Sunday, August 28, 2011

Whisper of the Heart (耳をすませば)

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The English title means different from the Japanese title, the Japanese word means "If You Listen Closely".

The story is about a 13 year old girl's first love and finding a dream to pursue in life.

13 year old Shizuku Tsukishima is very fond of books, she would borrow as much as she can in the library, one night, while looking at her checkout cards she noticed that the name Seiji Amasawa is on all of the checkout cards  and ahead of her. She begins to wonder about Seiji Amasawa.

The next day, she met a boy who read her lyrics by accident and commented it was corny. She again met the same boy the following day when she left her Dad's lunchbox in an antique shop. Also leaving her a negative comment that she ate a lot since the luncbox was quite big for a girl. And both times made her extremely irritated with him.

An incident in school made her extremely sad and as she was walking to chase the blues away, she found herself in front of the antique shop again. There the boy who teased her twice from an earlier incident found her, and invited her in, as Shizuku was looking for the Cat statue named Baron Humbert von Jikkingen which was introduced to her the first time she came there. It was at this time also that she got to know the name of the boy, and what a surprise, his name is Seiji Amasawa.

Released on July 1995 by Studio Toho in Japan
Directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, unfortunately this was the last film he directed.

Whisper of the Heart Movie soundtrack can be found at Hayao Miyazaki
Download theme song in your cellphone.

Here's a preview of the movie.

Whisper of the Heart part 4 of 6 by Ellyu

Some behind the scene's documentation.

Wallpaper downloads

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Wars (サマーウォーズ)

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OZ a cyber world, can be accessed through any device, handles any transaction from personal, sports, business, government, and almost all areas of the real life. Available worldwide. Young  Kenji Koiso, who is talented with math, got a summer job with OZ as a moderator. However, Natsuki Shinohara a very popular senior invites him to her grandmother's 90th birthday to do some work, which he accepted without hesitation. On the first night at the Shinohara's family, he received an email with numbers, assuming it was only a puzzle to solve, successfully decoded the message. The next morning, Kenji was awaken by 2 kids telling him he was all over the news, OZ was in chaos someone has hacked the system, and it seems that someone is Kenji. Shocked with the news, Kenji tried to access his account but could not do so for his account has been stolen by the hacker and was using it to do damage in OZ.  Takashi, a friend and fellow moderator in OZ called him up to confirm if it was really him who did the hacking, after much talk, Kenji realize that he unknowingly gave the hacker the password when he solve the number puzzle the night before. After further investigation of Takashi, he found out that the hacker was not a person but an A.I. called Love Machine.

Further in the story it is revealed that Love Machine, a A.I. virus was created by Wabisuke, Natsuki's relative. Bought by the US Army and released to OZ for a test run. Unfortunately since it is an A.I, they did not expect that things will get out of hand. As OZ is connected to the real world, GPRs, satellite, and traffic lights are just some of the examples the Love Machine can ran havoc with. Can Love Machine be stop? And will Wabisuke help? As he is already an outcast for a decade now from Natsuki's family.

Released on 2009 by Madhouse and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
Won the Animation of the Year award in Japan Academy Prize for 2010
Won the Best Animated Feature in Anaheim International Film Festival's Audience Award

Summer Wars Movie Soundtrack is available at for the title list.

Wallpaper Downloads
If you have seen Digimon Adventure: Our War Game, there is some distinct similarity to this movie. But some say that Summer Wars is the the original and Digimon is only a prototype.

I was quite surprise that they made mention of the Love Machine virus, this made me remember the Love Bug virus that spread throughout the digital world on May 2000, it wreak havoc everywhere it goes, and one of the major bodies it hit was the CIA, Pentagon and the British Parliament. The damage worth was in billions of dollars. After further investigation, it was found out that the virus came from the Philippines. And the following persons was caught:

Reomel Ramones
Onel De Guzman.

Unfortunately they could not be charged as there was no criminal law for the cyber world in the Philippines at that time. The last I heard of them, was that they were hired by some big companies.

I wonder if the authors thought about that incident when they cited "Love Machine virus" in their film.

