Erased

e22c43ce-cc31-4d41-bf46-59bd9b0018f5If you had the ability to go back in time and stop something truly horrific happening, would you? Personally, I wouldn’t think twice about it and would head back in a heartbeat, to stop a few things from coming to pass and that’s exactly what our main character (Satoru) in this anime chooses to do. But before we get into that, I’d like to announce that Erased was the winner of the little review poll, I carried out a while ago and I can certainly see why. So with that out of the way, let’s begin this review the same way as every review, and start with a quick description.

Erased, begins with a grownup Satoru struggling to get his manga published and working as a pizza delivery guy to earn money. Though Satoru is struggling as a manga artist, this isn’t what has him feeling blue. Satoru heart is weighed down by guilt and the regret that he couldn’t save his classmate (Kayo) from dying at the hands of a child serial killer, when he was 11 years-old.

This guilt is made worse by the fact that, since Satoru was a child he has had the ability to foresee when something bad is about to happen, allowing him to act and prevent the potential tragedy. Just before Kayo disappears, Satoru gets the feeling that something bad is about to happen to her. But being a child, Satoru doesn’t fully understand this feeling and ignores it. Shortly after this Kayo is reported missing and months later, her body is discovered and a young man arrested and wrongly charged with the murder. Though, Satoru feels awful for not doing something to prevent Kayo’s death, he tries his best to put this horror behind him. That is until, the real serial killer returns and murders Satoru mother, somehow framing Satoru in the process. Left with no option but to flee from police, things take a bizarre turn when Satoru’s ability has him sent back in time, to shortly before Kayo disappears, when he was turning 11 years-old. Quickly, Satoru realises the opportunity presented him and he sets out determined, to save Kayo and the murderer’s other victims, as well as trying to catch the killer in the process.

Quite the plot, isn’t it? As you’d expect there’s a lot of playing detective and trying to outsmart the murderer in this anime. Making Erased a rather interesting and captivating watch, that leaves you unable to take your eyes off the screen, for fear of missing something important that identifies the killer. On top of this, Erased is quite a cute anime that really warms the heart. Little boys running around wanting to be superheroes, trying to save their friends, is just adorable and incredibly sweet to watch.

9cabd461-6ea9-4d26-9f25-b18e9a6adf90When it comes to these sorts of shows predictability is very important. Erased I would class as not that predictable. Of course, going into this anime you kind of know that Satoru will stop the murderer, because if he didn’t then what would be the point of making the show. The ending would be horrible and the whole thing would be incredibly depressing, if he didn’t. You would imagine, not many people would want to watch a show like that, leading to the failure of the anime. Although you can predict that much, what you can’t foresee is how he’s going to stop the killer. Meaning, you know he’ll stop the killer but not know how he will do it (if that makes sense). Which in itself makes the show really exciting and suspenseful to watch.

In terms of identifying the killer, with these types of shows I love to try to identifying the culprit before the grand reveal. Using some true Sherlock Holmes skills, I was able to identify the killer at about episode 5 (it’s only 12 episodes long, so around the half way mark). The flashes you get of the killer was a real give away and completely confirmed my prediction. For the non-Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts however, the killer will come as quite the shock. Even if you do work out who the killer is, the show is still very enjoyable and strangely become a little more exciting, due to the killer’s closeness to the victims.

The animation in Erased is pretty average and what you’d expect from an anime. In saying that, there are still a few aspects of its animation that I really like. For example, though it made me jump out of my skin at first, the hypnotoad moments were rather cool. The unusual character designs, was also something you could appreciate about the animation and made characters really identifiable. For instance, the way grownup Satoru’s eyes can move like a lizard’s, to look behind him. Though a little creepy is still very cool and makes him stand out from the rest of the characters. The little extras like the blue butterflies, use of colour and the film reel concept were all very nice touches to the show’s animation and all work well to set the tone.

My only slight criticism I could give Erased is that the subtitle speed is a little too fast and can be hard to keep up with. But if you know how to use the pause and rewind buttons and don’t mind using them, this won’t be much of a problem (just a slightly annoying inconvenience).

Overall, Erased is an excellent anime with a great plot and delivery that does it justice. It’s not overly predictable and manages to have little surprises for the viewer at every turn. Especially, when it comes to the identity of the killer, making it rather exciting to watch. With its added cute factor and heart-warming moments, I can really see why this anime is a favourite of a lot of people. So, for these reasons I would highly recommend watching this anime, even if the subtitles are ridiculously fast.

Rating: 5/5

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 5)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eBefore I start this review, I’d like to say Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of the best anime I’ve watched in a long time and has won a well-deserved spot in my top 3 anime series. It’s so great in fact that I was rather heartbroken after finishing the entire anime and left wondering what to do with myself. Now that I can’t unwind to some alchemy and homunculi getting their butts whipped. But sure, it’s not all bad. This gives me the perfect opportunity to find another great anime to get my teeth sunk into. So, without moping over anime heartbreak any further, I bring to you the last in this series of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood reviews.

Providing a spoiler free description of part 5, is kind of hard to do. So, all I will say is a lot of arse kicking and deaths occurred in part 5 and a few awesome Armstrong moments. As for the ending, you’ll be happy to hear it was very satisfying, unlike a lot of anime that are ruined by very poor no-questions-answered and everything-in-the-air endings. Though, the ending is a little sad (Glob Envy nearly broke me) it still leaves you with a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside.

