Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/4

 

 
PROS –
1) In a post-apocalyptic world filled with poisonous forest swarming with giant mutant insects, two kingdom fight for a “Giant Warrior“, while the main protagonist Princess Nausicaä of Valley of the Wind tries to find a way for giant insects and humans to co-exist.
2) Hayao Miyazaki’s mesmerizing world of creatures with magical powers, and mankind with steampunk technology.
3) An epic storyline heightened by great animation.
4) The prophetic glider-riding hero of the story, Nausicaä herself is a giant character.
5) Nausicaä opening theme – Kaze no Tani no Naushika.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Nausicaä: You must not burn down the toxic jungle! You should have left the giant warrior beneath the earth!… Asbel, tell them how the jungle evolved and how the insects are guarding it so we won’t pollute the earth again. Asbel, please!

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/4

 

 

PROS –
1) A poignant tale of two orphaned Japanese siblings (Seita & Setsuko) struggling to survive the horrors of World War II. One of the greatest animated movies ever made.
2) The beauty of any Studio Ghibli movies can’t be described in words. The dedication and effort this studio put in every one of their movies is beyond belief. This movie is no exception.
3) The background music of a bucolic Japan (crickets, bullfrog, the ocean, rain, flowing water, etc.) makes the movie more realistic.
4) Amelita Galli-Curci – Home Sweet Home.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Setsuko: I don’t need anything. Please stay home with me. Don’t go! Don’t go! Don’t go!

Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 1/4

 
PROS –
1) The only character worth watching is the street smart kid Chibi riding a battery-operated skateboard.

 
CONS –
1) A below-average story of a predestined hero avenging his father.
2) Epileptic flashy lights make the climax unwatchable.
3) The climax is a huge disappointment where the evil Rebi Ra is killed without a mega fight.

 

 

QUOTE –
Mephisto: Men anger the gods with their pride, and in order to punish them, the gods looked on as Pandora opened her box letting chaos loose. And now, here in Monster City, mythology will become reality.

Your Name. (2016)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 3/4

 
PROS –
1) A wholesome fantasy-romance.
2) Makoto Shinkai is now the Richard Curtis animation-romance genre. Just like The Garden of Words (2013), this movie is a visual delight.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Mitsuha Miyamizu: There’s no way we could meet. But one thing is certain. If we see each other, we’ll know

Kite (1998)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 3/4

 
PROS –
1) High-powered gun action with the bullets that explode inside the victim’s body.
2) Sawa got shades of Gogo Yubari Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Mathilda from Léon: The Professional (1994)

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Even tomorrow may never come for us. All l can do for now is live life to the fullest.

The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 1 Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Shozo Hirono‘s giant fish tattoo
2) The main theme played during every major kill.
3) An epic guide for the uninitiated to know about the rise of the Yakuza
4) Exceptional editing and cinematography.
5) Wakasugi’s prison escape hara-kiri; Hirono’s yubitsume

 

CONS –
1) Generic gangster rise-and-fall plot with documentary-style storytelling.

 

QUOTE –
A sniper can never hide from another sniper.

Fist of the North Star (1986)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – n/a
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

Verdict – 4/4

 

Pros –
1) A must watch 80s action-packed dieselpunk anime.
2) Gory battles – the immense level of bloodbath
3) It can be watched without any prior knowledge of the Fist of the North Star universe.
4) Music – inspired by spaghetti western movies.
5) End credits – Ken looking for Yuria with Purple Eyes playing in the background.Extremely sad and romantic.

 

Cons –
N/A

 
Quote –
Ryûken: Power without perception is virtually useless and therefore of no true value!

Sanjuro (1962)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

Verdict – 3/5

Pros –
1) Kurosawa’s regular Toshiro Mifune as Sanjuro, the bored Ronin – One man army.A samurai reluctant to kill.
2) Muroto death scene.The blood fountain was unexpected as during the entire movie Sanjuro killed scores of men but without the presence of blood.
3) Sanjuro’s trademark shoulder twitch, beard scratching, and hands hidden inside his ragged kimono.

 

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
“You’re like a drawn sword. Sharp, naked without a sheath. You cut well. But good swords are kept in their sheaths.”

Batman Ninja (2018)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 3/4

 

PROS –
1) Great quality of art. Putting Batman in Sengoku Period Japan.
2) Steam-punk time-travel story
3) Robin with Monkichi

 

CONS –
1) Pretty useless Batman, fooled twice by Gorilla Grodd and Joker

 

QUOTE –
Catwoman: Isn’t a gorilla eating a banana a little cliche?
Gorilla Grodd: Says the cat burglar wearing a cat costume.

The Garden of Words (2013)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – n/a
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

Verdict – 4/4

 

Pros –
1) Ground-breaking animation capturing the beauty of nature in rain.It’s a cinematic triumph!
2) The subtle romance is exhibited in the most touching & elegant way.
3) Running time: If one can convey the plot in 46 minutes, why add unnecessary sub-plots.

 

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
Takao Akizuki: In the evenings, before I went to sleep, and in the mornings, in the moment I woke up, I realized I was praying for rain