While Black Fox wasn’t the first to receive the simulcast treatment, we got to see this the same time Japanese theaters had it, it is the first time I’ve watched one. Namely because it isn’t tied to an existing franchise and it did look really cool. So when it got a fair bit of hype, I felt confident enough in checking it out. Unfortunately for me, and for Black Fox, the film is the definition of average.
All I knew about this movie coming into it was that it seemed to be about ninjas. When it opened up on a girl being chased by one, and knowing that the girl was clearly the main character, it wasn’t hard to figure out this was some kind of training. The sequence is really good, and in some ways, the best part of the film.
You learn that the girl, Rikka, is expected to take up her grandfather’s legacy and lead the Isurugi clan when she comes of age. However, she has other plans. Her father is a scientist who makes cools stuff like animal drones that have human-like AI. Rikka would like nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps.
Flash-forward and Rikka has taken the first major step to achieving her dreams, even if it is to the disappointment of her grandfather, getting into the same school her father attended. Now she’s coming home to share the good news AND celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately, the past has come to haunt Rikka’s father, and I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you where this is going…
In that moment Rikka abandons her aspirations and takes up the blade to seek revenge on the man and all who took her family from her. Which would be cool, except the film abandons this idea in favor of exploring some themes of forgiveness and becoming your own person.
From my summary, you can probably already sense a big problem with the film. It’s predictable. So much so, that it almost feels like a paint by numbers for how to make a successful blockbuster hit. There’s not a single thing you shouldn’t be able to see coming a mile away, and that’s one of the biggest problems I have with Black Fox.
Outside the minor deviation from this just being a ninja movie to becoming something closer to a Spider-Man film, the whole thing is just one trope after another. While none of them are bad or hurt the integrity of the film, the lack of risk or innovation is sorely felt here.
My other gripe is that the whole “revenge” aspect of the film is completely abandoned. It makes sense when Rikka doesn’t kill the first guy she interacts with, but as time goes on, it gets harder to accept that she would give up on it because her robot pets told her to. On the one hand, forgiveness is powerful, and the people she ultimately does forgive, do ultimately deserve it. Though, on the other hand, having it completely removed from the table didn’t feel good, especially as events unfold.
An example is likely needed here. Toward the end of the movie, the bad guy from the evil company (which is so obviously evil it is hilarious) sends an evil drone based on stolen technology from Rikka’s dad after her. It destroys a bunch of the city and everybody can clearly tell the corporation made it. I find it hard to believe that Rikka is going to somehow resolve this peacefully with no casualties.
Furthermore, as an aside, can I just say that it is so stupid that when the people confront the corporation about the evil robots that all the doubts and outrage is dispelled because the corporation says they’ll pay for all the damages, help rebuild, etc… Then the CEO or whatever he is also announces that they are changing the name of the city to be his name. It’s so stupid, I honestly don’t get this part at all.
This is probably an issue more specific to me, but it all felt incredibly cheesy. Perhaps this wouldn’t have stuck with me as such a big deal if Black Fox actually had any resolution. That’s right folks, the film doesn’t have an ending. It “resolves” an arc of a much bigger story, but it also doesn’t seem like the movie will be getting a continuation as one hasn’t been announced (at least to my knowledge).
After doing a bit of research, it seems like this was the product of a failed TV show, which is likely why this occurs. But then, I have to ask, why was this even released? I just can’t help but feel that this is a half-baked product that teases more that may never come. Perhaps the popularity of the film, as it was pretty well received in general, will get it there, though I can’t say I’m looking forward to more.
Look, it’s not like Black Fox is a bad movie. The animation is really good and the story it tells is tried and true. It just needed more, and I don’t just mean the runtime, I mean this in almost every respect. That’s why I can’t ultimately recommend the film. While you may enjoy it, the experience ultimately feels lacking.
That’s it for Black Fox. How did you enjoy it? I know that I wasn’t the only one who felt a bit baffled by this, but maybe you saw something I didn’t. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want to support my efforts here, please click one of my donation buttons below as the support is appreciated. Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you again soon!