7557043a-3782-4dc6-b0bc-3b0efe467880The best thing about part 5 and the whole anime in fact, is how the plot unravels, twists and turns right in front of the viewer’s eyes. It’s extremely hard to be bored while watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It completely captures your attention, while having you on the edge of your seat, screaming for more and dying to find out how everything will end. For me at least the plot wasn’t that predictable. Although I could predict somethings (final correct prediction count-24 out of 46 predictions), there was a lot that took me totally by surprise and when making prediction it was very hard to pinpoint exactly what was going to happen. Making this anime a truly exciting watch.

Second to the plot, the characters are Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood next greatest aspect. Despite it incredibly large cast, most characters are very well put together. Some have very unique personalities and/or design, that makes them stand out from the others. Some also have little quirks that make them very entertaining and others are just so relatable, that you couldn’t help but get emotionally invested in their story. At times, your heart will break for certain characters, at other times you’ll find yourself cheering them on and on the other side of this, you’ll also find yourself wishing for a horrific death to be brought upon particular characters (*cough *cough Kimblee).

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Glob, I hope this isn’t too dark to have in this review.

Even the villains, you can kind of feel sorry for and relate to, at points in the show. Though, they are still monsters, they have very understandable motives for their actions. Some just wanted to please their father and are like lost little children and others just wanted to fill a void in their heart and feel whole. Things most people can at least sympathise with. The point I’m trying to make here is, that on top of its great storyline Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood characters make the anime a real emotional roller-coaster to watch.

In addition to an exciting plot and excellent characters Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has a lot of little tiny things that bring the anime to whole other level of enjoyment. These include its very cute chemistry references, clueless and hothead Ed moments, a great soundtrack, dramatic Armstrong moments and fun little animations that provides comic relief. The voice acting is also something that rises this anime to other level. However as good voice acting is something that is expected from an anime as popular as this one, I won’t lengthen this post any further by going into great detail. All I will say is, that it really sucks you in and can cause you to be captured in the moment, quite often in the anime.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07Like all well balanced reviews, we’ve come to the negatives of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. To be honest, I really had to put on the surgical gloves, get out the nit-comb and start some thorough nit-picking, to come up with some negatives for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One these being, that in the English dub version Al is very obviously voiced by a woman. Considering he spends most his time as a suit of armour in the anime, this could become annoying or confusing for some viewers. Personally, I had no problem with this and thought his voice was very sweet and made him very loveable. However, some viewers might not feel the same, it really depends on personal taste.

While we’re in the business of nit-picking, I suppose you could class Colonel Roy Mustang as a negative. He’s a bit of an annoying, arrogant character. Although you can admire his daringness and awesome fire alchemy, for the most part his character is a bit too full of himself and a tad self-centred. He didn’t seem to give much thought to what would happen to his men, if he got caught snooping and seemed shocked when they were punished for his actions. In true blunt Irish fashion, one could say his head was a little too far up his own backside, making him a rather dislikeable fellow.

thumbnail_db98f359-0b8e-42d3-9b70-aedd05239dd1But wait we’re not finished yet, there is still more nits we can pick in this anime. A little juicy one being, we don’t see enough of that cute little panda Shao May. Shao May just suddenly fades into the background and we don’t see anymore of their adorable panda Kung Fu (hmm… wonder if Shao May is related to Po the Dragon Warrior) or hilarious, yet mildly evil panda logic. Considering how intense this anime gets at times, some Shao May cuteness could have been put to good use and eased the heaviness.

Speaking of heaviness, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood can be really sad, at times and hit you right in the heart. Especially, part 1 of this anime and when it comes to characters background stories or their deaths. It can be incredibly heart wrenching to watch and may be enough to make the more sensitive of us cry. However, this anime uses comedy very well to keep the show becoming extremely depressing and never really leaves you feeling gloomy for long.

thumbnail_62c6e2ab-bec7-49ac-82be-80e6092065c4A few other things you could argue as negatives, is the length of the anime and gross giant Envy’s animation. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is 64 episodes long, so is a huge commitment to watch from start to finish. I finished this anime wanting more, so in my opinion its worth it. As for Envy’s animation, it is kind of poor when he mutates into giant gross monster Envy and his movements look very unnatural. However, considering how long ago this show was made (2009-2010) you can somewhat forgive this. Also, you never really find out what that thing made from performing Human Transmutation actually is (or maybe we do and I’ve forgotten, because the show is that long. Let me know in the comments, if you know what that creature was. Not knowing is kind of bugging me).

2a626d16-7892-456b-9328-eb198776a377Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an absolutely unbelievably great anime. It has all the features that make an anime incredible and then some. It’s the kind of show that will remind you why you love anime in the first place and why you got into it. Great storytelling mixed with amazing characters, really cool action scenes, shock and tragedy, topped with a sprinkle of comedy to prevent things getting too much, makes for one hell of a show. Unless you really nit-pick (like I did. Apologies for that, I really went to town on this anime), there isn’t much you can fault the anime for. So, for those reasons if you haven’t seen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood yet, I would highly recommend placing it on top of your to watch list. Although, it is on the long side it’s completely worth it and you’ll most likely love every minute of it.

Rating: 5+/5 (It’s just that good)

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Yeah, I wasn’t going to end this review series without Chibi Armstrong.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 4)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eI’ve thankfully picked up the pace with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The threat of my oldest niece spoiling it on me, was enough for me to get my heinie in gear and get a move on with this series. My oldest niece spoiling Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood would definitely be more annoying, than her reminding me that she’s taller than me. Anyway, before I start rambling, I’ll give you a quick summary of what has happened in part 4.