Links for further reading on the Love Bug virus:
Iloveyou in wikipedia
CNN Love Bug News
BBC News on Iloveyou virus
A timline of the Iloveyou virus

The first person who found the cure to the virus.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Final Fantasy: Advent Children (ファイナルファンタジーVII アドベントチルドレン)

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This is a sequel for the Final Fantasy VII (series).
This is the 3rd film for Final Fantasy and so far the last.

This is after the death of Sephiroth, it has been 2 years and life has almost gone back to normal. But a strange disease is ravaging the planet, known as "geostigma", there is no known cure as of the moment. Cloud one of the member of the SOLDIER formed by Shinra corporation left the group and opened a delivery service with Tifa. He is being pursued by 3 individuals who believes he has their "mother".

The mother they are referring to is a remnant of an alien origin which fell from the sky from an earlier event, which was originally called Jenova. The 3 individuals namely Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo was later revealed that they are also the remnants of Sephiroth, and believes that if they reunite with their "Mother", Sephiroth can be fully brought back.

Unfortunately Cloud is also infected with the geostigma disease and believes he cannot help anyone, as he cannot cure himself.

Does Cloud really have their so called "Mother"? And will they be able to stop Sephiroth's once he is back?

Release on 2005 by Studio Square Enix
Directed by Tetsuya Nomura with Takeshi Nozue
Garnered an award for Best Anime Feature in the American Anime Award for 2007 and
Maria Award at the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya in 2005

Final Fantasy - Advent Children Movie Soundtrack title list can be found at site.
Below are lyrics I have found for the ost :
The Promised Land - lyrics, translation
Divinity I - lyrics, translation
再臨:片翼の天使-Advent:One-Winged Angel - lyrics, translation

If you like to place the soundtrack in your cellphone.

Wallpapers download

Official site is at na-square.enix.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ghost In A Shell 2: Innocence (イノセンス)

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In this movie only Batou is mainly seen, as Major Kusanagi is reported missing after the incidents in Ghost In A Shell 1, he now has a new partner named Togusa.

A series of deaths caused by the dolls released from Rox Corporation led the Section 9 team to meddle in the police affairs. After the shot out, they went to the crime lab to get more info, there they discovered that the doll was tampered with and left a recorded message - "Help us." Who were the one's responsible for leaving this messages? and why?

Another mind twisting tale between man and machine. Their purpose of existence and what is our reality.

Released on 2004 Distributed by Toho in Japan
Directed by Mamoru Oshii

Ghost In A Shell 2 Movie Soundtrack is available at
For the song Follow Me - translation is available.
If you wish to listen to some sample of the soundtrack, click here.

Wallpaper downloads

Personal notes:
I prefer the original one from this second release, thought it is not meant to be a sequel as they say, but I do still have my expectations. But it is still a good sci-fi movie to watch. Enjoy!

Ghost In The Shell (攻殻機動隊)

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In the future our worlds are digitally connected. And in Japan, they formed a group tasked to monitor the crimes online. The movie opens with a being who is born from the vast  internet, who seeks asylum from the Japanese government. Major Matoko Kusanagi a cyborg who is part of Section 9 team was task to investigate this, but before they could get a hold of this person the security of the Foreign Service meddle in. Only to know that the hacker named Puppet Master who they have been monitoring for quite sometime is also involved.

During the the Major's investigation it was revealed that the Puppet Master was also seeking her out.

This movie tackles the subject of evolving artificial intelligence, having it's own character or self awareness, also known as it's ghost.

Released on 1995 and Distributed by Shochiku in Japan
Directed by Mamoru Oshii

Ghost In The Shell Music Soundtrack title is available at EX.
Lyrics for Making of Cyborg - lyrics, translation
You can listen to some sample here.

download wallpapers

This is the 2nd film I've seen for the idea of a possibility that an AI can evolve and can be aware of one's humanity. The first was The Millenium Man. Is this really possible for an AI? And does this mean will they be a better robots?

This reminded me of ELIZA. Really thought this was a AI, but it wasn't, but she sure was a hit when this program first came out. Here's further reading on this program.
Here is the link for the ELIZA you can chat with, and other programs they have made.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Apple Seed ExMachina

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A sequel for the Appleseed.

