a competent female protagonist, a lovely princess and she’s great with animals. She is very endearing and brave, but she pales in comparison to Ghibli’s greatest heroines. Princess Kushana is memorable, but underutilized. Lord Yupa and Asbel are also solid, but then again the supporting characters are somewhat forgettable and they are much weaker than the central figure.

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Movie Review

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is simply gorgeously animated. This animation is honestly groundbreaking for 1984 as it truly is powerful and magnificent. The spores, the desert, the various creatures – they are all wonderfully animated and designed. The human designs and clothes are also really well done. The colors are not as smooth, but the film is colorful and very pleasing to look at. Some of the imagery here truly is breathtaking with the flying scenes, the spores, the animals and the desert being the highlights.

The voice acting is terrific as is the direction from Hayao Miyazaki. It is amazing how he managed to make such a competent film in his second attempt and this truly is an improvement over ‘The Castle of Cagliostro’. He seems confident in direction already and this signaled the arrival of one of animation’s biggest directors.

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Movie Review

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The pacing is not great and the film is sometimes too slow while also being too action-oriented at times. Honestly the fights and wars bored me and I wanted much more dialogue from it. The dialogue that we get is quite good, but the film is not deep enough mostly because it isn’t calm or meditative enough. It is moving emotionally speaking, but it needed a stronger sophisticated pull.

So the film looks great, but it also sounds beautiful thanks to such a fantastic, truly wonderful score from Joe Hisaishi. Some of the scenes here are not only beautiful visually speaking, but accompanied by very pleasant music which I loved. Technically speaking, the movie is marvelous. I just wish that it was stronger in characters.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind has a strong protagonist, but it needed better developed supporting characters. It has too much action, but the story is imbued by a wonderful environmental message and terrific world building. The score from Joe Hisaishi is wonderful and the animation is truly fantastic and even groundbreaking thanks to beautifully designed creatures, plants and landscapes. It’s an admirable early effort from Hayao Miyazaki.

My Rating – 4

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Pokémon (Advanced Challenge) Season 7 (2003)

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Pokémon (Advanced Challenge) Season 7 Review

The seventh season of Pokemon is Advanced Challenge and although better than the previous one, it is still a pretty weak season.

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Imagine what the boss would say

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Pokémon (Advanced Challenge) Season 7 Review

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This time again we do not get to see a tournament and only some episodes here and there feature full-on fights. The series constantly feels underutilized in terms of fights which is really getting frustrating as those episodes are usually the strongest in the season. Here is the same case – whenever I got a full fighting episode, I really enjoyed it.

None of the episodes here got over four star rating for me which goes to show what a weak season this is. I liked the Zangoose episode and of course seeing Misty again was definitely great and I miss her so much as May never really grew on me, at least not so far. She got better this time around and finally she gets to fight more, but still I want more from her.

Ash is the usual Ash here as is Brock. Team Rocket is very good and I really liked some episodes that focused on them. Max definitely remains a very annoying brat whom I really dislike and he is the worst member of the team currently.

The episode where the couples fought was the highlight for sure and it was funny and very entertaining. Lunatones are fascinating alien creatures, I loved that fight in the sky which was so well executed and Shuppet is surprisingly interesting in this season with such a cool power.

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Pokémon (Advanced Challenge) Season 7 Review

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As for the rest of the Pokemon, Pikachu is reliably good and Team Rocket got themselves a new, interesting Pokemon as well. Torkoal is endearing and Ash’s Treecko evolved into Grovyle and although I liked the first form more, that was a necessary step and I hope that he evolves into Sceptile soon as Ash desperately needs a really strong Pokemon in his roster.

Overall, this seventh season is solid with a couple of very entertaining episodes and some fine new creature additions, but Max continues to be annoying and this season again has too many filler, uninteresting episodes.

 

Worst Episodes: Love at First Flight, Pearls are a Spoink’s Best Friend, A Scare to Remember and Judgment Day.

Best Episodes: A Togepi Mirage, ZigZag Zangoose, Sky High Gym Battle and Crazy as a Lunatone.

My Rating – 3.3

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Review

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Review

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a 2013 fantasy anime film directed by Isao Takahata. It is one of the best Studio Ghibli films in recent years.

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I was born to truly live!

Just like the birds and the beasts

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Review

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The film is based on an ancient Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. A man finds a princess in a bamboo shoot and he and her wife raise her well. She gets proper education and starts training to be a real princess. Eventually, the suitors arrive but she doesn’t want to marry. All of this sets off a series of events ending in her eventual departure for the Moon when her people come for her.