Ed was impaled and nearly died, while Al struggled to remain conscious. That kick-ass team of Homunculus butt whoopers I was wishing for, happened (it was so awesome). We learnt the full story of Van Hohenheim past and that Papa Humpy (Father) is just a wrinkly old leather handbag and used to live in a flask. We also discovered that Envy was nothing more than a gross, unkillable talking leech.

Everyone eventually headed to central, where my opinion of Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong deteriorated. When she brutally assaulted her brother Alex the sparkly He-Man, then kicked him out of his home and kept having stabs at his sensitive personality. The saddest thing is, Alex saves her from being squashed by Sloth.

Kimblee’s head was nearly bitten of by a lion-man (it was great) and to my great pleasure, he died when he was eaten by Pride (Glob, I hated Kimblee so much). Pride also committed cannibalism and ate Gluttony and Colonel Mustang has finally made his move to take over central. Unfortunately, an army of unkillable zombies was released in central, putting a bit of a dampener on everyone’s plans.

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Chibi Alex

Before we go any further in this review, I’m just going to put my hands up and confess that I absolutely love this anime. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has literally blown its way into my top 5 anime series. It’s the best darn anime I’ve watched in ages and I’ve not been this excited about an anime in a very long time. Now that I’ve gotten my fangirling out of the way, on with the review.

Part 4 has had all the same great aspects as the 3 previous parts, however two things part 4 has made me aware of is, how great character development and design is in this anime. Character development wise, you really go on a journey with the characters. Van Hohenheim for example, I went from thinking he was a bit of a-hole for leaving his children, to feeling sorry for the guy, to falling in love with his character. His whole background story completely changes how you see Van Hohenheim, adding layers to his character and also makes you develop some empathy for the guy. Ed and Al’s, character development is almost as good as Van Hohenheim. They go from miserable little boys missing their Mummy, to being deeply remorseful and wanting their bodies back at all cost, to wanting to save everyone even if that means not getting back their bodies. Ed and Al really mature throughout the series. Ed even grows a little and looks less boy-like.

The character design in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is something I’ve been really enjoying. The diversity in how characters are drawn is just amazing and works really well together. For example, you have your very masculine sharply drawn characters like Van Hohenheim, the Chimeras, Scar, Alex and King Bradley. The more rounded softly drawn characters like Ed, Winry, May Chang, Pride, Colonel Mustang and Hawkeye. Then, the in-betweens like Ling Yao, Yoki, Kimblee and Hughes and also the extremely animated exaggerated characters like Sloth and Gluttony. There is just so many different drawing styles/character designs going on in this anime, which for me has been a breath of fresh air. Visually for an anime, there’s nothing worse than characters all looking the same, just with different hair styles or different eye and hair colours. It’s like they’ve been made with a cookie cutter or something.

2a626d16-7892-456b-9328-eb198776a377The only real downside to this anime is that it literally takes the characters ages to do anything. For instance, they said promise day was going to happen the next day and 4 episodes later, promise day still didn’t happen. Also, it took them 11 episodes to go to central to kick Papa Humpy’s butt and his butt still hasn’t been kicked. Like seriously I love this anime, but they’re taking the biscuit a bit with that. If I was in the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood universe, I would have given Papa Humpy a good butt whooping by now and be sitting down to a nice cup of Tea with Alex and Van Hohenheim. In saying that however, this is an annoying trope of this type of anime, so I guess I can’t be too harsh on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Overall, part 4 has been as excellent as the previous 3 parts. After, over 50 episodes it still has my attention firmly captured and still has me dying for more. It does have that “takes ages to do anything” trope, but considering how entertaining this anime is, you can kind of let that slide. As this is the best anime series I’ve seen in a very long time, I would highly recommend watching it if you haven’t seen it already.

Rating: 5/5

Predictions:
Now for the part I really enjoy, trying to predict how this anime will end. As these are the last predictions I will make. I’m limiting myself to 5 new predictions and a death list, to make them a little more focused. So far, I made 13½ correct predictions, so I’m confident I’ll get at least one right.

thumbnail_2b5f5f70-ea5d-4730-9b17-05af8ae3fa81My Final Predictions are:
-The zombies, I don’t think anyone is be able to control them. So, they’ll most likely escape into the city, where Briggs’s men will get into an epic fight with them. But as the zombies are unkillable, I predict that Dr Marcoh’s will turn up last minute, to use his Philosopher’s Stone destroying alchemy on them. Either that or they’ll have to trick Envy into absorbing them all.

-Papa Humpy can’t survive outside has container. But from the look of him, his container has seen better day and is starting to age/deteriorate. Therefore, I think Papa Humpy isn’t after an immortal army (he already has that), but is going use transmutation as a way to get a new container or fix/improve the one he has. To be honest, it this point in the anime that’s the only thing he could gain from transmutation. He already controls everything and has his army, so it’s the only thing that would make sense.

– Van Hohenheim and Papa Humpy are linked, so I think in order to kill Papa Humpy, Van Hohenheim is going to have to die, too (like Voldemort in Harry Potter).

– Truth (the shadow thing in the portal) will escape from the portal and Ed and Al will have to fight it, too.

– Hawkeye’s and Scar’s tattoos are going to have to come to play, at some point (otherwise why have them in the anime). Therefore, I predict that they will be the key to defeating Papa Humpy (or Truth if it escapes)

thumbnail_62c6e2ab-bec7-49ac-82be-80e6092065c4My Death list:
Colonel Mustang
Hawkeye
Scar
Izumi Curtis
Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong
The Homunculus and Papa Humpy (they have to die for the anime to come to a satisfying end)
Van Hohenheim (there’s been a lot of red flags with his character. He seems like he wants to die, so if he isn’t killed in the final battle, he’ll probably find another way to die. Like using Dr Marcoh’s Philosopher’s Stone destroying alchemy or letting Ed and Al use him to get their bodies back).

