"We constantly have to revisit 'Why would Donkey Kong do this?' or 'Why would this environment be like this?' And then we start thinking: 'We're making a game about a gorilla wearing a tie.'"
-Michael Kelbaugh of Retro Studios on Donkey Kong Country Returns
"I have to say it's kinda scary how much you know about this game."
-Nicolau Chaud creator of Marvel Brothel
Welcome to another addition of Anime Trailer Park where we look at new and old (mostly old by the time I write this) anime trailers and how they impact our expectations. I guess this is the first Anime Trailer Park of the 2009. Lets get into them.
I've just realized after seeing this trailer that Base Wars needs an anime. Just saying, somebody make it happen. Somebody in Japan was bored with regular basketball and I guess mono a mono mech battles needed a little more competition so the two cross bred to make Basquash. The surprising thing in all of this is that the giant mechanized Charles Barkley's (that look strangely like Transformers) are comfort fitted with Nike brand shoes. Its just hard to imagine the sweat shop that has to make those shoes. I'm actually surprised by the quality of this trailer. Cross promotion is almost always done in a lazy manner and the animation and character models overall look really good. I've never really been a big fan of 3d animation in a 2d series, but the transition of Dan interrupting the basketball game works fairly well. We'll have to see how this will work with brighter surroundings, but so far the trailer seems to prove that mechanized basketball can work in these environments. The music begins really upbeat and fun, but it loses itself in the countdown. There isn't any real reason for the countdown to exist other than to have Dan and his Transformer Michael Jordan smash the trailer. I'm only assuming that its supposed to be a back board. After all is said and done there isn't any story to be presented in the trailer. I'm just going to have to assume that this is about a group of Autobots traveling across the galaxy looking for a new source of energy and they land on planet Basquash where the Decepticons challenge them to a one on one battle royale of basketball. Brought to you by Nike. Just Do It.
Everybody knows (or should know) Production I.G. the creative studio behind Ghost in the Shell. That alone should get most people into at least trying the trailer. What we get in it however is a bit of nudity, a bit of terrorism and two people fighting together against the world. That should get anybody to try the show. The production quality is stand alone and simply a treat. You've got Oasis singing in the background, fantastic looking character models that show more emotion than Ghost in the Shell ever did, and a very interesting presentation of the story to the viewer with enough shock value to hook anybody into trying to figure out where this is going and why he is naked. This is going to air during the noitaminA time slot in Japan that had previously shown the underrated Moyashimon and Hataraki Man so it should fit in very nicely. That slot is also mainly for Josei (female) type animation so hopefully it will fill a role for both sexes.
Summary: Kinda like A League of Their Own
Okay. Its exactly like A League of Their Own just without Tom Hanks shouting "there's no crying in baseball!" I have to say I do kinda like the silent film style of using text to present the story. The only reason I call it silent film style is because the Taisho period ran from 1912-1926. Otherwise it would just be a lazy way to not include voice acting with the trailer. What we get from the trailer isn't anything spectacular. Unless you were a feminist or baseball lover, there really isn't anything here. It'll be interesting to see if this ragtag group of school girls can learn to play baseball, but there doesn't seem to be anything to hook you into wanting to see if they can play like the boys. The character models are nice, but nothing exceptional. There just isn't anything to seperate this apart from any other girls sports anime other than the historical aspect of it all.
Summary: This will sprout some Yaoi doujinshi
That is if it gets popular enough. Much like any typical Bishounen (Pretty Boy) anime this has a secluded group of boys under the tutelage of a harsh overbearing elder male (Ayanami) which makes perfect Yaoi fanfiction. Or so I've heard. With that aside, the story never truly presents itself in the trailer. You have Teito's tortured past, but it rarely presents an angle to bring you to care. His father's death is a small clip and any plan of revenge is never revealed. His friendship with Mikage is balanced awkwardly without a real showcase of why they are friends to begin with. All we have is a boy who escapes to find the truth. Whatever that may be. Pair that with the uninteresting music in the background and it leaves a fairly mediocre trailer.
