Fist of the North Star (movie), a remake of the first arc of the TV show (itself a remake of the famous manga by Tetsuo Hara and Buronson), released to Japanese movie-goers in 1986 with greatly improved art and animation over the TV series but also, like almost all anime movie remakes, a heavily cut down plot. General TV Series director Toyoo Ashida returned to helm the film along with character designer & animation director Masami Suda and many other Toei Animation staff; but, for my money, it’s the soundtrack by classical composer Katsuhisa Hattori and rock group Kodomo Band (“Heart of Darkness”, “Purple Eyes”) that provides the real emotional punch making this absurdly macho, apocalyptic splatter-fest seem almost poignant. Tune in for the full review!
Since last month we only put one episode out, we’re trying to make up for it this month with an episode each week — that means another guest episode today!
This time Grant talks Space Pirate Captain Harlock with two special guests: Dawn @bunnycartoon, host of the superb Anime Nostalgia podcast, and Cai @kaijinboyfriend, mega Harlock fan and fiction writer (throw a few bucks at his patreon, commision.io, or tips; he’s a great guy and would really appreciate the support). Together, they reminisce about their first experiences with the franchise, share their love for the titular lead, give the run down on which parts they think worth watching, and even answer a few of your twitter questions.
Hey all, sorry it’s been a while — life & all that.
Today’s episode is something a little different: mecha-head and writer/creator of Colony Drop and Zimmerit, Sean O’Mara @ColonyDrop joins us for a discussion all about the unconventional, strange and somewhat impalpable, mecha franchise, Patlabor.
00:00 – Introductions, Fandom, Colony Drop, and Fanzines
By sheer happenstance today’s episode is all about American remakes of popular and well regarded Japanese franchises from the 1990s. Grant starts things off with his thoughts on the new American Power Rangers film. Then its off to the Cineplex and back again for our review (at 38:22) of the new live action Ghost in the Shell film starring Scarlett Johansson. Sorry about the crap audio quality during the pre-review part; we didn’t notice my mic problems until after the fact.
Here’s the chart tweeted out by anime designer / director Thomas Romain showing the number of anime series and films being released today compared to years gone by.
Finally, forgot to mention it on the show, but there’s currently a Kickstarter to fund the international Blu-ray release of Masaaki Yuasa’s incredible debut film Mind Game — don’t miss your chance to join the cool kids club!
2006 saw the release of Satoshi Kon’s final film, Paprika, about a group of scientists slash psychotherapists that use an experimental device called the DC Mini to enter into the dreams of their patients in order to solve their problems; however, when several of the the devices are stolen, the dreams of multiple individuals begin to merge, and the fantastic becomes all too real as the barrier between dreams and the real world begins to crumble. Tune in for the full review.
It’s the 30th Anniversary of Bubblegum Crisis so of course we had to talk about it (just a little); also, check out Grant’s article Neon Never Fades: 30 Years of Bubblegum Crisisover at Zimmerit for why the show struck such a chord with older fans like ourselves.Zen gives a follow up to last episode’s review of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’. Grant elaborates once again on the madness of super sentai. And because suffering is an activity best shared with friends, Heat took it upon himself to watch Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and shares his thoughts.
Seven years in the making, REDLINE (2009) marks the third collaboration from two of Japan’s best, yet largely underappreciated talents: producer Katsuhito Ishii, known for his quirky, weird, and Tarantino-esque live action films, and director Takeshi Koike, known for his extraordinary animation chops. Their talents combined with the staff of Studio Madhouse result in a film that, while admittedly a little shallow, accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do: BLOW YOU AWAY. Yes, friends, Production IG can keep their shitty CG cars for themselves because REDLINE is all about doing the things the hard way: traditional animation done completely by hand with blood, sweat, and tears — just as god intended! Oh yeah, there’s also enough space aliens to make a Star Wars film blush, cool mechanical designs, off-beat humor, giant-sized pompadours, robo space fascists, kaiju, and a killer soundtrack to go with the oh-so-incredible animation. Did I just give away the tenor of our review? Very likely. Tune in for more slavish REDLINE worship!
Voltron Season 2 has Heat excited. Grant catches us up on the latest Power Rangers shenanigans. And Zen remarks on Moyocco Anno’s comedy manga, Insufficient Direction about her strange marriage to director Hideaki Anno.
After his minions gather the titular wishing stones, everyone’s favorite baddie that won’t stay down is resurrected to enact his revenge upon Goku and friends; surely, this time, he will prevail! As fan fiction as that sounds, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection of ‘F’also marks the return of series creator Akira Toriyama to the franchise (following 2013’s Battle of the Gods) making this 2015 entry only the 2nd film to earn its place in official Dragon Ball canon. As might be imagined, the story penned by Toriyama, blends equal parts comedy and action, making for a solid outing that neither breaks new ground or seriously offends but is sure to please long time fans.