There’s still a lot of my previous predictions in play, but as this post is already rather long and I don’t want to make it any longer on you guys, so I’ll leave them out.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and Thanks for reading.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

d91c2f21-3199-4c68-b757-60635b94777eVampires have always been something I liked from the horror genre. There’s just something about a monster that’s incredibly charming and looks human but can potentially suck you dry of your blood in an instant, that’s makes my skin crawl. So, for this review I thought I’d go back to the classics and share with you me thoughts on a movie about the Daddy of vampires himself, Count Dracula.

As you’ve probably guessed this film is closely based on the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. If you’re not familiar with the story, don’t worry I’ll fill you in. A young lawyer Jonathan leaves his fiancée Mina in London, to travels to Dracula’s castle to do a spot of business with the Count himself. When Jonathan arrives at the castle, Count Dracula tricks him into staying. However, Jonathan soon realises he’s being held against his will, when he tries to leave. Dracula then decides to travel to London, leaving poor Jonathan to be fed on by his lady vampires.

Once at London, the Count starts feeding on Mina’s friend Lucy, all while trying to win Mina favour. Eventually Jonathan escapes from Dracula’s castle and the vampire ladies and makes it back to London. However unfortunately, Lucy dies and becomes a vampire. Now faced with numerous vampires, a man known as Van Helsing steps in to lead the hunt for Dracula and his band of lady vampires.

Yeah, there’s a lot that goes on in Dracula, but is the film any good? All I can say is, it won’t be for anyone. Like the book it can be a little heavy and strange at times, which may put off some viewers. But if you love the book, I could see you thoroughly enjoying this film. It very closely follows the book, only leaving out a few details and even tries to maintain the letter/journal feel of the book. The only thing is, I don’t remember the book containing as much toplessness as this film. But I guess it depends on your own opinion, whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

6aaef467-e576-48a0-bfa4-8f36fb1e8c27The portrayal of Dracula himself is pretty good in this film. He starts off looking creepy as hell, sporting the famous Butt shaped hairdo, and gives of some real psychotic vibes. He then transitions into an extremely charming and attractive man, but still gives off a bit of a creepy vibe and by the end of the movie, he loses his charm and become a super gross batman creature. That’s pretty true to the book. However, unlike the book, the film doesn’t explain why Dracula’s appearance changes, very well and pretty much takes for granted that the viewer would know the reason for this. On a more positive note, the Film’s Dracula was a lot less ranty than the book’s and doesn’t go off on a tangent as much.

I must admit that the special effects in this film are a bit dated. However, they still look kind of cool, especially the play with Dracula’s shadows. The pacing also seems a little strange, feeling slow and heavy at times and kind of rushed at other times. But considering how long the book is, you can forgive the pacing.

Overall, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is an okay film. It does have its problems, but as book adaptations go, it’s pretty good. Sticking very close to the source material and leaving out only a few details (most likely for time-saving purposes). The film may now seem a little dated now, but if you’re a lover of the book or Dracula himself, you will most likely enjoy this film. Leaving me to recommend it, to anyone mad about vampires.

Rating: 3/5

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 3)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eIt’s been a long time coming, but finally I can bring you my review for part 3 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. So, what took me so long? Without going too far into personal things, a lot of family stuff happened and I had to deal with/sort out a few things, leaving very little time for anime (or any other type of entertainment). Everything’s a little less hectic now, so I was able to finally finish part 3 and bring you this review.

So, what happened in part 3? Well, there was not as much butt whooping, but we did learn a hell of a lot about alchemy, the Homunculus, Papa Humpy (Father), Ed’s and Al’s father (Van Hohenheim) and the country’s history. Also, King Bradley has taken everyone hostage and is holding Colonel Mustang in a figurative headlock. Ling Yao has turned into an evil creep (I predicted that one). Ed and Al have joined the Night’s watch and gone to the Wall. Sorry I mean they’ve travel north to the icy Fort Briggs, ran by the most awesome anime woman ever, Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong.

Papa Humpy gave birth to a beautiful baby Gluttony through his boobs (it was a very confusing, disturbing experience) and we finally met Sloth. Who is like a giant annoying meerkat, that thinks everything is a pain. Also, Selim Bradley has shown his true creepy nature (predicted that one, too). Bebop and Rocksteady from teenage mutant ninja turtle showed up, for a fight with Scar and I’ve just realised, Ed and Al remind me of Asterix and Obelix from Asterix (or The Adventures of Asterix).

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The exact face I made, when Papa Humpy gave birth to baby Gluttony

As you can see an awful lot happens in part 3. But to be honest, this has been the least enjoyable part of the anime, so far. Don’t get me wrong, I still very much like this anime. It’s just that it’s starting to feel like they’re dragging things out a little too much. Causing me to slightly lose interest in some of the subplots. However, after 39 episodes that’s to be expected, I just hope part 4 manages to recapture my attention again.

On a more positive note, they’ve really laid off the depressing juice in part 3. Aside for Van Hohenheim background story, which had me fighting back the tears (it was very close but I remained dry-eyed). Part 3 was more upbeat and felt more geared towards providing answers and capturing the viewers’ attention, with weird creepy things and a twisted corrupted military.

