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Sci-Fi London Manga All-Nighter 2010 May 3, 2010

Posted by ayasawada in Anime.
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Of course, it’s really an anime all-nighter. Manga all-nighter would technically be a a bunch of people staying up all night reading :P

Anyway, I attended the Manga Entertainment sponsored Anime All-Nighter at this year’s Sci-Fi London Festival on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

It was the usual fun and games: generally good spirit, still no WiFi or air conditioning in the screen, free ice cream/tea/coffee/terrible energy drinks. And an eclectic mix of movies.

(Thoughts after the jump)

Red Line: Totally insane. F-Zero on crack. But really good fun, even if it does move at 200 mph (which is kind of fitting considering it’s a racing anime). I’m a real sucker for racing movies (Days of Thunder is my embarrassing movie favourite) so one with the colour palette of a Jackson Pollock and featuring a quiffed hero, two magical princess racing girls, a race on a military weapons facility and two gigantic bioweapons duking it out is a total winner. Really got the adrenaline pumping and a perfect choice to kick off the evening.

Bleach the Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion: Bleach? More like bleugh. Now, I don’t have anything in particular against Bleach. I’ve read the first two volumes of the manga and kind of want to read the rest/watch the anime someday, but this is 90 minutes of total rubbish filler. Nothing to do with the main manga plot and with a story that poses lots of questions, yet glosses over things rather than come to any real resolution. It’s essentially a movie for Bleach-fans featuring every character in the show making cameos for no other reason other than to make a cameo. To make matters worse they showed the movie DUBBED, even though it was from a DVD. The collective sigh when the subtitles failed to appear said everything.

Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai: Now, this was a real left-field choice. Musashi is an animated documentary about the history and myth surrounding legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Produced by Mamoru Oshii it makes fascinating use of traditional cell animation, CG and some live-action shots to explain the history of 17th and 19th Century Japan, war strategy and sword techniques to unravel the legend of Musashi and find some element of the truth. I found it totally absorbing but, from the whines of the people around me, I’m guessing most of the audience didn’t. To be fair, it wasn’t the best choice for an all-nighter, and certainly not for the third film of the night at 4.30am, but credit to the organisers for choosing something different. I’ll have to see it again sometime when I’m a bit more awake!

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works: The whole reason I went. For anyone who’s seen the original TV series, played the original game (and completed all three storylines) or read all the Wikipedia entries for the backstory details, Unlimited Blade Works is brilliant. To anyone else it must it must be utterly baffling (and a a film whose title makes the least grammatical sense :P). UBW moves at a pace that requires prior knowledge — the first five episodes of the series are covered during the opening credits and from there on it moves at  such a speed from one action scene to another to get through the initial common plot points and get to the point where the Unlimited Blade Works storyline breaks from the original Fate storyline in the game (if you’re not a Fate fan, I’ve probably already lost you). If you’ve at least seen the TV anime you’ll be able distinguish between different episodes spread over a longer time, but to anyone else it just seems like an unbelievable jump from one tiring battle to another and, as someone said to me, like the same sword fight over and over again. It also suffers from the same flaws the original anime did: many of the details are lost unless you’ve read up on the saga (as obsessives like me have :P). And if it didn’t make sense from 26 episodes, what chance does a newbie watching a two-hour movie have? But for Fate fans like me it was well worth waiting for. It’s beautifully animated and reminded me of all the rich details I loved about the concept, all the borrowed bits from different world mythologies, the convoluted storyline, the tensions between different characters. Not exactly accessible, but in contrast to the Bleach movie this at least had resolution and a degree of epicness befitting an event like this.

They also showed the first episode of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which admittedly I took a break during (I’ve already seen it twice after all). Lovely to hear YUI’s Again in cinema surround sound though. I dream about moments like that ^^

Overall, it was a better night than I expected. I really only went for one movie and wasn’t too excited about the line up beforehand, so to get a couple of pleasant surprises was win for me. This was in contrast to last year’s Oktoberfest Anime All-Nighter where I was very excited about the line-up, only to be disappointed. But Sci-Fi London’s willingness to show new and varied anime direct from Japan will always attract me. Until the next one.

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Comments»

1. My anime 2010 « Canned Memory - January 30, 2011

[…] Space Show already, as well as Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Red Line and Musashi at the Sci-Fi London Oktoberfest Anime […]

2. My 2010 « Canned Memory - January 30, 2011

[…] Space Show already, as well as Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Red Line and Musashi at the Sci-Fi London Oktoberfest Anime […]


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