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Old 2009-06-22, 21:40   Link #201
orion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lav View Post
Well.

Seen it. Loved it. Crazy like hell. Historical background is extremely well done. And for those who hate the esoteric stuff there's always an option to "disbelieve" - creators introduced the possibility to wave the entire esoteric story away as hallucinogenic delusions of shellshocked and sedative-drug-affected girl. :-)

That's my type of title. Hopefully a DVD release is not too far out.

I would have said theatrical release but I'm not exactly in an area where it's popular to show this type of anime or any anime.
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Old 2009-06-22, 23:51   Link #202
LeoXiao
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Wow, this is looking better and better. I can't wait to see it.
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Old 2009-06-22, 23:51   Link #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerII View Post
Haha, lol. How long does the story last? Months, year, end of war?
The story starts and ends in Winter 1941/42. I'd say about several weeks, hardly more. Authors reserved a lot of space for themselves both for prequels and sequels, that's for sure. :-)

And yeah, there are some hints about katana though it's never explained directly. The sword is said to be "legendary against the demons" which actually makes sense because there's a wealth of Japanese and Chinese mythological weaponry that is good against demons, but surprisingly few in Russian mythology (really, I can remember only one particular sword in the entire Russian mythology and even it doesn't fit the image perfectly because it was never used against demons, mostly against dragons and beasts). So at least the question "why katana" has been partially explained. As for "where the heck katana from", well, authors said they are going to explain it in manga and in later series. My personal guess is that Nadya inherited the blade from her parents because she would be too young to get the weapon herself in any reasonable setup (by the beginning of the GPW in 1941 she's only 14 and still training, so there's no way she could participate in Khalkhin-Gol or anywhere else).

The most hilarious aspect of the movie, from my POV of course, are the live action cut-ins which look exactly like ones from History Channel or any other historical TV program. They can be roughly divided into the following categories:

1. Historians providing general background and veteran interviews. Veterans are played by actors and look about 20 years younger than they should be but their interviews are about 95% authentic (and of course carefully selected to fit with the story). So you get an anime scene where Nadya on a white horse is riding into the rear, passing a group of soldiers, and then you see a live action cut-in with a veteran who is recalling how "you know, it was foggy and we were dead tired, and then suddenly a girl on a white horse appeared from the fog like a ghost or something".

2. "Historians" who are telling you crazy shit about the supposed "history" of this occult battle with a perfectly straight poker face. If you didn't know they're pulling your leg you'd have a hard time differentiating these from the previous bunch.

3. Psychologists, narcologists and the like, who explain the effects of certain anime events (being shell-shocked, being stuffed with sedatives in hospital) on Nadya character. These provide the viewer with the option to disbelieve the entire supernatural plot. Of course once you disbelieve the supernatural plot there's no plot remaining at all, but then it's viewer's choice whether he's going for a scenario or for hardcore realism. ;-)
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Old 2009-06-23, 00:20   Link #204
TigerII
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Sounds interesting. I can get over the mythological aspects. I prefer realistic show things, but there are many movies and countless books from all over the world for that. I honestly only ever expected two types of World War II anime anyways. Something that deals with mythical, or something that deals with the horrors of the American bombing campaigns. I doubt we will ever see an anime that is realistic about the Japanese military, unless it was like Iwo Jima or Okinawa. Somewhere that didn't have a non Japanese population.

Last edited by TigerII; 2009-06-23 at 00:48.
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Old 2009-06-23, 00:50   Link #205
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Comissars varied greatly, and after reading lots of veteran memoirs I think distribution of angels and assholes within the comissar population was the same as everywhere else.

"Not one step backwards" orders appear once but even this is weird IMO because all such orders were used solely during the defensive periods, and during the movie timeframe the Red Army is on the offensive. You do not issue "not one step backwards" orders when it's your enemy who should be using them (and does).

The movie does not spend a lot of effort on German atrocities either. Some "horrors of war" are displayed briefly early on, just to give the general picture, but for the most of the movie all Germans are just regular soldiers and officers. In fact, displaying all Germans as evil is not typical even for Soviet movies which frequently feature some decent or good German characters.

By the way, after watching the trailer on the official site for the Nth time I have finally identified time and place of the movie. Seems the events are tied to the formation of the Demyansk pocket in late January - early February of 1942.