The movie opens with Deunan and Briareos rescuing a hostage in a church, here Briareos was badly hurt while shielding Deunan from a blast, so he was confined to a hospital. Meanwhile Deunan still has to do Swat work, so she was assigned with a new partner which unfortunately looks exactly the same as Briareos in his human form. Causing Deunan to be confused with her feelings. This put a complication in Deunan and Briareos relationship.

Meanwhile the city was plague with a new problem, cyborg and humans alike are becoming terrorist without them knowing it. Realizing everyone was not vulnerable to this, made things more urgent. Will they be able to stop this new threat? Before it infiltrates their minds?

Release on 2007
Directed by Shinji Aramanki and produced by John Woo.
Some of Deunan Knute's costumes was designed by Miuccia Prada.

Apple Seed Movie Soundtrack listing can be found at  Soundtrackziopeppe :
Available lyrics and translation for the following songs:

Puzzle-Riddle - lyrics, translation
Ex-Machina - lyrics

To listen to some sample of the song click on here.

Wallpaper downloads

Bioroids is definitely one of the things to look out for in the future. Though extensive research has been done on this we still have a long way to go. However Bioroids is also closely link with Cloning, we have been somewhat successful in cloning but due to ethical issues this has been slowed down or stopped. But the interest on this field has not waned.

For further reading on cloning, go to Human Cloning Foundation.
Additional reading on Artificial Human.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Apple Seed (アップルシード)

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A sci-fi anime that based on a manga by Masamune Shirow.

A female soldier named Deunan Knute was rescued by a group of Bioroids, it was a priority to find her as later revealed in the movie that she is the daughter of the legendary Carl Knute and Dr. Gilliam who created the Bioroids.

Bioroids are half cloned-human and half machine. Deunan is possibly the one who holds they key to the data for the bioroids reproduction system, which they have searched for so long. This information was not shared before her mother died, due to this the Bioroids life is short.

As some factions in the government did not trust the Bioroids, they do wish that this information be found. Through the course of their search it seems what they know is not what it seems. Now they must find the truth, as the last of humanity might be in danger of extinction.

Very good action scenes as  this is a CGI technology, the story has a good twists. Also love the soundtrack of this movie.

Release on 2004
Directed by Shinji Aramaki

Apple Seed Movie Soundtrack title list can be found at

Wallpaper downloads

The Landmates suit has definitely caught my fancy. Would love to be able to wore one of those at least once.
Below is a further reading on their weapons:
appleseedd6 site

Pom Poko (平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ)

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The Raccoon's territory is slowly getting smaller due to the urban developments, they are losing their home, food supply and population as most of them would die when crossing the highways or scavenging food in the garbage bins. Finally wanting to do something about their situation, they decided to wage war against the developers to stop the construction and clearing of the forest.  There's a Japanese folklore that tells that these creatures are wise, highly sociable and can transform into anything. So they use this ability to fool the humans and create havoc at the construction site. Will they succeed? Will they be able to stop the development and save their home?

This movie delve's more in the Japanese folklore on tanuki or also known as Japanese Raccoon Dogs, and their culture, but it also serves as a reminder, to be considerate of the animal territories and not to destroy their homes.

Release by Studio Ghibli in 1994
Directed by Isao Takahata
Was chosen as an entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on the same year.

Movie Soundtrack titles can be viewed at Ghibliwiki
Lyrics for the song エンド・テーマ「いつでも誰かが」 (End Theme Always, Someone Will Be...) is available here.
Sample some of the songs you can listen to.

Personal notes:
I remember having sang this children song about Tanuki while I was in the Japanese school during my childhood days. Below is the song you can watch and listen to.

Here is one tale found about the tanuki, A Badger's Bill.

A clip on the Tanuki song

The lyrics of this childrens song can be found at OnMarkProductions

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (崖の上のポニョ)

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A story about a fish who wishes to be a human being after meeting a boy on the shore, as she had fallen in love with him. The father strongly disagrees to let her daughter go as he is fully aware of the bad side of the human beings. However her mother being a compasionate person, gave the boy a chance to keep her daughter by giving him a test that he must pass or Ponyo (the female fish) will go back to the sea, as a sea foam.