The animation and characters are still as entertaining as ever. The animation has somehow managed to become even funnier (which isn’t an easy thing to do, so hats off to the animators). The characters have also become that bit more enjoyable and relatable. Particularly, the Ice Queen- Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong, who is now my favourite anime female. She’s so ruthless and tough, but also has a sense of fair play about her and hidden caring side. Her character has really won over my heart (not in a romantic way, more in a “I like the cut of your jib” way).

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Evil Ed Dancing

Opening wise, compared to Hologram, part 3’s opening (Golden Time Lover) is a real improvement. It no longer sounds like elevator music but was upgraded to caller on hold music. It’s still not great but it’s a move in the right direction. Thankfully, part 3’s ending more than makes up for this.

Overall, even though part 3 wasn’t as good as the 2 previous parts, it was still very enjoyable. Being very information heavy, it’s not the kind of thing you could easily binge watch. However, in saying that I still really love this anime and will definitely watch it to the end. The only down side is, when I finish Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I’ll have to find another great anime to review, which might prove hard.

Rating: 4.9/5

Predictions:
Things are about to get scary because so far, I’ve made 10 correct predictions. Have your tinfoil hats at the ready and prepare for dark times ahead, as I make even more predictions about the final 2 parts of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood:

-Firstly, there has been a little too much attention drawn to Al’s body in part 3. Ending with Al’s body calling out to him as he struggles through a blizzard. Making me think that somethings going to happen to his body. For that reason, I predict that Papa Humpy or King Bradley will find some way to use Al’s body for evil. For example, put a Homunculus, evil spirit or something along those lines, inside it.

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This post ended up a lot longer then expected. So, lets recap on this cute drawing.

-From the way Papa Humpy was talking, Papa Humpy and Van Hohenheim should be around the same age. However, Papa Humpy looks considerably older, so I predict that creating Homunculus costs Papa Humpy some of his life/immortality and makes him grow older.

-I foresee Papa Humpy and Van Hohenheim being some type of god like creature.

-Also, Ed and Al will turn out to be their father’s (Van Hohenheim) own type of Homunculus or they’ll be same the species as him. (The gold eyes make me think that)

– Van Hohenheim is going kick Papa Humpy’s butt and either him or Ed will be the one to kill/destroy him, in the end.

-Scar and Winry will become best buds.

-Scar’s definitely not making it to the end of this anime alive, so I suspect he’ll die saving someone else. Possibly Winry, Ed or May Chang.

-For dramatic effect, it’s better if Dr Marcoh’s group in the tunnels get caught. So, I predict that’s happening.

-Also, those two Chimeras will betray Dr Marcoh’s group. They’re acting way too cheesy for that not to happen.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07-Al’s armour is starting to reject him, so I think his soul will end up trapped somewhere, causing Ed to have a major freak out.

– The Ice Queen- Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong, will be hauled away to central. I really can’t see King Bradley letting her stay at the fort, in a position of power, without having some level of control over her.

-The Crimson Alchemist (Kimblee) will die next (Just because I don’t like that character. He gets on my wick).

– My complete shot in the dark prediction, is that the Transmutation circle isn’t used to make a Philosopher’s Stone but is used to make another of the same species as Papa Humpy and Van Hohenheim.

-The White Walkers will bring down the wall with their ice dragon (oops wrong show).

-And of course, Ed and Al will get their bodies back, but that’s been completely obvious from the start.

Also, the predictions I still stand by from in part 1 and 2 are:
– Colonel Mustang isn’t going to making it to the end of this anime alive and will be the one who kills King Bradley, in the end.

– The creature made when performing human transmutation, is actually that shadow thing/God called Truth.

The Jungle Book (2016)

thumbnail_f256818e-292d-4bc9-9033-81e02c0306bbAs Disney films go, The Jungle Book has always been one of my favourites. Out of all the Disney movies I watched as a child (which was a lot. I was a 90’s kid), The Jungle Book had the best soundtrack (followed closely by Mulan) and would really get you up and singing along. It’s pretty hard to believe that anyone could resist singing along to The Bare Necessities.

Watching the live-action version of a childhood favourite has put me in very sentimental mood. So, I thought since I’m sitting here reminiscing about the days of The Rugrats and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I might as well make this movie, this week’s review.

The storyline to the live-action film, is pretty similar to The Jungle Book (1967), I watched as a child. A baby boy (Mowgli) is left alone in the jungle and is raised by wolves. An old bigoted tiger (Shere Khan) shows up one day, notices Mowgli the man-cub and decides he doesn’t want any man-cubs in his jungle. So, demands the man-cub be given to him, so that he can kill him (Glob, that’s actually rather dark and twisted). Mowgli doesn’t want to endanger his wolf family, so sets out to return to the man village, escorted by his panther friend Bagheera. However, things do not go to plan and Mowgli ends up going on an exciting adventure through the jungle, meeting a range of eccentric animals on his journey.

thumbnail_3b0b1417-ea85-4d73-8fcc-d9fe415a14faThis film is very CGI, with only one non-CGI character (Mowgli). The rest of the characters are CGI animals, which in my opinion were done very well. Granted you could tell they were computerised, but they still looked really good and moved like the real animals (not like some films, were the animals move like robots). CGI King Louie, even managed to thoroughly creep me out and will forever haunt my dreams. He was like a terrifying ginger King Kong, that disturbingly wanted people’s red flower.

