Live-Action Grave of the Fireflies (2008)
Studio Ghibli has always done a great job making characters that you can easily relate to, which makes it all the more important to you – as the viewer – to watch these characters face their challenges and grow over time as the story progresses. Though you only spend a short time getting to know the beautifully-crafted world (and the characters which inhabit it), you form something of a bond with them over this time you share together. I think that emotional bond is what makes Grave of the Fireflies all the more painful to watch since you know deep down that things are unlikely to end well, but you spend the whole movie hoping against hope for these two tragic characters. Making this story even more tragic is that it’s actually based in reality.
Rei and… Rei?
Due to the sheer volume of anime and manga produced in Japan every year and the large number of characters appearing in these series, it’s certainly not uncommon for a lot of anime and manga characters to wind up sharing the same first or last name – especially when it comes to names relatively common in the real world. But when you stop and consider (1) the relatively short time period in which Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion took place and (2) just how uncommon a name like Rei is in the first place, it’s a little harder to write it off as pure coincidence. So what exactly is the connection between the two?
Wing Zero Custom – One of Many Zeroes
While one may be the “loneliest number that you’ll ever do,” for anyone who has watched a substantial amount of anime, ready even a few manga in passing, or played more than a couple Japanese-made games, you’ll be more than a little familiar with the fixation on making anything with “zero” somewhere in its name overpowered and nearly unstoppable. But where exactly does this come from, and why is zero – literally meaning ‘nothing’ – viewed as better than any of the natural numbers? That’s what we’re going to look into today.
Perfect couple, or bitter rivals?
Aah, the excitement of young love. If you spend a lot of time watching romantic anime or reading shojo manga, you’re quite familiar with the concept of two young people falling madly in love, dating, and (assuming the series runs long enough), getting married. Where Ranma 1/2 differs from this stereotype, though, is that the two parties to the relationship happen to hate each other. Since their parents had already decided that the two are to be betrothed, does that really mean that they have no say in the matter?