あまつき (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: FUKUYAMA Jun
Music - FUJIMA Hitoshi
Music - KAJIURA Yuki
Ordinary high school student, Tokidoki Rikugō, has to take supplementary History classes, to boost his failing grade, at a state-of-the-art museum. This museum allows the visitor to use high-tech virtual reality to reconstruct a realistic Edo of the Bakumatsu period. However, once the simulation begins, Tokidoki is attacked by a strange creature. After something happens to his left eye, he realizes that he is not wearing the VR goggles - it is no longer a simulation; he's trapped in the virtual world and has no way of getting back.

(Synopsis courtesy of Anime News Network)

YUSA Koji (not yet in our database).

[TV series, 2008, supposedly 13 episodes, 24 min; based on an ongoing manga series of the same name.]
The Japanese Title "あまつき" (amatsuki) is only a sound pattern and as such doesn't provide a specific meaning; some Internet sources claim an alternate spelling of the manga name as "天月" for "ama tsuki" which would then mean "heavenly moon".
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch NekoShana [series:1819#3072]
I can only say that i agree with Stretch and his review. This series probably would have been a good Rent or maybe even a Buy had it not been dropped. The series was droped due to an drug scandal involveing one member of the staff. I put this as a watch but i have to say i would at the same time like to tell you to avoid it. Since it was dropped it has no real end, everything is left without any answeres. So i am left with questions i wont get any answeres to and this has left me sulking and abit angry. Witch in turn i think is a good indicator that this anime could possibly have done well.

Last updated Friday, December 25 2009. Created Friday, December 25 2009.
Watch Stretch [series:1819#628]
(Watch+ or Rent-)

(All episodes watched):

One curious thing about this show is that all four of our keyword "settings" apply to it: the story begins in the more-or-less Modern world in a high-tech museum (sci-fi), but an accident leaves the protagonist in a fantasy/historical situation. This first episode reminded me of Westworld and a Star Trek episode as I watched. The unusual premise attracted me (and Museums are cool!). One thing that confused me early on: had "Toki" really been trapped in a virtual reality, inside the computer simulation of Edo period Japan (complete with mythical monsters), or had he really been sent to some spiritual world (and if so, how?)? I was leaning towards the latter explanation (though I'd have preferred the former one), which seems to have been the correct choice. An encouraging touch was that Toki meets someone who has wound up in the same place by a similar route. I was hoping this wouldn't just be a "Let's go fight the demon beasts!" sort of show, but rather the characters would figure out a plausible explanation to their situation and find a way home.

Well, based on episode two this seemed a fairly entertaining show, but what I really wanted, to sort of establish a foundation and give me an idea what to expect, was some sort of explanation of how Toki had wound up in this strange fantasy/historical situation. Either that, or him at least trying to figure out what has happened. Just shrugging such a freakish transformation off and accepting his situation seemed distinctly unrealistic to me, and for a while significantly limited how seriously I could take the show. I've mentioned before that I often enjoy shows in which some sort of "impossible" thing becomes possible, but I guess even then there has to be some sort of explanation (even if it's nothing more than "magic"). Just leaving me to guess for myself is frustrating. However, once I came to accept the ambiguous situation things looked up.

Amatsuki was looking like a Watch for a long time. If you asked me to explain what had happened since Toki arrived in this alternate reality, I wouldn't be able to give you a very good one. It's kind of confusing and didn't hold my interest strongly enough. Therefore, it was hard for me to pay close attention and care all that much what was going on. When a new episode became available I would have largely forgotten what had happened in the last one (not entirely the show's fault). Still, Amatsuki has a certain charm to it, with outlandish characters who speak and act in unpredictable manners. The three main characters work well together, and I enjoyed the show even though I had lost track of the long-term plot. You wonder what each character's true motivations are and what they are keeping secret. When a relatively minor character appeared to have gotten killed I felt a distinct sorrow, which is indicative of the likeability of the cast. Also, there's a sort of "adultness" to the plot, as evidenced by the way it takes complex Japanese mythology seriously. I remain confused to a certain extent, but in a way that's beneficial since it keeps me from blatantly categorizing people as good and bad guys; maybe this was intended. At the end, I can only conclude that this must have been based on an incomplete manga, because a number of startling things happen at the end and a number of threads are left unresolved. Toki's friend, one of the three main characters, wanders off around halfway through and we never learn what became of him. Still, it did a good job of fashioning a satisfactory conclusion; I have a feeling that if I were a little brighter it would have been even more moving and thrilling. I still have no idea how this went from a high-tech museum to a demon-ridden feudal era Japan, but I don't really care anymore--it was fun as it is. Therefore, I don't regret watching Amatsuki, rather I feel fortunate to have stumbled across it. I doubt if this will ever be R1 licensed since it is so throughly Japanese. But based on the last few episodes, I'm tempted to upgrade it to a low "Rent".

My favorite line: "He's probably got bugs growing in his brain tissue"

Last updated Wednesday, December 30 2009. Created Thursday, April 17 2008.

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