To be honest, I was surprised by how good this live-action Jungle Book was. It managed to capture the fun of the cartoon 1967 version, without making any of the characters seem too over the top. They even had a few of those great songs from the cartoon version, which was a very nice touch to the film. The Jungle Book without “The Bare Necessities” and “I wan’na be like you”, just wouldn’t have been the same and just wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.

thumbnail_9eb92bf9-5fff-4110-91af-10eb8367882cHowever, one thing I do have to say about this film is, it’s a hell of a lot darker than the 1967 version and has more action scenes. Although, in my opinion this just sets it apart from the other versions of The Jungle Book. The only other small negative, is that Neel Sethi (Mowgli), acting isn’t that great at times. But considering how young he is and the fact all the other characters are CGI, I think this can be over looked.

Overall, the live-action Jungle Book (2016) is a rather enjoyable film. It has the fun of the 1967 version, while still managing to set itself apart from that version. Granted it was a bit dark and creepy, at times and that King Louie would look at home in any horror movie. However, the film as a whole is good enough over look this, if you dislike the dark and creepy. Personally, I still prefer Disney’s 1967 version of The Jungle Book, but I would say that this live-action version is worth watching, especially it you’re a fan of The Jungle Book.

Rating: 4/5

10 Cloverfield Lane

thumbnail_99cd16f9-f5c4-4073-b3ce-0afa27a427a1Have you ever read a movie description and thought the movie seems really good, just to be left sadly disappointed after watching it? That feeling of disappointment, would pretty much sums up this film. 10 Cloverfield Lane sounds so promising, but it just doesn’t deliver. But hey at least, it gave me an excuse to draw an underground bunker (it was so much fun), so with that in mind. On with the review.

In 10 Cloverfield Lane, a woman (Michelle) awakes after having a car accident and finds herself locked in basement-like room, chained to a pipe by the kneecap. Her captor (Howard), claims he found her unconscious in her car, on the side of the road and saved her from a chemical attack, that killed nearly all life on earth.

After claiming to be Michelle’s saviour, Howard frees Michelle from her chains but won’t let her leave his underground bunker, saying the air outside is contaminated and would kill her instantly. Now trapped underground, Michelle slowly realises there is something very wrong with Howard and ends up being sucked into a deadly game of house. Is Howard telling the true about the chemical attack and will Michelle make it out alive?

To be honest, 10 Cloverfield Lane starts of really strong and set a truly unnerving tone, that would make for a good Misery type thriller. Having Michelle awake in a creepy room, chained to a pipe with a Saw-like contraption, really gives you the feeling, things aren’t going to go well for Michelle. However, this level of intensity gets lost somewhere, causing the movie to feel a little flat. Probably because it tries to push too many reasons for why Howard is psychotic, at the viewer. Making the whole plot feel a little confused and lacking direction.

thumbnail_94b4c701-80df-42c5-b3a1-43cf0a1e5869In saying that, John Goodman (who plays Howard), does a really good job of portraying a disturbing unstable psychopath. They really didn’t need to give the viewer a reason why Howard was psychotic. Just from the demeanour John Goodman gave off as Howard and from his facial expression and strange body language, it was pretty clear that the character Howard wasn’t stable and had some serious issues. At points in the film, it shows glimpses of Howard’s face and it’s enough to make your blood run cold. It’s just very disturbing, which really shows how well John Goodman played the role of Howard.

I can’t say much more about 10 Cloverfield Lane, without making this into a complete rant post, so I’ll quickly conclude and give you my final thoughts. Although, John Goodman does a really good job of making 10 Cloverfield Lane feel very unnerving and adding suspense to this film. The film itself just lacks direction and its very messy ending completely reflects this (it was like they had another 20 minutes of film to make, so they randomly threw an alien and its warship into the mix, just to make up the time). 10 Cloverfield Lane sounds like it has the potential to be a great thriller, but it just doesn’t deliver. For this reason, I would say if you’re looking to watch a thriller, look elsewhere. There’s just so many more better thrillers you could spend your time watching, other than 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Rating: Due to John Goodman great acting, a generous 2/5

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 2)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eFinally, I’ve finished watching Part 2 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I know, what the fudge? How can it take you that long to watch 13 episodes? Well, I was savouring it (Only joking, I’m watching a lot of other series and it takes a while to get around to them all).

So, what has happened since part one? Nothing much really, just a lot of plot building and butt whooping’s. Ed and Al are still looking for the Philosopher’s Stone and getting their butts kicked. Colonel Mustang, isn’t as smart as he thinks and got screwed over big time. A few people from Xing have showed up, to join the battle for the Philosopher’s Stone. We’ve learnt a lot more about King Bradley and the Homunculus and got a glimpse of their Papa. Envy is also ironically very ugly and Gluttony has given us all nightmares about being engulfed by a giant ass eyeball, with big pointy, pointy teeth. (That’s all I can say without spoiling it)

Now for the important part, after 26 episodes is this anime still entertaining. Strangely, it has managed to become even more so. It has really lightened up on the heavy depressing storyline and has gotten very interesting. There still are a few sad moments in part 2, but there’s also a lot more scheming and plotting and a couple more uncertainties thrown into the mix. As well as, more humour and funny animation, preventing the tragic and death-filled story getting too much.

In part 2, we do get a few answers to things and a few characters backstories. However, this leads to more mysteries and more questions. So, overall Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is starting to get very exciting and suspenseful.

thumbnail_db98f359-0b8e-42d3-9b70-aedd05239dd1At this stage, I can still only find a few nit-picky things wrong with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One being the change of opening. Again (Yui), was a great opening to have a little sing song and a boogie to (I know, I’m super cringey sometimes), but with the new opening (Hologram), I’m just not feeling it. It feels a little like elevator music. But sure, it’ll probably be changed again in part 3, so we’ll not get too caught up on that.

