27 September 2017

MANGA UK PRESENTS: A CERTAIN MAGICAL INDEX (THE MOVIE): THE MIRACLE OF ENDYMION. (2013) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




A CERTAIN MAGICAL INDEX (THE MOVIE): THE MIRACLE OF ENDYMION. (2013) BASED ON THE LIGHT NOVELS BY KAZUMA KAMACHI. DIRECTED BY HIROSHI NISHIKIORI. STARRING ATSUSHI ABE, YUKA IGUCHI, SACHIKA MISAWA AND AYANE SAKURA. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Toma to Arisa: 'If there's something you want to do and you have the power to do it, you should do it.'

This is the film of the hugely popular light novels by Kazuma Kamachi, light novels being a bit like manga without the pictures, but they're still easy to read and good fun overall. The plot is needlessly complicated with unnecessary and confusing battle scenes, as most animé movies are, but aside from that I was able to follow it pretty well.

Prepare to have the sum total of my limited knowledge imparted to you here and now in deliciously appetising bite-sized chunks and prepare also, if you will, to be utterly dazzled. I'm nothing if not a good advertisement for my own wares...

Okay, so we've got a young male called Toma and his cutesie-pie female friend, the titular Index. Index knows magic, she does, being imbued with the knowledge of one hundred and three thousand magical grimoires, if you please.

That's an awful lot of magic to have stored in one's head. Still, better in your noggin where no-one can trip over it and brain themselves than on saggy shelves and in bags and boxes around the place, like my poor homeless DVD collection. One hundred and three thousand magical grimoires is a hell of a lot of magical grimoires by anyone's standards.

Anyway, Index, who owns an adorable moggy called Sphinx, loves to eat and Toma apparently has no problem doing the endless cooking required to satisfy her insatiable appetite for nice tasty grub. This aside isn't really integral to the plot, it's just an interesting quirk of this cute couple's. 

They're not a couple in the romantic sense though, as far as I know, just really good friends who just so happen to be boy and girl. (Can boys and girls/men and women ever really just be friends? On the other hand, we probably don't have time to go into that one here...!)

One day, Toma and Index meet Arisa, a beautiful girl singer whose music can be downloaded from the Internet but who also loves to do street concerts, presumably free of charge unless you feel like lobbing a donation her way. She meets Toma and Index during one of her open-air busking gigs and the three immediately become fast friends.

Shortly after the trio's first meeting, Arisa finds out that one of her songs has been selected as the company theme song for the Endymion space elevator being erected in their home town of Academy City. The company building the space elevator, which when it's finished will be able to convey people into space without the use of conventional spacecrafts like rockets, etc., is called Orbit Portal. Arisa, a struggling musician, is thrilled to bits at this honour.

There's a sinister reason for her unexpected good fortune, though. The company is run by another cutesie-pie blonde girl, a miniature megalomaniac known as Ladylee Tangleroad. Ladylee is immortal but is, oddly enough, looking for ways to end her overly-long life. 

I suppose she just got tired of being Little-Johnny-Live-A-Lot, a great name for someone who refuses to die. It's used by Mr. Burns to Grampa Simpson in the episode of THE SIMPSONS about the Hell-Fish Club, so I can't take the credit for it myself, unfortunately.

Anyway, this is why Ladylee orchestrated a terrible space crash three years earlier that became known as 'The Miracle Of The Eighty-Eight' because there were eighty-eight survivors. The doomed space-craft was saved through the goodness and kind-heartedness of one Arisa, who is now being known and lauded as a 'saint.'

She's also a very special little lady who has 'the power to start a war between science and magic.' Well, the last thing you want is one of those, isn't it? It sounds a bit like those battles between science and religion, in other words between the Darwinists who believe that we evolved from the monkeys and the Creationists who believe in Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I'm a good Catholic so that last one's the one I'm obliged to believe, haha.

Ladylee and her company Orbit Portal want to exploit Arisa for their own nefarious ends. For one thing, Ladylee's planning to cause the miraculous Endymion Tower or space elevator to collapse, thereby causing a collision with Earth and- hopefully- putting an end to Ladylee's own miserable and unending existence.