This is a wonderful story and very traditional but also modern in its approach. It is an old-fashioned fairy tale which I of course loved. It has a terrific style to it, excellent and charming storytelling and many interesting plot points. I loved its mix of fantasy and drama, but the fantasy elements are easily the highlights here.

The modern undercurrent here is of a feminist nature. She is a brave, strong and wonderful woman and the film spotlights how societal and patriarchal norms can have a really bad effect on women. The film deals with feminism in a very subtle and sophisticated manner.

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Review

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But the highlight was easily that ending which I adored. That entire extended final scene stole the show for me as it was so beautiful and poignant witnessing her leave her parents and the entire planet. I loved the message in the end that no matter how bad people on Earth can be, there is still a lot of happiness and wonder to be found here too and that was a wonderful, truthful sentiment.

Let’s talk about the characters. Of course the princess herself is such a wonderful, yet not too great of a human being and is just a realistic, still sweet girl whom I really liked. Sutemaru is very likable and their relationship is quite moving. The flight sequence is gorgeous. The parents are both very sweet, caring people and seeing them suffer her departure was heartbreaking. The princes are too goofy and the rest are unimportant.

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Review

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The standout aspect of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is undoubtedly its glorious animation. This animation is simply a work of art. This is a rare animated film done in watercolor painting style and thus it is unique and astonishing to look at. It is simplistic, yet sophisticated, elegant and very artistic. The woods, the ending scene and especially those running sequences provided stunning, unforgettable imagery. The movements are polished and the character design is fantastic as well. Watching this film is like witnessing a moving work of art or a painting come to life and is thus to be respected on a more significant level than usual. It is one of the best animated films of all time.

The film has its flaws such as the runtime which is unnecessarily prolonged and the humor which is not all that great and it proved to be a distraction this time around. Some middle section scenes were dragging and uninteresting. But even though the pacing is not great, the direction from Isao Takahata is of course as splendid per usual, the dialogue is fantastic and the voice acting is magnificent as is its wonderful score. It ended up being one of the very best of the later Studio Ghibli offerings and certainly in the top ten for the studio.

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Review

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With absolutely stunning animation, well developed characters, well crafted story and emotionally powerful ending, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya certainly doesn’t disappoint and it is one of the finest animated films of the year. It is sometimes slow and uneven, but it is such a wonderfully animated film with authentic and rarely seen watercolor look which seems both original and artistic plus the score is terrific, the ending is imbued with strong emotion, the story is involving and the whole film is executed with such grace, wonder and simple beauty that it is hard not to get in love with it. It is not one of the best Studio Ghibli films, but it is definitely one of their finest recently and it’s a movie every true animation fan should watch and enjoy the admirable artistry and expected quality this entry adds to Ghibli’s impressive pantheon of awesome pictures.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises Movie Review

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The Wind Rises Movie Review

The Wind Rises is a 2013 historical romance anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is one of Studio Ghibli’s worst films.

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Airplanes are beautiful, cursed dreams,

waiting for the sky to swallow them up

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The Wind Rises Movie Review

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Yes, this one is pretty weak for the studio’s standards. When I first watched it, I thought it was solid, but now upon second viewing, I find it only okay and nothing more than that. The film is about a plane designer during the thirties and WWII and the fact that this movie is a failure overall is honestly pretty baffling to me on two fronts.

Firstly, you would think that for a director who is literally obsessed with aircraft and flight that he would at least make one great movie during his career in regard to that subject matter. But as evidenced by this film and also ‘Porco Rosso’, he never managed to make use of his greatest hobby and turn it into an all-time classic which is a shame and a puzzle to me. But maybe that is exactly why this film failed because it has too many of those airplane details that are nowhere near as interesting to us than they are to Miyazaki himself. The mechanics of flight bored me here.

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The Wind Rises Movie Review

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And secondly and more importantly, I cannot understand how he did not utilize on this particularly effective premise. You’ve got a guy whose dream is to make aircraft and he ends up making them for war purposes and the movie could have given us his personal dilemma and the struggle between art and profit/bad usage and the question of whether or not he did the right thing. But the film never gave us any of that and what we got are instead are endless boring conversations, overly detailed plane descriptions and too many dream sequences.