As good as part 1 and 2 was, I do have a few little concerns about part 3. These being, that the short jokes might start to get annoying and that some of its references might go a little too far (when it comes to history, I know almost nothing. Yet even I am starting to question some of its references).

Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood part 2 was very exciting. It manages to satisfy your thirst for answer in part 1, while still remaining suspenseful and thicken its plot. To be honest after watching part 2, I like this anime even more and haven’t felt bored once watching it. I’m truly starting to understand the hype around this anime.

Rate so far: 5/5

Predictions:
Surprisingly, I got two predictions right and one half right, last time.
We all might want to start getting the tinfoil hats ready and start looking for a nice cave to hide in, if I get more right. I hardly ever get plot predictions right, so there’ll have to be something seriously wrong with the universe, for that to happen.
Anyway, ignoring that worrying thought, here my new predictions:

Human Transmutation Predictions
-The city where central is, will turn out to be a giant Transmutation circle and everyone who live there will be human sacrifices.

– The creature made when preforming human transmutation, is actually that shadow thing/God called Truth, in Homunculus form. Truth is obviously a reflection of the person traveling through the portal, therefore the Homunculus produced will also reflect them. (Pretty sure at this point, that human transmutation doesn’t make anything human).

-As Ed has just open the portal and travelled through, this also means he’ll have made his own Homunculus (it’ll be a grumpy little Homunculus).

thumbnail_2b5f5f70-ea5d-4730-9b17-05af8ae3fa81Father of The Homunculus (Papa Humpy) Predictions
-Ed’s and Al’s father, is also father of the Homunculus or is somehow related to him. From the glimpses we get of Papa Humpy, he looks ridiculously similar to Ed’s and Al’s father.

-Papa Humpy is also not human, but is some type of unholy demon, super Homunculus or other being.

-Papa Humpy will take Al captive and use him a bargaining tool, to get Ed to do his bidding

Character Predictions 
-Ling Yao’s backstory is a little too close, to the backstory of the evil guy from frozen. Therefore, I predict he will eventually turn evil. Ling seems to want the Philosopher’s Stone as much, as evil the guy in frozen wanted to be king. So, I really think he’d be willing to turn evil to get it.

-Scar, Ed, Al and the people from Xing, will all come together to make the ultimate Homunculus fighting force.

-Selim Bradley is giving me the pure creeps (getting a real Damien Omen vibe from that kid), so I predict he’ll follow in his adoptive father’s footsteps and become a sociopathic psychopath, too.

– Colonel Mustang, will be the one who kills King Bradley in the end.

– And the next characters to die will be, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, Ling Yao’s or Scar. Also, I definitely think Colonel Mustang isn’t making it to the end of this anime alive.

Also, I still stand be the following predictions made in part 1:
-Ed is not human, but is some other type of being that’s not yet been introduced to the plot. (Possibly the same as Papa Humpy)

– Scar will turn out, to not be as bad as he’s currently looking. Or will have some type of weird epiphany and want to help Ed and Alphonse.

– Ed’s and Alphonse’s Father, I foresee as being a Tywin Lannister type character or his absence was to protect his sons, in some way.

Silent Hill (2006)

thumbnail_8559fdf1-ae0c-4fd7-bae7-16a2433aa6f6Rewind back 10 years+ ago, where a young and daring 13-year-old me, thought to herself. “Hmm… I’m incredibly bored and no one else is awake. I know what would be fun. Watching horror movies in the dark by myself.” After sneaking downstairs like a ninja, quietly raiding the DVD cupboard and hightailing it back to my room, with my goodies (so not to get caught roaming the house at night). I decided Silent Hill would be the perfect movie for this little horror fest, I was holding in the darkness of my room.

Long story short, this was not a good idea and I scared the muffins out of myself, so bad that I couldn’t sleep. But, what does that have to do with this post? Well, it’s been over 10 years since I first seen this movie and I was curious to see, if it was still as scary as I found it back then. However, before I answer that, let me tell you a little about Silent Hill’s story.

The main character, Rose is worried sick about her adoptive daughter (Sharon), sleepwalking and having night terrors. The child’s dreams are being plagued by a town called Silent Hill, which leads Rose to think, that bringing Sharon to Silent Hill would rid her of the nightmares.

After making a dramatic entrance into Silent Hill, Rose and Sharon are separated. Rose searches the town frantically for her daughter, but soon realises there is something very wrong with this town. After experiencing, what happens when darkness falls and terrifyingly warped monsters come out to play, and after meeting the religious cult of witch hunters, that occupy the town. Will Rose ever find her daughter and will she learn the chilling secrets of Silent Hill?

thumbnail_50b0ffbb-914b-4422-9bcb-08f314dd0231

Chibi Pyramid Head

All I can say is, “wow, horror movies sure have come a long way since 2006.” However, in saying that, Silent Hill still manages to be creepy as fudge, even if the monsters look incredibly fake and computerised. The acting is also bit monotone at times, particularly with the character Rose (it was like watching an emotionless robot, at points). Luckily, the storyline and its generally creepiness in enough to forgive the acting.

By today’s standards, Silent Hill is still a pretty good horror movie. It maintains a real eerie feel, that keeps you slightly on edge the whole way through the film. Even when the wallpaper isn’t peeling from the walls and there isn’t a horribly mutated and charred monster on the screen. But for me, the best thing about this film was the storyline. It really sucks you in and keeps you wandering, in suspense about what the fudge in going on in that town. As well as exploring some of darker things in society, like mob mentality, mass hysteria and the idea that people are more likely to partake in horrible inhuman acts, when in a group or/and they fear being shun for not partaking or for speaking out. This gives the story that real twisted feel, that can make horror so interesting to watch.

