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Brave Story
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Reviews & Ratings for
Brave Story More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Perfection

10/10
Author: keal from USA
28 November 2006

Very enjoyable characters, a great fantasy/adventure story, beautiful animation, talented voice actors (Matsu Takako doing the voice for Wataru was the highlight for me), and everything's topped off with an extremely touching ending.

Brave Story's elements are similar to Miyazaki's Spirited Away - you have an alternate world with fantasy creatures, and a child on a save-the-parents mission. And like the anime film Mind Game, there's an overall message to "Seize the day, take charge of your life" and it's very convincing.

What puts this on a level above the already excellent Spirited Away for me is that the ending isn't as cut and dry as saving the parents. It's a more in-your-face ending that made me do a double-take. Kids are really wonderful, and I often forget that. Brave Story reminds me what children are capable of if you give them a long enough leash and stand behind them.

The best movie I've seen in 2006!

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Kid Fantasy with a Good Message

6/10
Author: Mabkid from Toyama
16 August 2006

This 2006 summer anime movie definitely had its moments, but remained naive at parts. I have heard, however, that those who have read the two-book fantasy novel appreciated the movie much more. Just for the record, I have not read the novel, but my wife tells me that the novel has more adult audiences while the movie seems to want to target kid audiences as well.

Visually, the art is nothing spectacular, albeit using soft pastel colors... fitting for this dream vision fantasy setting. There is one feel good pop theme song (Aquatimes?), as well as Wentz as one of the voice actors for the Japanese pretty boy fans (my wife and her mother).

The story takes a simple good-versus-evil formula and puts it in a surreal fantasy world representing two boys' personal struggles to cope with reality. I particularly like the adventure style that is lost in many fantasy pieces today (too busy showing off the visuals). I have the feeling the book is more detailed in this respect, and the anime seems to skip a few of the earlier adventures, I suspect, since there seems to be some holes in the story/character development. Despite that, my eyes were not entirely dry throughout the whole movie.

That said, there could have been more development in some areas... character development, relationship development, battle action, more use of creativity while in a fantasy realm (no doubt covered probably in the novel). For a more sophisticated audience, you might leave feeling somewhat unfulfilled.

As far as an anime for kids, it's got a good message and good enough characters to deliver that message. In the end, it is not bad at all, and if you are an anime fan, it's worth a look though it may be forgettable.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: Brave Story

9/10
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
17 August 2007

Say "Anime" these days, and the brewing spat between the local anime community and the company Odex will spring to mind, with the latter suing illegal downloaders of their licensed anime and allegedly gloating over the internet, leaving a bad aftertaste amongst the online folks. But I'm not into serialized anime (ok, I hear those chants of you-don't-know-what- you're-missing), but frankly, I prefer animated movies, as they're to the point, and nothing beats watching them on the big screen.

I thought Brave Story was going to be quite ordinary (from the trailer), but I was glad I was so wrong. It had an interesting premise, and built up nicely to a satisfying conclusion. It played on one of the questions I used to ask myself - what if one day you find everything going just wrong for you, and you're presented an opportunity to make them all right again, albeit with heavy personal sacrifice. Will you leave things as they are, or take the risk and go for it, with zero guarantees everything will come out just fine?

Based on a novel by Miyuki Miyabe, Brave Story has its protagonist, a young boy named Wataru, who seemed to be living the good life, until his world comes crashing down and he sees for himself his dad walking out on the family, and his mum succumbing to illness and is hospitalized. With a tip from the new boy in school, Mitsuru, he decides to try his luck at changing his destiny by passing through a magical gateway, which transports him to the World of Vision, a fantasy land where he has to look for the Tower of Fortune, where the Goddess of Fortune resides in and will grant a single wish. For Wataru, the choice is simple - to get his mother well again.

