Penguin Highway 🐧 simulwatch [RS] (28/12 - 04/01)

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Alright so I finished this today!

Overall thoughts are that it was visually strong but narratively weak, by that I mean the story seemed more about the journey and exploration than it did about connecting the dots to bring about a satisfying ending. I enjoyed it but I wouldn't personally go out of my way to recommend it.

My understanding of the plot was that the woman existed to handle the anomaly with the penguins, and once that was solved she had no reason to exist anymore hence she vanished.

Aoyama obviously had a thing for her, and hell which of us wouldn't in his shoes? I think however she was a little too keen to play along with it, and were the tables reversed (young girl with an older guy) this would have been seen as creepy. As it was I think that no lines were crossed, but I wasn't sure it wasn't going to try at some point.

What part did the obsession with boobs serve with the plot I wonder? I am not against boobs of course, but other than highlighting his love for analytical research, and one of the things he liked about the lady, I don't think it was necessary for the plot. Hell I'd even say it was detrimental given it's PG - children rating on MAL, in an otherwise relatively child-friendly movie.
 
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Neil.T

Idolm@ster
it was visually strong but narratively weak
That's honestly where I stand with Penguin Highway as well, dude. It's kind of hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it's adapted from a novel by Tomihiko Morimi, author of The Tatami Galaxy.

As for the film's director, Hiroyasu Ishida, I much prefer his brilliant two-minute anime short Fumiko's Confession (which is well worth looking up).
 

WMD

Railgun
That kind of reminds me of Katanagatari, I tried to watch it but the dialogue in Episode 1 put me off, I was wondering if the author that was truly the same one who did the amazing dialogue in Monogatari!

@WMD @João Gomes @Geriatric hedgehog did any of you lot get a chance to watch it yet? I am only singling you out as you all voted for it! 🤣
Whoops I totally forgot sorry! I've dug it out, put it by the tv and will defo watch this weekend.
 

João Gomes

Thousand Master
That kind of reminds me of Katanagatari, I tried to watch it but the dialogue in Episode 1 put me off, I was wondering if the author that was truly the same one who did the amazing dialogue in Monogatari!

@WMD @João Gomes @Geriatric hedgehog did any of you lot get a chance to watch it yet? I am only singling you out as you all voted for it! 🤣
Not yet but it's been set aside ever since you created the thread! It's just the headphone jack on my dualsense stopped working and I'm waiting for my Bluetooth dongle... Well, that and I didn't have a lot of time! But I'll be able to watch it this weekend!
 

João Gomes

Thousand Master
triple post pls don't ban thx

Well, that's 2 hours of my life I won't be getting back. Can't win all of the blind buys I make, I guess.

This really didn't make me feel much of anything. The protagonist is a shiitheel, my favorite character was the bully and really the only scene that resonated with me was the little sister having a late night random panic attack because she realized her mom was eventually going to die. I remember feeling similar dread when I was a kid and realized the same thing...

Anyway, I agree with just about everything our good lord said, the only part where I enjoyed the visuals were the last 20 minutes leading up to inception Greece.

Boobs, boob physics and borderline stuff makes up a frankly silly part of the movie but I guess the girl next door leading the kid on and doing otherwise creepy stuff is OK because she's totally not a human amirite.

Well, my vote would've been for Children of the Sea, but I had just watched it which is why I voted for this one, but of the two kid-led, mystery-centric, ocean-themed, supernatural-featuring movies, the former is crushingly superior 🤷‍♂️ at the very least, I was almost always amazed at what was going on on screen.

That's one off the backlog! Thanks for helping out with that yet again, @Lordhippos!
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Yeah I agree @João Gomes it just lacked an overall compelling reason to watch it - as promised on the next movie vote I will add +1 for Children of the Sea so it's likely to have a good chance to win it, and it's one I've not seen yet.

I don't know about you guys but I am definitely more of a series watcher than a movie one in general. It's much harder I think to tell a really good story in the runtime of a single movie, unless the movie is a) part of a trilogy or b) tacked onto a series as part of the canon story.

Subsequently I find it hard to really get into a lot of movies and truly enjoy them, but there are exceptions, and I think without watching them I'd never find these exceptions.

