Saturday, March 14, 2009

Henry Poole is Here [2008] [dvd rental] (movie mini-review)

After watching Race to Witch Mountain earlier in the day, I was ready for a movie that does not rely on effects to make it a watchable movie. Henry Poole is Here was the movie I was looking for, to an extent. While watching the movie, I could pretty much predict what would happen but I wasn't too upset by this because the story was what the movie relied on rather then effects (this is in no way an effects movie! In fact, it's more of an independent film because there were many creative shots rather than computer effects). This movie is well worth the watch =)

H2O: Footprints in the Sand [2008] [download] (anime review)

*** Image copyright goes out to Zexcs.

I’m actually typing this at around 12:15am on March 14 2009- right after I finished the last episode of H2O: Footprints in the Sand. I was watching this mainly to pass the time while waiting for someone to log on to Yahoo IM (but due to a two hour time difference and their friend visiting before a major event later this morning, this person I was waiting to log back on probably ended up crashing before they remembered to logg back on to Yahoo) but ended up continuing not because the anime was “interesting” but because I honestly had nothing better to do because ToraDora is on the computer at the moment which my sister is using. Oh, and the reason this is being typed before posted is because my hand me down laptop sometimes doesn’t connect to the internet. *le sighhhh*
H2O: Footprints in the Sand is based on a Japanese adult visual novel by Makura that was released on June 23 2006. The anime was released from January 4 2008 through March 21 2008 spanning a total of 12 episodes. Even though there is a sequel to the visual novel called Root After and Another, there is currently no second season scheduled. There was a manga adaptation released before the anime adaptation. The anime is licensed for an English language release by Kodokawa Shoten.
The anime opens with the male lead, Takuma Hirose a blind middle school student, reciting part of an adaptation of the poem Footprints (a Christian faith based poem where a human is asking God why there is only one set of footprints in the sand if God said he would always be there). At one point in the anime, towards the beginning, he meets a girl who calls herself Otoha. Otoha tells Hirose that she is a spirit and he is the fabled Chosen One. In order to prove she is a spirit, Otoha takes Hirose’s blindness away. This, in turn, opens up a lot of new possibilities for Hirose’s life and also opens up old wounds.
I’ll warn you right here, this is a very cruel anime as well as very perverted (I know, it’s an odd combination). One of the female leads, Hayami Kohinata, is constantly picked on an beat up. Other female leads end up tripping onto Hirose’s face to the point where he gets to see their underwear but he always says he saw nothing (this is, of course, after he is given the ability to see). Yui Tabata, another one of the female leads, is the leader of the cruel insults aimed at Kohinata. As the anime goes on, things go from bad to worse to good to magical girl to even worse to time-to-throw-up-from-all-the-drama. Usually I do not mind drama, but this anime did get a tad too far on the drama meter. The first episode had a girl getting beat up and she didn’t put up any sort of fight. Everyone knows this does not happen to such an extent in real life.
That being said, this anime did have really good moments. I especially loved episode 8, the magical Otoha episode! This and some interesting plot twists did save this anime from getting a two star rating rather than a three. I would have given the anime another half star, but the animation was not that good- especially for a visual novel based anime. Usually, visual novel based anime have excellent animation, but H2O’s was a little below average especially for an anime released in 2008. Also, another saving quality of this anime, was the lack of every girl chasing the male lead. Even though most of the girls seemed interested in Hirose, this was not what controlled the anime’s plot. A really nice breather!
I’m not jumping up the pick up the OST because, in all honesty, the background music was a bit overused. I found myself tired of the same track being used but the ending theme was very nice while the opening was annoying.

All in all, H2O: Footprints in the Sand was not too long nor too short of an anime (even though the first few episodes did seem to drag on). The 12 episode length was very suitable for a story of this magnitude. I recommend this anime to fans of visual novel based anime and fans of drama, especially the cheesy kind =)