Historical background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demyansk_Pocket
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Old 2009-06-23, 01:11   Link #206
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Oh, I understand that not all Commissars were bad. The British and American had officers just the same. Just as the Western Allies committed atrocities as well(Just covered up a lot better-The Americans and Australians were brutal to the Japanese and the French were pretty cruel to the Germans at the end) The British and Canadians have the lowest rate of atrocities with the ground war, but since many sources count the bombing campaigns as atrocities, the British rank high with the death tolls of German civilians.


And no a lot of Soviet movies never showed the Germans as monsters for the same reason the American movies in the 50s and 60s didn't show the Germans as monsters. Both sides wanted their Germanys to remain close. The Soviets wanted the East Germans close, same with the West Germans and Americans.

I just assumed since the Germans were going to be using zombie knights, they were going to be shown as evil.
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Old 2009-06-23, 02:15   Link #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerII View Post
I just assumed since the Germans were going to be using zombie knights, they were going to be shown as evil.
Both sides are calling to the spirits of their dead in the movie. It's just that Germans are summoning the people who've been dead for 700 years so their undead are worse for the looks. :-)

Well, there are other subtle differences as well. It's Germans who summon their dead first so Soviet's actions are just a reaction in a no-choice situation. Ahnenerbe necromancers use some wicked looking spells and spirit summoning while Soviets are sending their agent into the world of the dead to find volunteers who'd fight for their cause. And the motives of Teutons are revenge while motive of Soviet undead pioneers is protection of their Motherland.

But still there's nothing in the entire supernatural plotline that would clearly tag German actions as outright evil.

P. S. I'm not even going to engage in the atrocities discussion because authors themselves stated quite clearly: "All kinds of shit have happened but we made our movie about a different aspect of the war and if what you want is shit there are already plenty of movies for you to enjoy" (it's not an accurate translation but their meaning is represented correctly).
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Old 2009-06-23, 02:52   Link #208
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I'll try to summarize the good and bad points of the anime now.

Good.

1. The anime features a girl with a miniskirt and a katana. A girl wearing a miniskirt and wielding a katana is a recommendation in itself.
2. Even though she's wielding a katana and is said to be good with it, she is regularly defeated. In fact I cannot remember a single swordfight in the movie that Nadya would not lose. :-)
3. The historical background is better done than in 99% modern Russian live-action historical movies (I didn't say 100% only to be on the safe side, but you know what I mean).
4. The plot is supernatural and crazy but the authors were kind enough to insert the option to waive the plot away if the viewer is not into supernatural. Of course the movie turns into just an animated slideshow of Russia in 1941/42 but it's your choice.
5. This is probably the first movie in history which features realistic looking Soviet soldiers that was made outside of Russia. Not brainless drones like in "Enemy at the Gates" and not stupid evil masterminds like in "Brother's War" or any other similar shitty movies, but just normal people.
6. Even though the plot is about an occult battle between Ahnenerbe and 6th Division of Soviet Intelligence, the movie somehow manages not to diminish the effort of the regular soldiers. The outcomes of war and battles are still determined by armies and soldiers and their everyday heroics and self-sacrifice, while Nadya and her comrades are just doing their small (even if important) share of the work.
7. It is interesting to note that even though the operation of the 6th Division in the movie was successful and Ahnenerbe failed to prevent the encirclement of German troops at Demyansk, this operation was eventually lost by Soviets. Like many other Soviet military successes in 1941/42, the success of Nadya and her comrades proved fruitless in the long run.
8. And I love the "mockumentary" cut-ins, I think I already mentioned that.

Bad.

1. The anime has a very unusual tempo and many viewers complained about it. I do not feel like it, but be warned.
2. Likewise, while I loved the mockumentary style, some other viewers did not. Again, it's either you like it or you hate it.
3. The plot is quite simple and, what's worse, it leaves a lot of ends hanging in the air and waiting for the sequel. Overall it feel more like the first episode in the series than an independent movie.
4. Epic battle in the finale is not epic enough. In fact it's a pretty chaotic clash and it's hard to understand what the hell is going on and then suddenly it's all over. Might be realistic but I think there are things that should better be left unrealistic for the sake of entertainment.
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Old 2009-06-23, 10:16   Link #209
TigerII
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I like the fact that you said the Soviets were not drones. That image has been burned into the minds of many in the Western nations, and for the most part it isn't true. The Germans got that idea from World War I when the Russian soldiers did advance in massive waves(And in the early days, some without rifles), and that view was again enforced in the Winter War. Some of the early battles of Barbarossa were like that too, but for the most part, actual combat tactics were used. The human wave has just been stereotyped since then.