It seems pretty selfish of her to want to take a load of other innocent people down with her when she does herself in, but that's the way it goes, isn't it? Misery loves company. Arisa may just be able to put a spanner in Ladylee's diabolical works, however. A big fat musical spanner, if you please. Never underestimate the power of music to soothe the savage beast...

Arisa's got other enemies to watch out for, like the magicians who are out to get her, not for personal reasons but because they know that she'll be used by Ladylee for foul purposes. One enemy who's gunning for Arisa for purely personal reasons is the beautiful cat-suited Shoutaura Sequenzia from the Black Crow Unit that's been assigned to protect Arisa.

Shoutaura's Dad, a pilot, was the only casualty of the terrible space-crash in which the eighty-eight survivors, well, um, survived. Shoutaura's got revenge on her mind. Arisa will need to sing up a storm to get herself out of this one. Her miracle ditty asking if wishes will come true and will the sun shine tomorrow will need to be just that, a freakin' miracle song to end all miracle songs...

I can't sign off without mentioning the rank but hilarious sexism of the film-makers. All the girls are beautiful with big tits, teensy waists that probably haven't been achieved naturally since the days of the Victorian corset and fabulous Rapunzel-length hair. Japanese males clearly have an unrealistic outlook on the female body and have created their own ideal vision that's as unattainable as it's unbelievable, so there...!

The camera is constantly looking down the girls' tops to catch a glimpse of massive white cleavage. And as for the skirts...! The tiny skirts barely cover the girls' posteriors and every second shot shows us a glimpse of their, um, knickers. Such perverts, seriously! Schoolgirls all wear their skirts up to their backsides and the camera lingers lovingly and caressingly on their long, long legs.

And if they're not wearing ridiculously short skirts, they're togged out in butt-defining catsuits that leave nothing to the imagination. Nothing much, anyway. It's a bit like when Homer Simpson is repulsed by the sight of Ned Flander's muscular buttocks in a skintight ski-suit when they're on a ski-ing holiday together. 

Ned, wiggling his heinie at Homer: 'Feels like I'm wearing nuthin' at all... nuthin' at all... nuthin' at all...!' Then, Homer when he can't get that disturbing image out of his mind: 'Damn Sexy Flanders...!'

There's even female nudity in this film, which I haven't seen in too many other animé films. It's all gratuitous, of course, no need for it whatsoever, but it livens things up a bit for those who are that way inclined. Like, suddenly you'll see Arisa or Shoutaura stark-bollock nekkid for some reason, just walking around randomly in the altogether.

The funniest scenes in the whole film are when Arisa and Index are both bathing together in Toma's bathroom. Of course, it's a dearly-held male fantasy that women all bathe or shower together, just like guys think that we have pillow-fights in our nice matching underwear when he have sleepovers. I'm most definitely female and I've never had a nudie pillow-fight in my life. Guys are so predictable, aren't they? Predictable and sad.

Any-hoo, to get back to what I was saying, Arisa suddenly gets an idea for some lyrics, so she rushes out of the bathroom naked and settles down in the living-room, totally unself-consciously, to write the song. Well, when inspiration knocks on your door, ya gotta answer. Can't leave him standing outside in the cold feeling like a prize tool.

An equally naked Index rushes out of the bathroom after Arisa, all excited to see the songwriting process taking place live in front of her. Then when Toma gets home and sees the two nudie girls unabashedly writing a song in his living-room, obviously he feels like all his birthdays and Christmases have come together, the naughty pervert. Still, he's just being a typical guy, I s'pose. Can't exactly blame him for that. Boys will be boys and all thst malarkey.

I have a close friend who's a singer-songwriter herself and she also gives songwriting lessons to anyone who wants 'em. We watched this film together and then decided that the reason that take-up for the songwriting classes has been fairly low is that they're not naked songwriting lessons she's offering. She's now seriously considering that option for her next semester of classes. I should have flyers fairly soon if anyone wants 'em...

A CERTAIN MAGICAL INDEX (THE MOVIE): THE MIRACLE OF ENDYMION is available to buy now from MANGA UK. Also available to buy now from MANGA UK are A CERTAIN MAGICAL INDEX: THE SERIES- SEASON 2 and A CERTAIN SCIENTIFIC RAILGUN: THE SERIES.


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







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