Release by Studio Ghibli on 2008
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Won the Animation of the Year in Japan Academy

Ponyo Movie Soundtrack listing is available at GhibliWiki.
Lyrics available for 崖の上のポニョ(映画バージョン )(Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Film version) -lyrics, translation

Download at

The general idea of the story seems to be the same with the Little Mermaid, but the characters and situation are totally different. I love their little boat, just lit a candle and it has enough power to speed along the waters.
And take a look, this concept actually existed a long time ago, here's how to make a putt putt boat and a little history, click on

and here's a few more knowledge on the boat.

The Cat Returns (猫の恩返し)

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Haru a high school student saved a cat from being hit by a truck. While recovering from the ordeal, the cat suddenly stands on it's two hind legs, and said thank you for saving his life. She wasn't aware that she has saved Luna the Prince of the Cat Kingdom. Arriving home she asked her mother if cats can talk, which reminded her mom that when she was little she did mentioned that she can talk to cats. That night, a cat procession arrive at Haru's street, it was Luna's Father, the King of the Cat Kingdom came to say thank you, and that there will be gifts to express their appreciation. However aside from the gifts, as part of their gratitude  Haru will be given as a hand in marriage to the Prince. Realizing that the situation was serious, she went to find the Cat Business Office suggested to her by a sweet voice, there she found the cat named Baron who runs the office and asked for his help. As they were discussing how to go about her situation, the cats from the Kingdom suddenly took Haru away, Baron and his company gave chase. Will the Baron be able to help her? Can Haru ever go back to her world?

The story is quite amusing and appeals to teenagers and the young at heart. This is a prequel for the anime Whisper of the Heart.

Release from Studio Ghibli on 2002
Directed by Hiroyuki Morita
Got a Excellence Prize at the 2002 Japan Media Arts Festival

Movie Soundtrack title listing can be viewed at site, you can also listen so some of music online.

Become The Wind (Acoustic Version) - lyrics, translation

Wallpaper downloads

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Howl's Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城)

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Sophie an 18 year old hat maker who was rescued by Howl (a wizard) from soldiers who wanted to harass her, unfortunately took a liking with her at their first meeting. This made the Witch of the Waste furious with her as she has been wanting Howl's heart for a long time. That evening, the Witch gave her a visit and turned her into a old hag and adding a curse that she could not tell anyone about her condition. So she decided to ran away from home. As she was travelling, she accidentally found a scarecrow, who she named Turnip Head, however Turnip Head would not leave her alone, so she asked him if he can help her find a place to stay. Turnip did, but it was Howl's castle that he had summoned. With no other choice, Sophie boarded the wizard's castle which was always on the move. There she found a fire demon named Calcifer, who saw easily that she was under a spell. So he made a deal with her that he will help her with her curse, if she helped him with his. Will the two of them be successful in breaking each other's curse?

A story about courage, finding the true value of one's self. And falling in love.

From Studio Ghibli released on 2004
Author: Hayao Miyazaki
Nominated for Best Animated Featured in the Academy Awards in 2006

Kiki's Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便)

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Kiki just turned 13, and it was customary that when a witch is at that age it was time for her to leave home and find a city where she can practice her trade and learn to be independent for a year.

Kiki was really excited about this, and started out with much enthusiasm, finding a location was easy enough, but as her only skill was flying the broom, she thought of a delivery service to support herself.  Everything was going well, until she met a boy and delivered a gift to a girl who didn't appreciate the hard work her grandmother has put into. Meeting a few kids didn't help either it only made her realize that she was different, she became unsure of herself and lost her powers. Will she be able to find it again?

Release by Studio Ghibli on 1989
Author: Hayao Miyazaki
Won a Animage Anime Grand Prix prize on the same year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトト)

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A story about two sister's adventure on their encounter with the spirits of the forest.

