In order to bring his vision of the fourth novel in the Crane Iron series to life, Oscar winning director Ang Lee employed the talents of mega-stars Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi, legendary fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping, and musical composer Tan Dun. The results speak for themselves. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, an all time classic of the wuxia genre, is still, to this day, the most successful international film, both critically and commercially, to ever hit the states — and rightly so. Tune in for the full review!
The Host (2006), a critical and commercial hit in South Korea and abroad, comes from director and screenwriter Bong Joon-ho and centers around a family’s quest to retrieve their lost loved one from the clutches of a mutant fish-monster.
A four part OVA prequel to the Masamune Shirow manga, Dominion Tank Police stars Leona and her cute, but totally awesome, tank Bonaparte as they fight to take down the criminal Buaku gang. The first two episodes, written, directed, and story-boarded by Koichi Mashimo showcase a flair for slapstick and comedic humor that arguably outdoes even the original manga in sheer wacky absurd-ism; while the later two episodes, helmed by director Takaaki Ishiyama and, I believe, a separate production staff, take a different posture, trading a bit of the over the top fun of the first half, for a more subdued, surreal, and reflective tone. Tune in for the full review!
We recently had the special privilege of talking with American cartoonist, and Eisner award winning comic author and artist, Zander Cannon about his wonderful series Kaijumax. A uniquely original prison drama about life on the inside, where the inmates just so happen to be giant monsters a.k.a. Kaiju, Kaijumax is an insanely hilarious comic mashup that’s absurd, gross, hilarious, heartfelt, and filled with enough parodies, homages, and references to please and amuse everyone from battle hardened fans of Kaiju and Tokusatsu to relative newbies alike.
Our conversation together covers Kaijumax, drawing and writing comics, favorite Kaiju films, and a whole heapin’ lot of Toku talk:
00:00 – KaijuMax
32:03 – On creating your own comic
37:52 – What’s next for KaijuMax
41:37 – Tokusatsu discussion
1:17:45 – Twitter questions
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.