My personal favourite anime film director is Shinkai I think, the visuals coupled with a coherent story that is good (not great usually, but good all the same) are a nice mix for me. Satoshi Kon films were good watches as well, and I'd love to see what he'd be making if he was around today! I've never really gotten on with the Ghibli films all that well sadly.

The one that really shocked me the most lately was just how good the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya was, I was genuinely impressed at that one, but it was helped along a little by not having to explain every detail of the cast as it assumed you'd seen the main show.

Otherwise I think I've liked all the ones we've had in this simulwatch before now, and things like Silent Voice and Liz and the Blue Bird by KyoAni are great as well :)
 

João Gomes

Thousand Master
Yeah I agree @João Gomes it just lacked an overall compelling reason to watch it - as promised on the next movie vote I will add +1 for Children of the Sea so it's likely to have a good chance to win it, and it's one I've not seen yet.

I don't know about you guys but I am definitely more of a series watcher than a movie one in general. It's much harder I think to tell a really good story in the runtime of a single movie, unless the movie is a) part of a trilogy or b) tacked onto a series as part of the canon story.

Subsequently I find it hard to really get into a lot of movies and truly enjoy them, but there are exceptions, and I think without watching them I'd never find these exceptions.

My personal favourite anime film director is Shinkai I think, the visuals coupled with a coherent story that is good (not great usually, but good all the same) are a nice mix for me. Satoshi Kon films were good watches as well, and I'd love to see what he'd be making if he was around today! I've never really gotten on with the Ghibli films all that well sadly.

The one that really shocked me the most lately was just how good the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya was, I was genuinely impressed at that one, but it was helped along a little by not having to explain every detail of the cast as it assumed you'd seen the main show.

Otherwise I think I've liked all the ones we've had in this simulwatch before now, and things like Silent Voice and Liz and the Blue Bird by KyoAni are great as well :)

Hard agree on the movie vs series question. There's just not enough time (generally) to set up interesting characters in movies vs the freedom the length a TV series affords writers and directors.

I admit my basic frame of mind when watching an anime movie is appreciating the eyecandy in terms of animation, background and character design and take it from there.

Your example of Suzumiya is a good one and I thought about Fate Heaven's Feel for the same reason: you're already familiar with the setting and characters and so it feels like yet another layer of detail to the universe; it works.

On the other hand, this movie didn't even try. It felt like so much time was spent on meaningless stuff.

On a side note, I actually re-watched A Silent Voice and I've been kinda harsh on it up until now but I grew to enjoy it a lot more. Eager to watch Liz eventually, too.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
I actually re-watched A Silent Voice and I've been kinda harsh on it up until now but I grew to enjoy it a lot more

I need to do that sometime as well, it was one of the first anime movies I watched, I think I would have been better watching it after seeing some other KyoAni shows even if unrelated.

For Liz I think I mentioned it to @Geriatric hedgehog but I would recommend not watching it at the same time as the rest of Hibike Euphonium and the other movie, it kind of stands alone and uses a different art style. It's probably best to do the rest and have a gap :)
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Sorry for being late to the party but finally got to re-watch this, think it was my third time, and this movie is another one for my box of flawed yet enjoyable ones.

Previously I'd watched on my phone via screenanime and didn't realise just how good the visuals & animation really are until this viewing of the blu-ray with upscaling. It really is beautiful to behold with very good use of CGI with/in the 2D. The penguins are adorable as well, especially the one having a mini-adventure in the opening credits.

I'd also forgotten how funny it is, having regular chuckles throughout. The characters while underdeveloped are in the end all fairly likeable for me, including the stupid Gorillaz-inspired bullies. On my first watch I instantly found Aoyama insufferable (as well as his dad probably) but his arrogance is almost so factual and lacking in malice that he was thankfully tolerable enough for me to not instantly drop the movie which I was twitching to do! His social obliviousness did help with the comedy and his unflappable nature was amusing and admirable. His babysitter lady was good-natured and likeable (and thankfully did not pull a Misato on the little sod!). Though somewhat incoherent overall, I did find the sci-fi and mystery elements fascinating, enough to want to get the book to read at some point, as chances are a lot of those were eschewed to maybe allow more focus on the main characters and rightly so even if it didn't quite work for character development in the end.