It starts with the family moving to the country side to be near their mother's hospital. Who was confine due to some illness. As the children roam the house, they encountered the dust spirits, who would quickly shun away from the light. A few days after, the younger sister Mei was playing outside the garden when she saw two ears of what seems to be from a white rabbit, following them she fell in a tree and met Totoro. Which later her father explain to her must be the keeper of the forest.

Satsuki the eldest after hearing it would also like to meet Totoro, but the chance came much later during the night, as they waited for their father's bus to arrive. And both girls was delighted that they were able to meet Totoro again, and they even received a gift from him after Satsuki lend him her umbrella.

Each time the girls was in a fix Totoro would be there to comfort them. Totoro's help gave them strength to face the emotional hardship they encountered while waiting for their mother's return.

From Studio Ghibli
Author: Hayao Miyazaki
Released on 1988 in Japan and later by Walt Disney pictures
Won the Best Film in Mainichi Film Award and Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1988

Monday, August 15, 2011

Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し)

From Studio Ghibli and was later on dubbed to English by Walt Disney pictures.

Photo credits
Chichiro a 10 year old girl didn't like the idea of moving to a new place but was force to, due to her parents, when her Dad took a shortcut to reach their new home, they got lost. They found a tunnel leading to what seems to be an abandoned amusement park. They started to wander around to take a look at the place, her parents found an abandoned stall filled with food, unfortunately since they were travelling they were hungry. Her parents started to eat the food, but Chichiro was a little uneasy about the place that she didn't dare. So she decided to look around more, during her wanderings, she saw Haku. Who immediately warned her to leave the place before nightfall. By the time she has gotten back to her parents, they have been transformed to pigs, and the spirits who occupied the place started to appear.

Totally frightened now and at lost, she ran back to the path where they had come from, unfortunately the small stream that they had previously crossed was now a river. Haku found her, and helped, but in order to get back to her world, she needs the help of the witch Yubaba, who rans the bathhouse and also the one responsible for turning her parents to pigs. But Yubaba was a ruthless witch and did not wish to help, she must find a way to make Yubaba grant her wish, or forever be trapped in the spirit world and lose her parents as they will be slaughtered.

Released on 2001 in Japan and 2002 in Canada
Author: Hayao Miyazaki
This film has earned 200 Million before opening in the US.
This has been release worldwide.
Has won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature last 2003

Movie Soundtrack:
1. One Summer's Day (あの夏へ)
2. Road To Somewhere (とおり道)
3. Empty Restaurant (誰もいない料理店)
4. Nighttime Coming (夜来る)
5. Dragon Boy (竜の少年)
6. Sootballs (ボイラー虫)
7. Procession Of The Spirits (神さま達)
8. Yubaba (湯婆婆)
9. Bathhouse Morning (湯屋の朝)
10.Day Of The River (あの日の川)
11.It's Hard Work (仕事はつらいぜ)
12.Stink Spirit (おクサレ神)
13.Sen's Courage (千の勇気)
14.Bottomless Pit (底なし穴)
15. No Face (カオナシ)
16. Sixth Station (6番目の駅)
17. Yubaba's Panic (湯婆婆狂乱)
18.House At Swamp Bottom (沼の底の家)
19.Reprise (ふたたび)
20.Return (帰る日)
21.Always With Me (いつも何度でも) - lyricstranslation

Thanks to wikipedia for this list of titles. If you wish to download the music to listen to it, go to torrent, but I would suggest buying the originals.

If you want to play the soundtrack in an instrument, music sheets can be viewed on ichigo site.

Below is also the making of the film. If you are interested, go ahead and watch it.

Wallpapers downloads

Grave Of The Fireflies (火垂るの墓)

Grave of the Fireflies DVD | photo credit
This story took place after the bombing of Japan during the World War II, two siblings where orphaned due to this incident, and it narrates the difficulties they went through during this time.

This movie showed the human sufferings in Japan after the firebombing.

From Studio Ghibli, released on 1988
Author: Isao Takahata

This is a heart wrenching story for an anime. Will definitely leave an impression in your heart.

Warning: Make sure you have a box of tissue with you.

Titles for the Movie Soundtrack is available at

The soundtrack gives you a sense of peace or like a lullaby, has the same qualities as the movie.

I love this particular image.

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