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Archive for the ‘Video & Trailers’ Category

Interesting Scene in Oi! Ryouma

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

While watching the first episode of the 1992 historical drama anime Oi! Ryouma, I was struck by a particular scene that occurred in the middle of the episode. As seven-year-old Sakamoto Ryouma is bullied and extorted by a pair of local boys, his sister Otome comes to his rescue. After beating up the two bullies, Otome orders Ryouma to use his privilege as a samurai and execute the boys for having insulted his and his sister’s honor, a historical samurai precept known as “Kiri-sute gomen.”

Historically “Kiri-sute gomen” was not performed very frequently, but it’s a concept seen equally rarely in anime, and practically never in association with heroic characters. In anime heroic samurai may execute villains, and villains may execute innocent commoners, but depictions of heroes executing commoners is practically unheard of because such depiction isn’t “heroic,” or romantic. Personally, I’m fascinated by the fact that this Japanese children’s program includes such a scene in which the older sister orders her little brother to “man up” by legally killing the bullies who have aggrieved him.


Miss Hokusai Review Online

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Twitch Film has published a positive review of Production I.G.’s latest historical drama feature film Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai.


John Oliver Introduces Japanese Mascots

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

While this video clip isn’t brand new, it may still be enlightening to many of you. After all, it’s a window into contemporary Japanese culture, and Funassyi has a currently ongoing anime TV series.

Take note that this video clip includes two instances of strong language.


Coolest Thing Ever?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015



June Power Up Box Unboxing

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Surprise subscription boxes are the best idea for geeks, otaku, and collectors since merchandise itself. Receiving wonderful new collectable toys, treats, and sometimes even collectable treats is supremely gratifying for fantasy aficionados. Combining the pleasure of gaining new goods with the anticipatory fun of surprise turns subscription boxes into Christmas gifts all year around. The June release of the Power Up Box has a monopoly on Guardians of the Galaxy goodness.



Gamba Who?

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The first trailer for studio Shirogumi’s full CG Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi (Gamba & Companions) movie has appeared online. The design and animation do look attractive, and I don’t know exactly how faithful this adaptation is to Atsuo Saito’s original novel, but anyone that’s watched any of Osamu Dezaki’s beloved 1975 anime TV series adaptation knows instantly that this isn’t the Gamba no Bouken that we remember. It’s not even close.


Little Witch Academia 2 Teaser Released

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Studio Trigger has just released the first trailer for its Kickstarter funded short film Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade. The sequel to the 2013 OVA will get a limited Japanese theatrical release in October after its initial distribution to its 7,938 Kickstarter backers.


Conveyor Sushi & Japanese Social Pragmatism

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Japan, and Tokyo in particular, has developed a unique, and by American standards, odd, tremendously advanced social and technological culture of enabling millions of tightly packed humans to live and interact with the least amount of potentially embarrassing, stress-inducing, or confusing human interaction possible. While American society traditionally appreciates and values warm, personal service, Japanese culture has evolved to elevate polite and formal pragmatism that excludes as much interpersonal interaction among strangers as humanly possible. Patrons can dine in a crowded restaurant and be surrounded by evidence of social life yet can enter the restaurant, order and consume a complete meal, pay, and depart without ever having to interact with a single human being or even speak a single word out loud. The restaurant’s design even allows employees to work efficiently without having to extensively interact with their co-workers. It’s a carefully and precisely designed and manufactured routine daily experience that allows for maximum urban efficiency with zero stress caused by having to communicate with or interact with other people.


Dragon Ball Z: Fukkatsu no F Mini Review

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

A friend living in Tokyo sent me this brief review of the latest Dragon Ball Z movie:

I went out today and saw the Dragonball Z Revival of F film. Received a wrapped copy of the script as a present. Probably won’t open it. Saw previews for Ultron, The Beast and the Boy, Tensai Bakabon and a teaser for a new Ghost in the Shell film. Happily, the film shows the most intense fighting in DBZ put to film to date. Unfortunately, the pacing and the dramatic tension of the film are off, so the middle of the film is the most exciting whereas the climax doesn’t have the natural impact it should. A couple of choices seem quite odd – there’s a big tie-in to the story with the Galaxy Patrolman Jaco, which has never been animated before; Trunks and Goten are absent entirely; and Beerus and Freeza have to know each other because of the previous film’s retcon. There are also strange gaps in the plot such as Freeza’s off-screen training and Pilaf and co. meeting Freeza’s lackeys, which seem to scream “deleted scenes kept for Blu-Ray release.” Still, there are some nice little touches to this film, like Krillin being a police officer with hair and having One Piece‘s theme song as his ringtone (Tanaka Mayumi is the seiyuu for both Krillin and Luffy), Piccolo uneasily rocking Pan’s crib, and Vegeta not wanting to teleport to Earth with Goku because that means he’ll have to hold hands with him. Whereas Battle of Gods could have been a stand-alone DBZ revival, the somewhat unsatisfying F film feels like DBZ can’t end like this, there has got to be another film…. It looks like there may not be another film yet, but at least we’re getting a new DB TV series called “Dragonball Super.” The last DB TV series with original content was GT almost 20 years ago.


Coluboccoro Kickstarter Campaign is Live

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Despite my belief that Santa Company turned out to be a highly compromised work, Coluboccoro still looks promising enough that I committed to a $100 donation.


What Anime Means To Me: Learning Director Names

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

On the evening of March 19, 1994, Dave E. showed me the “Double X” music video. The short clip was my first exposure to the music of X Japan. Dave specified that Rintaro had directed the anime PV. Prior to that evening I’d never consciously realized that paying attention to the ovure of particular directors might help me narrow down specific anime that I might enjoy.


Under the Dog Gets Unleashed

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Creative Intelligence Arts (CIA) CEO and founder Hiroaki Yura has announced that his company is recusing itself from involvement in the production of the Under the Dog OVA. CIA and animation studio Kinema Citrus jointly conceived the project and launched its 2014 Kickstarter campaign that became Kickstarter’s most successful crowd-funded animation project ever. Yura has announced that the continued development of the original anime OVA will henceforth be handled exclusively by Kinema Citrus with Kouji Morimoto brought on board to produce the project. Morimoto, not to be confused with Studio 4°C co-founder, has produced sci-fi/action anime including Avenger (2003), .hack//Roots (2006), and CANAAN (2009).

According to Hiroaki Yura, “In order to comply with certain requests from members of the UTD creative team, and to deliver an unhindered product to our backers, CIA is hereby removing itself from the UTD project… It is a testament to the enthusiasm the UTD team has that they wished to take over the production and directly handle it themselves.”

I respect and applaud the announcement because it represents an inexperienced producer stepping back, out of the way, handing over creative control directly to the animators who are making the OVA. The transfer shifts creative control from from CIA, which has no experience in anime production, to studio Kinema Citrus, which has successfully produced anime including Code:Breaker (2012), Yuyushiki (2013), Black Bullet (2014), and Barakamon (2014). My expectation is that fewer cooks in the kitchen, and putting the development directly into the hands of experienced artists, will result in a stronger, less adulterated product.


Ask John: Why Doesn’t a Vocaloid Anime Exist Yet?

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015


Why do you think no Hatsune Miku anime series has come out yet? To me it seems like a no brainer, considering all the available music, video games and other merchandise available. With the multiple vocaloids already in existence you’d have quite a large cast. All that you would need is a story to put the characters in and some new tunes. Even if it sucked you’d have a lot of cash generated from it.



Ask John: What are Good “Get Back Into Anime” Titles?

Monday, December 29th, 2014


As someone who has not watched anime in five years or so, could you tell me what you consider some of the best films or short series (13 episodes or less) in the last decade? I have always respect your opinions and look forward to seeing what you have to say.



Ninja Slay Me

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Don’t know what the hell studio Trigger is trying to do with the Ninja Slayer anime. The trailer suggests that the studio is trying to adapt the novels as a bad retro action anime. The logo at 3 seconds in is reminiscent of anime like Microman and even Aku Daisakusen Srungle. The two halves of the mask that slide into frame at 12 seconds, the purple-haired gal at 29 seconds – her exceptionally angled face and uneven hair, even the 4:3 framing and the coloring all shout “80s anime.” It’s like deliberate throwback to anime like Tobikage and Ninja Ryukenden, but, for God knows why, the animation is stiffly mechanical and the color exaggerated in a way that suggests that Trigger is trying to create Shockwave Flash animation without actually using Flash. Perhaps the studio realizes that the novels are kind of trashy and are trying to evoke the same sort of ridiculous vibe with the animation.


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