Overall, Silent Hill is one of the better horror movies, I have seen. Despite the acting being a bit dead at times, it still had a suspenseful storyline, with some depth. Silent Hill was also very eerie and its monsters, looked like they were straight out of a nightmare. Creating the real horror movie feel. I would definitely recommend Silent Hill to lovers of horror.

Rating: 3.5/5

To answer the question, I posed earlier. 10 years on, did Silent Hill still scare the muffins out of me?
Thankfully no, it just mildly creeped me out.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part One)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eI’ve decided to try something a little different with anime series reviews. Instead of choosing a few that seem good, I’m going to review series that I haven’t seen before, but don’t stop hearing about. As you’ve probably already figured out, I’m starting this off with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Mainly because there’s quite a few anime Youtuber, that don’t shut up about this series and that’s as good of place as any to start in my eyes. This series is rather long, so I’m going to follow Netflix lead and review it in parts. The first part being episodes 1-13 and now that’s out of the way, on with the review.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood begins with the two Elric brothers (Edward and Alphonse) teaching themselves alchemy, after their nowhere-to-be-found father abandons them and their mother. Sadly, life wasn’t content with only giving them a forever-absent father and decided their mother had to die too. Now motherless, the boys are left all alone in the world (I guess father dearest is too busy, to check in on his own children and just left them fending for themselves).

Luckily, a kind old lady takes the boys in and treats them like they were her own grandchildren. However, this doesn’t fix the huge gaping bleeding hole in the boys’ hearts, left by the death of their mother. Hearts torn to bits, the boys try to use their gift of alchemy, to bring their dead mother back. As this is taboo, it goes horribly wrong and leads to Edward losing an arm and leg and Alphonse losing his whole body and later having his soul bonded to a suit of armour by his brother. Now the Elric brothers face a new challenge and must search for the Philosopher’s Stone, in order to restore their bodies.

I’m not going to lie to you, the first 5 episodes of this anime are brutally sad. Not only did the horror I described above happen, but a little girl was also Frankensteined with her dog, by her father (fathers sure are twisted in the alchemy world). Then they were both murdered, shortly after. These first few episodes are depressing as fudge and are nearly enough to make you want to stop watching. However, this series pretty much sucks you in from the get go, with its likeable characters and great story telling. So, as depressing as it is, you really want to keep watching to see what happens to the Elric brothers and get answers to its growing mysteries. The good news is, after episode 5 it lightens up a bit and isn’t as gloomy and even has the odd funny moments.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07I could bang on all day, about how great Fullmetal Alchemist is and how it makes you, create a place in your heart for poor little Ed and not so little Alphonse, but I’m trying to keep reviews short. So, I’ll mention one more enjoyable aspect before concluding, which is its fun animation style. For the most its style is what you’d expect from this type of anime, but what makes its so entertaining is how it changes in comical moments. It turns into this funny, extremely 2D style, where Alphonse basically looks like a giant grey ghost and Ed has a huge circular bald head. This just makes everything seem so much funnier and really gives this anime the lift it needs, to prevent it becoming too heavy.

There’s not really anything I could find wrong with this series so far, but its early days and I mightn’t be saying that come part 3 or 4. Therefore overall, I would say, part 1 was great and I can really see why people like this anime so much (sort of regretting not watching it sooner, now). The first few episodes are really heavy and a bit depressing, but when you make to through those, it turns out to be an exciting and interesting watch.

Rating so far: 5/5

My Predictions:
Here’s the fun part for people that have already seen Fullmetal Alchemist. The part where I try to predict what’s going to happen and you get to laugh at how wrong I am. I’m treating this anime with Game of Thrones level of suspicion, so my predictions might be a little on the wild side. Anyway, here they are:

-Ed is not human, but is some other type of being that’s not yet been introduced to the plot.

– King Bradley, I think wants to create an even greater army super soldiers or gain eternal life. I predict he’ll do so, by either stealing the Philosopher’s Stone from Ed (if Ed ever obtains one) or by using Ed to as a catalyst or an ingredient to make one.

-Colonel Roy Mustang, I think wants to destroy King Bradley because of some bad blood between the two and not just for power. But, I predict he’ll die doing so. (They’ve been trying a little too hard to make his character likeable, for them not to eventually kill him off)

-I guess, Scar will turn out, to not be as bad as he’s currently looking. Or will have some type of weird epiphany and want to help Ed and Alphonse.

-The group with the Ouroboros tattoos, I predict are in cahoots with King Bradley. But, will most likely double-cross him, once they get what they want. I’m also leaning towards Ed being the same species as them or at least part (He’s got an Ouroboros symbol on his coat, for Glob sake).

-Greed’s gang, I think will become Ed’s and Alphonse’s ally, in order to get the Philosopher’s Stone and gain eternal life.

– Ed’s and Alphonse’s Father, I foresee as being a Tywin Lannister type character or his absence was to protect his sons, in some way.

-On my next to die list, is Izumi Curtis or the 2nd Lieutenant Jean Havoc (they purposely drew attention to him, when introducing Roy’s little crew and now I’m suspicious to why. I’m guessing, either death is coming for him or he’ll turn out to be kick ass. Maybe both. He also looks like Baldroy from Black Butler). Either way, I really hope they don’t kill off Armstrong. I love that sparkly He-man.

-And my huge shot in the dark, is that Ed himself is the Philosopher’s Stone or something crazy like self-belief is.