I also like the fact that you said the war or even major battles were not won or lost by this. From what it sounds, it is more of a, lets stop the Germans from using some crazy shit to turn the tide in their favour by using our own crazy shit(Even though in early 42 the Germans were defending, by summer they were again going forward to that ever so famous city).

I know it is small, but the sword will drive me crazy, lol. The only other place I can think of is the Russo-Japanese war of 1904 and 1905. That would kind of fit of it being passed down through the family. The major issue with that is katana didn't see a whole lot of action in that war, or much of any early Japanese wars. From 1867 to 1930ish the Japanese armed forces modeled themselves after the European and American militaries. The sabre was the sword most seen until the changes of the 30s to Bushido and other ancient ways.
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Old 2009-06-23, 10:31   Link #210
Lav
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Well, my thoughts about the katana plot are as follows:

First, there is some story behind that katana. Authors have stated this directly.

Second, this story was obviously approved and accepted by Japanese anime and manga creators.

First conclusion: katana is not a trophy of either Russo-Japanese war or Khalkhin-Gol or whatever. That would be "shameful" for Japanese and they would not accept this story twist.

Second conclusion: katana must have been given to Nadya's ancestors (parents? grandparents?) voluntarily by it's original owner. Obviously this must have happened in quite dire circumstances. I don't know, some critical mission where Soviet (or Russian) agent had to cooperate with his Japanese colleague, and for whatever reason the Russian gaijin was the only person nearby who could use the demon-slaying sword properly and for the common cause.

It's all just wild speculation of course.

BTW you are missing one important bit of information. Nadya's is not just a regular katana. It has some mystical powers and most likely is referenced at least once in Japanese history or mythology.
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Old 2009-06-23, 10:36   Link #211
TigerII
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I was actually about to edit and say the sword could have been given to the family, but you beat me to it, lol. You fast on responding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lav View Post
I don't know, some critical mission where Soviet (or Russian) agent had to cooperate with his Japanese colleague, and for whatever reason the Russian gaijin was the only person nearby who could use the demon-slaying sword properly and for the common cause.

It's all just wild speculation of course.
Maybe some evil spirits arose in Korea or Manchuria and the war was put on hold. Maybe it occurred during the quite periods after 1905 and before 1938? Spirits arose, both sides had to work together to destroy them?
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Old 2009-06-23, 10:47   Link #212
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Well, there are too many opportunities for the "gift" version to make an educated guess.
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Old 2009-06-23, 10:51   Link #213
TigerII
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Yeah. Since you said they left it open for prequels and sequels, maybe we will get one. As the war turns against the Germans, there is no telling what they will 'use' if they continue the series.
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Old 2009-06-23, 11:03   Link #214
Lav
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Well, since authors are very accurate about historical details and keep talking about Nazi walking mecha, I have a nagging suspicion that parallel dimensions will get involved sooner or later as well. :-)
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Old 2009-06-23, 11:08   Link #215
TigerII
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Well of course. I wasn't saying there would be a time skip to the end. I am sure the Nazis will find something to try and help at Stalingrad, Orel, Kiev, the entire front after Bagration, etc.


What weapons and vehicles were shown in the movie? From the trailers I saw a T-34/76, a Junkers Ju 87, and a Junkers Ju 88. What other vehicles are in this?

Last edited by TigerII; 2009-06-23 at 12:00.
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Old 2009-06-23, 12:41   Link #216
Lav
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There are some other aircrafts as well, but only in a few shots. Katyushas obviously, some artillery (both field and air-defence), a variety of Soviet trucks. Weapons - everything you can see in the trailer plus probably some more but I didn't look closely. And katana. Never forget the katana. :-)
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Old 2009-06-23, 12:44   Link #217
TigerII
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Who were the female Germans seen fighting hand to hand with the Soviets?
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Old 2009-06-23, 12:48   Link #218
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Well, German agents obviously. :-)

Actually they look so distinctly non-Russian that for a Russian audience it was obvious from the moment they appeared on the screen. :-)
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Old 2009-06-30, 20:53   Link #219
orion
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It won an award. Does anyone know what the Kommersant newspaper award is?
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Old 2009-07-01, 01:26   Link #220
klare
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hmm i cant find this title anywhere...

where did u guys watch this?
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