Summary: Love the orchestra
Music can always make a decent trailer look good. The Phantom trailer is timed excellently to coincide and fit with the orchestra behind it. Phantom is originally a Nitro + visual novel so the focus on story and dialogue probably won't be a concern since you can't make a good visual novel without either. It's also done by Lantis who did True Tears (which I reviewed last Winter) and was surprised with the quality. While watching, the trailer looks to present itself early on as thriller but quickly devolves the suspense almost as soon as the pink convertible appears. Because nothing says suspense like a pink Cadillac. From here on out the scenes cut into a group of action shots with the French maid really stealing the show from the male lead and the masked phantom. This is mostly due to the stark white of the gown, but I found myself wanting to know more about her instead of the Mask. That shouldn't really be the case. I'm intrigued and hope that they can capitalize on what they've done with True Tears to make a really good action anime.
Summary: The title alone makes me want to see it
Cat Shit One is a story about the hell of war, updated from Motofumi Kobayashi's manga about Vietnam, in modern day. It's CG animated by Studio Anima a group that has worked on the movies in Sonic Unleashed, Tales of Vesperia, and Ninja Blade. The real hook of the show is the fact that the violence is shown from cute furry little bunny rabbits. That hook alone makes this trailer a surefire win. The CG looks really good for whats planned to be a 12 episode series. That's not a surprise to anybody who's seen the opening of Sonic Unleashed. Showcasing the violence from the perspective of an adorable woodland creature is a great way of showcasing the brutality of war but I feel that shortening it into a trailer dampens the impact that Kobayashi originally intended. I can't wait to see what they can do with 12 episodes as it'll be interesting to see if they can maintain interest in a CG war story for that long.
Summary: Seems Familiar
I have to say that the plots of K-ON and Taisho Baseball Girls seems pretty similar. Two groups of girls trying to form a club in their school when they are told that they can't even though they don't know the first thing about what their club is about. The only problem is that Taisho told you directly what they were trying to do and K-ON really doesn't. I know its a 30 second clip and all, but the only real appeal to this trailer is the animation. The character models follow the same character style as many of the other Kyoto Animation titles (Clannad, Lucky Star) but still look distinct. As a trailer it does nothing. As a presentation on animation quality it really shows that KyoAni can consistently do good animation.
Summary: I solved the answer!
As we all know Level 5 made Professor Layton and they in turn will make it into a movie. This trailer is cute and simple which means its most likely for children. I say that because I haven't played the Layton series since I'm a console only gamer. The animation does look top notch and very reminiscent of British style comics. The voice work however is off in some places and it makes it feel a little slapped together. Overall its more universally understandable than this trailer but its a bit too simplistic to really get excited for.
Being a big fan of the first half of Full Metal Alchemist and most of the manga I'm glad that they decided to do a sequel that goes more in line with the manga. When the anime went off course it really ruined one of the first really good dubs I'd ever seen. The only real reason I like this is it shows many of the characters killed off in the first anime and my personal favorite Maes Hughes back and in action which means that I get to hopefully forget about the crappy plot for the last half of the show. Also anime fans keep an eye out on Funimation's website April 9, 2009 when the anime is shown with subtitles.
Summary: Creepy. Like Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni creepy.
Asura Cryin looks to be a haunting tale of the occult terrorizing one poor boy. From what we get that is portrayed very well with little wispers and cries echoing throughout this dark trailer. I'm left intrigued with the importance of why this particular guy is haunted. Also, the mech at the end does kinda detract from the mood as you're left wondering how this slimy robot got all squeeky clean at the last scene. It is forgivable for the atmosphere the trailer creates but it is noticable.
Summary: Let's Party!
Sengoku Basara is originally a PS2/PSP/Wii game from Capcom and much like the Dynasty Warriors series this just never really interested me. Samurai anime however are a bit more interesting to me. The trailer has some action to go well with the rock background music. Pretty colors also magically appear from spears that brings me back to the Ronin Warriors days. Overall though its a fairly basic action trailer and it really exemplifies Capcom's penchant for cheese with the Let's Party! at the end.
Summary: What happens after the Ouran Host Club gets old
The animation in these shows are usually below normal quality and that is true in this case as well. The music is soothing and warm however and really seems to take after Ouran Host Club specifically as a young girl gets taken under the wings of a group of men to work a restaurant. The time slot this is taking over was Michiko to Hatchin which was fairly stylized and unique. That aside the trailer is a bit pretentious and doesn't do anything to really make a name for itself, but most anime like this (see Bartender) don't have to prove themselves as their style will.