Lastly, the end credits with the beautiful Good Night by the brilliant Hikaru Utada sealed the deal for me (a bit like that great tune from Daoko did for the end credits of Fireworks which again I did like despite its flaws). I can't really decide but it is probable a 7 out of 10 for me, though as per the Pancreas movie, I do like it more than my attempted objective rating.

As it was I think that no lines were crossed, but I wasn't sure it wasn't going to try at some point.
I too was relieved only once the movie ended that they weren't going to go there. It is funny what you say about the gender reversal being viewed as more creepy and I've always found it odd how some find an eighty year-old lady perving on a young man funny and not lecherous.
What part did the obsession with boobs serve with the plot I wonder? I am not against boobs of course, but other than highlighting his love for analytical research, and one of the things he liked about the lady, I don't think it was necessary for the plot. Hell I'd even say it was detrimental given it's PG - children rating on MAL, in an otherwise relatively child-friendly movie.
Everyone loves boobs! But yes, I didn't see the point and with all that was likely cut from the book, this was not something I would have thought needed inclusion in the movie's limited runtime... While it seems odd on the surface, I do wonder how many kids are obsessed with boobs as my 4-year-old daughter most certainly can be with her mum's for no apparent reason, necessitating a possessive dad to shoo her away.
It's kind of hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it's adapted from a novel by Tomihiko Morimi, author of The Tatami Galaxy.
I wouldn't instantly think they were from the same author either but I think that's down to the directorial differences as they both share elements of comedy and sci-fi cookiness which are maybe more apparent in similarity in the books?
Well, that's 2 hours of my life I won't be getting back.
Oh no, you hated it that much! Oh dear, sorry dude.
I don't know about you guys but I am definitely more of a series watcher than a movie one in general. It's much harder I think to tell a really good story in the runtime of a single movie, unless the movie is a) part of a trilogy or b) tacked onto a series as part of the canon story.
Definitely a lot harder to adapt anything relatively lengthy into a movie as opposed to a series and I do wonder how much was cut out here. Regardless I do generally enjoy good movies as much as series, not forgetting some greats like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Jin-Roh and (don't shoot me @João Gomes) A Silent Voice. Heh, just read the rest of your post and am embarrassed I didn't list anything from Kon nor Shinkai, both of those works I love. When it comes to Ghibli, I'm certainly not a Miyazaki Sr fan, though I liked Jr's From Up On Poppy Hill quite a lot and I love Takahata's work. I'm waiting to go on an epic Sound! Euphonium binge to re-watch the two seasons before the imported movies, especially Liz & The Bluebird.
On the other hand, this movie didn't even try. It felt like so much time was spent on meaningless stuff.
It was definitely disjointed but as you can tell I really enjoyed it regardless heh.
On a side note, I actually re-watched A Silent Voice and I've been kinda harsh on it up until now but I grew to enjoy it a lot more.
I think that's maybe not uncommon for A Silent Voice given how understated it is. On my first watch I did like it but thought it was overrated. I did feel compelled to re-watch and have absolutely loved it since especially for its daring to be so subdued, nonjudgmental and sensitive with the subject matter.
For Liz I think I mentioned it to @Geriatric hedgehog but I would recommend not watching it at the same time as the rest of Hibike Euphonium and the other movie, it kind of stands alone and uses a different art style. It's probably best to do the rest and have a gap :)
Heh thanks for the reminder, plan happily amended to watch as a stand alone before my series re-watch then, and far more likely now that I will actually get to watch it sooner rather than later!

Righty ho, am I the only one who liked Penguin Highway then? Well someone has to put the renegade in the renegade simulwatch heh.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Not actually seen Jin-Roh yet myself :)

Righty ho, am I the only one who liked Penguin Highway then? Well someone has to put the renegade in the renegade simulwatch heh.

I didn't hate it or anything, hopefully my post made that reasonably clear, but neither could I pin it down and say it was good. I think I was ambivalent towards it, and my statement which Neil quoted of "visually strong but narratively weak" is basically where I landed. It was just lacking something key.