The character development is pretty weak. Jiro is pretty bland for a protagonist and not particularly interesting or likable. But Nahoko I definitely liked quite a bit. She is charming and very likable. The relationship between the two is actually the strongest point of this film and whenever it centered on romance, the movie was charming and pretty good. But as a historical or war drama, it failed on multiple levels. The other characters are all forgettable, but the voice acting is certainly very good.

The Wind Rises is gorgeously animated, there is absolutely no denying that fact. This is actually one of the best animated Ghibli films in quite a while as its animation is frequently breathtaking, very detailed, consistently polished and beautiful to watch plus above all else it is colorful and very pleasing to the eye. The clothes, the sky, the planes, the flights and especially the various imagery on that hill and some interiors are all lovely to behold.

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The Wind Rises Movie Review

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This film is extremely boring. I have to be honest and say that. Not only does it last for two hours, but it is also extremely slow paced and uneventful with not too interesting conversations and a very standard historical storyline that doesn’t delve deeply enough into its themes. That is why the film bored me tremendously and it is actually one of the dullest animated films that I have ever watched.

The Wind Rises has simply breathtaking animation with frequently gorgeous imagery and the romance is quite appealing. However, everything else is either standard or mediocre historical period piece. The film features a very intriguing premise, but it never delves deeper into its themes as the characters are bland and the conversations are mostly uninteresting. It is one of the worst Studio Ghibli films and frankly one of the most overrated and dullest animated films that I have ever seen.

My Rating – 3

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Pokémon (Advanced) Season 6 (2002)

Pokémon (Advanced) Season 6 Review

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Pokémon (Advanced) Season 6 Review

The sixth season of Pokémon is titled Advanced and it is actually one of the weakest seasons so far which surprised me.

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It’s Team Rocket!

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Pokémon (Advanced) Season 6 Review

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I was honestly very disappointed with Advanced. This season was supposed to be the new start of a fresh new era for the show with a new region, Pokémon and new characters but it ended up being a bore for the most part and ultimately pretty weak.

The problem with it is that it contains even more filler episodes than before with some episodes being entirely pointless and boring with no plot progression whatsoever and even the adventure element lacked in those episodes. Team Rocket also surprised me as they were also not all too amusing this time around.

Pikachu is okay as is Ash but they need better stories. Brock is back, but I honestly want Misty to return to the show and I am pretty sad that she went away as she was probably the most interesting character in the previous seasons.

As for those new characters, well they are a mixed bag but for the most part pretty mediocre. May is honestly very disappointing in comparison to Misty as she has no knowledge of the Pokémon whatsoever and is overall too weak and uninterested in all this. As for Max as her brother, he is that bratty, annoying and overly talkative kid whom you just want to slap.

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Pokémon (Advanced) Season 6 Review

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Torchic is the cutest of the new Pokemon quite probably, but I also really like Treecko and I found his story probably the best of all the creature stories so far. I want more Mudkip in the show and they should be more present. Seviper was an obvious new addition to Jessie’s roster to replace Arbok. Overall, I liked the new Pokémon from the Hoenn region quite a bit and I like that the old ones are mostly absent here. I just want better stories for all of them.

This season ended up being a bore with some very good episodes, but too many filler episodes and the new characters are actually more annoying instead of likable. This show desperately needs more fights in it and I hope the next seasons bring them.

 

Worst Episodes: Three’s a Crowd, A Corphish Out of Water, Just One of the Geysers and Abandon Ship!

Best Episodes: A Tail with a Twist, All in Day’s Wurmple and A Three Team Scheme.

My Rating – 3.2

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Pokémon (Master Quest) Season 5 (2001)

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Pokémon (Master Quest) Season 5 Review

The fifth season of Pokemon is Master Quest and it is pretty much on par with the previous season.

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I’m not alone.

My friends are always with me

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Pokémon (Master Quest) Season 5 Review

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They are of the similar quality but I prefer this one as it at least got some things moving. I will later talk about the positives, but let’s first go through the negatives and there are quite a lot once again.

As was the case before, a lot of these episodes are filler material. The last episode I disliked and only Pikachu getting sick was a solid cliffhanger but the entire episode was otherwise not like a finale and the previous one was so much better in that regard.

The Pidgey episode is one giant, boring filler about the dullest creature there is. The one about Bulbasaur is beyond childish and silly. Lapras appeared again and that was totally unnecessary. So there are a lot of these boring, one-off episodes which serve no purpose at all but to just extend the runtime of the season. There was very little plot progression before the tournament itself.

