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Anime Review: Slayers Season 4 (Revolution/Evolution-R)


2015’s revival of Ushio and Tora by Studio MAPPA is not the first revival of an older anime and manga series in the 21st century. In 2008, JC Staff revived the classic fantasy anime series Slayers, with a fourth season after an almost decade gap. The series was was released as a split-cour show, with the first 12-episode cour being subtitled “Revolution”, and the second “Evolution-R”. When the show originally was announced, the big question that fans had was would this show come back with a Dragon Slave sized blast, or would it fizzle like a wet firework? Continue reading → Anime Review: Slayers Season 4 (Revolution/Evolution-R)

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Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night (2005)


Adaptations of visual novels to anime are something of a mixed bag. Sometimes, like with Clannad and Comic Party, the adaptation is a hit. Other times, it doesn’t work quite so much. Fate/Stay Night falls into the former case, though there are times where the work stumbles in its execution, primarily on the animation front, though there are some narrative issues. Continue reading → Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night (2005)

Anime Review – Record of Lodoss War (1990)


This time I’m reviewing the fantasy anime series “Record of Lodoss War” from 1990.

Footage:

Music:

“Little Lily Swing” – Tri-Tachyon
Used under a Creative Commons License.

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Notes: Matt Walton suggested that I cover some of the material I’ve previously covered in my fanzine on the show – this is meant to be a part of that – I did an article on Western Fantasy in Anime that covered Lodoss and several other shows that I’ll get to in future episodes.

Thoughts from my re-watch of Akira


Akira (film)
Akira (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’m re-watching Akira again, for the first time after having seen the first part of Megazone 23. It’s interesting to compare Megazone 23 Part 1 and Akira. Both came out within 3 years of each other – Megazone 23 in 1985, the year I was born, and Akira in 1988. Both have similar leads – biker punks who get in over their heads with sinister government conspiracies. Both series have hawkish military figures who overthrow the elected government in a coup, and both figures are certainly antagonists. However, it’s interesting to see how in Megazone 23, the military figures are clearly evil, while in Akira, the Colonel’s actions are given a stronger justification.

 

This is kind of a spoiler for Megazone 23, so don’t read further if you’re worried about having the story spoiled:
Continue reading → Thoughts from my re-watch of Akira

Book Review – The Rough Guide to Anime


Finding a “canon” of important works in any field is generally difficult to settle on. Do you go by popularity, artistic merit, influence on other works, early works of prominent creators, or a combination thereof?

The Rough Guide to Anime, by Simon Richmond – in Penguin Books Rough Guides series, probably has the best “canon” list of anime titles available, and certainly makes for the best English language primer to anime currently in print in the US, and makes for interesting reading for long-time fans and newcomers alike. Continue reading → Book Review – The Rough Guide to Anime

Anime Review – Area 88


Get Area 88 from Amazon.com

In the anime portions of Gainax‘s OVA series Otaku No Video, there’s a sequence where the main character is being shown the various types of Otaku that the members of his friend’s club are part of. There’s the vehicle and mecha otaku, who is a geek about engines and how things work, and so on. One of the members of the club is an animation otaku, and he demonstrates his affinity for animation by pointing out the detail in an animated sequence (taken from the DaiCon IV video). I, personally, haven’t had many moments in animation where I felt compelled to freeze frame a video and stop to appreciate it – until I saw the OVA Area 88.

Continue reading → Anime Review – Area 88

Adaptations I’d like to see made.


My last couple articles, on the opera Doctor Atomic, and on Wired’s recent article about Max Butler’s hacking scheme got me thinking about adaptations, and stories that I’d like to see adapted from fiction or non-fiction to another medium, be it film, television, or even the stage. This is a topic I’ve thought about in the past on other forums, from “Movie’s you’d most like to see re-made” threads to “Novels you’d most like to see turned into movies” to “Anime adaptations you’d most like to see.” However, with all of these threads, they’ve been generally been tied to some sort of video media – anime, film, TV series. I’m expanding this list to address materials that aren’t video – the stage. My list of projects is below the cut.

Continue reading → Adaptations I’d like to see made.

Movie Review – Ghost in the Shell


As a heads up, this review will contain spoilers for the film Ghost in the Shell. You’ve been warned.

Normally, when I write a review of a movie, I do it right after I actually watch the film. This allows me to strike while the proverbial iron is hot. Ghost in the Shell is different. Here, I really had to think about what I was going to say. I think about what I’m going to say anyway, but this is different, because Ghost in the Shell itself is different. To explain why, and to explain why I think the way I do about the film, I have to give some background, not necessarily about the film, but about me.

Ghost in the Shell is one of those anime films that everybody needs to see once. Every “anime fan” or “otaku” or “geek” or even “film buffs” in general. Everybody needs to see it at least once. If they don’t like it, they never have to watch it again, but they need that first time. This was my first time, sort of. I had seen bits and pieces before, back when I had satellite TV, and when we had Starz. I’d heard big things about the movie before, and the manga. However, I’d never seen or read either. What I saw of the anime intregued me, but because there was nudity and violence, and because I was just getting into High School, I couldn’t see a way to watch it without my parents knowing. So, I read the manga, written by Masamune Shirow instead. It intrigued me, having a mixture of humor, action, and sexy characters, with a deep story in both the political and philosophical arenas.

Continue reading → Movie Review – Ghost in the Shell