Friday, January 08, 2016

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Bonus Pick!! - Garakowa -Restore the World-

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[Taken as is from Official Japanese Site (top image)]

Garakowa -Restore the World-

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Crunchyroll (Japanese w/ multi-language subtitle options)

It is not very often that one has the chance to watch a new anime film in a theater, unless you live in a major metropolitan area or are in Japan at the time and can watch it without the aid of subtitles. This makes Garakowa -Restore the World- (Glass no Hana to Kowasu Sekai)'s rollout all the more notable and unusual, as not only will the film debut tomorrow in Japan, but it will be streamed worldwide outside the country a week later on Crunchyroll (excl. Asia), not to mention in four Japanese theaters with English subtitles(!)! In addition, CR premium members will be allowed to see the film for free in San Jose the same day the film bows in Japan—complete with goodies and activites—before making the rounds on select dates in Germany, France, and Austria.

In of itself, Garakowa -Restore the World- (or "Vitreous Flower Destroy the World"…or "Vitreous Flower & Destroy the World"…or "D.backup"…) is an interesting piece. It is the second directorial from animation veteran Masashi Ishihama (Read or Die / the TV, Welcome to the NHK!, Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW character designer and animation director), who helmed the highly-acclaimed, but notoriously low-selling (if not also controversial), From the New World (Shin Sekai Yori). Its great non-/success had me concerned over whether Ishihama would ever get another chance to direct again (I would say a particular twist in the second arc sunk its chances with the Japanese fans more so than anything else…which is humorous, because…), but thankfully, A-1 Pictures gave him a seat on another project. The film is the end product of a concept awarded the top prize in a original works contest held by distributor Pony Canyon, entitled "D.backup", which revolves around two girls who fight to prevent viruses from infecting scores of alternate worlds and timelines inside of a dimension known as "The Box of Wisdom". One day, however, they encounter a virus attacking an unknown girl who lays asleep there…

By way of the premise and trailer, the film sounds very intriguing, yet also feels as if it could easily become convoluted and messy. Hopefully, that will not be the case, as works targeted at international audiences tend not to be, even though I can't say I am a fan of many of the shows that Fumihiko Shimo penned, either. However, I will still hold out some cautious hope for the film, based on Ishihama's involvement, the high-profile attention the producers have placed upon the title, and that the track record for internationally-targeted anime over the last five years as been mostly solid (Black Rock Shooter, Little Witch Academia, Japan Anima(tor)'s Exhibition, Space Dandy (not a fan, but many are…), MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS (still ongoing, but very good, thus far)). Besides, it doesn't hurt to have character designs by Kantoku (HENNEKO - The "Hentai" Prince and the Stony Cat.) and a soundtrack by the red-hot Masaru Yokohama (MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS, Your lie in April), either.

Will Garakowa -Restore the World- be as good as any of those aforementioned titles and live up to its hype, or will it become another black mark on the other side of A-1's divisive catalog? Only a day or week's time will tell, but regardless, it is hard to look a gift horse in the form of a brand new anime film in the mouth, especially when it is being streamed.

-Extras Gallery-

© Project D. backup
[Teaser Picture; Taken as is from Official Japanese Site (top image)]

© Project D. backup
[First main promo picture. A bit lighter & less dark and dramatic than the current one (not to knock it). Taken as is from Official Japanese Site (top image)]

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