Fans of medieval fantasies like Dungeons and Dragons (not the movie incarnation) and games like Might and Magic, will have plenty of reasons to like Brave Story. It's like being the gamemaster, and observing your gamer wander around the make believe land recruiting followers, strike alliances, and battle foes, with some sword and sorcery thrown in. The world of Vision that Wataru journeys to, feels like Disneyland with its many worlds partitioned separately for exploration, and adventure. And it strikes the chord right in the beginning, offering some masterful strokes of comedy, and bestowing our protagonist not with great power, but starting him off right at the bottom, as a "hero apprentice", thereby holding your attention as you wait patiently for him to gain some experience.

What made Brave Story work, is clearly the character of Wataru. He's not all powerful, and through his earnestly unwitting and bumbling ways, serve to appeal to you as time goes by. For the young, he's sort of an ideal role model, at times too ideal (hey, I got no qualms with Jin Yong's goody-two-shoes Guo Jing character too) but then you realize that sometimes, these are the kind of boy scout heroes who are lacking screen appearances, and for a change, refreshing. They are plenty of situations where Wataru has to make critical decisions on sacrifice and morals, and in doing so however, stunted the story with predictable outcomes.

But Brave Story more than makes up for it with a host of supporting casts like the Lizard humanoid Kee-Keema, feline Meena, a pet baby dragon, and The Highlanders. The antagonist Mitsuru though, provides ample tussle and the clash of values with Wataru, and he's primarily the "villain", although a sympathetic one, to make our hero look good, and play off against, providing strong messages on friendship - sometimes your values are different, but if you're the friends forever type, you surely know who to count on when the going gets rough.

The animation might not be cutting edge, but it presents the material squarely, and occasionally had the wow-factor, especially in its grander depiction of the finale battles towards the end. Watch this in a proper theatre, and you'd appreciate the job the folks at Skywalker Sound has done. Brave Story might not have a lot of bells and whistles, but its buildup to the story, and its powerful ending, more than makes up for any potential flaws. Animes don't make it to our local screens very often, so supporting a good film like this, will pave the way to more good material coming our way.

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

My opinion of brave story

9/10
Author: super_laurens from Netherlands
21 January 2007

The movie was great. Normally, i'm not the biggest fan of anime, so I did not expected to much of this movie. For that, I am grateful.

There was a bit of "Alice in wonderland" vibe to it. In this story you get pulled away from real life and come to a world with beautiful mix animation that stunned me every time.

There are a few thing in the movie that are not at a high level. Like the story, it starts real slow. When finally the movie got warmed up, the story gets sloppy and it comes at you as a airplane crashing down and before you know it, it is over. You wanted the ending not to start but like most inevitable things, this ending comes to fast.

Therefor i find this movie a great one, not only i was surprised about the mixed animations. Also the moral of the story gets a hold on you.

This movie is Walhalla for every anime lover.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful Story

9/10
Author: pogsnet from Philippines
26 June 2010

An ordinary boy who enters fantasy world by circumstance to get the chance of reviving his family back to normal but encounters a lot of troubles along the way, meet new friends, chance to change destiny.

The travel and view is good but something tells me I want more. The background audio is nearly perfect, in timing and class.

Story about friendship, bravery, trust, and greed. Maybe related to HunterXHunter but that anime has too much action and brutality compared to this.

All in all you can't imagine how a little boy risks all his life for a dream family he wanted. Very good and well thought.

9/10 for me... For family and all genre.

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8 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

God awful drivel

1/10
Author: darraghbradley from Japan
16 February 2007

What can I say?

Starts off fine and dandy, the usual story, a BRAVE STORY! Downtrodden hero got some family problems make him want to run and hide and make things better. Kid meets kid, second kid has some problems too and a way of making things better. Cue the fantasy world! Real world is tough, fantasy world is tough too but there you have a goal, a reason for being, people to help, quests to fulfill and dark demons to vanquish. Same old same old but done well enough.

BUT

What were they thinking with the end of this film? What message are they trying to give? Where were they coming from? I was left dumbfounded! My mental ability is not something I brag about so it's possible there are people other than the writers who have a clue about this finale.

On TV they showed people leaving the cinema crying after watching this, I think I know why!

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