I liked the art, it was vibrant and colourful, the characters designs were on the whole pretty good, it just lacked some substance. If I had to pick between nice art and weak story, or nice story and weak art, I'd pick the latter (to a point, anyway).

Unrelated to the film precisely, but I don't really mind the art in things like Tatami Galaxy or Ping Pong, it's stylised and different, but it's fine to me. It can enhance certain elements of the actual animation as well.

On the other hand I really dislike the art in Mob Psycho 100, and I couldn't get on with the show when I tried it partly due to that. Between the art and the comedy falling totally flat to me, I think it's not just my thing!

Checking out a recent series called Ranking of Kings (aka Ousama Ranking), it has kind of different art again, and I thought it might put me off, but it grew on me as I went along, and I think the art fits the setting nicely.
 

João Gomes

Thousand Master
I laughed @Geriatric hedgehog, my daughter is also going through the "I decided I like boobs again" phase but she's on her way to 3 years old!

No, I didn't hate it, but that's the problem! It landed straight in that awful middle of the road which just makes me go "eeeeeeeh". It really didn't make me feel anything strongly in any way. I'll file it under "come back to it later" thanks to your post.

I'll say, the premise with the ocean and the penguins made me think it could've worked as horror under Junji Ito lol, maybe because the penguin storm made me think of Gyo.

As you've read, I've actually made peace with A Silent Voice. The bespectacled girl annoys me to a point I didn't think possible in anime but maybe that's because she reminds me of real people... Trash. But yeah, I enjoyed it a lot more this time around.

I've actually been sensually eyeing Jin-Roh since yesterday, I think it's time we get intimate... Actually skimmed through the booklet and ruined the ending for myself, so there's that. 🐺
 

WMD

Railgun
So watched today. It's my second time watching and though I'm in a clear minority I really like this film. A big part of that is that I really like the way the main character is presented. His innocent narcissism is such a fascinating character trait to explore. He thinks hes unstoppable, at one point states hes brilliant for not being conceited!, repeatedly thinks his way out of any set back or obstacle, is always pushing forward but in the end has to face the fact he cant save the lady and has to let her go. My only real criticism of the film is that they don't let him cry (men are allowed to show emotions!)

I read a fascinating paper a few years back about narcissism. The key question of the paper was Why are narcissists more successful than, and generally highly respected by their peers? The upshot being that despite the possible toxic elements of narcissism (manipulation, coercion, anger) there are other aspects to it. The big one being an inability to blame yourself if you can't do something: basically if a narcissist has a task to do and fails the first time they will still believe they can do it (they think they're awesome) so will try and try again until they succeed. A non narcissistic person is more likely to wallow in that initial defeat and take longer between attempts. This is why narcissists are, on average, more successful during their careers. Their personalities naturally tend towards perseverance and determination; two character traits that are generally viewed as being positive traits to have.

Anyway I liked that this movie had a bit of all that in it. The reason why this kid is so smart is that he thinks he is incredible and so doesnt stop working hard to prove he can understand it all. And so it becomes soemthing of a self fulfilling prophecy. Even at the end after the lady has left he is still determined to solve the problem and find her one day.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
It's an interesting take on narcissism for sure, I think I find conceited personalities to be a trait I dislike in real life, people who think they are the best at something and are not afraid to say it aren't usually the type of people I get on with. I much prefer the opposite really, those that are humble even in victory :)

When all is said and done it was surely a movie I was going to want to try some time based on the package art alone, so it was good to get all of you lot here involved as well, thanks for joining in fellas! :cool:

I've started making moves on what to watch for the next series in the main thread, link for the lazy!

 

WMD

Railgun
It's an interesting take on narcissism for sure, I think I find conceited personalities to be a trait I dislike in real life, people who think they are the best at something and are not afraid to say it aren't usually the type of people I get on with. I much prefer the opposite really, those that are humble even in victory :)
Yeah that paper also had a bit about how almost everyone will say that but people almost cant help but show respect to successful narcissists. Its supposedly an almost subconscious jealousy where you wish you could be like them while at the same time not wanting to condone them.
 
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