films seen
average score
Japan - 46 years old
Alive and kicking
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Tokyo Marble Chocolate

2007 / 90m - Japan
Romance - Animation
Tokyo Marble Chocolate poster

Production I.G used to be my favorite anime production house (not even Studio 4C could touch them in their prime). Grown out of the Headgear collaborative (the production team behind Patlabor 2 and Oshii's prior home), I.G produced classics like Kokaku Kidotai, Innocence and Dead Leaves. Once a synonym for quality Japanese animation features, nowadays they keep on spewing out mediocre series and movies just to keep their head above water.

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Tokyo Marble Chocolate is a 2-part OAV from I.G's transition period (2005-2007). It's already a lot softer in tone and style than their previous output (more in line with the kind of series Gainax used to produce), yet the unique artstyle and the Shinkai-inspired romance (Kotonoha no Niwa, Byosoku 5 Senchimetoru) make for a sweet and amusing little diversion.

The story revolves around a boy and a girl hooking up. Both are not very successful when it comes to maintaining relationships. Even though they seem to like each other a lot, they can't really commit fully to their blossoming love. The OAV is split into 2 distinct segments, each segment following one character going through the one decisive day that will shape their future as a couple.

While mostly straight-up romance, there is at least one thing setting it apart from other, more typical romances. Shiotani includes an extra character: a rather unique and feisty looking mini-donkey. Through this character some extra comedy is brought into the OAV, while at the same time making it a bit more attractive to the regular anime crowd. I'm not really sure it helped the OAV as a whole though, as it does contrast rather strongly with the romantic atmosphere.

Clocking in at around 50 minutes in total, Tokyo Marble Chocolate is a pretty safe bet for people who're into Shinkai's romances. It may be a more commercial move for I.G, but the artstyle and soundtrack make sure that there is still plenty to enjoy.

Psycho-Pass: Providence

2023 / 120m - Japan
Sci-fi, Crime - Animation
Psycho-Pass: Providence poster

It's not that Psycho-Pass is factually bad, it's just that it reminds me too much of a time when Production I.G was still pushing out groundbreaking anime. No matter how you look at it, Psycho-Pass is a somewhat tepid Shirow derivative. Which wouldn't even be so bad if it wasn't made on the cheap.

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In the middle of an important meeting, Akane Tsunemori gets a notification that something bad happened on a foreign ship. Together with her team, she goes to investigate the incident. When they get there, Foreign Affairs takes the case out of their hands. One of Tsunemori's invitees is found dead on the ship, so she won't be pushed aside that easily.

The plotting is interesting, as is the setting. It's a typical Shirow universe, where action, technology, and politics intertwine. But the film looks like an extension of the TV series. The animation is paltry, the CG is mediocre and when the film directly references Ghost in the Shell material (like the parade), it's just painful to see how much worse things got in two decades. Not a bad film, but this material deserved so much better.

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.3 - On the Other Side of Love and Hate

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.3 - Onshuu no Kanata ni
2019 / 68m - Japan
Action - Animation
Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.3 - On the Other Side of Love and Hate poster

A decent finish to this 3-part film series. It's probably the least sci-fi and the least conceptual of the three, but with a bit more time spent on character development and action sequences, this was by far the most entertaining entry. Think Spriggan, but without all the fantastical bits. I still feel a better director could've done much more with this material though.

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.1 - Crime and Punishment

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.1 - Tsumi to Bachi
2019 / 60m - Japan
Sci-fi - Animation
Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.1 - Crime and Punishment poster

First entry in Psycho-Pass' Sinners of the System film series. The animation quality is high, the art style is solid and the setting is intriguing, but this franchise is still struggling to free itself from Ghost in the Shell's legacy and the strong focus on plot makes it a little duller than need be. Not terrible, but there's a lot of unfulfilled potential here.

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.2 - First Guardian poster

Very much in line with the first film, though it seems to be borrowing more from Patlabor 2 than Ghost in the Shell this time around. The animation and art style are nice, but once again the film focuses too much on plot, making it slower than need be. It's okay in bursts of 60 minutes, but it still feels like a waste of potential to me.

Blood-C: The Last Dark

2012 / 107m - Japan
Fantasy, Horror - Animation
Blood-C: The Last Dark poster

Psycho-Pass: The Movie

Gekijouban Psycho-Pas
2015 / 113m - Japan
Sci-fi, Crime - Animation
Psycho-Pass: The Movie poster