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Review: “FREE ANIME DVD” (GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!)

Just a heads up that this is a 15 rated horror film and I included information that may or may not be classified as spoilers.

Over the years, I’ve developed a habit of picking up whatever freebies I’m offered, usually resulting in the accumulation of various leaflets with discount codes, extra carrier bags and energy tablets(?) every time I go to London Comic Con. This year was no exception, and so my attention was drawn to the “free anime DVDs” being handed out near the entrance.

At first glance, I thought it would most likely be a like an anime version of Sharknado, or something.

Discarding the parody aspect, I wasn’t entirely wrong…

 

Are you ready for the invasion? A devastation, disgusting “Death Stench” is spreading across Japan, creating deadly mutant fish as it covers the land!

The country is being invaded by ferocious fish with sharp metal legs, hell-bent on death and destruction! Amidst the carnage, Kaori embarks on a desperate quest to find her missing boyfriend before he is lost to the mayhem that is sweeping the land. Facing four-legged killer sharks, machine driven squid and the myriad dangers of Tokyo, now an urban war zone, Kaori must find the truth behind these mechanical monsters and face an evil greater than she could ever have imagined.

Based on the popular manga from the master of macabre, Junji Ito (Tomie, Uzumaki), Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack! is a bizarre thrill-ride that has to be seen to be believed.

So, as the back of the DVD says, these killer fish with legs that smell of rotting human flesh take over Japan but our main character is trying to find out if her fiancé is ok, amongst all the chaos.

Sounds average.

 

 

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The animation isn’t terrible, but it appears to have been made at about 20 frames per second, or something stupid (most likely in an attempt to cut costs). Despite this, the 3D animation is surprisingly okay. Sure it’s obvious and it doesn’t mesh very well with 2D, it’s not obtrusive in the overall viewing experience. But really, Ufotable animated this? I would expected better from the studio behind the cutscenes for Tales of Xillia, Zestria and Berseria (as well as the anime for the latter two). The character design seems to make up for the animation, making everything and everyone seem more mature and realistic, despite the giant sharks flying around the streets.

The music is okay but it’s the generic kind of stuff you’d expect from a horror film.

However, I quite like the directing. There are just little things here and there that made me go “that’s cool”. For example, the choice to visually show the smell is especially effective when it appears for the first time, along side the appearance of the first walking fish. Not 10/10 but definitely, notable.

Unfortunately, this is where my praise for the film ends.

I don’t know what kind of story the manga had but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to get away with something this…meh for more than a couple chapters.

 

Our main character has two generic friends and a generic fiancé/boyfriend. They literally exist to be infected by the killer fish and eventually die…wait, does that count as a spoiler? Whatever, it’s too obvious anyone to actually care. The photojournalist guy seems like he could have been an interesting character if he had more time to be fleshed out, but I guess that’s asking took much from a 71 minute horror film. The rather boring characters paired with the most bizarre explanation of the disaster (blaming everything on World War 2 experiments got old a long time ago) just amounts to a very bland, cliché story. The only original part is probably the fish themselves. But the vague explanations form them really isn’t good enough. They should have just kept it a mystery.

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And then, there’s the writing. It’s not unbearably cheesy or anything, but there are quite a few scenes where responses feel poorly timed or out of place. I know there isn’t much time in this film but the photojournalist’s backstory is given less than 10 seconds of slightly out of place expository dialogue. If you’re going to do that, you may as well not bother including it, especially since it adds NOTHING to the near-nonexistent story. They probably only included it so that the audience would become emotionally invested in him, making his end more tragic? I don’t know, that’s the only reason I could think of. MC also overreacts a bit too much in a few scenes, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it’s allowed, I guess.

Ultimately, everything about this film can only be described as average. If you want a random horror movie to waste 71 minutes of your life, go ahead, be my guest. Just don’t expect high quality entertainment.

But does it “have to be seen to be believed”, like the DVD blurb said?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In a nutshell: meh

GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack! can be bought on DVD wherever you tend to buy your anime DVDs.

Day 6: Most Rewatched Anime

See my full 30 Day Anime Challenge here.

I don’t really rewatch that many anime, but by absolute coincidence, I’ve managed to see Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children every New Year’s Eve for seven or eight years now, not including all the times I just felt like it. I’m not a fan of the series or anything, heck I’ve never even played a Final Fantasy game through to the end, although I must say that the CGI and choreography is stunning, making up entirely for my complete and utter lack of understanding of the plot.

Speaking of Final Fantasy, FFXV should be coming out any day now…

Review: Final Fantasy XV Kingsglaive

As the long-awaited release of Final Fantasy VX draws closer, the guys at Square Enix decided to further whet our appetites with a couple treats, one of which would be the movie Kingsglaive.

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As with anything to do with Final Fantasy, the plot is rather confusing (which probably has something to do with why it only got 7% positive review on Rotten Tomatoes). In short, the film partially explains why everyone’s fighting each other prior to the beginning of the game. In terms of story timeline, you can place Kingslaive right before Episode Duscae (quite weirdly). It’s pretty much a must see if you’re planning on playing the game since it also gives a much better idea of the kind of world the game is set in, compared to the trailers and demos.

If you thought the graphics for the game looked great, then the film is on a whole other level.

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Anyone who’s seen Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children will know to expect the beautifully crafted fight scenes that leave the audience wishing they were cool enough to drive a car down the sides of buildings or use magic to summon hundreds of swords at once.

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You may notice the odd bit of product placement from Beats, Audi and a few others but personally I think it’s use has made the world more real and genuine compared to using only fictional brands with names that sound like they were created by a 3 year old.

I’ve already mentioned how beautiful it looks but the music is equally as beautiful, which is to be expected of anything Yoko Shimomura works on.

The characters themselves were well written and you were kind of forced to care about them (if that makes sense).

Despite all of this, I have to admit that I did try to check how much time was left around the 90 minute mark because I felt like it was supposed to have ended by that point.

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Overall I really enjoyed the film and I think it’s made me even more excited for the game’s (delayed) release. It’s not perfect but still a great film, definitely deserving of at least a 7 out of 10 (if you’re okay with complex plots).

In a nutshell: A beautiful mess

Final Fantasy VX: Kingsglaive is is currently available now for digital purchase and on 4th October on DVD and Blu-Ray. The first 12 minutes are also available to watch for free on Sony Pictures Entertainment’s YouTube channel.