films seen
2
average score
3.00*
nationality
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Solid pieces

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

Cider no YĆ“ ni Kotoba ga Wakiagaru
2020 / 87m - Japan
Animation, Romance
3.5*/5.0*
Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop poster

A simple but pleasant anime. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop is a summery, light and predictable coming of age film that tries to stand out with a colorful art style and above -average animation. This type of breezy romantic drama has become very prevalent the past decade, it's rarely exceptional, but usually worth a shot.

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Cherry is a young and bashful boy who likes to write haiku poems, Smile a young girl who has a vibrant social profile, but just got braces. Because of an incident at the mall their phones are switched, an event that will eventually bring the two together in a search for a lost LP. All of this against the charming backdrop of a local summer festival.

Anime tends to do these kinds of stories well, this film is no exception. It feels a little too comfortable at times and the romance is a tad too naive, but the warm, summery vibes and the relatively unique art style give the film some much-needed flavor of its own. This isn't going to be the next big anime masterpiece, instead, it's charming filler with broad appeal.

Worthy but flawed

Bright: Samurai Soul

2021 / 80m - Japan
Animation, Action, Adventure
2.5*/5.0*
Bright: Samurai Soul poster

Netflix is very eager to get a slice of the anime pie and isn't afraid to throw its own IP in the mix. Sometimes it turns out pretty well (think Altered Carbon), but it's certainly no guarantee for success. Bright reminded me a bit of Kai Doh Maru, only it lacks the artistic vision, and it gets trapped in some tried and tested Feudal Japan alteration of a world that wasn't all that interesting to begin with.

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Izo (a ronin) and Raiden (an orc) get stuck defending Sonya (a young elf). Several people seem to be targeting the young girl, who supposedly knows more about a mystic wand that can identify people with special powers. As the trio travels through Japan to learn more about this wand, it slowly dawns on them that Sonya isn't just any regular elf.

The setup is very basic, the link with the live action Bright is there in the characters and broader lore, yet it still feels like some kind of awkwardly tacked on anime extra. The art style isn't entirely successful either, but at least the camera work and shot compositions are quite interesting. It's decent (and relatively short) filler, but Netflix needs to do better than this.