But the tournament was reliably great. I loved all of its fights and of course Ash vs. Gary was the most memorable one albeit I do not think that he ought to have won. But he lost the next match and it was a memorable moment for sure. I really like the action and fights on this show and it’s a shame that they don’t utilize them more.

Phanpy got introduced to the team, but more importantly Larvitar and I really liked his problem with shyness. Unown was also very memorable and that episode was visually and tonally quite authentic. Those are the highlights when it comes to the Pokemon.

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Pokémon (Master Quest) Season 5 Review

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As for the humans, Ash definitely makes progress throughout every season and once again I loved Team Rocket. But the highlight was the penultimate episode which was honestly surprisingly moving in its emotional resonance and power. I got used to this team and seeing Misty and Brock leave was definitely quite sad.

So in the end it was a weaker, season which still had many terrific episodes despite a lot of annoying filler. I loved the tournament and the penultimate episode is very moving. Although I am sad to see the two of them go, I am more than happy to see the new creatures from Gen III/Hoenn Region appear and they are most definitely going to bring new life to the series that desperately needs it.

 

Worst Episodes: Fly Me to the Moon, The Mystery is History, Lapras of Luxury, You’re a Star, Larvitar, Some Like It Hot! and Great Bowls of Fire.

Best Episodes: Hatching a Plan, Can’t Beat the Heat, Playing with Fire, Johto Photo Finish and Gotta Catch Ya Later!

My Rating – 3.4

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From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)

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From Up on Poppy Hill Movie Review

From Up on Poppy Hill is a 2011 anime drama film which is Studio Ghibli’s 17th film. It is directed by Goro Miyazaki and it’s definitely one of their weakest outings.

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There’s no future for people who worship the future,

and forget the past

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From Up on Poppy Hill Movie Review

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Now we have the flaw and the boarding house storyline here. That is one story. The other one is familial drama about rediscovery and ancestry. To me both did not work honestly. So let’s first talk about the former. It is overly Japanese and by that I mean that it is a historical drama which does not give you enough context and I myself am not acquainted with the boarding houses and that part of Japanese history and I was thus lost in this story and plus not all too interested too.

As for the familial drama, it is moving and sweet for sure. However, there is no denying that From Up on Poppy Hill is basically one giant Japanese soap opera. Certainly a Ghibli soap opera is better and smarter than other soap operas, but at its core it remains a soap opera and those I dislike tremendously which is why I had a huge problem with this story.

The first twist was typical and the second twist was more interesting, but it brought us back to where we started off. And the whole intertwined family history and discoveries of their ancestry were just way too soapy for my personal taste.

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From Up on Poppy Hill Movie Review

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I also did not care all too much for these characters. I have to be honest – none of them were interesting to me. The adults are all basically just plot devices and rarely anything more than that. As for Umi and Shun, they are endearing and certainly a lovely couple, but that “will they, won’t they” as well as “are they related or not” drama ruined their otherwise sweet relationship. The voice acting is admittedly terrific and pretty resonant, but the characters themselves leave a lot to be desired.

If there is one thing From Up on Poppy Hill does so right is its animation which is to be expected from the caliber of the studio. I loved it. The attention to detail is overwhelming and does it recreates its 60s period so well, I really liked how polished it looked and the highlights include the sea scenes, the houses and mostly the boarding house which looked splendid and filled with a lot of detail.

Another aspect which resonates strongly here is of course the score. It is absolutely lovely and actually quite different than most other Ghibli scores as it feels tonally and stylistically different and unique and thus I appreciated it even more. The theme that repeats throughout the entire runtime is gorgeous and so charming.

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From Up on Poppy Hill Movie Review

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The film is sweet at times and emotionally resonant, but not fulfilling owing to its soapy drama. The dialogue is as good as it can be, but the script is just very weak and troublesome and I cannot imagine how anyone could have this movie in their favorites when it comes to Studio Ghibli. It is in my opinion their worst film of all time which is not to say it is bad as they have never made a bad film, but it is just only okay and nothing more than that which is super disappointing.

From Up on Poppy Hill is beautifully scored and gorgeously animated, but every Studio Ghibli film has amazing animation and score and that is to be expected from their caliber. But other than those great aspects and a couple of moving scenes, this film is easily their worst with uninteresting characters and a story which is simply a giant, implausible soap opera and unfortunately never anything more than that.

My Rating – 3

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