Arashi no Yoru ni
Arashi no Yoru ni, or One Stormy Night, is a story of two friends trying to live an impossible life. I recently had the pleasure of watching this movie, and to the best of my knowledge, this title is relatively unknown in the western world. So here I shall talk of it, and with any luck, convince at least one of you to watch it.
As I said before, Arashi no Yoru ni is of two friends, Mei and Gabu. Mei is actually a goat, and Gabuís a wolf. I think now itís becoming a little more obvious why these two friends were living impossible lives. The wolf clan and the goat clan are bitter enemies, namely because the wolf clan eats goats for meals. For a wolf and a goat to befriend each other would be unheard of, if not impossible. However, that is exactly what happens when Mei and Gabu first meet. On one stormy night, Mei was separated from the rest of the goats, and ran inside an abandoned barn to seek shelter. Cue Gabu, who too seeks shelter in the barn by chance. Gabu walks into the barn and discovers Mei hiding out, but neither are aware of each otherís true identity. In the pitch black night, they carry a peaceful conversation between each other, never once seeing each other for who they were. Or actually, I should correct that. They DID see who they really were, not simply what animalís form they took. Concluding the evening, Mei and Gabu go on their separate ways after the pleasant talk, promising to meet the next day. Since they still have no idea what they look like, they make up the password ďone stormy nightĒ, so that they can identify each other by that phrase alone. They meet up the next day, and inevitably, the truth is brought to light. So begins their new and unusual friendship.
Of course, if the story ended there, there wouldnít be much of a story, would there? Mei and Gabu continue meeting up in secret, not letting their clans know of such absurd activities. Unfortunately, one day they are found out, and everything starts to spiral out of control. Mei and Gabu both face tension from their respective clans, and are ordered to betray their impossible friendship. After reassessing their friendship and of their future, Mei and Gabu take a leap of faith together, hoping for the best.
A story of a talking wolf and goat trying to save a friendship sounds like a strange story to watch, childish even. However, this story has conflicts between family, conflicts between friends, and conflicts within oneself. Throw in the constant battle between life and death, and maybe this anime has a little more than a little child can appreciate. Some scenes were a little sad, some scenes a little touching. I thought it conveyed the conflicts fairly well, while still managing to make me burst out laughing at less serious scenes. It was a good mix, but I didnít feel like it went too deep into either end.
One of the first things to notice about this anime is the animation style. It takes a bit of getting used to, but itís by no means a bad style. Analyzing each individual component may make the animation seem bad, but when they come together to form the fluid animation, it creates quite the environment. The first part would be the background. This pretty much consists of two styles: normally animated scenery and CG backgrounds. The normally animated backgrounds looked rather two dimensional, not giving a good perspective of the scenery. However, this was the effect that was intended, and I thought it was done very well. Iíll get back to why in a bit, but for now, Iíll move onto the CG backgrounds. These were pretty standard stuff, nothing really to report here. The CG was nice, but it was rarely used. And when it was, it sometimes seemed a little out of place, given the uniqueness of the animation style. Finally, the characters were animated in quite a different manner than the backgrounds. With a different style, it made the characters stand out from the background quite a bit, which didnít take away from the animation at all. Instead, the merging of the 2D backgrounds with the distinct characters created quite the effect. As I said before, individually, 2D backgrounds with characters that donít seem to fit with the background at all would normally make a terrible looking scene. However, itís quite the opposite here. Instead, the animation gives off a very ďpicture bookĒ feel. It was as if you were looking at the illustrations found in a picture book, which I thought was a really nice touch. I later learned that in fact, the original source for the story WAS a picture book, only proving that it translated well from paper to the screen.
The music was nice, always being a good match to what was happening on screen. Although matching, I doubt Iíll be listening to the music much outside of the movie, unlike the wonderful music found in Beyond the Clouds. The only non-instrumental song was AIKOís ďStarĒ, the ending theme. Iíve uploaded that, and you can find it here. Iíve uploaded that, and you can find it here.
On the more negative side, I felt that the goat clan had some problems. Meiís mother was never truly expanded on, even thought she really should have been. Instead, she was introduced as a character of importance in Meiís background, but only left at that, never explaining her full story. The general lack of importance of the goat clan to the story seemed like a problem too, while the wolf enjoyed much screentime and was making quite the ruckus. Finally, I have something against Mii [Note: Mii is Meiís friend]. I normally donít complain about voice actingÖ but Mii just seemed really off, she was too unnatural. Luckily, since she was a goat, she had a lack of dialogue, so it didnít pose too large of a problem.
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Location: Baja California, Mexicali
Registration date: 2009-04-20
I'd like to watch this, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. You know, bettering myself and college and all of that will do that to a person. Anyway, it sounds really good and the short parts I saw of it were pretty good. You can watch this on Youtube here:
- Royal Jester
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Location: Ohio, Michigan, Japan
Registration date: 2008-09-05
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