So yeah, I'm writing the Plight this time.
*Japanese business man style awkward bow
Now, for those of you who don't know what Touhou is, it's basically a series of 2D bullet hell shooter doujin game (or indie game, which ever term you prefer) in Japan that begins in 1996. Despite being a doujin game, it's a pretty big series. You can find it's name in everywhere, from fan art, Guinness World Record, fan games to even commercially released figures and manga (and naturally, 34, but let's not get there, ⑨ is the only number we need here). You can watch this video if you want to know more (or just do so for your amusement because the video is pretty funny too).
Now, back to what we are supposed to be talking about, Advent Cirno. Well it's basically a Touhou fan series manga by One Night Stand, or also known as Ushiki Yoshitaka, the artist of Dream Eater Merry. It's sort of a crossover of Touhou and Final Fantasy VII, with Touhou characters in an universe that adopted some of the setting from FFVII, such as things like Shinra, Soldier, Turks, etc. Now, I know, from the sounds of it, it sounds like a fanfic a middle school student would come up with, but you are up for a surprise, because there is nothing but professional quality.
Taken place in Gensokyo, a city protected by the private company Shinra, which specialized exterminating monsters to protect the civilians. The story follows Cirno, a former Soldier from Shinra, Reisen, Cirno's gunslinger partner and a former scientist in Shinra, and Meiling, the owner of the cafe where Cirno and Reisen usually hang out. While the story borrowed elements from both Touhou and FFVII, what I found interesting is that you don not need to understand either series to enjoy Advent Cirno, due to the fact that the author actually spent some time on introducing the characters and the world. Not to mention the drawings and it's creative way to present the dialogues are in 100% professional level.
Now, let's talk about the characters themselves, because they are just awesome. You wouldn't believe how much of a badass the artist made Cirno into. While Cirno totally stole the show, the other characters like Reisie and Meiling are pretty cool too. However, the characters aren't just for show either. Like Cirno, as cool as she is, there are also time where she act to silly and funny, or sometimes, even showing her weakness. Overall, the characters are cool and fun without being one-dimensional Mary Sue, and just fun to enjoy. And the little hidden Monster Hunter and Kamen Rider (and many other things) reference is always welcome.
The story sort of follow an episodic formula, where it starts off with Cirno and her gang accept a new job and get the job done by the end of the chapter. It isn't anything special, but it certainly help to flash out the characters to the fullest. And then there is the 0 arc, which I consider to be the highlight of the story. Unlike other chapters, the 0 arc is a prequel takes place before the main story and tend to have a more serious focus on Cirno's past as a Soldier working for Shinra, as well as her senior Letty Whiterock, who plays a very prominent role in Cirno's past. Though unfortunately, the story is not finished, and it's been on hiatus for years due to the fact that Ushiki now have a commercial ongoing series. Let's hope that one day we will see what really happened between Cirno and Letty.
Overall, despite being a crossover fan series, Advent Cirno is something that surprisingly can appeal to many people. You don't have to be a fan of Touhou or FFVII to enjoy it, it's just that good. In fact, I'm that much of a Touhou or FFVII fan either.
Well what do we have here, ⑨ after 9.
Taken place after a war between man and machine that wipe out humanity, 9, a little robot woke up and found himself in a laboratory. Shortly, he met another doll similar to him, 2, who was soon abducted by a machine. 9 was found by 5 and met up with the rest of the doll. While their leader, 1 was heavily against it, 9 and 5 decided to go out and search for 2, as well as to find out what happened before the war and what they really are.
Well, I don't really want to give too much about movie away, but I really enjoyed 9, and I will go as far as to claim that it's one of my favorite animated film (before I get to watch Frozen anyway). While the story is a bit rushed due to it's limited length, it's a pretty fulfilling meal packed with flavors and nutrition. There are plenty of mysteries to be unfold and action scenes to enjoyed, both are very well-animated, and if you go a little deeper, there is also many depth and critical thinking can be done in the story.
9 is one of the movies where I walked in with high expectation, and it still manage to do more than what I expected. Whether you are looking for something just for pure entertainment, or if you want to watch something more meaningful, 9 has what you looking for.
Oh, sorry, I just thought that's the first thing you want to hear. Well it has that too, but don't worry, there are a lot more than just that. In fact, if you are here for the fanservice, you might be disappointed.
Well, it's a pretty cool show, you can find a lot of tropes you found in other anime, but the way of how Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere put them together definitely make itself unique on it's own.
Now we have the boobs covered (no pun intended), let's get to the real meat of it (no pun intended).
Okay, so here is how the story goes. It takes place many, many years after the novel Owari no Chronicle, where after a mysterious phenomenon had occurred, humans were no longer able to live in the sky and everyone in space is now forced to live on Earth. While no one know why it would happen, they believed that if they restart and reenact the history, they might be able to returns to the sky once again. And thus, the Testament, which tell what other people should do according to the history, was created.
The story, despite it's grand epic background, focused on a pair of childhood friends, Aoi Toori, the chancellor of Ariadust Academy, and Horizon Ariadust, who past away in an accident at a very young age, and now living as the emotionless android P-01s. However, Horizon's emotions do exist in somewhere in a form of nine powerful weapons known as Mortal Sin Armament, with each representing one of her nine emotions/sins. To recover her emotion just so that she can hear and understand his love confession to her, Toori decided to take the Mortal Sin Armaments for her. And since it was said that who ever had collected nine Sin Mortal Armaments will be able to prevent the apocalypse, nations who had their hands on one of them refuse to give them away, thus, made Toori's love confession into a war declaration to the whole world.
Of course Toori is not doing this alone, the anime has huge cast of characters. By huge, I mean HUGE. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when each of them stands out as it's own character both inside and outside. You might not remember their name, but you will have no trouble remember their characters and telling who's who. The huge yet interesting cast is definitely one of the highlight here, not to mention Toori himself is a pretty funny guy (the best way to describe him would be "a genius at being and idiot"). While the story itself it's pretty serious, there plenty of humor added in here and there too, and it find a really nice balance between the two, even while you are in the middle of a life and death action scenes. The setting is very interesting and unique as well, if not a bit confusing, but once you get over the confusion, it can be very enjoyable. Now, let's talk about the visuals. The visuals are awesome. It's not going to win the award of best animation, but it's hell of a pleasure to the eyes with some really flashy special effect and CGs (DAT navy battle).
And let's not forget the sound department. The soundtracks by Kato Tatsuya, who worked on World Conquest and Future Diary, are simply epic ear porn. It's kind of sad that no one seems to talk about the soundtracks whenever people bring up this anime.
Voice acting is greatly done with a lot of familiar voices that you most likely have heard fro somewhere else, such as Fukuyama Jun, voice of Lelouch from Code Geass, Koshimizu Ami, who voiced Kallen in Code Geass, Holo from Spice and Wolf and Ryuko from Kill la Kill, Inoue Marina, aka Yoko from Gurren Lagann, and many other famous voice actors like Sawahsiro Miyuki, Sawashiro Miyuki and Sawashiro Miyuki. Though I think for this anime, Saito Chiwa stole the whole show.
I won't call it the best anime ever made, but with it's huge cast of interesting characters, excellent visual and sounds, it's definitely something that you don't want to miss, and something that you won't forget once you finished it.
Not sure why aren't they making season three though, even if the sales top the chart and the staff themselves are fans of the original novel.
And that's it. Hope you enjoy my first Plight,
if you are even reading it.