When Dr. Stone first started airing, I really wasn’t that impressed with it. The potential for one of the best shows of the year was clearly there, but there was just something holding it back. Over time though, the show began to shine and quickly became one of the best series to come out this year. The reason for this is in the little things. It’s easy to forget the types of luxuries and comforts afforded to us in our daily lives, but Dr. Stone is a heartfelt reminder that it was a long road to get here. Mixed with a genuine passion for the topic of science, and you have a show just brimming with positives.Continue reading “Dr. Stone – It’s The Little Things”→
Since I’ve been rewatching School Days for #AniTwitWatches, I thought it might be fun to look at another show that focuses on relationship drama and misunderstandings. Unlike School Days, however, this one is more comedy focused and a lot less… well, intense. I actually started this in Summer 2017 when it was airing but shelved it for whatever reason. Looking back, I can see why…Continue reading “Gamers! – Misunderstandings Abound”→
Lately the discussion on the fanservice in the continuing Summer 2019 series, Fire Force, has gotten a little out of hand. It seems that you are either in favor of these sexy interludes or strongly against them. While I hold my own thoughts on this myself, I would like to address each of the main points in this discussion and explain why I think this has gotten a bit crazy. If you take anything away from this it should be this: You are allowed to voice your thoughts on a show, but don’t push some agenda on to other people, or speak to how something effects them. Get off your damned high horse.Continue reading “Fire Force & Fanservice”→
Probably the Best Video Game Adaptation Turned Anime I’ve Seen
Awhile back while searching for another anime I happened upon a show called “Tower of Druaga“. This title was one I was quick to disregard, except two things struck me about it when I looked it up. The first being that this was somehow based on a 1984 Namco game and the fact that this was a Gonzo production. If you don’t know already, I have a philosophy that all Gonzo shows are at least interesting, even if they aren’t good, but sometimes they really delight. So the big question is, did Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk deliver?Continue reading “Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk – A Surprising Delight”→
Uchouten Kazoku, or The Eccentric Family, is an anime that has been sitting on my shelf (and watch list) for a few years now. A lot of people in the blogging community have sung its praises and recommended it a great number of time to me, and it did look good. Centered on a disjointed family comprised of some tanuki, a tengu, and a human there is a story about unbreakable bonds, hardship, and interpersonal drama. There are so many themes and ideas present within the anime, but while I enjoyed the show, I don’t have much to actually say about it. Don’t go just yet though, because contrary to what I just said, I do actually have quite a bit to say.Continue reading “Anime ABC’s U is for Uchouten Kazoku”→
Can you believe we are already on our third watch? This time around we will be watching the infamous School Days. I want to be upfront by saying that this show won’t be for everybody, and it may even make some of you uncomfortable. Do not feel obligated to participate. However, what better environment to watch this anime where we can all have discussion with each other? I’m confident that if you stick with this one from start to finish, you’ll have one unique experience that you won’t soon forget!
I’ll admit though, I was surprised that School Days managed to beat out Wandering Son in the poll. It seemed for sure that Wandering Son couldn’t be touched. YOU spoke, and I listened. I hope you are just as excited to hop on board this roller coaster of emotion and decide once and for all, is School Days really that bad?
What is #Anitwitwatches?
This is a weekly community event meant to bring folks together to revisit old favorites and discover new shows. It’s meant to be something you can get as involved in as you want, there is no pressure to participate every week or every watch, but we’d love to have you to share in the experience and discuss the shows we are watching all the same!
I was inspired to do this after seeing the “rewatches” that people do over at Reddit in the r/anime sub. Since I interact with a lot of you guys on Twitter, I thought it would be the perfect place to do something similar! That said, even if you do not have a Twitter you can still join in by posting any content via WordPress, YouTube, or whatever suits your fancy. If you do, be sure to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your wonderful creations!
For everyone else, simply watch the episodes for the week based on the schedule below. Make sure to use the hashtag, #anitwitwatches when you do, and that’s it! Discuss with the other folks participating, create content, and generally just have a fun time!
We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 11/11/19. This is to give me time to properly prepare for hosting the watch and give everybody else a little break before starting something new. We will be keeping the Monday time slot for this watch after careful consideration and feedback.
If you have not done so, you can see where you can watch School Days for free, and legally, by using because.moe. Unfortunately, I cannot realistically check all regions but I aimed to make this as accessible as possible. That said, I won’t stop you from doing what you need to in order to participate. The more the merrier!
Here are the dates (all Mondays) and the episodes for each:
11/11/19 – Break (Veterans Day)
11/18/19 – Episode 1
11/25/19 – Episodes 2-3
12/2/19 – Episodes 4-5
12/9/19 – Episode 6
12/16/19 – Episode 7
12/23/19 – Break (Christmas, please enjoy if you celebrate!)
12/30/19 – Episodes 8-9
1/6/20 – Episode 10
1/13/20 – Episode 11
1/20/20 – Broadcast “Ending” (will be provided and discussed as this date approaches) & Episode 12
This means we’ll have 9 weeks of School Days with 2 weeks off for breaks/holidays. I carefully split the episodes up in the most logical way I could based on the content in order to create a fun viewing experience. This series has a lot happen episode-to-episode so I wanted to avoid groupings (especially later in the series) as much as possible. I hope to see you for the watch!